Mental Vision Gameplan Manual In order to create a consistent national “Mental Gameplan” that can be applied and taught to all levels of golfers within the GolfRSA system, we devised a “Mental Vision Gameplan”. This Vision is the starting point of informing players, coaches, administrators as well as parents what is implied when we discuss the “mental processes” that play a role in golf, as well as the techniques that we believe are important in developing world-class South African golfers. Thus the GolfRSA National “Mental Vision Gameplan” is: “To create mentally tough athletes that perform under pressure on the local and world stage, through their values and those of GolfRSA, by utilising mental Processes, Routines, Techniques and Assessments that are well researched and cutting edge. And, in so doing, become and remain the top amateur golfing country in the world. While all the time instilling an attitude of Professionalism, Growth and Fun.” Based on this Vision we have designed this manual to assist players, coaches, administrators and parents to understand what is expected of players on a national level in terms of their mental processes and skills. It also provides practical techniques that can be taught and applied on the practice mat so that every competitive golfer within the GolfRSA framework has a general set of processes and techniques that they can apply in competition and, in so doing, become better players, nationally and abroad. The manual is set out according to the five mental processes and five techniques listed below. Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, it is a solid starting point from which to align national knowledge, learning and expectations as to what the “mental game” implies and requires. Thus, each process and technique is discussed according to the when, where, how and why – so as to make it easy for the coach or parent to teach and of equal ease for the player to apply. The structure of the manual is as follows: 5 Mental Processes to every shot: 1. Decision Making 2. Pre-Shot Routine 3. Commitment 4. Acceptance 5. Body Language 1 5 Mental Techniques every player can use: 1. Imagery 2. Self-talk 3. Breathing 4. Triggers 5. Concentration Lastly, it is our sincere hope and belief that this manual will be the starting point of making South Africa and GolfRSA the standard bearers in terms of the psychology of the game of golf. In so doing also elevate South African golf to the heights that we believe it, and ours players, can reach. Yours in golf psychology, Theo Bezuidenhout GolfRSA Performance Psychologist 2 Mental Processes To Every Shot 1. DECISION MAKING “It’s hard to come up with a technical formula for success. But I do know that to be successful at any level...you have to make good decisions” – Darren Clarke Decision-making is a process by which athletes settle (‘decide’), based on their goal, on a particular course of action, considering the variables which could impact the results (‘consequences’) of that action. The words process, goal, action, variables and consequences are vital to the mental skill of decision-making and are elaborated on later. WHEN: Athletes make performance related decisions every day, often numerous times per day. Some decisions are secondarily-related to athletic performance (e.g. what must I eat, when must I go to bed, how often should I practice). Some decisions are primarily-related to athletic performance (e.g. what club should I use, how aggressive should I be with my approach, and what tempo should I set). Thus, decision making is not confined to one particular time, but is practiced constantly. However, planning forms an essential part of effective decision making. Planning therefore is a process of pre-empted decision making done in preparation for a particular event (e.g. planning for a specific golf course, planning for a particular opponent). Planning is usually done prior to an event (e.g. the night before a training session, the week leading up to a specific event), and in many cases, becomes a strategy/game-plan. In this manual, the planning phase will also focus on a practical means of planning for every shot. WHERE: Given the regular nature of decision-making in performance, there is no specific place where decisions are made. Many primarily-related decisions are made on the field/in the action, whilst secondarily-related decisions are made on a constant basis in various settings (e.g. from the supermarket to the gym). H

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