You Snooze, You... Win?
By Torleif Sorenson on 5/9/13
Australian-born PGA Tour star Jason Day has come to the realization that many professional athletes have — that when you're physically tired, you can easily become mentally tired, which leads to mistakes.

And while golf has none of the enormous physical demands of professional hockey, the game requires a monumental touch and exceptional hand-eye coordination. In his quest for a third professional victory and at least one major championship, the Queenslander is taking a page from the game-day routine of hockey players:

The afternoon nap.

Speaking of this week's Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Day spoke of his "horizontal" preparation:
"It feels like a huge tournament and for me that means I have to make sure I rest up. I am starting to take more naps in the afternoons. "I have to know the golf side of things is going to be very mentally grinding so the down time this week has to be restful.

"The biggest thing people don't always realize is if you are just a little physically or mentally tired, you start to make poor decisions on the golf course and here, with so much water, well, that can make a huge difference.

"It's well and good that you have to practice and work hard, but the biggest thing for me is to do that in the off-weeks, come in with your plan, and then try to conserve the best energy for the tournament and coming down the stretch."
One could argue that his approach seems to be working; Day finished third at The Masters last month, one of four top-10 finishes this year, including a third at the WGC Match Play. While 2012 was disappointing for him, Day turned in consecutive 2nd-place finishes at The Masters and the U.S. Open in 2011. And while Day has said that he still feels the pain of losing at Augusta last month, his methodical approach — inspired by Tiger Woods's own methodical approach — has been paying dividends on the leaderboard.

The mid-day siesta is not be the only answer to success in the majors and the Tour's most important events, but this writer refuses to bet against Day's careful planning and measured efforts.

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Images via Flickr, Keith Allison

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