Mental conditioning a growing segment of the golf game

By Stuart Hall

Golf history is abundantly filled with victories claimed as a result of another golfer’s failures.

Few can forget Rory McIlroy’s final round at the Masters two years ago. He began the day with a four-stroke lead, but starting with the 10th hole, made triple bogey-bogey-double bogey en route to an 80 as Charl Schwartzel slipped on the green jacket.

Or the story of the 1966 U.S. Open, when Arnold Palmer squandered a five-stroke lead with four holes remaining to fall into a 72-hole tie with Billy Casper, then lost the 18-hole playoff the next day. Or there was Jean van de Velde making a debacle of the 72nd hole at the 1999 British Open Championship at Carnoustie. Needing only a double bogey on the final hole, van de Velde inexplicably made triple bogey to create a three-man playoff that he lost.

Those collapses we remember because they came on golf’s biggest stages. But countless, but no less significant $5 Nassau bets have also been lost in similar fashion.

For years, such instances have simply been categorized as a case of choking or cracking under pressure with no formal basis for the claim. And when noted instructor Jim Flick said, “90 percent of golf is mental, and the other 10 percent is mental too,” who really knew what he was talking about?

But there are reasons why those – and other – collapses occurred. With the naked eye, we can see what pushed a drive into the rough or why a putt was pulled from 3 feet. What we can’t see, though, are the mental machinations that triggered the errant shots. To some degree, a swing honed through hours of practice on the driving range is only as good under pressure as the mental resiliency of the golfer.

Enter Seth Kaplan, 42, director of mental conditioning at Raleigh-based Competitive Golf Advantage, which provides mental skills education and training for golfers at the junior, collegiate and professional levels.

“We’re starting to see (mental conditioning) become a huge area of growth,” he said. “Performance is performance. Chipping and putting are different than giving a presentation and engaging prospective clients in a business setting, but the whole idea of performance psychology applies to all types of performance – surgeon, pilot, athlete, military, first responder, executive.

“Common to all of them is mental and emotional factors that underlie and fuel that performance and when these performers execute with confidence, trust, focus, composure and control it’s going to give them the best chance to let out the talent and ability that they have.”

In early July, Kaplan was named the eGolf Professional Tour’s mental conditioning coach. Kaplan makes his services available to any of the developmental tour’s players.

David Siegel, president of the eGolf Tour, believes the addition of Kaplan is in keeping with the multi-dimensional evolution of today’s players.

“His resume certainly speaks for itself, and I feel as though he will be a great asset for our players,” Siegel said. “The importance of the mental aspects of golf have come full circle over the last decade, solidifying the thought that time spent on that facet of your game is every bit as important as time spent on the driving range.”

Kaplan eschews the term sports psychologist because of the embedded perception of athletes sitting on a couch and being analyzed. In fact, with golfers, Kaplan goes right to their place of business – the course.

Once Kaplan establishes a working relationship with a golfer, he performs an assessment and tailor-fits five 90-minute on-course sessions. “I walk with them just as if they were playing an actual round,’ he said. “Once they go through the mental conditioning program, then they really are at the point of self regulation.”

Kaplan, a native of St. James, N.Y., originally got an undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism at James Madison University. During his decade-long career as a sports reporter and anchor Kaplan was first drawn to the mental side of sports.

“From covering elite athletes in various sports I became fascinated with the mental aspects of the game,” he said. “When I interviewed these athletes, they were always citing mental and emotional factors that either fueled performance or hindered performance, and rarely did they ever talk about their technical game.”

In his mid-30s, Kaplan made a career move. He went back to school and earned a graduate degree in the field of sport psychology at Springfield College. Afterward, from his applied work with athletes in the Boston area, he was given the opportunity to work as a mental performance specialist for U.S. Army Special Forces and the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

During his time working with the military Kaplan began to realize that mental conditioning cut across all forms of professions.

Competitive Golf Advantage, launched earlier this year, is the third company created by Kaplan that focuses on the mental aspect of performance. In 2010, Kaplan began Elite Performance for elite-level athletes such as Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles, who are a client. A year later, Corporate Warrior Consulting was created for managers, executive and business teams.

“All of the emotional and mental skills can be developed through mental skill building,” Kaplan said. “Often we see a golfer practice hitting a particular shot on the range or focusing on an area of physical conditioning through certain exercises. Well, the same can be done with the mind through mental conditioning.”

Comments (41)

 

  1. jordan 10 Venom Green

    Lynchburg, VA Before Sandy even came on the radar, runners from all over the world were preparing for the New York City Marathon. Despite the devastation there, Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced the Marathon will go on as planned.Critics say the city hasn…

  2. cheap jordan shoes

    I can’t call myself an expert on law or anything like that, but I’m pretty sure a big reason that hate crime legislation is necessary is because murder cases involving minorities aren’t taken as seriously. I mean, how many times have you heard peopl…

  3. sprot blue 6s

    The church’s website stated that after a five hour trial March 20, the Quran “was found guilty and a copy was burned inside the building.” A picture on the website shows a book in flames in a small portable fire pit. The church confirmed yesterday t…

  4. Jordan 13 3M says:

    Jordan 13 3M

    This is not while I’m sleeping, mind you. Crusader in Laramie: Former Saint Louis standout Jason Gesser will have a chance to work with one of the MWCs top passers in his first year as the Cowboys quarterbacks coach. There are a few actions that a new…

  5. jordan running shoes for women sale

    Voyles warns from his Paris office, “Certainly a technocrat beats a party hack, by and large. Yet the open source experience and history suggests that we can’t just hand the experts the keys and expect things will turn out for the best. In the end, e…

  6. jordan 6 black infrared

    atogzjaz black infrared 6s [url=http://www.podlupa.bg/css/airjordans11retrolegendblue.html]jordan 11 legend blue[/url] [url=http://www.mokarrar.com/css/blackinfrareds6s2014.html]jordan 6 black infrared[/url] Hologram 13s [url=http://www.teakita.com/css…

  7. jordan shoes for cheap

    19 Colgate (9 5) seemed to take heart after killing a one minute penalty and played the Orange even from there for the rest of the half. Of course, you don have to have a location immediately but it will help you much if you have one. And I try to get…

  8. jordan 6 for sale

    but a good challenge to face. He left office as a caricature of an Andover and

  9. fifa coins for sale

    you can create a totally functional activity ( and very simplified)!

  10. jordan retro shoes

    increasingly focuses on income inequality, many parts of the economy are gaining

  11. cheap jordans

    The classics get piled on generously, the old country meats from herring to headcheese to liverwurst served up with nary a sideways glance. Mac’s also cooks up a mean breakfast, but the main focus of the menu is the full page of sandwiches, with lots…

  12. cheap air jordans

    If you are purchasing a new computer system with Vista installed, software issues tend to be less of an issue. The problems tend to be peripherals from an older PC or purchased in addition to the PC. When he returned, Woods missed the cut twice, had hi…

  13. hologram 13s says:

    hologram 13s

    But surely there will be a child in the crowd somewhere who will, like with the emperor’s new clothes, ask a slightly more obvious question. But why, the child will ask, didn’t they have more time between games in the first place? Because, the adults…

  14. jordan 3 for sale

    I do know that when my youngest child was about 3 she got really sick for about a week. And once she started feeling better I noticed a change in her behavior. Master Chief on the other hand, only really has Cortana. The UNSC rarely contributes anythin…

  15. fifa coins online

    Use FIFA Coins to purchase , new players, combine contracts or just change formations and watch your own results get better with every video game!

  16. jordan 11 gamma blue

    So I say, Carrie Prejean is pretty lucky indeed that all this has happened, and is not the victim she claims to be. I’m betting she may actually have a career after this, and we’ll remember her name a little bit longer than the 15 minutes of fame And…

  17. cheap jordans

    Rosie’s Sports Bar Grill debuts in south LincolnOne piece at a time, Lincoln student’s rat rod comes togetherAll new: Beautiful food from Lincoln restaurantsBryan Medical Center limits child visitors during virus outbreakJeff Korbelik: Bakery moving…

  18. legend blue 11s

    But on Friday, Schwarzenegger issued a call to deepen many of those very cuts. His proposal, which aims to close a $19 billion budget deficit projected for the 2010 2011 fiscal year, most notably calls for eliminating the state’s welfare to work progr…

  19. buy new jordans

    JG: (LAUGHS) Laurie, you’re full of interesting questions this morning, but I’m not going to agree with the premise of that one either! The Prime Minister, obviously, is in a dialogue with the Australian people about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Sc…

  20. legend blue 11s

    [url=http://www.metronik.com.tr/yedek/barons13sonlines.html]jordan 13 barons[/url] dcfvggusld [url=http://www.tirtikla.com/css/blacksinfrared6s.html]black infrared 6s[/url] jordan 6 black infrared pstekp Hologram 13s xslhiqilq [url=http://www.weldingma…

  21. jordan 13 hologram

    Is there anything you can do to prepare? Popular “Digital Goddess” Kim Komando says to prepare for 30 days without computers, cell phones, and credit/debit cards. This means you would need food, water, battery powered radios, and yes cash. The proble…

  22. authentic jordan shoes

    It’s a simple, inexpensive, common sensesolution to a niggling complaint that’s sure to arise again if theland swap doesn’t occur.The statue has stood without much controversity for decades. It wasoriginally erected by the Knights of Columbus in 195…

  23. fifa coins for sale

    If you adored this game , Related to fifacoins ,you can examine come and see.

  24. fifa 15 coins

    FIFA 20 owners via my pc will be prompted to get a hold of a new subject update tonite.

  25. Jordan 6 Black Infrared

    The secretary will also ac cept other responsibilities, as delegated by the President or the Executive Board based on the needs of the Party. Required education and experience Relevant training or qualification. Knowledge and experience of relevant sof…

  26. louboutin homme arbre 0 kiwi

    TEMPE Apr猫s un frustrant, drainant 50 minutes de basket-ball vendredi, l’Arizona Wildcats ne pouvait pas attendre de quitter la Wells Fargo Arena.

  27. jordan classic shoes cyber Monday sale

    TRAFFIC: North south streets and alleys along route to be closed until parade ends

  28. bath roomsets

    We have the highest quality FIFA coins final sale, a certified power team to have a universe supreme team for your business, you need to recollect our motto “is more and more formidable”

  29. gucci pas cher

    Le Conseil sur les relations am茅ricano-islamiques, un groupe de d茅fense musulmane assist茅 Khan dans le d茅p么t de la plainte aupr猫s de la Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) contre Abercrombie Fitch, la soci茅t茅 m猫re de magasins Hollister.

  30. ray ban outlet

    ray ban sunglasses ray ban aviator sunglasses cheap ray ban sunglasses ray ban discount

  31. Cyber Monday gucci handbags sale

    Interestingly, Woody Bay is also one of the first places the National Trust acquired under the Neptune Coastline Campaign in the 1960s.The Way to Reach Genuine and Permanent Penis Growth 9613

  32. black friday prada shoes for men

    ma chi paga

  33. jordan 11 low concord

    Having moved 37 times as a child, he says, he was the perennial outsider, thrown on his own considerable intelligence to occupy himself. He read science and maths books and biographies of the great and good. This background, as the forensic psychologis…

  34. jordan 5 bel air

    Obama pronouncement, in an ABC interview Wednesday, doesn mean same sex marriage will suddenly become widespread across the country. Indeed, Obama spoke up the day after North Carolina voters overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment that define…

  35. Barons 13s says:

    Barons 13s

    In conjunction with other parameterizations, the radiative transfer scheme accounts for the direct and indirect radiative effects of aerosols. A prognostic bulk aerosol scheme with a full sulphur cycle, along with organic and black carbon, mineral dust…

  36. mens prada sneakers black friday 2014

    In due giorni, tra Sant a Mare e Montegranaro, sono stati tre i furti messi a segno. Nel caso del negozio Regno Fantasy con un bottino quanto mai esiguo (circa 20 euro); un po pi sostanzioso quello del bar della Beyfin (200 euro di fondo cassa pi diver…

  37. buy wow gold says:

    buy wow gold

    My very own uncle contains at least four pairs connected with buy wow gold. She’s got brown,grey,chesnut,along with chocolates,and many others. She in addition has these individuals in the basic upright. My partner and i to generate individuals around…

  38. Cyber Monday michael kors rose gold

    Prada shoes for men, both sneakers, loafers and dress shoes. Men’s MENS SHOES Select Designer Roberto Cavalli Gucci Prada Bally Camper Car Shoe Cesare Paciotti CoSTUME NATIONAL Diesel Dirk Bikkembergs . All Italian Style Acqua di Parma, Balenciaga, Bu…

  39. oakley sunglasses sale

    ray bans ray ban sunglasses cheap ray ban sunglasses

  40. cyber Monday tenis jordan

    as tu nourri tes petits par la suite ?

  41. cheap oakley sunglasses

    cheap ray bans ray ban sunglasses wholesale ray ban sunglasses outlet ray ban outlet

FIFA 14 Coins,FIFA Coins,FIFA 14 Coins,FIFA Coins,Replica Handbags,Replica Bags,Sexy Lingerie,Cheap Sexy Lingerie,FIFA 14 Coins,FIFA Coins,Wedding Dresses,Evening Dresses,Tattoo Supplies,Tattoo Kits,Iphone 5s case,Ipad air case,Wedding Dresses,Evening Dresses,Fashion Shoes,Fashion Clothing,Wedding Dresses,Evening Dresses