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Cindy Miller: The privilege of pressure

What does it take to get better?  That depends.  Depends on what?  It depends on what you are looking for.  Are you trying to lower your score by a few shots or drastically change your handicap? Do you have realistic goals and expectations or are you in dream land?

Pressure is a privilege. Once you embrace the opportunity, everything changes. I have an eight-step check list that might change your perspective on pressure. I make sure I read it over whenever I am overwhelmed and need an attitude adjustment.

Perception: No one tries to miss “it” on purpose. We all have a history of experiences. Those experiences create our belief system. Those beliefs turn into attitudes. Our attitudes guide us when making decisions on the actions we take. The question I have for you is, “Are your beliefs really the truth? Have you ever challenged yourself?” I urge you to inspect your beliefs. Is it possible that you might have some limiting beliefs that could be sabotaging your success?

Possibilities: What if things could be better? Are you open to the possibilities or do you have a negative attitude about most things? Your outlook will determine your outcome. Do you believe you can get better or are you your own worst enemy? Maybe it’s time to see some new possibilities.

Potential: Are you at yours? What could you do better? Are you willing to look in the mirror to see where you might improve? I am the cohost of The Women of Golf Podcast. ( This week,  our guests were two players from the Symetra Tour,  Jenny Haglund and Louise Ridderstrom. Both players are from Sweden.  Jenny won a Ladies European Tour event three weeks ago, flew over to the States, and won The Symetra Classic. Louise missed the cut that week and caddied for her friend.  They drove together to the next tournament and had a deep conversation on what it takes to close a tournament out, to stay the course, and begin to believe you are good enough to compete with the best players in the world. Louise told me she thought long and hard. She looked at her practice routines and how much time she was spending on each segment of her game.  She made a new commitment to herself to work a little harder on her weaknesses.  The next week she came in fifth.  Last week she shot 69-65-63 and won The Valley Forge Invitational by four.  Just when you think you aren’t good enough, when you have the courage to look in the mirror and make a new plan, all outcomes can change. Get good enough.

Passion: How fired up are you to accomplish your goals? Is this something you want, or is it someone else’s goal for you?  We all know there are many parents out there who want to make their child the next Michelle Wie or Tiger Woods. No one can accomplish someone else’s dream.  The motivation must come from within.

Plan: Where would you like to go? How will you get there? Is it time to create your personal plan? If you want to shoot a new personal best score, what are you doing to accomplish the goal? Are you putting in the time?

The Pits: Better known as “Putting in Time.” Most of us would like to eliminate this step, however, no one in the game of golf is exempt from this step. That’s one of the main reasons I love this game. No one is born a great golfer. We all need to put in time if we want to improve. There is a mutual respect among PGA Tour and LPGA Tour Players.  We all give each other the look, the hug, the handshake. The unwritten and unspoken words are, “I know how hard we have worked to get where we are right now.  Even though we may not have reached our ultimate goals, we have both been through hell to get where we are today, and grateful we made it.”

Pressure: is a privilege and should be welcomed and expected. Nothing good is easy. Once you embrace this mindset, you will welcome the heat. Remember each time you are in a situation where you are trying too hard or your self-talk may not be what it should be, you can always become aware and change. Shift states. Take control of your thoughts and mind.  You are the boss of your mind.  Don’t let it run away on you. I asked Louise what she told herself during her final round. She said, “I told myself winning is hard. You not only need to have the skills to win, you need to be a little lucky. It needs to be your day. If it’s my turn, then good.  If it isn’t my turn today, then I am still going to do my best and see what happens.  I will learn more lessons.  I always learn lessons.” What a great attitude!

Produce: Anything good takes time. Hard work will always pay off when you are willing to unlock potential, reveal roadblocks and seek truth. I dare you to embrace The Privilege of Pressure!

Cindy Miller is a former LPGA Tour Player, a current member of the Legends Tour of the LPGA, and a Golf Channel Academy Lead Coach. She is a Certified Behavior, Motivation, and Judgment Professional who is sought after as a speaker, coach, and corporate trainer. Reach out to her at cindy@cindymillerinc?/.com .  Follow Cindy at  and on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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