What works for you

Sports psychologist Karl Steptoe on why we need to be writing our own golf books to find out what works for us

Jack Nicklaus

Whether your goal is to break 100 or to make an assault on the world's professional Tours there is a book out there that will proclaim to have the secrets. The thing that always strikes me is that whether it is Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, John Daly or Tiger Woods telling you how they play the game, the content is very different and so maybe we are a missing the point.

These great players describe the strategies, techniques, routines and approaches that they have found work best for them and we then try and apply these to our own games. Instead I want you to write your own book on how YOU play golf.

Think about the different chapters that this book would have; what would they be called? For example, there would be a section on how I prepare for tournaments, another on how I structure my practice sessions, certainly there will be chapters dedicated to how you swing the club, but what about those that deal with how I cope under pressure, how I perform when in the lead and how I manage disappointment?

If you can see writing YOUR book as a structure for your development it can start to bring new meaning and goals to all your performances and training. Your intention every time you go out is to research for your book and the only way you can fail in research is if you do not learn anything.

Yes you will experiment with strategies technical, psychological and strategic and those that are not successful are not failures that hold you back but knowledge of what does not work for YOU and so will never go in your book. Believe it or not you are the experts on your golf swing! You have insight and access to a valuable sources of information through thoughts and feelings that we as coaches will never be able to understand unless you feedback the information. You are at the centre of the coaching process so do not passively take on board new information; listen to it, challenge it if necessary and then through practice, tweak it and make it your own!

Feel players aren't born they have simply learnt in a different way.

Karl Steptoe BSc, MSc, works with club golfers and European Tour Professionals through his Sport psychology consultancy a mind to perform Ltd (opens in new tab) and Golf Mental he is also a PGA Advanced Professional and is involved in doctoral research looking at performance under pressure in golf.

Karl Steptoe blogs

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