“Bad weather” mindset

competition conditions mindset performance weather Nov 18, 2019

Ask yourself, what is your mindset when you are forced to play in inclement weather? For those who play outside sports, what if I told you how you approach practicing in bad weather can significantly influence how you play in bad-weather games?

This topic recently came up with a collegiate golf team I work with. They had just finished playing 36 holes during the first day of a tournament, with the last 18 holes to play the following day.

Day 1 was a gorgeous Fall day - sunny, blue skies, and comfortable temps. The forecast for Day 2, however, was ugly. They were calling for a big drop in the temperature, wind, and rain. 

The course officials were even considering moving tee times up earlier in order to beat the worst of the weather, which meant an even earlier wake up time. 

Most of the team was not jazzed about playing in the inclement weather. Most of the team, that is, except for one player. 

I texted her and said I hope she gets a chance to finish out the final round despite the foul weather coming. 

She said, “I can’t wait to play tomorrow. Those are my type of conditions!”

Her response was significantly different from her teammates. It was not what I expected. And it was awesome.

The result? The player who was excited to play in the slop shot 6 strokes better than the rest of her team. 

Ask yourself, how do you feel when you are forced to play in inclement weather? Are you like most of us, and just endure the wind, cold, and rain until you get back inside to get dry and warm? Do you feel sorry for yourself and act like “woe is me?”

Or do you do what we did in the military and have an “embrace the suck” mentality? Do you approach it as if it is an opportunity to work on your game in the toughest of conditions? To get better than your competition who likely doesn’t “embrace the suck?”

If you are like 95% of the population, and treat bad weather practices like a chore, then you are conditioning yourself to have a negative reaction to bad weather when it strikes in actual competition. If you think you can routinely have a bad attitude during bad weather practices, what makes you think you can “turn it on” during bad weather games?

The answer, of course, is you can’t. 

But if you attack bad weather practices with the mindset that you are going to get better, then you are conditioning yourself to perform at your best when the weather is bad during games. 

As an undersized athlete, I was always looking for whatever advantage I could get over bigger, faster, stronger competition. When it was raining, cold, or super windy, I knew my opponent would be at a disadvantage. In my head, I thought most of my opponents were “fair weather” players - I knew I had the upper hand when it got sloppy. 

The beautiful thing? You get to control what your mindset is during bad weather practices. And how you condition your mindset in bad weather practices influences what your mindset will be in bad weather games. 

And if you’re on this page, you know that your mindset influences your performance. 

If you’re a coach of an outside sport, think twice the next time you want to go indoors vs. practicing in bad weather. Think about having one or two practices outside in inclement weather to see how your team responds. Be over-the-top positive and encouraging. Lead them. 

If you’re a player, think of bad weather practices as a special gift to “embrace the suck” and gain an advantage over your competition. Think of it as an opportunity rather than something to endure. Take pride in knowing your competition isn’t enduring the same sacrifices you are. 

Do this, and I guarantee you’ll have a different mental approach the next time the meteorologist calls for bad weather during your big game.

Interested in working with me to get Top Mental Game, please go to www.topmentalgame.com.






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