Six Myths About Peak Performers

By David BreslowDecember 3, 2003, 5:00 pm
You are a performer. Thats right, everyone performs every day no matter what arena of life you are in. Top performers have learned and devised a way to not only perform at a high level but to help themselves do it on a consistent basis!
 
Unfortunately, others have developed a set of myths about what peak performance is. These myths can actually sabotage your own efforts to improve. In order to raise the level of your own performance it is important to become aware of, understand and avoid these myths that have been perpetuated about peak performance.
 
Remember, peak performers have crystallized their discipline and have experienced the pitfalls, blind spots and temptations on their journey toward excellence. As a result, they have learned how to create models and methods to overcome them.
 
Why is it important to reveal these myths and see them for what they are? Because if you dont recognize and remove them, you will unconsciously open yourself up to self-sabotage without realizing it! As a Performance Success Coach, part of my responsibility is to help people see the pot holes on the road before they hit them, not just deal with the problems that occur afterwards. High- level performers have learned to do that and now you can too by going past these myths. By developing sound and believable Mental Keys Strategies you can focus on what is important and what will get you the level of excellence you strive for.
 
Learn to avoid these six performance myths and you will experience an immediate change in attitude and performance:
 
MYTH #1 - PEAK PERFORMERS ARE JUST BORN THAT WAY
 
They only look like they are born that way. What you dont see is the tremendous effort and practice they put into honing their performance skills. They look smooth and polished because of this. They have learned to develop their mental keys along the way.
 
Strategic Tip: Pay attention to what you are practicing. Are you developing how to be angry and frustrated or perfecting the skills that gain you entrance into the zone?
 
MYTH #2 - TOP PERFORMERS HAVE SPECIAL MIND POWERS
 
Not true. It is easier for some than others but nobody has a corner of the market on these mental keys. YOU HAVE THE SAME MIND/BODY PRINCIPLES OPERATING IN YOU AS ANYONE ELSE DOES!
 
Strategic Tip: Youve been successful at some time in the past. Stop, look and listen. Identify what you were thinking, feeling and doing at the time. Also, find out what others in your field do to be successful. It might surprise you!
 
MYTH #3 - THEY ALWAYS GIVE 100% OR MORE AND GO FOR IT
 
Not necessarily true. Yes, they always put their best effort into what they are doing BUT they dont always put the pedal to the metal. Peak performers have learned that more is not always better. They have learned that each situation dictates the appropriate amount of effort needed to perform the task.
 
Strategic Tip: Identify what your ideal performance state is. Become aware of where your overexert yourself and struggle. At these times you can remind yourself to return to that level of mental/physical and emotional intensity that works for you.
 
MYTH #4 - THEY ARE PERFECTIONISTS
 
Peak performers can be demanding and tough on themselves for sure. However, when it comes time to perform they do NOT get caught in the perfectionist syndrome. They understand the nature of the game and that there is an ebb and flow to performance. Errors are part of that picture.
 
Strategic Tip: Keep perfectionism in the practice arena if anywhere but leave it at the door when you perform. The zone is not achieved when you try to be perfect, judge and criticize yourself. You dont try to speak or hit a tennis or golf ball. You just do itbe perfect in your disciplined preparation but NOT in your performance. The zone is not accessed this way.
 
MYTH #5 - THEY NEVER SHOW THEIR EMOTIONS / VULNERABILITY
 
Is that so? Although many coaches have trained their students to not show weakness, the reality is that many top performers do. They know the importance of celebrating the positive and releasing negative toxic emotion as well. The difference is, they release it and have the mental tools to refocus where others do not. The ones who dont have these mental keys release an emotion and keep on releasing it, negatively affecting their performance.
 
Strategic Tip: Realize that you are much better off being real. Emotion is energy and when not released will build up in the body like pressure in a steam kettle and then.bam! Trust yourself to be vulnerable, get advice or help when you need it. Nobody every made it to the top by themselves.
 
MYTH #6 - THEY FOCUS ONLY ON WINNING
 
Peak performers want to win more than anyone but they do NOT focus on winning while competing. They understand the importance of using the mental keys to stay focused on what matters most during play. Winning is not one of them!
 
Strategic Tip: Honor your desire to win. Its fine, but when you are performing keep your attention only on things you have 100% control over. Its always a battle of process vs. outcome. Stay with process, process and more process thinking. Anything that doesnt fit this category is a distraction and of no use to you.
 
By avoiding the traps of these myths, you can raise the level of your game!
 
Related Links:
  • Five More Myths About Peak Performers
  • David Breslow Article Archive
     
    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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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.



    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”



    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.