(What I Learned from a Pro Golfer)
I learned this analogy from a professional golfer I work. I thought it was so good that I must share it! I want you to think of a see-saw (or a teeter totter). You remember those things? Typically found in the children's parks and playground. It’s a long, narrow board that’s supported by a single pivot point, at the midpoint of the board. So the see-saw can go up and down on both ends.
What I learned from the golfer was to think of each side of the see-saw as distinct ways to perform at your best. One side is your physical skill set. This is how well you’re shooting the ball, ball handling, speed and agility, and so on with your physical skills. The other side is your mindset. This could be your mental toughness, grit, discipline, ability to control the controllables, and so forth.
When you’re playing well: shots are going in, you’re feeling quick and agile, ball handling is feeling smooth; that’s when the physical side of the see-saw is very high. Which means that’s the mindset side of the see-saw is very low. This shows that the physical game is “working” and feeling good, there’s not much need for the mindset to put forth as much effort.
BUT what happens when things aren’t going your way physically? Your shots aren’t going in, you’re feeling a step slow, your body is achy and sore, what do you do? Typically, most common with athletes I work with, they become emotional and frustrated. I see pouting, negativity, bad attitude, and possibly even giving up. This is when the physical skillset side of the see-saw is very low.
What the best athletes understand is even though their physical game might be low, that means the mindset side of the see-saw needs to be very high! The best can “tap into” their mindset. They have the grit and mental toughness to control their emotions better. They understand that every game they're not going to physically have their best. But they also know that having a strong, healthy, confident mindset will help them reach their maximum potential more often than not.
How’s your see-saw? Control it better!
Own your outcome!