To some extent the disc golfer is always on stage, but on the tee pad s/he is under the full force of the spotlight. Standing on the tee is, indeed, not like being on a real stage- a very frightening experience for most people. The tee pad is surrounded by an audience, their silence confirming their fixed attention upon every move of the performer. A concrete tee pad is a perfect venue –and thereby giving the disc golfer an even less excuse for failure. In short, all the forces that produce stage freight are there. At such a moment everyone wants to excel, but, with the spotlight shining brightly, the disc golfer knows that there is no way s/he can conceal any mistakes.
In this situation many people feel such intense awareness of their weaknesses that they totally overlook their strengths. And, overriding everything, is the terror of appearing a fool. In combination, these two emotions open the floodgates for all kinds of negative ideas and actions. Feelings of awkwardness and incompetence move in, and, as the tensions mounts, cerebral functioning becomes increasingly blunted. Eventually the mind regresses to the primitive stage where all responses are directed towards the immediate removal of pain and discomfort: the agony becomes so intense that the need for relief is immediate. All that matters then is to throw the disc as quickly as possible to escape the cruel limelight.
We’ve all seen, and maybe experienced this humiliating situation and watched helplessly as the disc burns into the ground or grip-lock launches the drive into deep woods. The disc golfer then retreats from the center stage feeling a mixture of both anger and despair.
An even greater physic pitfall of the drive lays not so much on being center stage, but in the frailty of human nature as it confronts the power myth.
As the disc golfer stands in the middle of that concrete stage, looking at a beautiful landscape, a player may become filled with a strange sense of power and omnipotence. The design of the course stimulates this feeling of grandiosity. The endless perspective of the landscape invites him into an infinite world, transcending the world of reality. These unconscious feelings infiltrate the player’s system. The propulsive muscles are stimulated and stand alert, ready to enter the fray. The disc becomes a reenactment of the ritual of Superman. The impending demonstration of power draws admiration from the audience, who, once it is unleashed, will add with their flattering remarks verbal frosting to a cake already sweet. To the infinity that lies before him/her, the player now wishes to add the transcendence to the disc.
This, of course, is a drift away from reality, and in the game of disc golf any deviation from reality is dangerous. But the power myth is so dominant that is can override any other cerebral function.
Some disc golfers never overcome their susceptibility to the power myth. It dominates their activity in every situation on the course, even when they are playing comparatively short shots where delicacy is the main requirement. These are the disc golfers who always throw a putter when they really need a mid-range disc, and who always put a lot of heat on every shot.
All players must be aware of this susceptibility, for only by being aware of it and its devastating effects can they do anything about controlling it.
Control lies in overcoming instincts or emotions through the intellect. In the above circumstance the disc golfer must primarily make a conscious effort to apply dimension to a seemingly dimensionless situation. The holes, especially many opening holes, seem difficult. A person must open the hole up and define their goal honestly in terms of his/her capabilities. And the player must gear the throw to those abilities, not the power myth. This means that the goal must be some spot on the hole well within his/her throwing abilities. In short, the player must accept reality. **D.Morely