Quieting The Noise - Part 1

By David BreslowJune 14, 2006, 4:00 pm
As we approach this years US Open golf tournament at the Winged Foot Golf Club there will be a lot of extracurricular buzz about the event. News stories and television reports will focus in on the Winged Foot course, the meeting of the worlds greatest golfers and the return of its most celebrated member, Tiger Woods. In addition, Phil Mickelson is a favorite of the New York golf fans creating even more buzz about the event. There are a lot of distractions, travel, the difficulty of the golf course, media intervention, lights, cameras, fans, rumors and on and on it goes. Its a lot of noise to contend with and while its formidable, there is an even more formidable noise to contend with; its the noise inside our heads.
Eighty percent of my clients come into the FlowZone program with an awareness that there is a lot of chatter going on in their minds but say I dont know what to do about it. What they quickly discover is that this noise (the word I use to describe it) is a key factor in determining how well or how poorly they perform. Here is what some of the noise looks like:
  • Overthinking/Analyzing
    This occurs when you constantly focus on your mechanics. It also occurs when you think too much about shots to the point where you overanalyze and your body freezes as a result. Over thinking usually means a lack of trust. This is where the phrase paralysis by analysis comes from.
  • Refusal to let go of completed shots/results
    How often do you see players negatively affected well after a shot is completed? Even the pros have difficulty with this. The mind continues to analyze, criticize and judge well after the shot is finished causing a negative reaction physically and emotionally. This is one of the key skills that both the amateur and the pro can develop more fully
  • Self-Criticism
    The amount of noise created by self-criticism and judgment can be rather loud. This occurs when you create a running dialogue that focuses on labeling yourself (Im no good) followed by a severe judgment of yourself. Its a two punch combination that can have disastrous results.
    Now, I invite you to look at this noise from an energy perspective. Imagine how much mental energy is being used when your mind is in constant chatter! Its quite a large amount of energy being consumed. This poor use of energy then causes your emotions and your body to waste energy as well. This results in:
    1. Poor concentration

    2. Decrease in confidence

    3. Unnecessary physical tension which creates poor golf swings
    My clients have tried any number of things and are often frustrated at the results because they want it to happen right away. Most people do not achieve success by reading a book or an article. The truth is; quieting the mind takes proper practice and this is where the process breaks down. Think of it this way; youve practiced creating the noise for quite some time. In fact, youre very good at it because of the practice. Quieting the mind is not just a strategy; it is a practice that begins to shift your approach and overall mindset. You can make a shift in who you are and the way to play the game.
    Think back to a time when you were in the zone. Was it quiet or noisy? Im certain it was quieter. Quieting the mind is a catalyst toward recreating the zone state more consistently and this is where your greatness is. Think about it in terms of energy, a quiet mind automatically creates more calm energy flow throughout your entire body. This increased flow of calm energy creates more power, confidence and feel. Not bad for simply learning to be quiet isnt it?
    The FlowZone program creates success by teaching people to:
    • Learn how to breathe PROPERLY

    • Practice daily routines that discipline the mind to be open and focused

    • Understand the principles by which the mind, body and emotions are connected and how they influence your game at all times

    • Create a shift in overall way of BEing. This shift creates a larger sense of confidence and personal power.
    Champions have the ability to trigger a quiet mind.
    How noisy is your mind and what are you willing to do about it?
    Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
  • Getty Images

    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

    Getty Images

    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

    Getty Images

    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

    Getty Images

    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.