Mental Tips from a Major Champion

//Mental Tips from a Major Champion

Paddy’s Psychology

Check out these quotes from 3-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington about sport psychology. Ask yourself if you agree, disagree, and why.

“It ain’t rocket science what they,

[sport psychologists] tell you.”

“It’s not going to be some big secret that nobody else but me knows. But knowing it and having the discipline to follow it are two different things.”

“You rarely learn from winning…when something is painful, you tend to learn a lot more from it.”

“I’m more likely to get into the zone when I’m nervous and have adrenaline going.”

“Things like ‘inside the present’ or plenty of ‘respect your routine’ or ‘acceptance’ and ‘patience, no judging, no analyzing, [are important sport psychology skills].'”

Good stuff here from Paddy. The first two quotes tell us a lot about the skills sport psychology teaches us. Much of it is not an abstract, new-age concept that’s hard to grasp. Skills like staying positive and visualizing our goals are pretty straightforward – but, like Paddy makes clear, there’s a difference between KNOWING and DOING. It’s important to rehearse and practice the mental game skills we’ve learned.

The third quote while painful, can ring true – it is in our tough times, in our defeats, when we can learn much about ourselves and our mental game. Acceptance here is key – the nonjudgmental observation of our mental game in order to objectively see ourselves, our skills, and our challenges and areas for improvement.

The fourth quote demonstrates a concept in sport psychology known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law. Basically, it says that humans do their best at performance-related tasks (like sports!) with a certain amount of anxiety – not too little, or we’re bored, and not too much, or we’re overwhelmed. Paddy is describing this when he says a certain amount of nervousness helps him get in the zone. Check out a picture of the concept here.

The fifth one is up to you to interpret. Tell us what you think about those concepts in the comments section. What do those (inside the present, respect your routine, acceptance, patience, no judging, no analyzing) mean to you and your mental game?

By | 2017-08-21T14:18:13+00:00 August 10th, 2009|Focus|0 Comments

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