Confidence is important for golfers. When you have it, you know your shots will be strong, you don’t dwell when the shots don’t go as planned, and you believe you can handle the challenges that golf presents.
But when you don’t have confidence, you’re likely to shank balls, hit straight into the bunkers, and lose faith in your swings. Ever had the yips? You’re probably lacking confidence when that happens.
The great thing about confidence is that it can be built. It’s a myth that you either have it or you don’t. Think of your confidence like a bank; we all make deposits and withdrawals. The deposits are the positives experiences, thoughts, and feedback: good shots, a lowered handicap, a successful round, a compliment from a fellow golfer—you get the idea.
The withdrawals are things like poor shots, losses (in a friendly match or an important competition), or negative feedback that take away from your confidence. It can seem like withdrawals happen all over the place, sometimes draining your bank account.
Every deposit builds confidence; every withdrawal brings confidence down. However, as humans, we tend to overemphasize the withdrawals and ignore the deposits. Think back—have you ever had a round that was by everyone else’s standards okay? Maybe even decent? But you had a couple bad shots or bad holes that you focused on? Maybe you can still remember them vividly!
These types of withdrawals are common: we focus too much on negative events or experiences, causing our confidence to decrease. Meanwhile, we’ve ignored all the parts of our game that went well and should help to increase confidence. But, because we don’t pay attention, those deposits don’t hit the bank. It’s like we’re leaving money on the table!
A confidence bank is a concept you can use by imagining a bank in your mind and noticing the deposits and withdrawals. Or, you can physically create one to see an actual representation of your confidence.
Here’s how to start creating your confidence bank.