GFAA Best Practice: Place Focus on the Mental Side of Golf

Dr. Jarrod Spencer is a licensed Sports Psychologist and Founder of Mind of the Athlete, LLC. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is the author of “Mind of the Athlete – Clearer Mind, Better Performance.”

Dr. Jarrod Spencer on the importance of placing focus on the mental side of golf:

In my practice, I work with a diverse variety of athletes, including several high school and collegiate golfers. Most of these individuals are scholarship players looking for every edge to raise their game to the next level and achieve their goals. An athlete will come to a sports psychologist primarily through a coach who will vouch for that sports psychologist. The initial conversation between me and the athlete is about me learning their story, and I spend that first hour asking questions to get a thorough evaluation. When they walk out the door, I want them to feel like I have a good knowledge of their situation. They feel very comfortable in a brief period of time, which makes our work together more effective. It’s during the second session that we get deeper into how I can serve their needs the best. Most golfers struggle with emotional endurance. It could be anxiety, nervousness, sleep, pressure at home or even with family. They’re usually good on the front nine, but become mentally fatigued somewhere on the back nine. Mental mistakes and uncontrolled emotions lead to bad decisions and ill-fated golf shots. Rectifying this deficiency is all about a simple philosophy: clearer mind, better performance. For many golfers, the clearer their pre-conscious mind is, the less emotional drain they experience. There’s less tension and stress, which gives them increased emotional stamina and the ability to handle conflict or adversity. I help athletes clear their pre-conscious mind and, by doing so, they feel and perform better.

Dr. Jarrod Spencer on the business impact of placing focus on the mental side of golf:

It is vital for golfers to keep their thoughts in the present, not lamenting over the bogey they just had or pondering what’s in store on that difficult hole coming up soon. It’s not a cliche to say, “stay in the moment”. This is more easily facilitated with better sleep that will allow them to manage their emotional energy and shift their thinking from negative to positive. In my professional practice, I only accept new clients who will dedicate their time to completing the Mind of the Athlete coaching program. It’s a clear seven-step program that builds upon the information derived from initial sessions. After seven sessions, they feel less stuck than they were two or three months earlier. In fact, some athletes have reaped the full benefits during that brief period of time and feel good about applying the concepts that we discussed on their own. Other athletes, many of them in fact, understand the long-term benefits, and continue to work with me on a regular basis. In between our sessions, my athletes have access to worksheets, videos and audio recordings of vital information that reinforces the topics we discuss face-to-face. Considering the pandemic that we have endured for the past 18 months, mental health has never been more important than it is right now.

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