I was told by one of my professors that some time (maybe years) ago they did an experiment, where they randomly divided a group of children into two groups. Then they gave the children to one class and told the teacher that they were the class of exceptionally talented kids. They told the teacher of the other class that these guys need more attention because they are not so gifted. The teachers had the same curriculum and pretty much the same skill set. At the end of the year, the kids who’s teacher was coned into believing that her kids were gifted had performed much much better than her counter part who believed that her kids were not so intelligent.
While I doubt they can do this experiment now, under the current laws as it will be unethical and immoral, it makes a very good point not just about children and how they react to what we see in them but adults and how we react to the expectations and beliefs we hold. If I start a task with self-doubt and this negative thought that it is too hard or I can’t do it, I have lost half the battle already. Results come to people who believe “Yes, we can!” (not too much of a cliche, is it?
I always thought golf was a game for spoiled rich folks who can’t actually play a real sport. But I have come to realize that it teaches you something that the other sports don’t/can’t. There is no playing defense in golf. Your performance is limited to how much self-discipline you have, not anything to do with the strengths or weaknesses of your opponent. This aspect of the game forces me out of my “victim” mode, where the only person to blame for where the ball is on the fairway, is myself.
I have read that Tiger woods was taught by his father to imagine the ball rolling on that green going into the hole, to believe it will happen this way and it would. That positive imagination brings on the self-confidence, which calms his nerves and so he performs better under pressure.