Over the weekend, I had the opportunity (whilst doing laundry for nine hours… yeah, we’re a little behind 🙂 ) to watch Dr. Gio Valiante’s Fearless Golf – Mastering the Mental Game.
Dr. Gio is a golf psychologist and currently serves as a professor at Rollins College here in Winter Park, FL. He’s also a mental game consultant for the Golf channel, Golf Digest and UF. In addition, he’s worked with many players on the PGA tour, including Camilo Villegas, Stuart Appleby, Justin Leonard, Chris Dimarco, Chad Campbell, Jack and Gary Nicklaus, Heath Slocum, Notah Begay III, Charles Howell III, Tommy Armour III, Bryce Molder, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III and more.
All of his research, study and philosophies on the mental game were bundled together and put into a three DVD set called Fearless Golf.
The DVD gives you some good insight into why your body and mind reacts to stressful situations the way it does. Dr. Gio’s primary philosophy and the basis for the DVD is that whether conscious or subconscious, the reason we play the way we do sometimes is our reaction to something that we all experience, fear.
I don’t want to give anything away, but, he brought up some really interesting points to consider. One of my favorite was the way we associate memories to emotions and how whenever we’re in a similar situation, we recall those memories and thus recall those emotions which we then begin to fear the outcome (should the emotion and experience be negative).
Confusing? Well, lets say you’re chipping from about 30 yards out. When you make contact with the ball, you take a huge divot and the ball travels three yards and goes into a bunker. You get pretty angry(justifiable :)) at yourself because of the shank. The memory of the shank, coupled with the strong negative emotion, forms a pretty strong imprint in your mind and the next time you’re in a similar situation, you recall that experience and you begin to fear the outcome of the shot which with the way your body responds to fear makes an unfavorable shot more likely. Although this seems pretty obvious, it’s something that I’ve never considered. 🙂
It’s kind of crazy, but a lot of the fear we feel goes into the way we grip our clubs and thus affect the outcome of our shots. Dr. Gio gives some good tips on how to recognize this and drills to overcome it. There’s also a big emphasis put on the pre-shot routine and clearing the mind at various stages of the round.
Although at times, the DVD was a little dry and classroom educational video-ish there is a ton of good info to be found as well appearances by many of the PGA Tour players Dr. Gio has helped.
What I really liked about Fearless Golf is that although there’s a lot of info passed on in the DVD, Dr. Gio boils it down to only a handful of teachable points that are easy to remember and easy to improve on.
If you’ve watched the DVDs, I’d like to hear your thoughts on it.