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Own Your Game by Cindy Miller: Be honest about strengths and weaknesses

Wise leaders and elite performers all reflect on their performances to understand what they have done well, and where there could be improvements. Those who are humble enough to admit there are opportunities to improve shall always reach new levels of success.

Over the past few months we have discussed what it takes to “Own Your Game,” to become comfortable, clear, and confident on the course. As the golf season begins to wind down, it’s time to reflect, to assess your game, look in the mirror to see how you are doing.

Most Tour players these days have a team behind them. A swing coach, a manager, a sport psychologist and fitness specialist. This team’s job is to ensure their player is doing everything in their power to be the best they can be. What do you do without a team?

As Bhrett McCabe, Ph.D. owner of The MindSide (www.themindside.com) says, “It starts with acceptance and self-appraisal.” Looking in the mirror, revealing the truth, exposing elephants, and defeating demons. Everyone can learn these traits but the biggest challenge is a willingness to be vulnerable and teachable. Denial is not a river in Africa. It can be the one thing that holds us back the most.

So, are you ready, willing and able? The postgame steps are:

• Assess Your Game - Have you accomplished the goals you set for this season? Do you possess the skills necessary to compete at the level you choose? If not, what will you work on until the season ends, and over the winter?

• Reflection - What could you have done better? How was your attitude? Your tension control? Course management? Emotion management? Can you improve these traits?

• Commit - Once you assess and reflect, make a new commitment to yourself to work on your weaknesses and strengthen your skills. It might be as simple as, “I will choose to have fun on the course.”

Sometimes making great strides improving your game has nothing to do with your golf swing. Remember the Eight Traits of Champion Golfers? The research Dr. Deborah Graham conducted revealed the traits that multiple tour winners possess that contribute to their success.

1. The ability to narrowly focus when needed.

2. They all possess an ability to abstract think and adapt to changing situations.

3. They are more emotionally stable.

4. They tend to be more dominant.

5. They are tough-minded.

6. They are more self-assured.

7. They are self-sufficient on the course.

8. They are able to regulate their tension levels

I guarantee if you at a look at each one of these traits and take the time to learn them, your game will improve. None of the traits above require a golf club. Just thought control, paying attention, belief and trust - four things that will help us both on and off the course.

Seek improvement, learn new things, and have the courage to go play. May you “Own Your Game. In Business. In Sport. In Life.

Silver Creek native Cindy Miller, who counts the 2010 LPGA National Teacher of the Year award among her many golf accomplishments, writes the “Own Your Game” column for The News. This is the season’s final installment.

email: cindymiller@cindymillergolf.com

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