Performing at your best on the golf course requires a good mental state and many top sports stars use their alter ego to get into an ideal performance state. But what is an alter ego? And how can it benefit your golf?
What is an Alter Ego?
Alter Ego is Latin for "Other I" and means alternative self. The alternative self is a person who is different from the actual person. A good example of this is Clark Kent who turns into his Alter Ego, Superman, when faced with danger.
When the individual believes they have become their alter ego their mental state changes significantly.
How does this help your golf?
If you are a golfer who struggles to perform well under pressure then this can be improved by simply pretending you are Tiger Woods. Tiger would be your Alter Ego and believing you are becoming Tiger Woods, when you step onto the first tee, can change your mindset and therefore improve your golf.
However, just thinking you are Tiger Woods will not transform you into a high performer overnight. You have to analyse his mannerisms and his behaviours, such as his pre-shot routine and body language, and then try to copy these when on the course.
A good example would be at the recent President's Cup. Tiger controlled his heartbeat and adrenaline during his singles match on Sunday, against Abraham Ancer, by slowing his walking pace down considerably, this slowed down his heartbeat and allowed him to hit solid shots under pressure. As we know he went on to perform superbly and won his match comfortably in a hostile atmosphere.
Other mannerisms may be much more subtle such as the way the performer waggles their club or the pose they take when analysing a shot. The key part here is that you find enough similarities to the top performer so that you believe you have become them when on the course.
What should you do next?
The best approach for finding your ideal Alter Ego is to firstly analyse your own weaknesses and find a suitable Alter Ego who has a strength in this area.
- Do you rush when under pressure? A good alter ego would be Tiger Woods
- Is your swing too fast? Ernie Els' super smooth swing would an ideal alter ego here
- Is your short game poor? Seve's wonderful touch around the greens would be perfect here
- Are you a terrible putter? Jordan Spieth in his prime could all be used here.
Next, find YouTube clips of these top players performing and watch their mannerisms closely. Pick two or three mannerisms that you will copy and allow you to believe you have become your alter ego the next time you are on the course.
If done correctly you will feel much stronger mentally on the course and shoot better scores.