09/18/2013

I feel extremely fortunate to be in the line of work I am in because I help golfers transform their thought process and PLAY THEIR BEST. It is extremely rewarding in numerous ways and one of the fringe benefits is the ongoing opportunity to learn along with them. When coaching one of my students this past week, I had an epiphany about the relationship between a golfer and a long term growth investor that I know will help your game.

A long term growth investor is one that systematically invests their money in the market, or other specific investments, month after month after month. They invest without emotion and are proactive, not reactive to the ebbs and flows of a volatile market. This capital growth strategy creates a rock solid foundation for today, and tomorrow, and while you might not think it sounds very sexy or exciting, IT WORKS.

What if you started thinking about your game like a long term growth investor? Would you continue to buy the latest and greatest gadget or technology to improve your game because of an ad you saw? And would you continue to take recommendations from your other gadget addicted, emotionally reactive golfing friends? I would guess probably not. However, if you are willing to create a positive change in your game, and think like a long term growth investor, you will need an education to change your current way of thinking.

Welcome to Part 1 of my three part series designed to help you think like a long term growth investor, on and off the course. In today’s lesson I am going to provide the first step to clear, objective thinking by showing you how to eliminate negative energy in your game.

CRUSH Your A.N.Ts (Automatic Negative Thoughts)

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One of the primary reasons a long term growth investor is so successful is their ability to make their most critical decisions void of emotion. They are not buying and selling based on what the market is doing, they are making transactions with a clear thought process. That is what must occur in your game. You must make your most critical decisions sans emotion. Becoming an emotionally balanced thinker on the course will have you thinking about putting the ball in the hole to win the match, as opposed to “Don’t leave it short.” Your ability to Crush Your A.N.T.s is the determining factor to make that happen. Negative thoughts and negative emotions (i.e. fear and anger) are partners in crime and they steal your ability to perform when it counts the most.

To Crush the A.N.T.s in your game I highly recommend my proven ‘3 Step Solution:’

#1) Awareness

You need to be aware when you have negative energy. When is it most likely to occur? Perhaps it is in the form of first tee jitters, hitting over water, playing around certain people or certain competitors, hitting out of the sand, etc. I refer to these times as ANT Traps. They are those specific situations where you feel negative energy and start to entertain thoughts of negative outcomes prior to hitting your shot. Negative thoughts often impact your performance and ultimately your results.

 #2) STOP

Since you can only have only one thought at a time, it may as well be a positive one, especially if you are serious about playing your BEST. To do that, you must first eliminate the negative one. To STOP your thought process, I recommend to physically STOP moving first. By completely stopping and standing or sitting still, it changes your physiology and immediately puts you in a different state, getting you primed for the next step.

#3) S.T.O.P. (Start Thinking Only Positive)   

As you are walking off the green after your missed birdie attempt turns into a bogey, you need to let those two extra missed putts go and get ready for your tee shot. They are over, they are vapor, and they no longer exist anywhere except in your own mind. As opposed to continuing to walk to the tee box stewing over what just happened, STOP and think about something positive such as hitting your target. Once you physically STOP moving for a second or two, start to think about your next shot and completing your next objective, hitting your target. The more adept you become at eliminating negative energy, the better you will become on and off the course.

The long term growth investor reaps the rewards when the market does well and automatically buys more shares when the market is down. You will experience the same type of effect because when your swing is on, you will see your whole game come together. When your swing decides to temporarily leave you, you will stay calm and not over react to the situation, especially during competition. By constantly crushing your A.N.T.s you will establish a solid foundation because you are doing the right thing, day after day and month after month. Becoming a clear, objective thinker is like putting money in the bank 🙂

In Part II of this series you will learn about the strategy of a long term growth investor, and how it can help your game.

Greg Liberto

The HEAD Coach

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