It’s no secret that great golf comes from between the ears. Often golfers struggle with the pressures of the game and may not even realize it. Many factors go into the mental game of golf, like how you talk to yourself or how you visualize a shot.
Jamie Glazier is an Australian Mental Performance Coach (NLP Master Practitioner) who has specialized in the sport of golf for almost 20 years. We asked him why some golfers prefer to seek out mental performance coaches rather than sports psychologists.
Sports psychology and mental performance coaching can sometimes overlap, but both practices focus on improving an athlete’s cognitive performance and ability to stay focused and calm in high-pressure situations. All athletes face systemic elements that play an important role in an athlete’s performance.
This subject is controversial for some. but you might be wondering what are the main differences between the two. It is important to note that mental performance coaches are not psychologists.
“I would clarify the difference by saying that a sports psychologist comes from a clinical background that targets any persistent or distressing life issues that can cause stress, anxiety or depression,” Glazier said. “A mental performance coach focuses more on the athlete’s current situation, their cognitive behaviors, and what the athlete would like to accomplish or what patterns they would like to change.”
Many golfers seek out mental performance coaches rather than sports psychologists because they provide a more hands-on structure to an athlete’s mental game training program. They can provide drills to help develop a specific cognitive function that can help the golfer complete a round of golf without letting pressure interrupt a streak of good play.
Some players may only want to focus on the sport and don’t have any past trauma or outside issues they want to resolve and don’t need the psychological aspect of help.
“Some of the key areas that I work with as a golfer are managing expectations, improving focus, self-confidence, clarity, cognitive flexibility, improving engagement with shots, self identity/sport identity and balance between life and golf just to name a few,” Glazier said.
Glazier offers an online training platform for elite and club golfers where they can start building their mental game with approximately eight courses, a members forum, and weekly mental game tips.
You can learn more about www.mentalmastery.com.au.
You can listen to Glazier’s podcast, “The Mental Mastery Golf Podcast” here.