This past Labor Day weekend, Justin Thomas won the Dell Technologies Championship for his fourth tournament win of the year, which includes the British Open. (He would also later win the Tour Championship for his fifth win.) When asked what had changed this year, Justin emphatically stated it was his caddie, Jimmy Johnson. Justin’s caddie keeps him focused on the present shot at hand, which keeps his emotions under control regardless of situation or score.

While most people do not play golf with a caddie, you really do not need one to perform at your best. Ultimately, you must be your own best caddie.

When the pressure hits, you must tell yourself to stay in the moment, be positive, forget the past, focus on the present and remain calm. This is called self-talk, and all the great athletes and business executives have mastered their self-talk to be their own best caddie.

But when the pressure hits, does your bad caddie come out? It is easy to get into a bad caddie habit. Here are four easy steps to fire your bad caddie:

Step 1: Get a rubber band and tie it around your wrist.

Step 2. When you make a negative self-comment, snap your rubber band. Not so much as it hurts, but enough to startle you.

Step 3: Replace your negative comment with a positive one.

Step 4: Repeat as often as necessary.

Remember, you hired your bad caddie by creating a bad habit. You can un-create this habit by snapping your bad caddie out of existence.

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, USGTF Sports Psychologist

About the author:

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is the USGTF sports psychology and is recognized by Golf Digest as one of the world’s greatest performance psychologists. He has worked with stars such as Brandt Snedeker and Brian Gay, and is a regular on PGA Tour Radio on Sirius/XM. He has also inspired companies such as Toyota, Hughes International, TRowe Price and Bank of America. His website is www.DrGreggSteinberg.com. See more articles like this at www.MasteringGolfPsychology.com. Also, please check out the USGTF-certified golf psychology course at this site. You can take this course for 1/2 off for the month of October with the promo code iggy199. On this site, there is a free mental game e-book, as well as many free videos and articles.

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