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Golf: Patience, Positivity and Proper Posture

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Lydia Ko was asked how she stays so patient when things aren’t going well. Her response? “I just keep waiting for good things to happen.’’ That’s an optimist.”
That’s from Judy Rankin’s, “Why Optimists Play Better Golf.”

A positive posture also helps
Judy writes, “When I played, I would not have cared less about body language. Now I think it’s really important. If you project body language that is down and negative, it seeps into your game. If you can carry yourself with body language that is more positive, that is happier, it seeps into your game, too.”

Body language and a bit of advice

“Body language is really about what your body is saying to you, not what you're saying to other people,” says Amy Cuddy.

Directly below the above mentioned Judy Rankin passage there’s a link to Amy Cuddy’s, “The Power Pose: The Skill Of Body Language,” and for the record, “Amy Cuddy, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard Business School. Her 2012 TED Talk, "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are," has been viewed 34 million times.
So maybe we should check on what she has to say?

Q: Your TED Talk and your book focus on power posing. What do we need to know?
A: People tend to think body language is about communicating with others, not with the self. Body language is really about what your body is saying to you, not what you're saying to other people. When you use your body to respond to situations, especially stressful situations, in a powerful way, it becomes self-reinforcing. I deal with this a lot in business settings, but elite athletes know it's true. Sport-psychology studies show that posture influences a person's performance.

Little nudges

Amy writes, “You need to focus on little nudges as goals instead of score-based goal…Focusing on score does not make you a better golfer. Focusing on the movement itself, in that exact moment, that's what can make you a better golfer. You're going to gradually get better, but it's not a perfect linear relationship. You'll have some ups and downs as you go, and that's OK. The funny thing is, if you focus on those little nudges, the pieces start to come together, and you have a cognitive memory and a muscle memory of doing it well. Ultimately, it will be easier to get to that thing you wanted, which was shooting a low score or winning.”

Link to Judy Rankin and Amy Cuddy

Quote of the Day
“By nature, optimists are interested and curious people, and Phil (Mickelson) exemplifies that. That’s why he has so many shots in his bag. He’s not afraid to try. His approach is, “Let’s try this, it might work.’’ Maybe it’s a shot nobody has tried before in competition.” – Judy Rankin

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