"Golf is difficult". With a chapter devoted early on to this very fact, it is clear that sports psychologist Dr. Rob Bell writes openly, honestly, and perhaps most importantly, in a practical manner. What the reader soon realizes is that while golf may be a difficult sport, but it is not impossible. With training and learning how to maintain a proper mindset-it can be quite rewarding and enjoyable.
I picked up Bell's first book wanting to gain a greater technical/psychological perspective on the game of golf to help my golf clientele. I also happen to live and practice a Texas community with three golf courses (one designed by Gary Player and another by Arnold Palmer to put it in perspecitve) and thousands of golf-playing citizens.
Let's just say that I was not disappointed with this 112-page volume chock full of techniques, philosophy, and drills for golfers looking to enhance their (often much-overlooked) mental game. Not only are techniques efficiently described throughout each easy-to-read chapter, but the athlete is basically told how to immediately begin applying them to their game. This is where I find Mental Toughness Training for Golf different from other sport psychology books I have read in the past-it's very straightforward and applicable in an immediate sense; athletes don't have to spend copious amounts of time analyzing their stroke or what to do next in the process of reading. One of my favorite lines in the whole book is "play golf, not golf swing". Brilliant.
Some of my favorite parts and features of Bell's book include:
- Tips and insights involving some of the best in the game, such as Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, and Angel Cabrera. I believe modeling, especially from the top, is a powerful thing.
- A running collection of quotes from all kinds of sources from Socrates to the Lee Trevino, to Homer Simpson. There's something in there for everyone.
- An easy-to-follow flow content tracing basic mental training concepts to how you (and the pros) can apply them.
- A number of techniques can also be applied to other sports.
In summary, I believe this book has value for any golfer looking to both elevate their game and keep it there. As a sports psychology consultant, this book will definitely be added to my "recommended reading" list for all my golf clients. Its obvious that Dr. Bell has spend a great deal of time on the links and knows golf and people inside and out. Anyone who reads this book will walk away with a better understanding of mental toughness, how to get it, and likely more insight into themselves.
Stay the course.
Adrienne Langelier, MA