Disc golf is marathon, not a sprint. That’s the advice I give out as newer players begin playing disc golf. And as more and more players sign up, there will be more and more bad throws, burn out, injuries, and poor technique. But all of that can be solved with patience.
Now patience is, well, something not a lot of people possess. That’s not good when you’re playing disc golf because patience on the course can play a big factor in whether you actually get better or not. So in this post, were going to discuss how patience can help you on the course and a couple of quick things you can do to become more patient while you play.
This is advice that I was told the very first day that I played disc golf. The funny thing is that I didn’t listen to it. I wanted to play every day and learn everything right away. Well, I got tired of that and I skipped a few months. So my disc golf game suffered. Eventually I got back into playing and realized that I needed to stress this idea of patience so that I could get better. And that’s what I did.
But first, what is patience?
Patience, according to Vocabulary.com,“is a person’s ability to wait something out or endure something tedious, without getting riled up.” It takes a lot of patience to get better at disc golf, essentially being able to be calm during all those rounds while you painstakingly work to improve your game day by day. A patient player is one that wholeheartedly continues to work on their game, slowly getting better with each round, and not complaining, becoming anxious, or stressing out about slow progress.
All progress is slow…but those who are patient and consistent will come out on top.
11 Ways Patience Will Help You Win in Disc Golf
So now you know exactly what patience is. In this section, we’re going to go over 11 different reasons why patience will help you improve more, practice better, and just generally do better on the course. This section will show you how patience can help you win in disc golf. I know you want that. And so do I.
1. You won’t burn out
If you don’t exercise patience, you’ll surely burn out before you even start what could have been an awesome lifetime career of disc golf. When you’re new, and you want to get better, you’ll do what I did: play every day. Just like I said earlier, I got a little bit tired of disc golf because I wasn’t improving and yet I was putting so much time in. But then I started listening to my mentors who said, “be patient. Don’t play all the time. Practice and develop your game slowly.” That’s when I started to get a lot better and continued to love the game.
So play a little bit less and allow your mind to repair and heal. Once you’ve got a firm foundation, and want to get more competitive, then you can crank it up. Once your mind is mentally ready to handle a lot of disc golf, then you can play all the time. Until then, don’t play everyday.
2. You can’t learn it all in one round
Disc golf is simple, but it’s also somewhat technical. There’s a lot of strategy to learn, along with a bunch of different throws, angles, and techniques to understand. And it takes a while to figure it all out. You won’t learn it all in one round, or 10 rounds, or 30 rounds. It took me a solid 40-50 rounds of play before I started to get better and get the hang of disc golf. And after hundreds rounds for me, there was still plenty to learn.
3. Impatience leads to failure
One of the biggest life lessons that I’ve learned that can apply directly to disc golf is this – if you’re not patient, you will surely fail. A patient disc golfer is one that takes his or her time to thoroughly learn the game while understanding strengths, weaknesses, disc golf potential, and what is needed to reach the top of your game. Impatience will not allow you to completely assess yourself and will eventually cause your failure to fulfill your potential on the course.
This article from Lifehack.org called, “How to Practice Patience and Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life,” is pretty good and can help you apply more patience to your disc golf game (and your life in general).
4. Patience allows you to relax…
Patience is ironic, especially on the disc golf course. Once I realized that patience was one of the keys to getting better, I did everything I could to become a more patient disc golfer. It’s not all about acing every hole and there’s no need to stress about scores. Just try to play well. The Irony is that, when I did this, my scores actually improved.
5. …And you won’t rush your shots
Patience also helps you to slow down and do things more smooth and controlled. New players believe that you have to rush, making quick decisions or needing to throw discs as fast and hard as possible. This is not true. Find it within yourself to slow everything down, exercise a little bit of patience, and be fluid and strategic with every shot. If you don’t rush, you play better.
Discmania.net has a great post called, “Gain Disc Golf Distance by Slowing Down,” that speaks a little bit about what good can happen if you slow down your game a bit.
6. Patience allows you to have fun
Just having a little bit more patience on the course, you can relax and slow down a bit. The previous 2 sections show you that this will undoubtedly help your disc golf game. Your scores will go up. Your chill will go up. All of that “zen” stuff will go up. It all seems to get better with patience. But there’s another side effect from exercising more patience in your disc golf game: fun.
I know you might read that and be like, “fun, wow, tell me something I don’t know.” But seriously, as I grew my own game and started seeing disc golf with more patience, not only did I feel more relaxed, but the game just got way more fun.
I got a fever and the only prescription is more disc golf. Side effect: fun.
7. Patience will allow you to focus on 1 thing at a time
I’ve always heard that if you focus on just 1 thing at a time, you’re more likely to achieve (or get better at) that 1 thing. So for example – if a new player tried to work on many different parts of their game at the same time, this impatience won’t really allow them to get good at everything. Instead, you would find yourself being mediocre at all of the different parts of disc golf.
That was me in the beginning of my career. I was “Mr. Let’s work on forehand, backhand, tomahawk, putting, and approach all in one round.” But the first few months of that got me hardly any improvement. Maybe a little here and a little there. But nothing significant. Once I started working on 1 part of my game at a time, I started seeing better results.
Focus on 1 part of your game, then master it. Then master another part and then another. If you learn the game like this, you will eventually become a complete player. But all of that takes patience.
8. Patience helps you accomplish goals (without giving up)
As we stated earlier, a person who is impatient almost always denies themselves the opportunity to succeed. And one of the biggest reasons that is has to do with setting goals up for yourself in regard to disc golf. If you’re patient, you can succeed. You can succeed because you can reach your goals. In disc golf there are two kinds of goals – short-term and long-term. In this post, I’ll refer to them as short-term and long-term patience.
This refers to each shot and each round. You need to be patient with every single shot (as we talked a little bit about not rushing earlier in this article). Being patient gives you the opportunity to see every shot possibility and every angle. This allows others who don’t have enough patience to make mistakes that can benefit you in hitting any and all goals along the road to figuring things out long-term.
This refers more to your overall skills as a lot of people don’t continue playing disc golf because of the difficulty. It’s really tough to throw a small disc hundreds of feet accurately. And if you let a few bad rounds affect you when you first start, you will most definitely get fed up and quit. Have patience with the game of disc golf and allow your skills to get better over time. The truly elite have understood that, in order to be great, it takes time, dedication, discipline, consistency, practice, and intense focus (along with a ton of other mental stuff) to get to that level. All of those traits can only be developed and nurtured with patience.
9. Patience allows your body to heal
Patience is all mental. But it can have mental and physical side effects. We talked about burn out in the first section. Being patient allows you to recharge and repair yourself mentally. But what about your physical body? Some people don’t realize that you can get hurt if you overwork your muscles. Yep, if you play too much disc golf, you can physically injure yourself. So do yourself a favor and cut down the amount of rounds that you play. You need to exercise patience so that your body can stay healthy and injury free.
While you’re resting and repairing, use our recovery guide, “The 11 Step Plan to Recover After a Disc Golf Workout,” to help you get back out on the course.
10. Patience is a virtue
Having patience is something that you can be proud of. And whether you are patient in life or on the course, having patience is good. Why? Well, patience might be one of the most important virtues to possess on the disc golf course. We’ve already discussed 9 other ways why patience will help you win on the course, but being patient is virtuous. It shows other players how focused you are and how serious you are about improving your game. Other players look up to that patient disc golfer. It should give you confidence. I sure as hell noticed how much better I felt as my patience went up and my disc golf score went down.
I think out of all of the different virtues you could possess, patience is d*mn near at the top. To check out some of our other mental disc golf tips, check out our post, “The 7 Best Mental Disc Golf Tips to Crush it on the Course.”
You can also check out this great article from RossTraining.com called, “The Power of Patience.”
11. Think of how you can be more patient on the course
Okay, so this last section is essentially just to get you thinking about how you can be more patient on the course. I decided that this can be a nice little segue into the last section. Before I give you a few ways to help yourself learn patience, I want you to think about how you can develop it better. Think hard and remember: the more patient you are, the better you will be as a disc golfer.
How to become more patient in disc golf: quick tips
1. Slow everything down
From the next time you hit the course, start slowing everything down. Try to focus on strategy, shot placement, correct disc selection for your situation, and perfect technique on your next throw. Slow your whole game down down just a little bit and you’ll improve everything by 100% percent.
2. Don’t sweat the irritating stuff
Disc golf is so much fun. But it can also become really irritating really fast. Like best round of your life crushed by 2 unlucky tree-jections in a row. I know, It happens. But just another quick tip to help you continue growing your patience in disc golf: relax a little bit on the course. Normally, the more you try to chill, the better you do.
3. Set long-term goals
Just like the short-term and long-term patience we talked about earlier in this post, I want you to go out to the course and think about what kind of goals you have for your disc golf career. I’d suggest that you take yourself out one early morning to play a round by yourself and just throw. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t worry about score. Just play a round and think. Think about what you want – short-term and long-term – then solidify it in your mind and try to think about how you can achieve it all.
When you’re done figuring out the next couple of years of disc golf for yourself, go home and write your goals down. Write down specific short-term and long-term goals. Print it on paper and commit to it. The the longer you shoot for, the more patient you’ll have to be.
If you’ve gotten this far, you must really want to learn more about disc golf! If you’re interested in more of what we have to say about the sport, check out some of our best posts below.
All of these posts are our absolute best resources for practice, drills, and disc selection so check them out!
You can also check out our awesome related content.
You can also grab a copy of our book, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual,” here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks to help you immediately start improving on the course!