Ride the Wave: The Keys to Maintaining Momentum
Xander Schauffele of team United States and Patrick Cantlay of team United States shake hands on the 15th green during Friday Morning Foursome Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 24, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Momentum…we hear so much about it during events like the Ryder Cup.
Webster defines Momentum in two ways, the second of these, pertains to what we are looking at here…”Strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events.” As most know, there is both a good and bad side of momentum.
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We definitely see both in the heat of Ryder Cup matches.
Is there a trick to riding momentum for the positive when you are in the early stages of gaining it? Conversely, is there a way to break out of bad Mo when it starts rolling that way?
In either case, what is happening is something that is generally outside of the norm for us during the course of a routine round…good or bad. I have a few students that have been going through this very thing over their last few rounds. They are getting pretty deep into their nine-hole matches where they find themselves even, one over or sometimes even one under after 6 or 7 holes yet stumble to the finish line with a few doubles and an occasional triple to shoot their normal 40 to 42. On the flip side, I have another student that generally starts off shaky only to smooth things out over the middle through late parts of his round.
Either of these examples sound like you?
The Keys to Maintaining Good Momentum and Breaking out of Bad…
If things are going well, it is critical to just stick to your normal routine and from a mental standpoint, never get too much ahead of yourself. The idea is to stick to your pre-round, planned out, 3-hole segment goals, and if things start going well, where you are exceeding your expectations, you just relax, take some deep breaths, and go with it, while keeping your original laid out plan always at the top of your mind.
Conversely, when things start to come undone, it is pretty much the same advice…continue to try and stick to that original game plan. Without question, one thing you cannot do, is to get into a mindset of trying to “force it” and try to do more in order to play “catch up” as this generally leads to digging a much bigger hole.
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Brendon R. Elliott, PGA
Brendon Elliott is considered by his peers in the industry as one of the top youth golf coaches in the world. He is a multiple, local, state, regional, national and world award winning instructor with a focus on junior golfers ages 3-18. With numerous appearances on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, local TV, nationwide radio and countless publications, Elliott is one of the foremost experts in the youth golf arena. His Little Linksters 501c3 nonprofit is recognized as an example for introducing children as young as three to the game as well as how to help introduce youth with disabilities to our golf. Elliott has been recommended by industry titian's such as Nicklaus, Player, Floyd, Sorenstam, Speith and more. Among his numerous accolades, Elliott was named the PGA of America's 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award Winner in 2017.