One of my patients, a professional golfer, has been working at making it on the PGA Tour for several years. He is a lovely young man who is bright, well-educated, polite, talented and hard working. He is currently playing on the Asian Tour where he recently
won an event.

Making it as a professional golfer is very demanding. You are competing against other talented golfers. These players can hit the ball very far and they know how to
execute every kind of golf shot.

In order to win an event at this level, you need to put together three or four very low rounds of golf on consecutive days. You need to be mentally tough, focused, confident,
and relaxed.

Up and coming tour players without sponsorships also need to be able to handle extensive travel and the pressure of not getting paid unless you perform very well
when the pressure is on.

In many events, one or two bad shots can ruin your chances of making any money after many hours of competing training and practicing for a tournament.

Golfers who compete successfully at this high level, periodically need boosts for their self-confidence. Therapists like me, who work with athletes are always looking for ways to build their patients’ belief in themselves.

Sometimes, something subtle that we say or do with a patient can have a big impact on their confidence and on their ability to perform under the kind of pressure they encounter at the professional level.

At the close of my last phone call with this young golfer who is now living in Asia, I was about to wish him good luck. Wishing an athlete good luck prior to an event is quite normal and there is nothing wrong with doing this. Coaches, parents and caddies do it all the time.

However, I chose to say, “You don’t need good luck. You have great skills that will allow you to get the job done.”

In hindsight, I think that saying this was a good idea. My patient chuckled and thanked me for the encouraging words.

And then he went on to shoot a seventy two the next day to qualify for the next round. So far, so good.

Author's Bio: 

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D., was named one of America’s Top Mental Gurus By Golf Digest Magazine. He is the founder of His golf program is available at Dr. Granat is available for private coaching and for seminars. He can be reached at and at 888-580-ZONE.