Sometimes it’s fun to jump into things with little or no preparation, or so it may seem. Actually, are you always prepared for whatever you do, at least to some extent?
Other than as a toddler or at most an infant, we are prepared at some level to tackle anything life throws at us, at least on an intellectual level of knowing roughly ‘how’ to go about trying something. For example, intuitively if you had never played golf before, you would have a good idea of how to hold the club – or at least which end to hold! You would instinctively know that to get the ball projected forward it will need hitting with some form of force/power – most initially think it is brute force and muscular power but at least your experience and mental capacity can work out the basic principles.
However, to become good at something, I mean really good at it, once you have mastered the technical practicalities of the task thus being prepared physically for it, you can improve your performance by also being mentally prepared for whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
Take Conor McGregor right now toward the end of his 6 or 7 month training camp in preparation for one of the biggest fights of all time against Floyd Mayweather. Conor is totally physically prepared for this match and possibly fuelled by the knowledge of how hard he has prepared so far he is totally mentally prepared for the match. The loud mouth antics and bravado does not make him prepared, that’s just showmanship, the unshakeable belief that he CAN and WILL do what he wants to do is what will carry him through this whole experience.
Being ready in your mind is the final hurdler to success and if you can conquer that you can conquer your dreams and aspirations.
Shortly before I went to Japan to defend my world title I wrote down my thoughts on how I was going to tackle the upcoming weeks, based on mys studies, the way I felt and what I wanted to cement in my mind as my mantra, the way forward, the way to win.
I can be the greatest, I can be the best,
I can be the King Kong banging on my chest…
(adapted from) Hall of Fame, The Script
I will play each shot in turn and not worry about the ones behind me or those left to play
I will hit every shot like I have practiced on the range thousands of times before
I will accept what happens to the ball be that good or bad and deal with the outcome in the same way
I am human and will feel frustration so I will allow myself momentary lapses, but then use a trigger to get back into focus,
I will not hold on to feelings of anger or disappointment and will accept that what will be will be
I will never play a shot until I am happy I am in focus and ready to pull the trigger
I will love my wedges and my putter even more
I will be aware of my surroundings and people around me but be able to switch into focus when needed on every shot
If I am unsure I will ask more questions until I am happy I know everything I need to know about the shot in front of me
I will take responsibility for all my actions and accept the consequences, good or bad
I will enjoy the games and trust and believe in my talent and ability
I will be calm under pressure
I will breathe deeply
I will be the best I can be and I will be a champion!
Thankfully, we are all different and as such can find our own ways to be prepared to tackle the tasks we face, however if we follow the same principles of being BOTH physically and mentally prepared, there is nothing we cannot do.
BTW, years before I had ‘Hall of Fame’ as my anthem while training for my first world title, I attended a personal development course with Tony Robbins, I got on stage in front of 200 people and proclaimed I would be world champion one day. I had no idea how or when I would do it and as the emotion filled tears streamed down my face I banged my chest with my fist … … ‘King Kong banging on my chest’… … spooky!!