Set your priorities right

Most of us know the feeling of being completely immersed in learning the game of Golf. While others are able to keep a healthy distance between themselves and the game, some of us have plunged into the game so deeply that they struggle to think about anything else in their life. Especially, among competitive juniors the game of golf and everything around it tends to dictate their lives. Since playing golf on a high level requires a substantial time commitment, our lives tend to revolve around golf, especially in season. In order to find a healthy balance, juniors and especially their parents need to be mindful of this potential development. Of course, it is great if a junior or, even, the entire family enjoys to play golf. However, I believe, letting the game of golf become the center of attention may cause more harm than good.

If the game of golf becomes the center of your attention, we are more likely to define ourself through how good of a player we are. In other words, our mood and even our confidence is dependent on how well we play. In golf, any such dependency, through which our mood and confidence is influenced in a negative way, is not desirable. Rather, in order to become the best golfer we can be, we need to be in control of our mind. We cannot afford a bad shot to negatively influence our mood or confidence.

In the long term such dependency is likely to be quite destructive to our mental health. If you are a person with high expectations, you might even end up quitting the game, because you are constantly unhappy with your performance and yourself.

In order to avoid this dependency, we need to be aware of our relationship to the game of golf and get our priorities right!

Allow yourself to take a few minutes to answer the following questions:
- What defines you as a person?
- What do you like doing? / What do you don’t like doing?
- Who or what is important to you?
- Which are your top 10 priorities?
- Do you like to play golf? If so, why do you like to play golf?
- What in particular makes you want to return to the course or the practice facility?

If Golf happens to be among your first three priorities, you should work on your relationship to the game of golf. Most of us would not play a tournament, if we are sick or injured. Furthermore, we would not play a tournament if a friend or family member is in needs of our help. Also, most of us would not play a tournament, if we put our goal of acquiring an education in danger. Consequently, if you think about your personal priorities for a while, you might realize that golf is not that important after all.

[font=Calibri, sans-serif]The better you are at managing all priorities other than golf, the better you will be able to focus during your practice sessions and during competition. You will notice that you will keep your cool on the golf course when your life off the golf course is in balance. Having clearly defined priorities will, furthermore, help you realize that a round of golf doesn’t define you as a person. After all, golf is a game and we should keep it at that![/font]

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