Skeptics Welcome

By David BreslowApril 10, 2009, 4:00 pm
While we are all looking forward to yet another fantastic Masters event Im sure there is no shortage of material offering wonderful stories, inspiration and more on the psychology of what it takes to win such a special event.
So instead, Id like to take a few moments of your time to welcome the skeptic to emerge and address the kinds of questions I hear when speaking to an audience made up of golfers of all levels. This is taken from a live event and reveals the actual questions and my responses to them.
A brief introduction. The audience is there to hear a talk about the Mental Game. However, they are about to hear things that go against their years of learning about what a Mental Game really is. I begin by informing them they will not hear the usual pieces of repetitive advice such as, be confident, positive, have a great attitude and dont be attached to your outcomes. I inform them that they can get this information from any book in the library and that Im there to tell them about the TRUTH about how to perform their best. I also inform them that In fact, 85% of the clients who use these kinds of quick-fix tips tell me that they, dont last.
As the reader of this articleyou probably know this from your own experience as well. Please note that I am not against tipsbutalso realize that they are not the solutionthey are often just temporary solutions. The real question is: how do you achieve the experiences you want more easily and have them last longer? This is the only question that really matters. Teaching the Performance Laws I talk about accomplishes this. At the end of the presentation--here are some actual questions I was asked and my responses to them.
I read a lot of books on peak performance and the mental game. Are you telling me that applying the tips I learn from them isnt all that beneficial?
No. Im suggesting that applying the tips doesnt provide you with the long term solution youre looking for. Please understand that the tips are all good. Obviously its important to be confident and positive but you already know that, dont you? The question is: how long does that tip last for you? Most people report that the tips they apply dont last that long. This is the problem Im talking about and even though youre asking the questionyou already know this from your own experience. Why not apply something that not only helps you experience confidence more quickly but that also helps you experience it more consistently. The problem with the quick fix approach is that it does what its named fora QUICK-FIXwhich means that its only meant to be temporarywhich is usually what it is.
You mentioned that coping leads to mediocrity and that you dont help any of your clients become better copers. Ive always been taught that coping mechanisms were the way to get back on track. Now youre saying their not?
Clearlyonce you understand what coping really means, you see why I say it leads to mediocrity. Remember, I mentioned earlier that the synonyms for the word cope are; to get by, to deal with, to manage, to muddle through and to survive. Is this really what your goal is? Do you find that acceptable? I dont know anyone who looks forward to doing any of those things and this is why I have no intention of helping a client cope better. Looking for coping skills is just another uninvestigated habit that many people slip into. They do it because they always do it and that doesnt mean its effectiveit merely means that its comfortable. Yet, when people hear those synonyms I mentionedthey have no desire to cope any more! Im more interested in teaching them the simple skills to stop coping and start generating more of what they really want.
I feel tension over approach shots. What should I do?
This is a very common type of question. It begins with an issue of some kind and is then followed by the question, what should I do? I know that what Im sharing with you goes against your traditional way of seeing things. The question you just asked is really looking for a quick-fix answerisnt it? (he nods yes) and this is what so many golfers look foreven after they hear this presentation and they KNOW the quick fix answer doesnt get them what they really want! I understand the questionafter all'this is what you see in books, articles television shows and so on. Sothe quick-fix answer to your question is this; breathe, recall a positive memory, think more positively and tell yourself, I can do this. There. That is the traditional kind of answer to that question. All of this is good advice, right? Heres the problem. You may or may not be successful in applying this. If you areyour success could very well be sporadicmeaning youve found a way to deal with the speed bump facing you with this particular chip shot but you have not truly gone to the root cause for your long term solution. And what is the root cause solution? They are the Laws Ive been talking about. They are the root cause factors that not only raise your awareness, but explain the WHY and the HOW you get what you want more oftenwhich is to play at the high end of your skill level.
You said that you rarely have a formal conversation about confidence and being positive and so on. That sounds so strangehow do your clients achieve that if you dont address it?
Here againyour question comes from the traditional mindset about how working with a mental game coach or sports psychologist is supposed to go. In 20 years Ive never once suggested to a client to be more positive or confident. The reason? They already know that being confident or positive is better than NOT being confident or positive so why repeat what they already know? You already know this as well, dont you? (she nods yes). Do you want to pay me to tell you what you already know? (she says, NO) Heres where people have a difficult time believing it. I tell everyone that if you learn the simple laws and start applying themthat they will notice that confidence, present time focus, enjoyment, better choices, be tougher, compete better and generally be more successfulALL SHOW UP AS AN AUTOMATIC BY-PRODUCT OF APPLYING THE LAWS. This is what many people find hard to believe. They wonder, could it really be that simple? and the answer is YES. Again, I know this flies in the face of what youve learned for years but this doesnt mean its not true.
Sowhat are the laws?
Wellthis is a short presentation. In a workshop or in personal coaching I could share this with you in more detail. However, please know this. The Laws themselves are not rocket science. They have simple titles like the Law of Cause and Effect, The Law of Focused Energy and The Law of Mental Focus along with others. You can see that these titles are nothing special in and of themselves. The magic lies in the conversation and the insights I teach. The conversation does not revolve around psychological research, vague tips (like be confident) or hard to untangle theories. The conversation provides you with the proof the laws are real, the insights that wake you up and the result is; you change the way you see yourself and the game.
The first law I teach is this: The more honest you are with yourself; the quicker you see results.
This is a law because its true for everyone, everywhere and at all times. Nobody is immune and there are no exceptions. This is why I like working with the Lawsthey remove your and my opinion and theory from the equation. They function no matter what you and I think! In fact, your belief is not even necessary. Do you have to believe in gravity for gravity to happen? Of course not. Its the same with the Performance Laws. So. This law states that what you are willing to seeyou can change. What you are not willing to seeyou have no shot at changing. Somy question to you is. Are you willing to see that what youve been doing is not getting you the results you want? (the man nods yes). This is an important question. If youve tried a number of tips, read books, or have had unsatisfying work with a coach or sports psychologist over the years and yet still feel like you can be better. it is important to be honest with yourselfabout yourself. This is a common question I pose to prospective clients because I want to knowthat THEY are ready to admit to themselves that what theyve been doing is not working for them. If they can admit thisI tell them we can now fly forward and their journey will be much easier! This is never a problem because when people contact me theyve usually tried almost everything else anyway and are frustrated.
Thank you

Im offering a FREE tele-seminar for golfers of all levels that introduce the Wired to Win program and its insights. To learn more click here
Skeptics are welcome!

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  • David Breslow Article Archive
    David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit:, email: or call: 847.681.0247
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    CareerBuilder purse payouts: Rahm wins $1.062 million

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 12:50 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry on the fourth hole of sudden death to win the CareerBuilder Challenger. Here's a look at how the purse was paid out in La Quinta, Calif.:

    1 Jon Rahm -22 $1,062,000
    2 Andrew Landry -22 $637,200
    T3 Adam Hadwin -20 $306,800
    T3 John Huh -20 $306,800
    T3 Martin Piller -20 $306,800
    T6 Kevin Chappell -19 $205,025
    T6 Scott Piercy -19 $205,025
    T8 Brandon Harkins -18 $171,100
    T8 Jason Kokrak -18 $171,100
    T8 Sam Saunders -18 $171,100
    T11 Harris English -17 $135,700
    T11 Seamus Power -17 $135,700
    T11 Jhonattan Vegas -17 $135,700
    T14 Bud Cauley -16 $106,200
    T14 Austin Cook -16 $106,200
    T14 Grayson Murray -16 $106,200
    T17 Andrew Putnam -15 $88,500
    T17 Peter Uihlein -15 $88,500
    T17 Aaron Wise -15 $88,500
    T20 Ricky Barnes -14 $57,754
    T20 Stewart Cink -14 $57,754
    T20 Brian Harman -14 $57,754
    T20 Beau Hossler -14 $57,754
    T20 Charles Howell III -14 $57,754
    T20 Zach Johnson -14 $57,754
    T20 Ryan Palmer -14 $57,754
    T20 Brendan Steele -14 $57,754
    T20 Nick Taylor -14 $57,754
    T29 Lucas Glover -13 $36,706
    T29 Russell Knox -13 $36,706
    T29 Nate Lashley -13 $36,706
    T29 Tom Lovelady -13 $36,706
    T29 Kevin Streelman -13 $36,706
    T29 Hudson Swafford -13 $36,706
    T29 Richy Werenski -13 $36,706
    T36 Jason Dufner -12 $27,189
    T36 Derek Fathauer -12 $27,189
    T36 James Hahn -12 $27,189
    T36 Chez Reavie -12 $27,189
    T36 Webb Simpson -12 $27,189
    T36 Tyrone Van Aswegen -12 $27,189
    T42 Bronson Burgoon -11 $18,983
    T42 Ben Crane -11 $18,983
    T42 Brian Gay -11 $18,983
    T42 Chesson Hadley -11 $18,983
    T42 Patton Kizzire -11 $18,983
    T42 Hunter Mahan -11 $18,983
    T42 Kevin Na -11 $18,983
    T42 Rob Oppenheim -11 $18,983
    T50 Alex Cejka -10 $14,025
    T50 Corey Conners -10 $14,025
    T50 Michael Kim -10 $14,025
    T50 Kevin Kisner -10 $14,025
    T50 Sean O'Hair -10 $14,025
    T50 Sam Ryder -10 $14,025
    T50 Nick Watney -10 $14,025
    T57 Robert Garrigus -9 $13,039
    T57 Tom Hoge -9 $13,039
    T57 David Lingmerth -9 $13,039
    T57 Ben Martin -9 $13,039
    T57 Trey Mullinax -9 $13,039
    T57 Brett Stegmaier -9 $13,039
    T63 Scott Brown -8 $12,449
    T63 Wesley Bryan -8 $12,449
    T63 Brice Garnett -8 $12,449
    T63 Sung Kang -8 $12,449
    T67 Talor Gooch -7 $12,095
    T67 Tom Whitney -7 $12,095
    T69 Matt Every -6 $11,623
    T69 Billy Hurley III -6 $11,623
    T69 Smylie Kaufman -6 $11,623
    T69 Keith Mitchell -6 $11,623
    T69 Rory Sabbatini -6 $11,623
    T69 Chris Stroud -6 $11,623
    75 John Peterson -5 $11,210
    76 Abraham Ancer -4 $11,092
    77 Ben Silverman 4 $10,974
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

    Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

    On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

    Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

    Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

    It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

    On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

    There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

    He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

    His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

    Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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    Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

    By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

    With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

    He picked up one more No. 2, too.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

    In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

    Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

    “It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

    Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

    Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

    He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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    Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

    Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

    Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

    His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

    “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

    Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

    Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.