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Caddy, A Mental Coach In The Heat Of The Action!

LPGA Tour caddy experience

As a mental coach, when we arrive at the stage of developing tools or techniques such as visualization, breathing, anchoring, routines, etc., I position myself at a certain distance from the athlete to see or feel the benefits. Even if I put them into action to experiment with, they are still in exploration mode, in practice mode.

Afterward, I will observe them in their respective field of play, whether it's a golf course, an arena, a basketball court, etc. During these observation sessions, I'm still at a distance. I note the athlete's behaviors, the non-verbal cues, and sometimes if I'm close enough, to hear the words they're using during the execution of the tools or techniques we put in place.

This week, following some special circumstances, I had the opportunity to caddy for an LPGA Tour athlete whom I work with as a mental coach. I couldn't ask for a better situation, to be in the heat of the action, to feel the pulse of the game and that of the athlete. To be that close, and the level of trust coming from them, gave me access to valuable information in real time. To register how their energy levels change during the good times and during the less good times. To observe how doubt translates into execution.

Following a few observations, we tried something different. A simple exercise for when things are challenging. I asked them to say out loud what they were planning to do, which would help them affirm the process and their decision. The most impressive thing is the level of efficiency and the precision of the result. Fully owning the process helps to generate better results. Of course, for this exercise to work, the player must believe in it and be confident that this is the right shot to play.

This new information allows me to refine the established plan and quantify its progress. The flexibility of programming leads to the remodeling of certain tools, or new techniques to achieve the objectives more quickly and above all with more precision and efficiency.

Another point that I'll share with you is that your equipment is essential to establish the level of confidence you'll have in a competitive situation. If you have any doubts about a piece of equipment you will doubt your abilities, reduce your self-confidence, and increase your stress. So make sure you're well-equipped! 1% doubt = 100% error!

Michel Dubord

CPGA Golf Professional

Mental and Wellness Coach

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