How Rory McIlroy Cut Back on Alcohol, Stopped Overtraining, and Finally Got His Mind Right

Rory McIlroy is one of the best golfers in the world. But this doesn’t mean the game is always fun. In fact, it can be downright stressful in the spotlight. So many golfers, McIlroy included, live in a mecca where they can play when and where they want. With the PGA Tour’s suspension, McIlroy noted they were struggling.

Rory McIlroy learns to be mentally tough

Being mentally tough isn’t an instantaneous thing, reports Peak Performance Sports. As athletes like McIlroy will tell you, you have to work at it. One thing is clear: being mentally tough has improved McIlroy’s performance. But how does one become mentally tough? One way is meditation and learning to focus on your goals.

McIlroy focuses on his success in golf, which helps him improve his game. Importantly, being mentally tough can’t be implemented only when there’s something at stake. McIlroy found that he had to focus on his mental toughness all the time, which helped when competing.

Out with the old

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland enjoys a drink
Golfer Rory McIlroy enjoys a drink | Matthew Lewis/R&A via Getty Images

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Mental toughness is based on attitude and habits. McIlroy got rid of bad habits, like alcohol, and adopted good ones, like meditation. He learned that it was necessary to take the blame when it was warranted and learn from the errors made.

McIlroy remembers the failures but doesn’t dwell on them. Instead, he focuses on the present and future. The past can’t be changed, but the next competition can be won. He focuses on his abilities and the next competition. In short, he focuses on what can be controlled — himself.

By trying to be like Tiger Woods, he explained to the Whoop podcast, he lost it at the 2011 Masters. He got it back at the US Open by making changes to his habits. For example, he got rid of the negative body language and adopted positive body language.

In with the new for Rory McIlroy

McIlroy uses WHOOP, which helps him monitor his body. He discovered he was overtraining. By cutting back, he had time to focus on things like fun and hobbies. This helped him prepare better. After losing the 2011 Masters, he regrouped using mental toughness, details Peak Performance Sports. This meant he stayed confident, which helped him move past it to win the U.S. Open.

WHOOP has helped McIlroy optimize his life. For instance, he saw that he was overtraining and stopped. He also noted that alcohol recovery affected his performance and quit that. He used WHOOP and mental toughness tactics to help prepare himself mentally for the US Open, which led to phenomenal results. He’s even gotten his caddie in on it, and they bet on his scores to decide who will pay for dinner.

These types of tricks have helped McIlroy prepare for competition and have influenced his lifestyle. Even he notes the improvement to his health. WHOOP helps him keep track of his health and habits. In turn, he uses the things he’s learned from WHOOP to capitalize on the advantages and make changes where needed.

Because of these changes, McIlroy is almost a new man in terms of his habits. He trains less. He drinks less. He’s more in tune with his thoughts and emotions, including how to effectively capitalize them to succeed on the golf course. As always, he’s humble and willing to learn from his mistakes. Golf isn’t always fun and there are things that players have to do in order to play optimally. Being mentally tough is one of the most important. Keep watching to see how your favorite players employ this tactic.