While watching the Golf Channel recently after the US Open, Dr Gio Valiante the sports psychologist, was asked to disclose three tips he could offer the average golfer to make a big difference in their game. His simple response was interesting as he selected:
1. Soft Hands
2. Pick a Target
3. Live with the Shot
To anybody not familiar with the game of golf, it may mean very little to you. However, please read on as golf is a great metaphor for the game of life and indeed business, so let’s see how these might translate.
When golf instructors talk about soft hands, what they are really saying is release the tension. Most inconsistency in golfers comes about due to tension which then influences the swing. By being low in tension, you trust the process; you have faith in your ability and the surroundings. As a parent or a manager, the presence of “soft hands” eases mental tension and creates harmony, understanding, agreement, cooperation and much more.
In picking a target, it’s about setting a goal. It’s funny when you ask some golfers what is their target, they often respond “to get it out there in play”. However for good players that’s way too big a target. Instead they pick something very specific on the fairway or in the distance. Similarly in life and business, achievement is generally derived by identifying what success might look like and setting very specific goals around that attainment. Where do you want your ball to land?
Finally, what does it mean to live with the shot? This really speaks to how you mentally want to deal with each event, which sometimes will have a good outcome but there will be occasions where the result is not what was intended. With the latter, you can either get upset which will then add to the tension, or you can learn from it quickly moving on to the next shot. Similarly in life and business, we must continuously learn to “live with our shots” to make things even better next time.
For many, golf seems like a pointless game where people hit a little white ball with different sticks and then walk after it and hit it again. However, like most things in life, there is often a deeper meaning to be extracted and this is why the game of golf holds a mysterious intrigue to every fan of this great game.