Yesterday, I asked the question if pride or ego was helping or hurting your golf game. It was a simple question that has a tremendous impact on your game. Many do not realize how it slowly creeps into your mental focus and your swing mechanics, but it does.
As I look back at my previous posts, I think I may have fallen into a trap. My earlier thoughts were that pride or ego was a bad thing and it needed to be controlled. Now, I am not so sure. I am wondering if there is a place for pride or ego in my game.
I generally looked at ego as some that hurts my golf game. These were my previous thoughts:
Ego is the furnace that heats the dreaded fear! It is the great inhibitor that stops golfers from achieving their goals and releasing the great golfer locked inside their body. Many would argue that ego does not play any part in their game. They would state categorically that they are in total control of all aspects of their game and could improve all aspects if they desired.
I still stand by my initial thoughts, but now, I think I should modify my views on the value of having a strong ego in golf. Ego, if applied properly, might open some doors to the weaker aspects of my game. If that is possible, then it is worth examining.
Ego can empower your confidence; it can offer mental toughness where it was void before; and it can be a game changer is invoked at the right time. It is required excel in sports or so they say. I actually agree with this premise and some research suggests the same.
You cannot be a competitor, and a winner, without ego. The desire to be a winner at all costs is what drives champions. To a champion, losing is worse than anything else. Losing is too damaging to the ego.
I have played competitive sports for over 40 years. I have found that pride or ego have their uses when facing down your enemy. I think back to Tiger Woods (actually any world number 1) in his hay day; the pride he took in his game by practicing more than anyone helped intimidate the entire field the moment he stepped up to the first tee. Therefore, we must conclude that pride or ego has a place in golf.
I think about my game through the years. As I improved my skill so did my pride in my game. Looking back, it was an interesting metamorphoses. The improvement in my game and my pride were tied together. The stronger my pride, the better my game became. However, my improvement was not limited to executing a stronger golf swing. It worked its way in and influenced my course management as well.
Once my course management was affected, good things started to happen. I started to make better decisions and scores started to drop. I notice a distinct improvement in my shot making and shot selection. I found that I lucky bounces and that good fortune was more common place. As a result, my pride or ego continued to grow.
Unfortunately, this is where pride may become a liability. This is where a divergence occurs. This is where too much pride might be my downfall. Others think so as well:
Pride or ego is very important to great golf. Every player has these immeasurable traits and how they affect their game differs. Too much and a player takes unneeded risks; Too little and a player is too cautious. There is a happy medium and it is different for each player.
My pride and ego waxes and wanes throughout the year. When my ego is in-sync with my golf game, I play every well and the game seems easy. Too much or too little pride and I struggle with my game. My real challenge going forward is to determine the right level of pride needed each time I play to continually improve my game!
Does pride or ego affect your game!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!