So, the title of this Blog might seem a little negative, but I assure you accepting failure can be one of the most powerful mental/emotional skills you can have as a golfer.
I hear you ask "Why"? Well, here it is.
So in the game of golf, there is generally only ONE shot you want to hit! ONE shot you have chosen in this very situation, RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW as the shot you would like to execute. Now, generally for most players, that shot is a very specific shot. A slight fade of the tree just behind the back left section of the green, falling into the centre of the green etc etc.
People in my industry have told golfer's for years to be as specific as possible when it comes to selecting both your target and the type of shot you want to hit. But what we might have forgotten to tell you about this type of specificity when choosing a target or shot shape, is that when using your mind in such a highly detailed manner, you are going to fail and fail an extraordinary amount of the time! By that, I mean you will fail to execute that exact shot in excess of 90% of the time, and on some days you will fail 100% of the time!
BUT, you will fail at a much higher level, still executing shots where you will be able to shoot really solid scores, at times some really really great scores.
When we sharpen our mind and use it with such clarity of exactly what we want to do, this helps you to narrow both your minds attention and in turn, your shot dispersion. BUT, you have to create a pattern of accepting failure, as even the greatest golfer that has ever played the game, Jack Nicklaus once said on a great day he would hit a maximum of 5 shots exactly how he imagined it! Every other shot he hit he failed to execute what he had pictured in his Pre Shot.
The key is to understand that there is only ever ONE shot you want to hit, but hundreds of shots that you don't want to hit! If you can fully COMMIT to executing that ONE shot, then have full acceptance that you will fail a high percentage of the time, blended with an awareness that you will be failing to a high quality, you will begin to free yourself from the cycle of intense JUDGEMENT that so many golfers often experience in the moments after shots.
This will help you to stop being so hard on yourself, so self critical of your performance and begin to help you to let go of those perfectionist tendencies that can eat away at a golfers psyche.
This acceptance of failure will help you to stop hanging onto unsatisfactory shots during a round of golf and free from that unproductive mental/emotional pattern and help you to close the gap between potential and performance.