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Presented by Jeff Ritter, Nike Golf Camp National Director

Mental Strength Golf Tips: Black Belt Mentality by Jeff Ritter

Jeff Ritter Tip

The mental components of golf are just as important as the mechanics of the sport and having a strong mentality can only help you improve. National Director of Instruction, Jeff Ritter, shares his key ideas on the black belt mentality in golf.

Many of us get slightly impatient with our processes of game development. We hit a couple shots at practice with our coaches and they go where we want, but when we get to the first tee, we don’t see the same result. We must build the balance of this idea of demonstrating a skill and having complete ownership of that skill. That is where the black belt mentality comes in.

A true black belt has what we call a beginner's mindset. They meet their coach and say things like, “show me something new today that can take my skills to the next level or help me learn something that can improve my performance.” It doesn't matter how much they have mastered, they always go into training assuming they know nothing because it puts them in the best opportunity to learn.

With golf, a lot of times people come out to see me for lessons and say, “when do you think I'll be able to break 90 or even 80?” and the only answer I can give them is, “when you’re ready and deserve to.” Improving is a process that takes time and we cannot expect immediate results. Just because we demonstrate a skill during practice, doesn’t mean we have ownership over that skill just yet.

Ownership comes through patience, will, and discipline, which is the black belt mentality. I want you all to be able to try to find joy within the struggle and be thankful for the struggle because that is where you are going to learn the most. Patience is key. Not every week is going to be ‘your’ week but continuing to approach practices with positivity and effort will get you to where you want to be. Understand you've chosen to play a game that presents many challenges and those challenges require a great deal of hard work and dedication to overcome. The black belt mentality allows you to be able to capitalize on every learning opportunity and aid you in the process of improvement. The more you use the black belt mentality the more confident and satisfied you will be with your golf game!

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