8 Ways to Compete Like a Gladiator

By David BreslowJuly 3, 2003, 4:00 pm
Do you consider yourself a good competitor? Top performers tend to be great competitors regardless of talent or experience. The word compete can be viewed either positively or negatively. Competitiveness can certainly be taken too far creating an atmosphere where the enjoyment is taken out of the game and there are many performers who sabotage their own efforts this way. Over competitors can literally sabotage their own efforts to perform well. People often think the competition is out there somewhere but the truth is:
Your toughest competition is and always will beYOU!
Whether you are in sports, business or any other arena of life, there is always the personal challenge of overcoming your own blocks and subtle forms of self-sabotage. In this waywe all compete.
Becoming a great competitor is a learned skill. Learning to compete can carry you through the down or tough times and take you to the top when applied properly. You wont always perform well or win but you can ALWAYS BE A GREAT COMPETITOR.
In the Oscar winning movie Gladiator Russell Crowe portrayed the life of a once high-ranking Roman general who was reduced to a slave by a new and corrupt emperor of Rome. He experienced incredible hardships and challenges in his life yet demonstrated a number of characteristics that struck me to be signs of a great competitor as well as characteristics of the highest personal level. Ive identified some of them here for your review. Read them over and see if there are any on this list that you could begin building into your own life or game. If so, write them on a 3 x 5 card and take it with you as a reminder of the state of mind and emotional resilience you want to reproduce.
The 8 Traits Of A Great Competitor:
(The key message is in bold)


Strength of character and conviction - - An honorable person dedicated and committed to your purpose, plan and path
Are you living or playing out your purpose or your plan? Great performers identify a strong purpose, set out a plan and become committed to the path building character along the way.


Passion - - Giving fully of your emotion and motivation to the game you play
Top performers offer all of themselves to the performance not playing on their heels or playing not to lose. Give of all of your emotion and passions when doing what you enjoy no matter what game you choose to play.

Integrity - - Unwavering ability to do what is right and necessary regardless of what is seen as right or acceptable by others. True to yourself
Champions stand in the shadow of their performances taking full responsibility for their actions. They know what they can do and what they cannot do at any moment and stay true to themselves along the way.

Patience - - Regardless of the situation: being patient enough to work through it realizing you create your own response to situations.
Someone once said, The best way outis through! Top performers understand that each event has a natural ebb and flow to it. Patience allows them to remain clear minded, see opportunities when they arise and use them to their advantage.


Vulnerability - - Unafraid to feel and express a range of emotion. Be real!
Top performers arent afraid to make mistakes or fail. They are free to express themselves as part of giving fully to the game. They are not concerned about how they look to others. Their passion and desire triggers higher levels of performance. Use your emotions to perform better!

Present Moment Focus - - Not resisting whats happening in the moment can save you a tremendous amount of energy! This is the ability to accept current circumstances and remain focused on the now. You become a Solution maker!
Champions know the only moment that exists is THIS one! They are better able to see what is happening and use their mental keys to create solutions instead of more problems.

Trust / Faith - - Believing in yourself and the bigger picture enough to give fully here and now. Not getting negatively swayed by one moment or event!
Top performers have a deeper sense of faith and trust. They realize that keeping the bigger picture in mind allows them to stay on track and not be swayed by momentary disappointments or temporary setbacks. The power of next time

Fearlessness - - Acknowledging the possibility of defeat, neither expecting nor fearing it (in other wordsPLAY FULL OUT!)
This is a BIG one! Champions are able to put themselves on the line more than others because they accept the possibility of defeat more than others. The Gladiator accepted death as part of battle neither inviting it nor running from it. They accept the paradox that says, By accepting the possibility of defeat, you diminish the fear of it. Notice how much you may be holding on and trying too hard. If youre holding onyoure holding back. Its frustrating and a waste of your good energy. Play your game full out and realize the freedom that comes with accepting all possible outcomes ahead of time. Its one of the many performance paradoxes. Understand the paradox and you can play FULL OUT!
Simply remembering these qualities can trigger a change in the way you think, feel and act. These are all qualities that can help you release the great competitor in you. How do you feel when you read them? If any of them move youput them on a 3 x 5 card and take it on the course! Notice the changes it can make in your physical and emotional presence!
Compete Like A Gladiator!
Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program for sports and business. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Also, review the new series of Performance Training Manuals available online! Contact: David Breslow at 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715
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McIlroy gets back on track

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

He is well ahead of schedule.

Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

Everything in his life is lined up.

Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

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Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.