In this section I will share how I prepare myself before a round in a tournament and explain what kind of preparation is important for me to do, so I can feel as comfortable and content as possible, before starting a round. What clothes to wear, to be well rested, what to bring in the bag, how is my mind set, how do I relate to the course, the hotel, the spectators – everything about the outer circumstances. And my intentions with my upcoming round?
I also plan to share understandings I gained around different attitudes and intentions.
After my first win on the European Tour I was on cloud nine for a few days. One important development for me has been to not measure my joy/satisfaction from the result, but on my own performance and decision-making.
A big lesson came when I won my second tournament. It was in Munich in a playoff, which became very long. Moreover, it was a long award ceremony, press conference and afterwards a hospitality meeting with the main sponsor of the event. When everything was done and I came back to the hotel and it was empty, apart from a few businessmen. I had missed the last flight and my colleagues were long gone and on their way to the next event. I was completely worn out in a hotel room and ordered food from room service. On the TV that showed CNN, stood the silver trophy. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness was overwhelming even though my future wife was with me. I had enormous expectations for how good it would feel like to win again. I put too much emphasis on winning. When I did not get the same kick as the first time, it was a big disappointment.
I'm really glad I have managed to shift my focus to how to take leadership on the golf course instead of chasing outside results.
One of my last wins, the one in Qatar 2010, left me feeling very pleased with how I played the tournament in general, and of course, especially the last round.
How I minimize jetlag
Traveling so much between different time zones as I do as a professional golfer, I have to find various tricks that work, to minimize jet lag and tune the body in to the new time zone.
I usually make sure to live as if I was in the new time zone as soon as it is possible on travel days, after I finish playing. This means that I as far as possible try to eat as if I’m already on the new destination time. It actually takes longer time to tune in your stomach/eating times to the new time zone. It's not fun to wake up at three in the morning and be hungry as a wolf at the new place and finding room service being closed until breakfast 6 am! If it is possible I also try to make sure to arrive late afternoon at the new place, especially when I go east, and "loose" hours. Then I stay awake and busy, until it is time to go to bed.
We always have a choice
When I make choices these days I choose to trust the 100th of a second/gut feeling most of the time. Decisions made on the 100th of a second/gut feeling have always worked out to the best.
I have come a long way because these days I know that I can choose not to jump into frustration, anger and disappointment. By choosing not to jump into those kind of feelings I become a lot more in charge of my life and minimize the possibility of feeling sorry for myself or feeling as a victim of outside circumstances.
A good time to practice this is, for example, when the clubs every now and then have been displaced after a flight. This inconvenience has happened a few times for me and earlier on I have allowed it to destroy at least a handful of tournaments over the years. In the past I always said to myself after such an event that I had no real chance of getting a good result, because of what happened or there were external circumstances that destroyed this week or something similar. These days I chose to take similar happenings as an opportunity to practice not to get upset over things I can´t control.
A few years ago my clubs were delayed again, for the tournament in Dubai. At that time I had started working with Annchristine Lundstrom and I started repeating the old ideas of a ruined week in my head again and I told Annchristine about it. She asked me if I realized that I have no power over the situation no matter how irritated and frustrated I chose to be. And the answer was obviously yes! Then we worked to lower my expectations and just go out and have fun – I had not really had a chance to play for three days, which is very rare for a player during a tournament week.
I succeeded with something that I did not think was possible - I did not choose to think all week that I did not have the same chance to prepare myself like the others, or that I would be behind from the beginning, and so on. This led me to ending up in fifth place in the tournament. So I will not choose to be worried if my clubs disappear again...
Preparing for the 2012 season
The preparation before the 2012 season was slightly different from what I have done before. During the beginning of the winter break I went to Adams Golf to test out new equipment. Over Christmas I had the opportunity to hit more balls than I do when I´m in Lapland, Sweden, over Christmas.
The week before the new season started I had a practice week in West Palm Beach together with Gareth Lord, my old caddie that I’m teaming up with again, my coach Annchristine Lundstrom and Mark Blackburn, my swing coach. We worked on the relationship within the team, so that all of us come into the team with fresh new eyes, especially since Gareth and I did not work together for most part of last year. It was both preparation physically, mentally and also obviously golf. It was a great week in West Palm Beach. It felt very good starting the season with the Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa.