Will The Real Spiderman Please Climb Up?
Alex Honnold manhandled mother nature this past weekend on his historic ascent (WITH NO ROPES!) of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park like a genetically enhanced Spiderman.
This accomplishment is the equivalent of shooting a birdie on every hole at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course from the tips, blindfolded.
"With free-soloing, obviously I know that I’m in danger, but feeling fearful while I’m up there is not helping me in any way."
Golf does not have a lot in common with the climbing community; probably the only thing in common are the "gearheads". However, the lessons from the mental aspect alone could prove beneficial to lower scores on the golf course.
What Can You Learn From Alex Honnold to Improve Your Golf Game?
I've followed Alex for many years, even though I do not actively climb. I take an interest in fascinating humans that go above limitations on a daily basis.
“What Alex did on Moonlight Buttress defied everything that we are trained, and brought-up and genetically engineered to think,” said Peter Mortimer, a climber who has made numerous films with Honnold. “It’s the most unnatural place for a human to be.”
How many times have you let a round go from fear? You took a conservative approach because fear dictated your current emotion.
Honnold’s unique ability to remain calm and analytical in such dangerous situations, a skill that Honnold has slowly developed over the 20 years he has been climbing.
The important point to notice about the sentence above is that he has practiced for 20 years. He started thinking about this particular climb since 2009 and deliberately planned for two years. He did not just reach the pinnacle of climbing by sitting on his (superhuman/swole/ripped) hands.
The climb was carefully planned, visualized and practiced well before reaching for his first hold. I guarantee he climbed that route mentally 1,000 times before he set on his life-threatening adventure.
Let me reframe; it was a potentially fatal and extremely dangerous climb.
Us golfers will NEVER have similar physical challenges, but we will face mental battles similar to Alex. Doubt and second guessing is always a neurotransmitter away. We won't face death if we shank one into the woods or miss a putt. The fact is, we all face mental battles that we go up against every single day. It's how we handle the doubt in our head that could lead to the best round ever.
Alex prepared diligently; we must not forget that practice is vital to mastering life goals. Practice with mind, body, and soul can yield personal greatness.
Many experts think golf is beyond mastery; even the great Tiger Woods (G.O.A.T) did not perfect the game of golf. But he was pretty damn close!
Alex, compared to the great athletes, including Tiger, is the best on the planet ever to live, in my opinion.
If you struggle with your game, it might be a good time to look into the mental side of your life. We all have greatness smoldering inside, but most of us lack the mental fortitude needed to crush personal limitations.
Try and wrap your mind around what Alex accomplished this weekend. Reflect on how he mentally prepared for his ascent into climbing greatness.
Commit to the process by applying focus and intention, and you can achieve personal success.
I will leave you with this, from Alex in his recent interview with Rock and Ice Climbing Magazine.
"Take a seemingly impossible goal, break it into pieces, and work on the pieces one by one. And don’t think about the outcome." - Alex Honnold
Check Out His Last Adventure