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Golf And The Winning Mindset by Dr Stephen Simpson

Dr Stephen Simpson looks at what the body language of two sportsmen tells you about their attitude to setbacks in the world of golf and of cricket.

On the last day of  The Masters recently, Rory McIlroy, the young and shiny new kid on the green displayed a certain amount of body language that will not stand him in good stead in the future. Because although golf is “only a game” (and a multi-million pound career at the top level!) Rory was almost in tears on the last day of The Masters. But then, so was I, and so were many other thousands or even millions of his fans.

Why the emotional overflow? Because I was convinced that Rory, at the tender age of 21, was going to win his first Major. I’ve never met Rory, and so can only judge him by his language, and body language, on TV. Both were hugely impressive during the first three days.

They weren’t too bad during the front nine of Day Four either. Rory looked a bit quick, and a bit edgy, as you would expect. Not surprisingly he didn’t play to his best, but nevertheless he scrambled to a respectable 37 – which for those of you who don’t play golf – is “all right”.

But then the wheels fell off on hole 10, and by the time he stood on the 13th tee he had dropped 6 shots around Amen Corner. Yes, it has been the ruin of many other fine golfers, so, why my tears?

Quite simply because judging solely on body language it may take Rory some time to get over this. Regular readers of my blog will know my views on posture, and how great golf shots can be anchored for future confidence. Sadly the reverse is true too. Rory did a great job of reinforcing his nightmare by sinking his head in his hands. That body language showed that he had been mastered by his misery, not that he had mastered it.

Contrast Rory’s posture with that of Shane Warne, the famous Australian leg spin bowler. When Shane has been carted over the ropes he glares at the batsmen, legs apart, head held high, with an expression of utter contempt. It might be arrogant, but it does wonders for confidence. It’s all in the posture!

As a fellow caddie I also ask, where was the support from his caddie? Perhaps we didn’t see this on TV, but it is at times like this that a caddie really earns his bag money.

Rory may well bounce back quickly with the vitality of youth, and prove my fears to be ungrounded. Although, at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur he once again held his head high, before choking on the last day. I hope he gets this behaviour beaten, because he is a cracking young man, and golf needs him. I hope my mate Horace got it right:

‘Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.’

– Now that is how to view setbacks!

Dr. Stephen Simpson

Dr Stephen Simpson

Dr. Stephen Simpson is a medical doctor and specialist. He works as an Elite Performance Coach in sport, business, and personal development. He uses the latest psychological techniques, including NLP, self-hypnosis and meditation, to unlock your hidden potential. These leading edge techniques form the foundation of his accelerated learning system and have delivered outstanding results. His methods are suited to anyone with a commitment to change, and his clients include leading figures from the world of sport, TV, and business. Dr. Simpson has lived in war-torn Angola, the swamps of Nigeria, the steppes of Kazakhstan and the deserts of Oman. As an international Medical and HR Director he was privileged to work with many world leaders, including Bill Clinton, and was a task force member of the World Econonomic Forum, and Global Business Coalition. During these exciting times he initiated medical programmes in remote areas that to this day continue to deliver high quality medical care to disadvantaged groups. These outreach programmes received widespread international recognition and won prestigious awards. They are still used as case studies of best practice. The HIV programmes alone are instrumental in saving thousands of lives every year. During this time Dr. Simpson was mugged, imprisoned, shot at, mortared, almost killed in a helicopter incident, experienced near-fatal malaria, the less serious dengue, dysentery, and the dubious delights of Tumbu infection. He also enjoyed fighting against esoteric tropical diseases, such as Marburg. This is a variety of Ebola, and just about the deadliest disease on the planet. Dr. Stephen was part of the team that responded to the World's largest ever outbreak of Marburg, in Angola. Summary Dr. Stephen Simpson is a medical specialist, MBA, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He works as an elite performance coach, and has written and presented many scientific papers at international conferences, as well as making frequent guest appearances on TV and radio. His clients include leading names from the world of sport, business, and the entertainment industries. Dr. Simpson is also a bestselling book and audiobook author and presenter, achieving Number 1 successes in 8 countries to date; in UK, USA, Australia, Portugal, Italy, Austria, France, and Belgium. Full details of these audiobooks, books, podcasts, and videos can be found on his website http://www.drstephensimpson.com Additional information about Dr. Simpson: - Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine - General Medical Council Registered Medical Specialist - Accredited Specialist and Member of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine - Master of Business Administration (MBA) - Mind Coach and previously Caddie on PGA European Golf Tours - Editorial Board Member of Annual Review of Golf Coaching - Certified NLP Master Practitioner & Trainer - Certified Karl Morris Master Mind Factor Coach - Certified HeartMath® Sports Professional - Regular columnist for The Best You magazine - Works with Paul McKenna and Dr. Richard Bandler as a member of the trainer assistant team for their international personal development events

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