The Ryder Cup starts tomorrow and this sporting spectacular is going to provide lots examples of the importance of the mental side in winning a major golf tournaments.  I am going to present the importance of the mental skills and qualities needed for a player to be successful in the Ryder Cup.  These elements are outlined in a book I have written (to be published very soon!) on the elements needed for success and winning so what better place to be successful and win than one of the biggest events in golf.  The book is called the Journey and the elements for success, which I have broken down into 3 key Building Blocks and 3 Principles, can be found in the story of every successful person who has been successful including past major winners.

The first of the Building Blocks is Awareness.  Players competing in the Ryder Cup need to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses in their individual games.  They must play to these strengths when they are competing in the tournament but be aware of their weaknesses.  During a major tournament players have to go out and perform, they have to play to win.  The Ryder Cup is not a place to try to focus on weaknesses.  Players that are aware of their strengths and play to them will maximise their chances of winning.

There must also be awareness of the opposition players and the conditions at Gleneagles.  What are the strengths of the other players and how can their individual strengths exploit the weaknesses of the opposition?  An awareness of conditions are imperative to ensure the right shot is chosen so the players can play to win.

The opposition players and conditions are outside of the control of individual players so players must have an internal focus and concentrate solely on the things that they can control will do better in the tournament.  This is the first principle, Control the Controllables.  Players must control the things they can so they have the best chances of winning their round.

The second Building Block is Belief and this is essential in a major tournament golfing tournament like the Ryder Cup.  Players need to have positive and strong beliefs that can drive them on their Journey in the tournament.  They have to have belief in their own ability and have a belief that they deserve to be there.  This will propel them to play to win.  The final of the 3 Building Blocks is Balance and players with the best balance (both on the golf course and in all aspects of their life) will have the best chances of winning.  To have this they needed to have spent time (difficult being a professional golfer) with the all the different aspects of their life (family etc) before the tournament and then allocate time for this again after the Ryder Cup has finished.  There must also be balance in the team and various pairings to maximise the chances of winning.

These Building Blocks are supported by the last 2 Principles of Hard Work and Extend Your Comfort Zone.   A major tournament is hard work in both the preparation and the actual event.  Players should have worked hard to prepare for the tournament and the conditions.  Only players who have worked hard during their career to this point will be at the tournament.  The final Principle is Extend Your Comfort Zone and those players that have worked hard and prepared right will have been on the edge of their comfort zone to be in the best shape physically, mentally and technically for the Ryder Cup.

Whichever player and team uses the Building Blocks and Principles outlined in the Journey will have a great Ryder Cup and maximise their chances of lifting the trophy. Hopefully the European Team can retain the trophy!