Three Keys to Consistency
Nowhere in sports is consistency more elusive than in the sport of golf. There have many times that I have felt that I looked like Jack Nicklaus on one nine and Bill Nicklaus the next. Who is Bill Nicklaus (not a champion or you would have heard of him)? How can that happen so easily?
According to Lanny Bassham, Olympic Gold Medalist and a very highly respected Performance Coach to several PGA Tour players, consistency is a three step process.
1) First, “carefully choose what is primary”. That means to think things through completely and then decide which set up and swing fundamentals you are going to commit to. It will always be counter-productive to be working on the wrong things. Get the guidance you need to formulate a long term plan that is both detailed and specific.
2) After you have chosen what is primary, you must “master what you have chosen”. This obviously is going to require an investment of time and energy, but hard work is not enough if you are apt to lose patience, get distracted from your plan and make unnecessary changes. Every change you make starts the clock over on the mastering process. Constant change negates mastery, which is why being careful in step one is so important.
3) Finally, you must “learn to trust what you have mastered”. Trust requires a disciplined mental management plan. What you think, how you talk, and your emotional control. In this scenario, you control the environment instead of letting it and the results control you.
It is the commitment to this three step process that leads to consistency and is the key to being able to play well in any environment. On my own journey, having a plan that I understand and believe in has made the game and the improvement process much more enjoyable! I am wishing the same for all of you in 2012. - James