The Mental Game Influence

By David BreslowJune 22, 2005, 4:00 pm
We just witnessed a U.S. Open tournament that tested the Mental Game of every competitor in the field. The entire subject of the Mental Game inspires some interesting conversation and even debate over the importance and impact it has on performance. I run across many different attitudes, beliefs and perspectives when it comes to this subject. Of course, there are many books written and research done to help identify and clarify what the mental game is and how to improve it.
Some people say the mental game is very important. Some people say it has little significance. Some rate it to be 90% significant in their performance and others say its 50% or even less. Its always interesting to see the very wide variance when it comes to the topic of the Mental Game in sports or in life. Many people do admit its important yet many remain hesitant to address it.
There are many different types of research done on performance. Sports Science conducts research to identify and discover how the mind works and the affect it can have on the body and performance. There is research on the power and impact of emotions and how they can affect performance. There is research on how to increase relaxation and the effect it has on our ability to perform and be in the flow. Research and study are wonderful as they help generate a level of proof that people can look to. However, one of the comments I often make to clients is:
Dont wait for proof for things you already know to be true from your own experience!
Think about it for a moment. When your body is more relaxed do you usually perform better or worse? Most people notice they perform better. When your emotions are on the calmer side yet still intense enough, do you perform better or worse? Again, most people notice they perform better. When youre feeling good and confident do you handle pressure situations better or worse? Once again, most people notice they handle pressure better. Over 20 years, Ive never run across a client who didnt already know these things were true for them.
In my opinion, the real challenge is in learning how to APPLY what they know and make tremendous strides to close the gap between what they know and what they do on the golf course. Most clients I meet already know many things about Peak Performance principles in terms of knowing the important traits such as confidence, present time focus, relaxation, routines, emotional control, etc. The problem: they arent sure how to actually do them.
People often enter the FlowZone process with the idea they need more information in order to play better. This is a mental trap. Most clients usually dont need more information; this has been getting them into trouble anyway causing them to over think and over analyze. The trap is: the more information I have the better Ill perform. Im certainly not against knowledge, however for many it becomes a buffer between knowing and doing. Have you ever experienced the zone? Think back. Were you over thinking and over analyzing? Were you over doing anything? Probably not. Its one of the many performance paradoxes. I tell people all the time their best performances will show up more often when they get out of their own way. (Have you ever heard yourself saying those words?). Its really a matter of subtraction; not addition!
The bottom line is; there are very precise and predictable mind/body/performance principles influencing your performance all the time. Because the mind, body and emotions are all connected (see my article Its All Connected in the archives) they influence what you do every time you put a golf club in your hands. There is no way to separate them. I consider these principles to be root -cause factors and these principles operate the same within everyone. An awareness of the principles in action can lead to greater awareness on the golf course and the opportunity for more quick and effective solutions. When the mind, body and emotions are more in synch, energy flows through your body more easily and you tend to think better, feel better and can perform closer to your true talents and abilities. You already have these elite parts. You dont have to go anywhere to get them. Performance improves when they begin to function together.
Do your results match the time / effort / money you spend on your game?
EXTENSION NOTICE! Due to the U.S. Open the discount offer did not appear last Friday in the Insider Newsletter and some folks notified us after the deadline. As a result weve extended the One on One Performance Coaching discount until June 30th, 2005 as a continued thank you to The Golf Channel and its viewers. Discounts will only apply to those registering on or before June 30th 2005. Email: and write discount offer in the subject line. You will receive the info via email.
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone program: Your Resilience Factor: Adapt and Excel in any Environment Workshop and One on One Performance Coaching. 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). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
  • Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

    Getty Images

    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.