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Mentally Tough and Mentally Strong.

Liesbeth Pauwels shares her thoughts about mental preparation and maintaining the correct attitude

Liesbeth Pauwels - coach and trainer
Liesbeth Pauwels, founder of LP Golf Perfromance

Mentally tough and mentally strong — It's just what the media focuses on. (so i believe). I too have seen all the not ideal circumstances in the past 10 years as a coach. Even if it seems different. Everyone has their own setbacks and challenges. In my opinion, this is what top athletes have to do – hold your ground if your swing or confidence wavers.

This is exactly my interpretation of what Anne Van Dam is doing now.

She also has her expectation management under control and does not hesitate, “That means that I now have to take three steps back, but in the conviction that I can make it forward again later.”

It is a very powerful statement that she has shared and comes from honest and sincere reflection. Again I've written about it before, there is plenty to learn from it –

And how do I stand as a coach when this happens (with myself or my athletes)? I sink my teeth into it. From the right beliefs:

  • Never react.

  • Trained myself not to fall into uncertainty all the time.

  • Am tenacious.

  • Don't make choices if it's emotionally unstable.

  • Don't get me drawn into drama stories.

And then I practice constructively evaluating the situation/my own actions, as well as those of my athletes, without judgment or emotions.

The actions that follow sometimes require leadership.

So don't be afraid of rejection because if I were, I would no longer be at the service of my customer but of my own fears. And that doesn't always work out well... I'm only human.

Of course, it makes no sense to push on with ambitions if it really doesn't feel right, (that's a whole other story… just look at the Olympic story of Simone Biles). Because if top sport didn't require mental resilience and capacity, it would all go a lot easier. I don't know if that's true. Because the challenges experienced by top athletes also give them the “top sports fire”… Just look at Sifan Hassan. And of course, it helps if you feel good about yourself and take your physical strength seriously.

Anne Van Dam shares more about this in this conversation:

What we learned from #Tokyo2020

For the younger generation, there is value in becoming aware of the following:

As an aspiring elite athlete, your responsibility grows and if you decide to dedicate your life to the Olympics, be honest with yourself (and your team of coaches and support) by occasionally asking the question:

  • Do I want to (or am I able to) bear that responsibility?

  • In what way do you get inspiration from the Olympic story of Anne Van Dam, or another Olympic athlete?

Curious what resonates with you?

Let me know :)

For more click here:


Liesbeth Pauwels is passionate about modern sport psychology and ancient eastern philosophy, she continuously moves towards re-establishing balance in the body and mind, for herself and for her clients.

Her mission is :

"to develop a strong healthy golf community that plays golf forever"!

With a decade over professional experience as a golf movement coach, she also has worked with Jason Glass, the Dutch Golf Federation, the PGA of Holland, GOLF.NL and helped thousands of golfers all over Europe.

She graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada with a degree in Kinesiology - the study of human performance. She is Titleist Performance Institute Certified Fitness & Junior Level 3, SuperSpeed Golf Certified Level 3 & is a registered certified Yoga Teacher.


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