18SP: 006 Bhrett McCabe | The MindSide of Golf

Dr. Bhrett McCabe is the first mental game sports psychologist to join us on The 18STRONG Podcast.

His experiences as a champion collegiate athlete give him a very unique look at the game of golf and the importance of creating the proper mental outlook when stepping on the course.

Bhrett’s maintains a very humble approach when working with his athletes, who have achieved the highest of awards in their respective sports.

You Can Subscribe to the 18STRONG Podcast on iTunes by clicking the button below:

itunes image

Bhrett’s Background

  • Performance and Sports Psychologist
  • Works with athletes of all types, including professional golfers
  • Pitched for LSU in the 1990’s
  • 2 NCAA National Championships
  • Was on 3 Collegiate World Series Teams
  • Bhrett entered the Sports Psychology world after overcoming an injury back in his pitching days
  • Worked with a coach on visualizing and relaxing, which changed his mental approach and allowed him to have a great end to his career.
  • He is no the sports psychologist at Alabama
  • Began playing golf at a young age and played a lot during his collegiate baseball years.


  • The 3 positions in sports that are most similar mentally are the golfer, baseball pitcher, and field goal kicker.
  • You determine your own destiny in these positions
  • It’s about knowing your feelings, creating a strategy, executing it, and then managing your results.

What is it that you do as a Sports Psych?

  • Bhrett clarifies that not all “mental coaches/sports psychologists” are actually certified psychologists recognized by their state boards.
  • A true psychologist is someone that is certified, reports to an ethics board, and has demonstrated competency in a therapeutic area
  • Bhrett explains to his players that he is there to help remove the distractions and internal dialogue that is hampering them, as well as help to prepare and identify ways to perform.
  • Each athlete is an individual that deserves a unique plan.

Tips for the NON-professional golfer

  • Listen to your internal dialogue “I need to . . .”  vs  “I want to  . . .”
  • Understand that golf is  game of mistakes.  You are gonna make them.  Don’t set your expectations too high.
  • Bhrett explains the concept of “Playing the Bell Curve”
  • Relief is a bad emotion to have because it means you are avoiding something that you fear. Which means your fear is guiding your decision making as you play.
  • Try hitting good shots instead of avoiding the bad shots.
  • Expectations only add pressure.  You have to trust that you have trained and prepared your best, then you have to be willing to except what happens from there.

The Fish bowl Mentality

  • The human mind is like a gold fish.
  • It will only grow to the boundaries that it has placed upon itself.
  • If you believe you are not going to be anything or achieve anything, then you won’t.

What does Dr. McCabe struggle with in his fitness?

  • Investing the time in himself to do it.
  • He does not enjoy the process of getting in shape, which leads to him avoiding it.
  • He’s not a big fan of pushing himself to the limits mentally when it comes to fitness.

Should athletes be pushed to their limits?

  • Yes, but under the observation of a trained professional.
  • You can only know how far you can push yourself if you have tested your limits.

Who would you say is an athlete that exhibits the “18STRONG” model?

  • Tiger, back in his prime
  • Steve Stricker
  • Other athletes: LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Mariano Rivera

What are you excited about in your business?

  • Speaking at the World Golf Fitness Summit
  • Has scaled back him business a bit to be able to spend more time with his athletes and family.

Final piece of advice?

  • Put the game of golf in it’s proper perspective.
  • It’s a game to be played and enjoyed, not to punish yourself.
  • Go make birdies and pars, and be excited about it, not relieved by it!

Follow Dr. Bhrett McCabe

Twitter: @DrBhrettMcCabe

webiste: www.bhrettmccabe.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *