Quiet the Chatter for Peak Performance

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The amount of chatter we have going on in our brains during a round of golf can truly limit us in attaining a peak performance state. Even when I’m giving golf lessons, the student will reveal how many thoughts and conversations they have running through their mind. We use different parts of our brain when we switch between conscious thoughts and executing athletic motions. That’s why I’ve experienced so many players who have just hit a ball out of bounds, then proceed to rip their next one straight down the fairway. They often are so irritated and mad that they just make a good thing without thought which results in a wonderful outcome!  Be aware of the chatter you have running through your mind before your shot, during your shot, and after the shot.

Sometimes the chatter can turn into negative self-statement which may lead to self-doubt. Before your shot is a great time to use neutral statements and facts in regards to target, distance, and club selection. Over the shot, quiet the chatter and let your body perform the athletic movement. Feel what it is like to just swing the club around your body with judgment or analysis. After the shot you can become analytical and assess how to make the next shot better or take in data for future learning.  Monitor your brain chatter to get into a peak performance state.

Alison Curdt is a PGA Master Professional and LPGA Class Professional at Wood Ranch Golf Club. She is the 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year. For golf instruction and mental coaching contact her at alison@alisoncurdtgolf.com or visit www.alisoncurdtgolf.com.

Building Your Golf Confidence

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At some point in our golf career, we have all felt a lack of confidence in a certain aspect of our game. Perhaps after a few poor putting rounds we lose confidence over three-footers. The chipping yips is a sign of a loss of confidence also. We have even seen professional tour players lose confidence right in front our eyes when we spectate in person or watch their performance on television. Although confidence may be temporarily lost, it can be restored. It will take some work and mental effort, but rebuilding confidence is a possibility.

Create a confidence profile of 12 aspects of your game. List out these aspects such as driving, putting, sand game, punch shots, driving, etc. and evaluate how confident you feel in each area. Using a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the most confident you feel and 1 is the least confident you feel, complete your profile to examine your areas of confidence.

The aspects that you have ranked 5 or less in are the areas you want to begin rebuilding confidence. Start with one area, such as putting. Now, devise a practice plan to make you feel good about improvement. This may include taking a lesson to improve your skill set, adding additional focus during practice time, or creating challenging interval practices to make the time spent practicing more golf course relatable. Create tasks that are challenging, yet allow you to achieve goals. For example, if you want to build confidence in your three-foot putts—make 25 putts in a row from 2 feet. Progress to two and a half feet and attempt the same exercise. Next move back to three feet. While you see yourself succeed, and you put yourself in opportunities to make progress, make sure to reinforce your efforts with positive self-statements. You must be your own best cheerleader during this stage.

Lastly, when you are back on the course and are faced with a shot you are working to build confidence in, remind yourself of the hard work you have put into improving this area. Take a deep breath, relax, and attempt the shot. Be kind to yourself as you work on the course to avoid being overly critical during this building stage. If you feel your confidence has been lost, start with a confidence assessment to begin building it back up.

Alison Curdt is a PGA Master Professional and LPGA Class Professional at Wood Ranch Golf Club. She is the 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year and 2016 SCPGA Teacher of the Year. For golf instruction and mental coaching contact her at alison@alisoncurdtgolf.com or visit www.alisoncurdtgolf.com.

Alison Curdt is awarded PGA Teacher of the Year in Southern California

Alison Curdt has been recognized for her hard work the last few years, both receiving awards on a regional and national level in the LPGA. She will also be a speaker at the Las Vegas extravaganza. I caught up with her over the phone recently, and this is what she had to say.

Rebecka: I know you are currently working toward PsyD in clinical psychology. At the same time, you are teaching full-time, involved in the LPGA western section as vice-president, an officer in the Southern California PGA and you run a private practice along with being an assistant coach at Cal State Northridge. 

What motivates you to work hard and how do you have time for all of this?

I don’t have time, but I make time. I sacrifice time to do what I do, because I really enjoy what I’m doing. I also look at as my choice, and to me that’s empowering. 

Everything I do is a reflection of my brand and my character therefore it is important to me to be on time and to follow through with what I say. My tip is to say no to the things that I know I won’t be able to follow though on or exclude things from my life that don’t make me happy.

What would be your advice to someone who is starting out in the golf industry?

My advice is to surround yourself with successful people. Not only is it inspiring to have mentors but also it’s great to learn from people who have more experience. 

My other advice would be to continue to learn. Read different opinions, learn about other teaching strategies, philosophies and methods. It is all helpful and will help you grow. Also, be involved as much as possible. You’ll find out what you like and don’t like and that can help you narrow down your niche.

You are one of about 200 women who has both Pga and LPGA certifications. How do you feel that is setting you apart?

Both memberships have different connections, opportunities, and benefits.  With 30 000+ PGA members it is easy to get lost in the sea of golf professionals.  The LPGA has over 1500 members, and is known to having the best eduction for teachers. Having the benefit of both memberships puts me in a much smaller segment to succeed. It is also helpful for potential job opportunities as employees will see you have gone above and beyond the basic requirements to be a golf professional or teacher.

What have you done in your career that you would recommend more women to do?

Become a dual member. 

Strive for the continuing certifications in both organizations- e.g. Certified Professional and Master professional in the PGA and master professional in the LPGA. 

Participate as much as possible in what’s offered. 

Make time for seminars and tournaments because it helps you grow. Make friends with colleagues in the industry so you have a community that you can engage with and rely on.

Sounds like great advice! Congratulations Alison on being selected as the Southern California PGA Teacher of the year. She is the second female in the history of the Southern California Chapter to win the award. 

by Rebecka Heinmert, LPGA Western Section Secretary