Which Game Do you Play?

Sun, Mar 20th, 2022
Roger Federer Roger Federer

In tennis, different players succeed in different ways. Rafael Nadal is an attacking baseline player, Roger Federer a serve and volley specialist. Andy Murray is a defensive baseline player, whereas Novak Djokovic bases his game on strong serving and all round play. The key point, is that they have different strengths (and weaknesses), but they have built their success around understanding the DNA to their game. This message was relayed to me by former German Pro Team Coach, Martin Hasenbein, in a webinar he delivers in our Master Coach Certification Program, and I couldn’t agree more. 

One common mistake with elite golfers, is that they use their weaknesses to undermine their confidence and belief.  I remember one European Tour Player I worked with saying to me he was ‘statistically one of the worst drivers on Tour’. How’s that going to help you perform better? I had solid success with this player as we focused on ‘progression’ in this area, and the other areas, following our Academy ¼ concept.

Luke Donald had built a strong amateur career based around his 100m and in game. He turned Pro after the 2001 Walker Cup and had only moderate success as a PGA Tour Player. Statistically he was told that he needed to hit the ball further and straighter off the tee, and then improve his play with the long clubs. So that was his focus in his first 5 or 6 years as a Professional – make his weakness stronger.  Then in late 2008 he had a wrist injury, that kept him off the Tour for almost 6 months. After several months the surgeon said that he could only practice his short game. Being restless, Luke then practiced his already excellent short game endlessly and took it to a new level. 2 years later he ascended to the No 1 ranking in the world, and in 2011 became the first player in the history of the game to win the money lists on both the PGA and European Tour. And his driving stats? They did not improve.

The key message, is do not focus on your weaknesses. Instead, focus on all areas and look to make progress in each. It’s about building a PLAN and PROCESSES to SCORE LOWER. If you Score Lower all the doors to success begin to open. Understand your golfing DNA,  cherish ‘the game you play’ and LOVE YOUR OWN GAME. Understand that nobody turns up with a perfect swing, chipping action or putting stroke, and everyone is in a state of ‘imperfection’. Yes, look to understand your technique and the patterns, but at the same time appreciate YOUR SWING MOVE, and LOVE YOUR GAME.


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At ECGA we build player programs to help players score lower. We believe our success comes because we do not have a 1 dimensional approach – it’s a fusion of building technical competence, a champion mindset and systems for success. Programs are strictly limited – if you’re interested to learn more, please get in touch at info@elitecoaching.com