GSS 48: Practicing Emotional Management w/ 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year Alison Curdt

Released Friday, 8th January 2016
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Alison is one of only 11 women who have reached the level of PGA Master Professional.  She is also the 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year and with her degree in psychology, Alison gives unique insight into the game of golf.


  • 8:00: Let go of those bad shot moments.

    • If people hold on to their worst shot, that is going to delay their career moving forward.

  • 9:30: What’s the difference between sport psychology and clinical psychology?

    • A sports psychologist may work with a student on mental performance and breathing and visualization and emotional management and goal setting.

    • If a client starts to talk about having depressive symptoms or clinical anxiety that pervades them from being their best, that’s where a therapist or psychologist would come into play.

  • 13: Alison’s personal approach to teaching the mental side of golf:

    • She gets a thorough history from the student about what they know about the mental game.

    • Once Alison knows where they’re coming from, then she can start to infiltrate with her education about what might be helpful in their performance.

  • 14:30: Important things to consider when trying to improve your mental game:

    • Management of emotions.

    • Self-schemas - how do we talk to ourselves? Be motivational

    • You can add in some visualization and some relaxation techniques.

  • 16: How do we practice emotional management:

    • First identify what’s going on-what does it feel like? What does it look like? What are we going to call it? (i.e. are you feeling frustration?)

    • Use breathing or relaxation to take the intensity from one level to another.

    • Be able to repair. Get back to that motivational mental state.

  • 18: A common way to help recognize negative emotion and repair it:

    • A good mentor can see it in their student, and be able to call that negative energy out in the moment.

    • Talk about the physical aspect to what the student is feeling.

    • Take a deep breath, and breathe all the anger and frustration out, then go through the shot again to see if it’s any better.

  • 21: Be aware of yourself even while you are practicing:

    • Manage your emotions in life, and you’ll be able to transfer it on to the golf course.

    • If you can’t handle it in life, how are you supposed to be able to on the course?

  • 23: A general hurdle that many people have trouble getting over:

    • An incongruent level of expectation versus outcome.

    • If you don’t put any practice into the game, don’t expect to shoot a good game.

    • Match your goals to reality.

  • 24:20: How do we bring ourselves into reality then?

    • It’s different for each individual.

    • Consider how much time you are actually putting into golf, and see where your goals are at.

  • 26: Rapid Fire Round:

    • Best piece of advice: make an adjustment. Think differently.

    • Go-to method to work out of a slump: do something completely different than anything you have have done before. Get out of your routine.

    • Favorite practice drill: slow, tai-chi type swings. It gets you thinking in a different way. Try swinging in slow motion.

    • What is the most fundamental part of the mental game: emotional management. The game can be much more enjoyable.

    • Book recommendation: “The Inner Game of Tennis” by Timothy Gallwey. Just replace all of the tennis words with golf words.

    • How to prepare for the best round ever: sleep and nutrition are the top two things. Touch on all pieces of your game in a two hour time span. Don’t do it in large pieces. Focus on everything you’re doing really well.

  • 33: Parting piece of guidance:

    • If it’s not working, think differently.


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