The problems with expectations

Expectations can be a golfer’s nemesis. Often, we expect very little and then don’t give it our best effort. We’re then not disappointed when we fail. This is the perfect defence mechanism because we have the internal excuse, “I wasn’t really trying that hard”.

When we aim too high we’re continually let down. When something should be celebrated (like a birdie or 36 stableford points on a tricky day) we feel like a failure. It’s hard to keep raising the bar and getting what you want.

Here’s a different strategy.

Stop expecting. Turn up and play golf the way you want to play and accept what comes out. Give it your best effort but stop setting expectations that could be holding you back. This is another way of saying “play the game”.

It’s not the most exciting instruction you’ll read but it can make you a better (and happier) golfer.

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2 Comments

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply November 3, 2011

    Confucius once said, to have no expectations is to have everything
    As Golfers we can get stuck in comparisons with what has happened previously or what may come. We get stuck in our thoughts and detached from the moment, we become engrossed in thoughts of past and future, and get caught up in our expectations and awareness is lost.
    Complete attention is the optimum states of learning and performance, complete attention is invested in meeting the challenge of the moment. Complete means 100%. This means no attention left over to evaluate how we are doing while we are doing it.
    Expectations rob us of this complete attention, all that is left to do is “play the game”

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply November 4, 2011

      Yep, you’re spot on Andrew.

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