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I know I have a lot to learn in this sport. I have only been playing for just over a year. As I've said before, I am greatful for all those who have given me advice on the game whether it be one little tip or a lot of tips/ lessons. I in no way could list all the names of people both back in Toledo and out here in MN that have helped me to improve. This sport is truly a great sport, and especially as a woman. Since there aren't a ton of us females, all the guys WANT to see the few that are around succeed. I, for one, love playing with people that are much better than myself because that does help a lot in learning the game.

Anyhow, on to what I intended to write about. THE dreaded mental game. I battle the most with my mental game. For instance, I won my division at an NT, the Minnesota Majestic. However, I would say my mental game was far from being worthy of a gold star or whatever you prefer. I played GREAT rounds for having played only a year. I shot 899, 845, and 913 rated rounds at fairly tough courses. Rating wise, for me, I played excellent rounds. I played too many mind games with myself.

A lot of it, for me, stems from my years playing competitive soccer. I played for 15 years, including 2 years of college soccer. I knew the game so well, that if I missed a pass or screwed up something so small I would lose sleep over it. I HAD to quit before the game destroyed me. I was already letting it control me. I still love the sport and want to coach, but I have absolutely no desire to play competitively anymore. I even was offered a spot on the team out here at my new school, and I told the coach what I just stated above. I'm getting to that point with disc golf. I tell myself over and over again that I have only played for a year. I know full well that I won't make perfect shots every single time. I know there is lots of room for improvement which means I shank a few here and there or throw wormburners or... you name it, I'm capable of it. However, for some reason I still have it in my head that I should be way better than I am. I screw up a shot, and in turn screw up the rest of the round. Maybe I even play horrible the rest of the week. I don't do well with moving on from mistakes. On very rare occasions, I can screw up a shot and bounce right back on the next. That's probably about one percent of the time.

I've read "Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect" and intend to go get a copy of Zen Golf. However, I think I've drilled too many years of bad habits with the mental game into my head. Try and try again, I can't seem to work it out. Ever since I started playing, I knew that was what needed more work than anything else. It still does. I was so frustrated with me play today and my play the last few weeks that I've debated many times to just take a month off from disc so that maybe I'll learn to appreciate it more which would in turn possibly help the mental game. If I keep playing the head games much longer I will have to quit before I let it destroy me like I did soccer. If you read all of this, congrats. I'm super impressed. If you have ANYTHING that you have used or heard of working to help with the mental game, PLEASE let me know. I don't want to have to quit another thing I love so much simply because I let my mental game destroy me.

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Tags: Game, Mental

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Comment by Jayne on June 23, 2008 at 9:08pm
Thanks John and Woj. I've continued to play- LOTS of field work (200 plus discs in one workout), and lots of rounds (haha... 8 over the weekend thanks to Slic and my "coach" Dan Beto pushing me to keep playing and work on the head). And wow- I can honestly say I've been having fun.
Comment by Chris Wojciechowski on June 16, 2008 at 3:18pm
THAT I will agree with.
Comment by John McMullen on June 16, 2008 at 3:05pm
I agree completely. My point was don't stop playing completely just because you're not playing the "perfect" game and obsessing about it.
There's no doubt that playing more tournaments makes you a better tournament player ... Unless you it leads you to giving up because you are frustrated.
Comment by Chris Wojciechowski on June 16, 2008 at 2:26pm
I disagree. Nothing replaces tournament golf. You're a driven person, and being a great tournament player seems important to you. Play tournaments, nothing can teach you to cope with your mistakes in tournaments like playing tournament golf. Casual golf isn't the same and never will be.

If you want to learn how to make it through a tournament round without getting angry with yourself for a bad shot, keep playing tournaments. If you want to avoid the problem and never truly learn go play casual.
Comment by John McMullen on June 16, 2008 at 2:20pm
Take a month off from tournaments ... not disc. Play for fun, and stop keeping score! Stop trying to make par and explore how discs fly. Take a difficult route to the basket instead of the easiest ... and have FUN doing it.
I play a lot of putter or midrange disc rounds for fun and practice. I play these rounds with discs I'm not used to throwing. Not just to break them in, but to have fun throwing discs!
Stop worrying about the perfect shot, and start enjoying the shot's that do what you didn't expect ... even if they are bad, you can learn something about how you threw the disc, or how the disc flies.
This is basic ...
Leaving a bad shot behind is EASY! Just forget about it ... it's over.
Obsessing about a bad shot is HARD, and makes you feel bad, and that feeling lasts way too long.
Not thinking about your score AT ALL during fun rounds or even during a tournament is the best way to get rid of all those bad vibes.
Sometimes no matter what you do, you can have a bad break. You can hit a tree, or your disc catches and edge and rolls off ... many things can happen that you are not in control of. I'll say that one again because disc golf is NOT a game of perfect. Many things can happen that you cannot control. Best to just brush them off, play your best, have fun, and let the cards fall where they land.
Comment by Chris Wojciechowski on June 15, 2008 at 11:25pm
Keep in mind that every round is 50+ throws, no one throw is more important than the whole. I forgot that during the second round of AmNats and it cost me the Amateur National Championship. Keep that always in mind, keep each throw in proper perspective.

Focus on each throw over the entirety of the round, but keep each throw in the proper perspective once it has left your hand.

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