Think Above Par

Part 2 - Q and A with Tour Player Yoonhee Kim, Confidence, Making Money, and Digging Deep

October 10, 2023 Kathy Wood Episode 141
Part 2 - Q and A with Tour Player Yoonhee Kim, Confidence, Making Money, and Digging Deep
Think Above Par
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Think Above Par
Part 2 - Q and A with Tour Player Yoonhee Kim, Confidence, Making Money, and Digging Deep
Oct 10, 2023 Episode 141
Kathy Wood

Listen in on part 2 of my interview with Tour Player Yoonhee Kim as she answers questions from members of the Above Par Academy.

Yoonhee talks about confidence, digging deep on the last few holes and worrying about what other people think.

You will relate to what she focuses on with mental golf and understand that you do not need to be a professional or low handicap to benefit from this work.

If you want to benefit from working on your mental golf connect with Kathy at KathyHartWood.com

Show Notes Transcript

Listen in on part 2 of my interview with Tour Player Yoonhee Kim as she answers questions from members of the Above Par Academy.

Yoonhee talks about confidence, digging deep on the last few holes and worrying about what other people think.

You will relate to what she focuses on with mental golf and understand that you do not need to be a professional or low handicap to benefit from this work.

If you want to benefit from working on your mental golf connect with Kathy at KathyHartWood.com

So if anybody has any questions about you, these experiences, or you want to ask her what it's like to play out of the tour or how she manages anything, this is a great opportunity, and Pat, I'm going to pull you out so Pat she's an avid golfer, really good athlete. I actually played golf with her this past weekend when you were texting me, I was playing with Pat in West Virginia Pat, I remember you a call. And I remember you making the comment that, that you would be confident, like confidence would be yours to be had if you got your handicap down to that level, like you couldn't imagine that someone would lack confidence or have any fear. You thought it only was something that you experienced at your. Level, what do you think now after hearing what you need us to say, it's a, it's an eye opener. Yeah, it's a pretty amazing to realize that that level of player has the same issues that my level experiences. Yeah. Cause when we were playing this weekend, you had fear, right? You were worried about what other people think, and we talked about confidence, all things that uni was talking about. So can you imagine, what do you think about her worrying about what other people think at her level? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. blows my mind. Why wouldn't she think that? Because she's already good. Right. Okay. So you, right. Yeah. Okay. you're a good golfer. You're thinking that you're the people in your group would think that you're amazing if you played at that level. So you need, what are you thinking about? How are you worried about what other people think? Like, so she's saying like, Oh my gosh, you're an amazing golfer. Like, how could you possibly care what other people think? But what happens in your world relative to her world? It shrinks basically, I'm going to, tee this up for you a little bit. You're playing with a bunch of 25 handicaps. Let's say for instance, Pat, right now the level shifts. It's just your little community changes a little bit, but what else? Well, like, so, like, when I'm home, like, I'm gonna go play after this, and I play with, a couple. And he's, he's like an 8, and his wife's a 19, I think. And we have the best time, but I, I'm always admiring her. Cause we play games, we play games, and she always beats us! And so it's kinda like... I think it, and, and it's, you'll, it might sound crazy, but like, sometimes I'll play with like a higher handicap, and if I'm not playing that good, I'm like, oh, I'm embarrassing myself, like I'm supposed to be this, at this level, and I'm not playing at that level today. So I think it's just realizing like, people are not, like, me, I'm, I've definitely had myself doubts, and it's, it's not a guaranteed confidence just because of your handicap, it's, It's not, but yeah, and that's okay. I think that's totally fine. A little bit of it is almost at your level as imposter syndrome, so imposter syndrome is where we think we should be better than we are, or people think that we're better than we are, it's still a way of worrying about what people think, but it's a little bit different than you, Pat. You're thinking that people think that, you know, you're, you stink. Right. That you're worried that people think that you're not good enough. It's a similar thing, but she's also sitting there. They think I should be much better than I am. Right. Because I'm a tour player that I shouldn't make these misses that I shouldn't miss fairways that I shouldn't hit wedges, like 20 feet from the pin, that I shouldn't three pot all those things, that I'm a tour player and I shouldn't make those mistakes. And that's where we worry about what people think is that a little realistic, especially when you have higher handicaps. Right. For anybody, I put on myself, I'm sorry, Pat. It's definitely something I put on myself. Yeah, but we all do. Right? So, like, everybody we worry. This is like, part of our human nature is to worry about what other people think. And it's just really about getting curious about it. But it's interesting that we worry about what other people think. It shows you how it's just fabricated in our brain. Cause it's not based on your handicap. It's not based on your shot. It's not based on your scores, not based on a three putt. It's something that we create in our head, that makes us feel that way. Talk a little bit about uni, about confidence relative, I talk about confidence in two ways. I probably have shared this with you too, is that we can have confidence about how well we hit it, our shots. And for everybody, that's basically your level of. Miss, let's say for instance, like, so uni's level, it might be like, I expect to only, you know, hit this many good shots and only miss this many and where a higher candy cat might be like on good enough, right? That's like, I'm pretty confident that I'm going to do it good enough, but confidence in our ability can ebb and flow with golf. We go in and out of it. Like when she was. Playing in tour school, her game didn't feel quite there. It was there. It just wasn't there at that time. So then our confidence can kind of wane a little bit. So that's one kind of confidence, right? We've talked about this and this group a lot confidence. And the other kind is that having your own back, that's a different, like, it's like, I'll figure it out. I'm going to have my own back. I'm going to be patient. I'm going to talk kindly to myself. I have total confidence that I'll figure it out. Two totally different things. So one, you can have the second one you can have all the time. But the first one relative to your ability is going to ebb and flow. And we got to surrender to that a little bit. And that's basically, in my opinion, you need, I want you to share about your confidence relative to your skill. Is just something that we have to accept a little bit in golf. And then it just shows us where we need to put in some work, right? A hundred percent. Yeah, I think like that the second confidence of like I'll get it together no matter what is like relies on like how much you've worked or like what you trust in yourself, but I think that first one that's gonna ebb and flow it's like That's where you kind of stare yourself in the mirror and be like, what do I need to work on? Like if I'm hitting my wedges 20 feet from the pin, for me, that's really bad. That's any love anyone at my levels, like it's not okay. But on the course when I'm playing, everything's okay. That's kind of where I'm like, everything's okay. But then when it's like, it's not okay, let's go to the range of figure it out. So wait a minute. So why does she do that? Because when she's on the course, if she's saying it's not okay, she's going to freak her brain out, right? She's got to go up to that next shot, that next putt and figure out how to make it. So she doesn't want to sit there and go, it's not okay. This is a problem. She's like, it's okay. I can make this cut, but off the course, what she's saying is, okay, this is, I need to work on my wedges I love the way that you said that it's like good enough, but off the golf course, I need to work on that part. Don't get me wrong, I've had hissy fits on the course and I've been like, it's not okay! This is like, not okay! I've had hissy fits and like, realized like, that does not help me at all. That doesn't help. So it's almost like, it's, Kathy and I've talked about, I can't fight with reality. I've hit the shot. Like a thing for a tour player for me getting a bogey on a par five I literally I want to lose it sometimes like I it's just because par fives are where we like they say Statistically a tour player has to score like that's so like Sometimes, in the beginning of the season, I was putting so much pressure on myself, like, How could you do this? What's wrong with you? How could you get a bogey? But it's like, I'm human. I'm gonna make mistakes, and that's, like, totally fine. And then, something that, like, I have to say before I forget it, Kathy was like, that Pat said that kind of made me think was like, When I played with the LPGA girl, and I was really struggling with like, oh my gosh, I don't want to embarrass myself. Kathy and I had a really good conversation about how she, I think you asked because I don't know if it was perfectionist or like what the word was, but I almost was trying to control what someone else was trying to think of me. And it's like, I can't control what anyone else thinks of me. Like I could be so nice to someone. They could not like me, or I could be kind of not nice. And they could really like me. Like, you never know, like what someone's going to think of you. Like you can't control. What someone else is going to think of you. And I think that really helped me get like a different perspective because I do think I care in general in my life. Like I want people to like me, of course. So that kind of changed my perspective of like on the course, like I can't control what like other people think of me, like I might just rub someone the wrong way. You're like, I don't know, like without thinking of it. Yeah, you can do you could hit your wedge like four feet and they could sit there and go like she doesn't hit it close enough like we don't know what is in people's brains at any given moment, right? So the only thing that we can control is our thoughts about ourselves at any given moment in time. It is though, it is a little bit of a battle. And I'm not gonna say battle. It is an awareness that. Our brain is going to do it. So when it does it, when it goes, it's like, Oh, I'm worried about what they think we just put it in check and bring it back around because that's what our brains like to do is we compare ourselves to other people and we do kind of project into their heads, what they're thinking. But I also say that what we project into someone's head and what they're thinking is what we are thinking about ourselves. So that's always good Intel and some work to do. So, all right. Thanks Pat for that. Karen. Yes, I have a couple questions. The first one I'd like to follow up on the hissy fit, um, the hissy fit comment. What, uh, what tools, uh, tips, techniques do you use? Because it sounds like maybe anger and disappointment or maybe some emotions you're feeling at the time. Um, well, how do you pivot? Um, I think I, it's for before I started talking to Kathy, it would, I wouldn't pivot. I would, it'd be like, bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey. And then I, like, started talking to Kathy and it was like, that awareness of like, This is not being angry and like being so hard on myself does not help me at all. And it's also, I'm also lucky like I have my mom on the back so sometimes she'll like tell me like you're doing it. Like you're, you're getting in your own way and like it's not gonna, you gotta breathe. So I started breathing and then I started saying things out loud without being self deprecating, I think. Sometimes I think I would be like, you suck. I'd say things like, you suck, like what the heck's wrong with you? Like, and those things like... Don't help at all. So it was pivoting into being like, it's okay Realizing like if I go down this road, it's not gonna be good. But if I just like kind of say it's okay right now I'll make it work and then like analyze it later It helped started to help a lot in that sense like because I don't you don't want your brain. It's like We've, Kathy and I have talked about this a lot, is like, you can't let your brain, like, think you're, like, in danger. And a lot of times I think when I'd get angry and disappointed, like, all of a sudden I was in danger because the next shot would be, like, don't do it again, or don't do this again. And then I'd steer my next drive, or I'd do something. So it's like acknowledging and, like, realizing, like, what's, and that's not, like, that helps me. It might not help someone else, but certain sayings for me, I started saying things. I had, like, a notecard that Kathy and I... Came up with of like everything that was going to help me calm down or like get to a state of concert and confident. Can you share any of those thoughts with us? Oh, yeah. Like, I think one of them I literally was saying I'm safe. I'm safe. I'm safe. Like, I had to keep saying it or like, I don't have my note. I should have brought my note card. I think another one was, um, gosh, I can't let me see if I could like, I'm safe. There's like a big one though for this, I have anxiety, I'm nervous, I'm human, things like that. And then another thing is like, I love talking to people. So I would go sometimes talk to my playing partner or like my mom and I came up with a list of random things to talk about. To like, like we talk about TV show or like something funny that would make me laugh. So just like finding those, those things. Like, definitely help me. Cool. One more question. Is that okay? Yeah, for sure. Okay. What, based on what, like all the things you've learned this year, or not just this year, but especially this year in the growth, what's the one piece of wisdom you would go back and tell your 12 year old self to help that little 12 year old girl as she's growing up? I think I'd tell my 12 year old self, like, just enjoy, enjoy it. I think, like, there was a really big part of, like, a couple years, until, like, even last year, I was not enjoying really what I was doing. It was just, like, so stressful, and it's, like, Have perspective and realize like you're playing golf and even if you're not doing well, like you're playing golf, like how lucky are you to like do that? And like, I think ever since I've had that grateful mindset, it's changed the way I've looked at the game too, and how lucky I am to do this. So like, be grateful and realize, like, enjoy it. Enjoy the time. This isn't going to be forever. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but I can enjoy today. Awesome. Thank you. Yeah. Super good. Natasha. Okay. So I had kind of two questions. when you were coming up and trying to decide what you were going to do, was it in your brain that it was only playing as a professional was your only option or are you exploring some other options of things to do? Cause I mean, you talk a lot about the stress and stuff. And so I always wonder, um, cause my daughter plays and I always wonder, you know, people are always assume. Always assume that you want to go play professionally. And so I'm wondering if that was something that you, experience as you came up. And then I also wanted you to, um, kind of talk just a little bit about how you manage some of the financial, um, things related to this. Because I do have a friend who, um, plays on that same tour and I know her dad's caddies for her and I know it's a struggle for her. So I'm kind of curious about how that, how you manage that. So, um, first question. Yeah. So my, my, it was kind of my parents kind of let me choose whatever I wanted to do. So like I didn't like they never forced me to play golf at age 10. I started playing tournaments. I was getting I liked it because I was like getting better and better. Um, and so then it was like, okay, I got a full ride to go. Like college golf. And then I was like, okay, well, now that I'm doing, I already, now that I'm doing this, like it became, I really want to turn pro after college. So I think for me, it wasn't like there was nothing else in sight for me. Um, cause even when I was at the lows of lows, I like still wanted to play. So that's when I was like, I must really like this work because I still want to play. Um, so for me, it wasn't really any, there wasn't really any other thoughts besides that. Um, Uh, but and then the second question financially I've been able to like get like a clothing sponsor I've had some sponsors and then also I work um these There's a company called backswing golf events and that's helped me like really support my career And it's a really good way to support myself on the off season and they're basically Charity corporate events and they hire like a pro to go help like fundraise For that day. So that's kind of like what I do in the off season Um And I mean, I've been really fortunate. Like my golf course, um, is basically like another sponsor. Like they helped me give me a free place to play. So I've been really lucky and, um, the support I've gotten as well. I hope that answers the question. Absolutely. Very good. Thank you. Yeah. I think one of the things too that people don't understand, when I was teaching, for a living, I'd watch people, hit short game shots that Like a flop shot, and they can't hit a flop shot. They should just be like bumping it up there. They could putt it on the green and get it closer. Right? Or, and I know you've witnessed this too. And sometimes when you're playing, that's like the best shot to do. And my question to them, when you, when you've played golf for a living, your, you, It's hard for amateurs to comprehend that each shot is money. Like every single decision you make is money. Like it, to me, it was like, I used to think of it in a tank of gas, like, okay, each shot was like a tank gas. Now I don't know how much it was divided, you know, the, the breakdown, but, and so your decisions would be based on knowing that you were, if you made a poor decision or if you took a risky shot and it wasn't worth the reward, it could cost you money or a cut or, you know, your income, right. Just even to me, it was like getting to the next tournament. So I'd ask amateurs, I'm like, if I had to give you a million dollars to get this ball on the green, what would you do? What's your smartest move at that moment? Um, which is a useful way of looking at, cause nobody can really comprehend that really you only make money if you play well, and that in itself is, is stressful and you can have a great year and come back out. It's like I was telling somebody, it's very much like being an entrepreneur. It's like you run a business and you, you only, um, you know, you don't know the next year if you're going to have business again, right? You don't know if your game's going to be there or you're going to have your income. It's not like a regular, professional athlete who has a salary. It's the most challenging part. That's why I think. Tour players, you have to be mentally strong because of those different pressures about playing. Each shot is money, especially once you make the cut. I want to ask you about that. There's like two stages when you're playing in a tournament and you speak for yourself. But like one, the first stage is you want to make the cut because if you make the cut, you're going to make money. So your brain goes to making the cut first, and then you start thinking about. your placement a little bit. Does your mind go there? I think like a lot sometimes. Um, it was funny that this got brought up because one of my friends that plays on the tour with me, we're talking about it and we're saying like, if we didn't have support and if we didn't have like these other avenues to like make money on the side, It's like betting a lot of money on yourself. It's like saying, I'm gonna put, like, this much money on myself, and, like, for girls who kind of don't do what I do necessarily and, like, work on the side, it's like, you're betting a lot on yourself. So I can only imagine the amount of pressure, um, that's on them. And I think I was putting my that pressure on myself as, like, I want to just play as good as I can and, like, make as much money as I can. And then I, I think it shifted for me a little because then it became like, I need to get as many points as I can. Cause money lists and points weren't like correlate necessarily like, like exact. Cause some tournaments might have more money than others. So for me it became like, I need to get as many points as I can. Cause like once I shifted from like making cuts, like I was consistently pretty much making cuts. It became, okay, well if I, Do good in points and I'm making money on points. So like how high can I get on that list? Um, Which would kind of lead to like some not so great final rounds. Yeah. Yeah. It is. It is. That is the hardest part, right? Is like getting, once you make the cut, then you're going to the points or money. Like I didn't have points at that time, but it's kind of like, there is something that you're quantifying in that. And then keeping your brain in that present moment. And staying calm, certain, confident, not getting ahead, not starting to add it up before you get there or getting excited about a good round and not trying to blow it or putting pressure yourself on one that you're a little bit behind. It is about kind of surrendering to the ride of the game. And just like my job is to stand out there and hit as many shots from my preferred state, slap my score up on the board. And that's the best I can do. Um, and just be really aware of all the little thoughts that pop into our head when we start focusing on results, which is really what you were talking about right there, right, is focusing on your results, one way or another. There's one pro am I played in and the guy I was playing with, he was hilarious, but I couldn't hit it to like stick it. He'd be like, you just need to focus. A little more just focus like as he was joking around but like focus He could have hit it in the hole and it's like I think like it made me laugh like it was a great like laughing point for my mom and I was talking that week But it also was like yeah focus on like what? This shot right now, because I think I can get ahead of myself too, it's like oh well if I bogey this hole then like this is gonna happen and if I do this, then this is gonna happen and it's like, I can't control what other girls are doing, like some girl could have the round of their life and win, like you just don't know what's gonna happen, so. Yeah. Just focus on like what you need to do right now. Yes. Yeah. you know, and I, we talked about focusing in this group, we talked about focusing on results where our brain goes ahead and starts adding up our score one way or another. Your brain does it too, right? A hundred percent. Yeah. I know exactly what I'm, what my score is. I know exactly what, I'm crazy. I know exactly whatever girl in my group has done the whole round. Uh. That's just how my mind works. Yeah. And the thing is, it's not ever a problem unless it takes you out of the present moment, right? It's not a problem if it doesn't put pressure on you, it's not a problem. If it's just information and your brain is like, likes information, but if it's like, Oh crap, they're playing better than me and now I need to change something up or, Oh, you know, I know I need to make some birdies coming in, by the way, before I let you go, cause she's got to go play golf. Can you make a birdie on demand? Like if you sit there and go, I need it. I need to make a birdie here. Can you saw your eyes get big? Like, you know, that's saying we all do it. Like I need to make this pot. I need to hit it on the green. I need to make a birdie birdie. I can't make any bogeys coming in. I have to shoot a number. Is any of that useful for you? And if so, how, how do you make it useful? I don't really think it's really hard to be like, I need to make a birdie and I'm going to do right now. I think like I've said it and then why not? It does not happen every time. Like, you can't control things. Like, what if a gust of wind comes right when you're hitting, right? You know, you just never know. Like, things can happen. But There is something in me that, like, on those last couple holes, I just, dig deep. I just want to dig deep and, like, finish as strong as I can. And some days that's finishing with pars, some days it's, like, a bogey. It's just, finishing is just really digging deep. So for you, digging deep, does that create more focus for you? Is that what happens? Or determination? What do you think is the emotion that comes with dig deep? It's determination, I think, for sure. It's like, sometimes I've found, I have found that like, when I get into that, like, I need to dig deep right now, it's there's a different level of determination that comes, and I think we've talked about this, it's like, how can I get that the whole round, maybe? Yeah. For me, it's always been like that my whole life, it's like, those last three holes, I don't know if it's that I know that it's, the end is coming, like, the round is coming to an end, that makes me go, okay. Focus, like you're tired, eat something, go and go finish as strong as you can, go as low as you can, kind of thing. Yeah, and that's useful for you? I think it's useful, because I don't think I'm putting pressure on like, I have to do this. I think when it's like, I have to do this, then it could be bogey, bogey, bogey, finish. But when it's like, okay, like, let's just go as low as you can, it's not pressure, it's just I'm going to try my best to finish strong kind of thing. And that is a perfect way to wrap this up because that's what we talk about when we talk about pressure is most people don't perform well under pressure because that comes from I have to or I need to. So it's not, it's, it's not pressure. It's flipping it. And digging deep, as she says, and turning it into motivation and determination where other people might feel pressure and then they can't perform well because pressure in our body doesn't allow us to swing freely and think clearly. So those moments are about figuring out how to. Pivot to determination versus pressure. And I think, uh, that does a little bit that comes with practice and awareness and just seeing what works for you guys, but that's ultimately the goal. And I'm going to get you out of here right at one o'clock. Which is perfect, but you need, thank you. Thank you so much for coming and joining us, and sharing your experience and, I really appreciate it. Thank you all for showing up and asking her some questions. They're awesome questions. And, I know I will be staying in touch with you, but, uh, you, everybody I'm sure here wishes you the best of a 2024. Thank you. It was nice to meet you all. I hope, uh, you got some nuggets. Yeah, I'm sure, I'm sure they did. Yeah. All right, Uni, I'll let you go. Thank you so much. Everyone, thank you so much. Okay. I'll talk to you later, Kathy. Okay. Sounds good. Bye.