“Baseball is 90% mental the other half physical” -Yogi Berra.
Over the past month I had felt like I had been in a bit of a slump in a lot different areas. My disc golf performances were far from stellar, I had the worst rated round I’d ever put up, I had a massive collapse down the stretch of a tournament to go from first place to 6th over the last six holes. My climbing had stalled, I just was not feeling the drive to go to the gym, after a month of stagnated progress. Over all I would say I was in a rut, and I was slowly losing enjoyment out of my hobbies.
I know that during this time frame I had all of the physical tools I need to perform where I needed. I had practiced by disc golf. I had trained in the climbing gym. Physically there was nothing wrong with me. That to me is what made this stretch so frustrating. I knew physically I could do it but I just wasn’t and that was largely discouraging to me. That being said I deduced that the problem had to be mental.
I began looking into and looking into my thinking patterns. One thing I noticed is my thought processes were not consistent. I could not find a specific focus or thought that had been in my head I had largely been scatter brained during that time. To me this illustrated a lack of focus and central purpose. I was leaving myself to ride the emotional roller coaster of all of the ups and downs of every shot. I know in the tournament I collapsed in, I let one shot dictate the next and the one after that, as I watched the strokes snowball in to several large scores on some holes.
So when it came to my most recent event this past weekend The 2017 Frozen Toes, I spent the two weeks prior reading and establishing a mental process for the event. I knew it would be key to have my mind set have an over-arching focus to keep me centered. The goal was that this would prevent the emotional ups and downs from effecting my performance. Secondly when the time for execution came to play I developed another mantra to have me focus on the specific shots I was taking.
For the week prior to the event every day I built in affirmations into my day to help center myself. Every morning when I woke up I told myself I had already won the event, and I had made all of my putts. I would repeat these affirmations several times throughout the day building in the belief within my that the event was mine. In my mind I had already won so it was just up to me to execute.
This focus was very helpful in keeping me centered during the round. I though a series of bad decisions, and poor execution took a double bogey 5 to start the tournament. Normally this would cause me to want to dig in and try harder to get the strokes I had just lost back to try and keep up with the rest of the field. This time however I knew I had already won, and that if I just executed it would come to me. I proceeded to birdie the next two holes and make several long putts to save pars to keep pace and be in the mix.
At the end of the day I did not win. I ended up in 2nd place losing by two strokes. However by working more on my mental game the week before I performed better than I had the previous weeks, enjoyed the experience a lot more, and played closer to what I know my potential is.
In the end I attribute a lot more of that performance to being in the right mind space than I do to my physical training. The right mindset helps you play better and enjoy the process throughout.