We all encounter the number one mental problem around: over-trying. Within the quest of reaching a goal, trying too hard lessens the probability of reaching that goal. In golf, this phenomenon exists when we fixate too much on trying to make something happen using our conscious mind as opposed to trusting our skill set that resides in our subconscious. It also happens when we focus on an outcome instead of committing to the process of an action. Many times, being wrapped up in result is caused by letting the environment dictate our thoughts. Applied efforts differ between a push up competition and trying to fall asleep at night.

Based on the goal at hand, there’s a sliding sweet spot pinpointing the perfect amount of exertion. We have to work to define this amount for our athletes on the golf course, but for everyone we train, even our developmental kids who have not begun competition, the opportunity to over-try exists in all everyday situations. In other words, they have the capability to increase their golf capacity by making adjustments in other areas of their lives. Continuously interrupting a parent chatting with a colleague to get their attention, attaining an early lead in a putting challenge then becoming nervous about losing, thinking too much about answers for a test and then running out of time before being able to complete, crowding a significant other when they’ve asked for space, taking an extra trip to the buffet line – life is packed with opportunities to put too much effort in. Good news is, we can put solutions in place for all of these scenarios and experience success on a more consistent basis.  

By first identifying past events of over-trying and imprinting corrections, self-awareness is built. As our capacity builds, we can then be more proactive and start responding proportionately when this mental tendency presents itself.  In regards to mastering this in golf, we attain to focus on process in place of result by committing to a set of practiced thoughts that occupy the conscious mind. Only then do we have a chance to let something happen and not over-try.