What a GREAT tournament this past weekend. The Masters never fails to produce its share of exciting and heartbreaking moments. The one thing that I took away from this event was how important it is to stay in the moment and not get too far ahead of yourself. Patience is one of the most important things that all great champions possess. Whether it is Michael Jordan looking for the right moment to make his move to the basket or Wayne Gretsky holding on to the puck as he looks for an opportunity to make a great pass to a teammate, champions have a great deal of patience.
Adam Scott showed great patience on Sunday in the final round of the Masters. Adam made 9 pars in a row on Sunday on holes 4-12 and was 2 shots behind heading into 13. He then went on to birdie 3 of the last 6 holes to finish tied for first after 72 holes. He could have lost his focus and started to press after not making any birdies for 9 straight holes, but he continued to play his game and stayed in control of his emotions.
He also did a great job of staying focused after Cabrera matched his birdie on the 18th hole. If Adam got ahead of himself and thought he had won the Masters after he made his putt, he could have been mentally deflated after Cabrera tied him on the last hole. His mental toughness and a reminder from his caddie that “the tournament isn’t over yet”, helped him to be prepared for a playoff before Cabrera even hit his second shot. If you let your mind get ahead of you, you could be thrown for a loop if your opponent suddenly makes a great shot.
It is difficult to eliminate the bad thoughts that can creep into your head during competition, but you need to have a plan to deal with them if they arise. If you start thinking ahead, stop yourself and remember to focus on the shot at hand. The difficult 15th hole or the easy 16th hole, can’t be a concern if you are only on the 9th hole. Stay in the moment, have patience,and you will begin to think like a champion.
Play well and have fun!