Photo Credit: www.irishnews.com
A few friends and I just got back from the 2013 Honda Classic second round and we followed Rory Mcilroy (defending champion), Ernie Els, and Mark Wilson. From a sports psychology perspective this match was the holy grail. Ernie Els at -1, Mcilroy and Wilson at even par going into the day. We arrived at the course with perfect timing, the threesome waiting to tee off at 7:25 am. They were all in good moods chatting and laughing before the first shot. All three hit perfect drives and parred the first hole.
Going into the second green Rory had the best drive and hit the worst approach shot missing the green to the right and almost in the hazard. I thought, this is great! I will get to see how the number one golfer in the world keeps his emotions under control and recovers from a poor shot. Well was I in for a surprise. After hitting the poor approach he got pissed, placing is club on his shoulders in disbelief. I watched him intently to see if he would breath, smile, talk or something to calm himself down but he never did and guess what happened. He hits his 3rd shot over the green almost into the bunker leaving him no stance a terrible lie and now a really terrible attitude. It’s funny how when we get aggrivated the universe dishes more. Well guess what happens next... clearly his emotions rattled from the last 2 shots, he takes very little time and flubs his 4th shot, 2 putting for a 6. I just wished I could jump over the ropes and show him how to shift his emotional response.
Well now I am salivating to see how this was going to play out and watch how the very best golfer in the world is going to control his attitude and finish the round. Watching Rory he never really seemed to shake the bad shots and played some very mediocre golf really keeping to himself. On the 16th tee Rory pushed his drive into the hazard and had to take a drop, proceeds to hit that shot short and into the hazard again. He sends his caddy up to the green to see if they can play the shot out of the water. Rory just stood there dropped another ball, 5th shot, bailed left got up and down for a 7. The next hole he gets a bogey and withdraws from the tournament, half way through the second round. Unheard of and now the biggest news in golf.
The story is all over the news and I have only been home for an hour, the biggest news in the world of sports. Rory Mcilroy withdraws from the 2013 Honda Classic 1/2 way through the Second Round. Now he has released a statement of apology and said he has a “sore tooth”. A lot of people are saying “sore sport”.
One mistake led to another and he kept getting madder and madder, this is what happens to most athletes at all levels, they get deep into their thoughts and the thoughts create feelings and emotions, manifesting in the physical body as tension instantly decreasing performance. So much of the game takes place between points it‘s amazing this is where the mental game is played. I teach my athletes to use this time to self regulate, focus, breath and think, so they can be in total control of their temper and their tension and keep themselves in the emotional zone..
As a mental game coach I always watch what athletes are doing between the points, how they react both on good and bad shots, what are they doing to control their emotions, too keep themselves level. Well apparently not much. We also got to see Ernie Els lose his temper and his performance suffered.
If anyone knows Rory (or anyone else that could benefit from my services) and would like to pass on my information I would be more than glad (and grateful) to meet with them! Tell them to visit www.John-Denney.com. I encourage you to leave your opinion below, it means allot to me, and thank you for reading!