Unlike any activity I have participated in, Golf, can engineer an emotional roller-coaster second to none. Seemingly stable people worldwide turn into to the HULK from David Banner and back again. Moods in a round of golf can swing up and down faster than the Kingda Ka and many times for justifiable reasons. Bad bounces, poor decisions, duffs, tops, and three-putts are all grounds for a volcanic eruption of the Novaruptan order. Dr. Jekyll meet Mr. Hyde. I will not dare mention the Sh**ks (can’t bring myself to type it), which has been known to turn Norman Rockwell into Hannibal Lecter.
The thing is, anger is an emotion. Emotions give you an advantage if applied properly. If focused. How many times have you watched Tiger or any great athlete get mad after poor execution, then increase the level of their play. Every champion has done this in some arena. You have too. The anger doesn’t consume you, it heightens your abilities to bounce back. So next time use the emotions to excel. Here are 2 keys I’ve observed from watching great competitors translate rage into peak performance in golf and life.
1. Vent so you don’t explode. Release the rage and get it out of your system. My Grandfather used to cook the best roast with a pressure cooker. He would set the valve to release steam as the pressure would build so that the pot would not explode. The great thing is the valve let enough steam out to avoid catastrophe but not so much as to lose the effectiveness of the heat. Give yourself some release so the pressure doesn’t build to awakening the Tasmanian Devil within . Note: there are ways to do this without profanity, damaging the course, or your equipment.
2. Channel the fury into focus. Use the intensity of your emotions to better concentrate on your next shot. Notice Tiger’s eyes the hole after he gets angry. It is almost Jedi-like the way he can focus and execute what he needs to do to bounce back better than had he not messed up in the first place. This ability is in each of us. Channel the energy into hitting your next shot instead of letting the energy combust like white phosphorus in the veins.
Enjoy this final thought, courtesy of a Top 100 teacher Charlie King, instructing you on proper throwing techniques for when all else fails. Feel free to leave your own techniques in the comments section.