Bubba Watson is the Masters Champion. Last night he won his second green jacket. Flamboyant, unpredictable, talented, eccentric – many words can be written about the precocious American golfer. This is what I think soccer players can learn from a man who knocks at the door of natural genius.

Bubba has Never Taken a Lesson

Bubba is extraordinary in that he has never taken a golf lesson (or at least claims he never has.) Whilst I would certainly say that this is an exception to the rule (and it’s vital to be a coachable soccer player, and take on board coaching points daily), I think there is a lesson to be learnt from Bubba’s individuality.

Never make the game too complicated. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t be a student of the game. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be a student of yourgame. Game intelligence is a must, and after a quick filter through my other blog entries you’ll quickly discover I’m a big fan of leaving no stone left unturned to be as good as you can be.

But there needs to be a balance. Synonymous with great football psychology is having a quiet, clear and relaxed mindset. Buba’s no nonsense approach to golf is just the ticket to keep your mind clear from the gremlins that can sap away at your confidence and damage your ability to train effectively. He doesn’t over-think!

Be thorough with your training and preparation, but avoid having a football psychology that fills your mind with clutter.

Bubba has a swing Full of Freedom

He may not look overly graceful but his swing is relaxed and confident and bold and brave and free.

This is how I’d like you to play soccer. This is what I’d like to see if I was watching you compete on the pitch.

If I was standing on the sidelines watching you play, I’d like to see you standing tall and looking relaxed and confident. I’d like to hear some vocals from you – being demanding of others (as well as yourself). I’d like to see you take players on (if that is what your role demands) or I’d like to see you react and respond to a mistake with purpose and intention.

If Bubba was a soccer player that’s what he’d do!

Bubba is Patient but Determined

“I was determined to win my Green Jacket back”. So said Bubba coming into this year’s event.

Bubba had a purpose. He wasn’t resting on his laurels. He didn’t sit back and say “Hey, I won it 2 years ago so that’s enough for me”. He knows of no such contentment. He wanted to win at Augusta, not just once but twice. Not for a solitary time but again and again.

But despite his want, his will and his enormous motivation, Bubba knew that he had to remain patient as he competed. He had to take the rough with the smooth. He had to accept the bad bounces, the poor lies and the dropped shots. Bubba knows that a great golfers become great when they put winning aside as they compete and focus on the mentality required to become a champion.

I’d like to hear this from you. If you’ve been dropped from the team. If you’ve been benched yet again. If the coach is saying this and that about your game that you don’t like. If any of these things are happening then STOP…it’s ok. Stay patient. I know you’re determined to play. I know you want to win. But STOP…stay patient. Trust yourself, trust your game, trust the process of learning, developing and improving. It will happen.

This is the mindset of a champion. This is the mindset of a winner. This is great football psychology. And this is the mindset of two time Masters Champion, Bubba Watson.

Image Courtesy of Tony Bowler and Shutterstock.