The struggle makes you mentally tough. One of the biggest problems I always encounter when working with young athletes is that the spoiled ones can’t handle the pressure. They get everything they want in life, so that they lack the mental fortitude when a difficulty occurs on the course.
J.B. Holmes has had some serious struggles in his life. In the past few years, he has had two brain operations plus operations on an ankle and elbow. While very unfortunate, such experiences have given Holmes more than just a resilient mental game. He now realizes that pressure on the golf course pales in comparison to what he has endured outside the ropes. Such mental strength helped him to deal with the anxiety of leading a tournament on Sunday, ultimately capturing the Wells Fargo Championship.
In a related note, one of my favorite quotes came from Walter Zembriski, who worked as an iron worker on high-rise buildings for many years of his life and then qualified for the Champions Tour more than two decades ago. He once said that 3-footers don’t make him nervous because he faced the possibility of dying at work each day.
This is a powerful principle to apply to your golf game. When you start getting nervous over a 5-foot birdie putt, just ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Of course the answer is not so bad. When we keep the pressure in perspective, we can then control it.
Holmes is an inspiration and he reminds us that we should value each moment on the golf course and in our lives, rather than worry about our scores and fret about all the birdies we should have made.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a motivational business speaker and a regular guest every Wednesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf. Please visit him atwww.drgreggsteinberg.com