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The Playing Attitude: Why we can’t think technically if we want to perform at our best

Vicki Aitken ©2013
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“The Playing Attitude:
Why we can’t think technically if we want to perform at our best.”

Vicki Aitken 
Presented on Wednesday, 23rd October, 2013.


Based on research and years of working with professional tour and elite level golfers Vicki has developed a system based around something she calls the “playing attitude”(Rotella & Cullen’s 1995; ‘Playing Mentality’).  Drawing on research in motor learning, flow and goal orientation theory among others she explains the method behind her system and the resulting successes she has experienced over the years.  Her professional tour players have collected 18 wins internationally to date and multiple more podium and personal best finishes along with her amateur golfers.


Attendees were able to identify what factors make up the playing attitude and  how it relates to the state of flow (as described by Jackson and Csikszentmihalyi, 1999).  They are able to describe why Vicki takes a hard line approach around “technical thoughts” in golf and other sports.


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Vicki Aitken is a kiwi and re-accredited member of BASES and lived for the best of 10 year in the UK when she was the official sport psychology provider to the Ladies European Tour from 2001 to 2007 inclusive where she worked with over 60 players. She is the co-author of the book Caddy-Talk: Psychology of Being a Great Golf Caddy and is currently the Mental Skills Coach and Athlete Career and Education Co-ordinator for the Northern Territory Institute of Sport in Darwin, Australia working with a variety of athletes from different sports.