1. Confidence -- Plain and Unvarnished Padraig Harrington helped crystallize my reason for writing this book. Padraig is a very thoughtful, analytical man. He's been a client and a friend for ten years, but I wouldn't call myself his mental coach or his sports psychologist. Padraig and I have conversations. My role usually amounts to listening to the things he's figured out and nodding my head. I learn as much from Padraig as he learns from me. Not long ago, Padraig mentioned that he recommends the book I wrote in 1994,Golf Is Not a Game of Perfect, to the people he plays with, including fellow pros. I was intrigued, and not just because word of mouth is the best advertising. I know that Padraig is a friendly, generous fellow, but I also know that he's a competitor down to the bone. I know he thoughtGolf Is Not a Game of Perfecthad helped him, so I was curious as to why he'd recommend the book to players who were trying to take away what he has -- the top ranking among European players. "I'm not worried if someone reads it," he said when I asked him about it. "That's fine. It's an easy read. They'll enjoy it. They'll gain from it. But they won't get the real benefit unless they live it -- and that's the hard part. So I can tell my competitors to go and readGolf Is Not a Game of Perfectand I know I'm not giving anything up unless they actually do the work." Padraig's statement meshed with thoughts I'd been having for a while. As a sports psychologist, I go to my clients as often as they come to me, especially after I've been working with them for some time. Since many of them are tournament golfers, I see them at tournament venues -- generally on the putting green or the practice range. Players who have worked with me often need only a quick conversation to clear up a specific question and prepare their minds for a competitive round. Frequently, as I move down the range or around the green, I chat with players who aren't clients, at least not in the traditional sense. They may not have worked with me personally, but they've readGolf Is Not a Game of Perfector another of my books on golf and the mind. They're generally complimentary. Increasingly, though, in recent years, I've heard something like this: "Doc, I readGolf Is Not a Game of Perfecteight years ago, and it really helped me. I was able to play my best golf in the clutch, coming down the stretch. In fact, I won a couple of times right after I read it. But lately, it doesn't seem to be working as well. I think you ought to write another book." This is that book. But it's not going to be another iteration ofGolf Is Not a Game of Perfector any of its sequels. I'm afraid I may have been inadvertently misleading in those books. It's not that they contain any misinformation. They don't. When I wroteGolf Is Not a Game of Perfect, I conveyed the truth about the mental side of golf under pressure, truth I'd learned working in several sports and field-tested over fifteen years with professional golfers. Those years of field-testing have now stretched close to thirty, and I'm more convinced than ever about what works for golfers. You've got to follow your dreams. You will become what you think about yourself. You've got to train your swing, then trust it. You've got to accept the mistakes that inevitably happen on the golf course. You've got to manage your temper as well as the course. You've got to fall in love with the short game, the part of golf that most heavily impacts scoring. Above all, you must be confident. But in my previous books, as Padraig and other pros have helped me realize, I failed to stress one very important aspect of the mental game. I may have left the impression that mastering the mental game was like riding a bicycle, something you could learn and then always be able to do. It's not. The fact is that having the sort of mind that stRotella, Bob is the author of 'Your 15th Club' with ISBN 9781416567967 and ISBN 1416567968.