Establishing The Right Culture In Your College Golf Program

by Brian Cain, MPM

This is a video of my presentation at the 2020 College Golf Coaches Association and Women’s Golf Coaches Association annual convention.  In this video I give you an an inside look into my experience as a college golf mental performance coach and breakdown how I teach and train the 10 Pillars of Mental Performance Mastery specifically for golf.  In this video I also do a deeper dive into Pillar #10 The Right Culture and how you as a college golf coach can Establish and Enhance The Right Culture In Your College Golf Program.

Below are notes submitted to me by a top college golf coach who said that the video above “stole the show” at the national convention and was the best session that she had ever attended.  I thought I would share these notes with you.



We do drills -> to develop skills -> The 10 skills or 10 pillars of mental performance mastery (MPM) make up the MPM Skillset
Coaches must provide drills for their golfers to develop the MPM skillset to become better at the mental game of golf the same way they give drills to work on the physical aspects of golf
3 Aspects of Golfer Development:
1. Self Management -> Managing emotions, nerves, tension, routines
2. Course Management
3. Swing Management
  • Pandemic is happening for you, not to you.
  • What have have you done to get better during the pandemic? 
  • Don’t feel sorry for yourself:  Adversity = Opportunity
  • Train Mindset
  • Call The Success Hotline —  973-743-4690
  • Have team members call the hotline and check with them about the lesson learned
  • The Daily Dominator
  • Send out the e-book…have students read the daily message…again check on the lesson learned.
  • Elite vs. Average Mindset List (where do you find the resources you mentioned?)
  • Need to post the mindset poster for the athletes to see
  • Let Attitude  ->  Golf
  • Your attitude should determine how you golf, NOT the other way around


  • Know why you play golf (What is a golfer’s WHY)
  • If your why is important enough, you how will not be an issue.
  • Know what you are working on
  • What is your end goal….reverse engineer to get there.
  • Golf Practice needs to be specific, not just hitting balls and going through the motions.
  • Measurement = Motivation (competition into practice)
  • Keep Data for your athletes….this will show improvement…improvement will make golfers work harder as they are seeing success.
  • We measure what we treasure
  • If you don’t measure you are guessing
  • Make golf more strategy focused
  • Life is not a talent game, life is a strategy game.
  • Concentration Grids — Use concentration grids to drill golfers on focus.
  • Create games within your team
  • Recognize your signal lights (have to be able to control yourself before you can control your performance)
    • Body Language (BFS)
    • Focus
    • Self Talk
    • Physical Feelings
    • On Course Situations
  • Teach Release and Refocus strategies to golfers
  • Ex’s:  Taking glove off; slapping leg; flush it; WIN; Next Shot
  • You have to be in control of yourself, before you can control your performance.
  • Cannot let your emotions get the best of you on the golf course. 
  • The importance of having routines and red-light releases
  • The Daily Success checklist (Book:  The Checklist Manifesto)
  • Way of Life App
  • Give examples of what students should monitor
  • Control what you can control
  • Control the Controllables:  Attitude and Effort are the MAIN Two
  • Can Control
    • Yourself, APE
    • A:  Attitude and Appearance (body language)
    • P:  Perspective (how you see things); Process (how you choose to play); Preparation; Presence; Positive Self Talk
    • E:  Effort, Energy, Emotions
  • Can’t Control
    • The Field, The Course, The weather, What others Say or think, how you feel that day
  • The Difference Between Meditation and Imagery
  • Meditation is about practicing a quiet mind
  • Imagery–See the shot before you hit it
  • Jason Day Pre – Shot
  • Practice Your Process
  • This must be taught…routines must be established in practice so they are comfortable during competitions.
  • On the Range…give golfers a yardage….they need to go through their routine/process
  • SFTA — See Feel Trust Accept (the outcome of the shot)—-GREAT MOTTO TO USE
  • I Can, I will, Watch Me
  • Imagery After Your Round — Replay your best shots (vividly)
  • Think about the best shots you hit….re-create those in your mind.
  • Play Every Round Twice (1st in your mind then if real life)
  • Have students visualize a round of golf at each course the night before they play it.
  • Use google earth or pictures from websites to help them with this
  • Building off of the Way of Life App
  • Think Box, Play Box, Release Box
  • Use Cain’s template to have each golfer create each of the above.
  • Post Shot Routine
  • Pre-Hole, Pre-Round, Pre-Event Routine (never discussed)
  • What will be the routines before a match starts?
  • Find a warm up routine to give you the best chance for success
  • AM + PM Journal + Reflections -> Awareness
  • Make this golf related
  • Visualization
  • Well, Better, How Reflection
  • Importance of Breakfast as a trigger for self-development and mental training
  • 168 plan
  • Show personal example
  • Plan tomorrow tonight
  • Make part of PM routine
  • Know what your ideal day and week looks like
  • What give you the best chance for success?  Make those items a priority!
  • Intentional about his for the conference and regional weeks
  • The Performance Pathway
  • Reverse Engineer with the Pathway:  If we want good results…we must……
  • Keep this at a very general overview
  • The Six C’s of Leadership (building trust)
    • Connection
    • Character
    • Consistency
    • Communication
    • Competence
    • Courage
  • How do we get the captains/seniors to build up on this?
  • Leave a legacy?
  • Player led, not coach fed
  • Have to coach with intention to make this happen
  • 4 stages of buy in
    • Not for me
    • OK for Others
    • I’ll try it
    • Can’t believe I did it any other way
  • A lot of the mental game “learning” will be new to golfers….have to teach them on the importance of it…Use examples of PGA Players
  • How Learning Happens
    • Total Immersion–Possibly a 4 hour session
    • Spaced Repetition — A little a lot instead of a lot a little
    • Accountability to a Growth Plan–Assign Accountability Partners on the team
  • 5 Steps to Establish and Enhance Your Culture
    • Identify Your Mission, Vision, and Principles
    • MVP Process
    • Keep the Mission; Change the Vision to make specific to the Golf Team; Keep the core principles
    • Define Your Core Values Belief, Effort, Accountability, Respect Selfless
    • Describe what they look like in action (above the line vs. below the line)
      • Person
      • Student
      • Golfer
  • Assess How your Golfers/Live the Culture
    • Classroom work
    • At Golf Facilities
    • Create Growth Plans to Become More
  • Above and Below the Line Behavior
  • Discipline vs. Default
  • Principle vs. Preference
  • Opportunity or Obligation


Want to learn how to coach and train the most mentally tough golfers you know?

Join my FREE 40Min Golf Mental Performance Masterclass and I’ll send you the details on how you can start training the mental game and develop the 15th club…

The mental toughness it takes to go one shot at a time on the course.

If you found this video helpful and you’re interested in more cutting-edge mental performance strategies as a golfer or golf coach, my FREE Golf Mental Performance Masterclass is for you.

In this masterclass, I’ll teach you how to:

  • Compete with unshakable confidence each and every time you step to the tee
  • Perform at your best when it means the most—on a consistent basis shot to shot
  • Create the elite mindset, routines, and habits of excellence you need to reach your potential, go low and get the most our of your ability

Again, please be sure to check out my FREE Golf Mental Performance Masterclass.