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Playing with Pressure
All of us would like to take our driving range swings to the course and dazzle our friends with beautiful shots. So why don't we? The answer is undue-due pressure. It's the kind of pressure that is applied to our swings by ourselves. This results in poor shots and frustration.

I would like to suggest something that will distract you from the ever-present water, sand and O.B. -- "Rhythm" "Routine" and "Attitude." The rhythm of your life is where you should begin when trying to determine an appropriate rhythm on the golf course. If you have a naturally fast pace and like to be on the move, or a more laid-back one, this should be adhered to when playing golf. However, as we know all too well, the pace of group play is never the same and, if categorized, would be right on track for the snails.

Don't be discouraged, group pace of play and individual pace of play are completely different. Don't let the pace of play around you dictate your own rhythm. Here's what you can do. Establish a confident attitude that allows you to control your emotions and focus on individual shots rather than overall results. Allow yourself to be a part of the atmosphere instead of trying to shut yourself off. Then, use this confidence to develop a routine. The routine should be individual and naturally repeatable.

You probably already do a number of routine things. Take these and observe what type of rhythm you have as a result of this process. You may only have three things that you do consistently and you may feel comfortable doing these things quickly, hence the fast rhythm. Observe whether you are successful with a fast or slow rhythm and repeat the preferred pace accordingly. This process will result in a solid routine, a pleasant calming rhythm and an improved attitude to provide continuity to this successful personal pace. It is now possible for you to deal with adversity and handle unwanted, self-imposed pressure. By controlling your own rhythm instead of blaming the pace of play, you can become a student of improvement rather than a teacher of excuses.


Attitude does make a difference, doesn't it? And what you focus your attention on will make a difference in how you live. This week, choose to think on those things that will improve upon your performance.

 ©1999 Craig Hocknull
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