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Thought for the day - A Lesson from the golf course on mental approach

Why is it when you don't think when you play a sport, it goes so well and when you start thinking it can go so wrong.

We had our first competition of the year on Sunday with 180 contenders for the prizes. I started well hitting 2 good shots to the green. When I put my trolley on the next tee and looked for my putter, it was not there because I had left it on the putting green. It was 330 yards back to the first tee so a jog was in order to fetch it. By the time I returned, I was puffing hard but managed to par the whole. After 9 holes I was well in contention for the competition, and that's where things started to unravel. I started to think I could be in with a chance. My golf swing became twitchy and very quickly I was telling myself that the golfing gods were against me. I found hazard after hazard. How can you go from near perfect golf to hit obstacle after obstacle.

They say golf like sailing is often in the mind. If you don't think and just react to the weather you will do well. Start thinking negatively and mistakes will creep in. Even if things go wrong, accept it, revise the goal for the race and see what you can do. Whatever happens, the challenge is to be very happy at the end whatever the result. Why be anything else because there is always another race.

Next time you race, check how you feel afterwards and ask yourself, "Is that a good feeling or bad and how does it help you or hinder you?" I know what feeling I want after racing.

Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone.

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