Mental fatigue – The Portugal News

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By Neil Connolly,
in Sport ·
10-07-2020 01:00:00 · 1 Comments

I think it is safe to say that this was the strangest appointment I’ve had in a long time. I’m going to avoid using a name or even the sex of the player so that this can be as close to anonymous as possible.

Hopefully, it will prove useful firstly in understanding the varied situations I come across whilst coaching, and secondly it may help you focus your attention on parts of your game which need work.

This player was very kindly recommended by a client of mine, to come and have an appointment to help them with their game. My first meeting was blind, and I really had no prior warning as to what was going to transpire.

After an initial welcome chat, we had established that there was a significant amount of inconsistency in the player’s game and we really wanted to drill down into the detail to find out why the inconsistency was present.

When asked had lessons been taken regularly before today, the answer was that their partner who plays off 9, was really all the eyes needed to keep the player on the straight and narrow, they didn’t have any coaching experience but did “have a good eye”. “Mmmm” I thought looking forward to seeing the swing in all its glory.


I was then told that the front 9 of the last two rounds played were very good, in fact the player had scored in the region of 20 points over the first nine holes. Things on the back nine appeared to be deteriorating very quickly, where only eight or nine points was managed. I suggested that this might be down to fatigue. That the player having been locked down for the last two and a half months may need to play a little bit more to regain the fitness levels that were present before lockdown. ‘Nonsense’ I was told because the player had been walking regularly on the beach during the lockdown.

I then explained that there were two different types of fatigue in play here. The first being lack of practice and swinging the golf club, and secondly a mental fatigue which could be down to the player not having concentrated for long periods of time, and that just playing more golf and concentrating over 18 holes would alleviate this. To solve the problem of the first type of fatigue I suggested getting a few baskets of balls over a week and hitting them so that the body becomes used to hitting the ball and the player will become more ‘golf fit’ because of it.

My player apparently doesn’t like to practice. So that was out as an option.

Then I asked did my player take on plenty of water and nutrition on the golf course? Sometimes they forgot to put water in the bag or even eat before they went out on the course. “Mmmm”, I thought again.

The client then said that they found it was very difficult to play in this heat as their energy seem to sap the more they played. I gently suggested that it might be down to fatigue because of lack of nutrition and hydration and the increase in heat that has occurred over the last four weeks. The player took this information on and it seemed to resonate so I thought that we may have got to the bottom of the problem.

Personally I thought I’d cracked it, the issue around inconsistency might be due to the lack of swing practice not playing as much golf as they had, and the drop off in performance on the back 9 was down to the player not taking on enough nutrition or hydration, especially considering the high temperatures.

However, the purpose of the appointment and the main reason why my services were being retained, was because the clubs may be at fault.



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