Mentally Tough is a Misnomer

By David BreslowMay 15, 2008, 4:00 pm

Eliminating the YIPs
 
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Todays article
 
Tim, a developmental tour golfer contacted me and the first thing he said was, I want to learn how to be more mentally tough. When I asked him what he meant by that he said, You knowbe tougher out there, more like steel so Im not affected by things and not thrown off my game. I then said, The phrase Mentally Tough is a misnomer so lets take a look at it.
 
Here is how the word tough is defined:
1.Physically toughened so as to have great endurance: hard as nails.
2.Capable of exerting considerable effort or of withstanding considerable stress or hardship
3.Requiring great or extreme bodily, mental, or spiritual strength
 
Many people I know view toughness as the ability to be hard as nails, battle tested or dealing with considerable stress. Because of this attitude their game is often derailed by an increase in:
 
Tension
Stress
Loss of fluidity and rhythm
 
Lets look at tough from a different perspective. I believe the word tough should be replaced by the word flexible. Flexibility is a more true description of toughness. For example, did you ever notice how paper towel manufacturers promote their product? Each company tries to convince the buyer that their paper towel is tougher than the competitor. How do they prove this? They know that tougher is a reflection of the ability to ABSORB better. Sothey show you how much more their towel ABSORBS than the competitor does. There is an important lesson here: The ability to ABSORB is what makes it tough.
 
Heres a second example. After a gale force wind clocking in at 80 mph, which tree tends to remain standing, the flexible tree or the rigid tree? The truth is, the flexible tree is by far the tougher one, isnt it? It is able to ABSORB more than the rigid tree. The rigid tree is less flexible and therefore tends to snap in the high wind due to the lack of flexibility. This eventually leads to its downfall. There is a lesson here too; the more rigid you are, the less you are able to absorb.
 
Are Tiger, Annika and Lorena considered tough competitors? Sure, but dont be fooled by the word tough. What makes a paper towel or a tree tough is the same thing that makes you tough. Flexibility. True toughness is revealed in your ability to be mentally, physically and emotionally flexible. Rigid toughness, the kind of tough so many think is effective, is quite different and those who apply it may pay the price as well. What happens to people who are rigid and inflexible? They are the ones who experience more stress, tension, tightness and emotional rigidity as well. Can these people perform at a high level? Certainly they canbut at what cost? This kind of toughness causes more burnout, reduced enjoyment and often has negative consequences to the mind, body and emotions over time. Just as the inflexible tree in an 80 mph windit simply breaks down.
 
Reconsider what tough means to you. I realize it may seem ironic that those who are truly flexible are really tough but they are. Its true because they can withstand the toughest of circumstances, absorb it, work with it and come out stronger and better for itwithout unnecessary stress and burn out.
 
Toughness is flexibility.
 
How tough are you?
 
To your best golf!
 
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    Copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a national speaker, author and Performance Consultant. The book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. The Mental Game Video Training Course is available here. His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA, other sports) as well as Business and the Private Sector. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to unleashing Human Performance helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior, and action. His articles are read by over 400,000 people per month on The Golf Channel website and David frequently speaks to organizations of all sizes who want to create real shifts in how people, think, feel and perform every day. For more info on the Interactive Video Training Course, One on One consultation, E-Books and Presentations; please visit: www.theflowzone.net or email: David@theflowzone.net or call: 847.681.0247.
  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

    Getty Images

    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm