Talking The Talk

By David BreslowNovember 5, 2003, 5:00 pm
How Top Performers Use The Power Of Language
Much has been written about walking your talk. This, of course is very important if you want to succeed in anything. However, even before walking your talk, its important to develop your own inner language that propels you to the success youre looking for in sports, business or life!
Theres an old expression that says, talk is cheap. The original meaning of this phrase is that talk without action to back it up is worthless. This is true. However, talk is NOT cheap. Talk, as a matter of fact, has a tremendous price tag to it. There is nothing cheap about talk at all.
The power of the language you use both internally and externally has a high price tag on it. Your words have a power you might not believe right now but trust methey trigger the mind and body into action!
One of the most prevalent challenges of coaches and leaders is to change the negative language of their students, players and coworkers. I often hear coaches being frustrated when working with players who tend to be negative about themselves. If theyre not saying it out loud, theyre saying it inside! Everyone knows that positive language is more effective than negative language but they dont necessarily realize what is actually happening in their body when using this kind of self talk.
First of all, understand that language communicates. I am communicating right now with you through the use of the written word. You can decide to accept or reject these words. When you say negative words to yourself you are also communicating. You can decide to accept or reject them as well!
When you say negative words and phrases you are imprinting your nervous system and muscular system with not only the words but also the emotion behind them. The more you do it, the more of an impression you make on your nervous system and subconscious mind. After a short time these negative phrases become acceptable and repeatable with the slightest trigger (poor shot, uncomfortable situation, etc.). You have literally trained your mind and body to store these negative messages AND release them on command.
Whats important to realize is that these implanted words are TOXIC. They will literally reduce your muscle coordination, weaken your nervous system and drain your energy. If you dont believe mejust look back at those times when your negative inner dialogue ran rampant. What did it feel like and how did it affect your performance?
The most amazing part of this is that your subconscious mind and body have NO CLUE as to whether youve implanted positive or negative words. Whatever you implant is taken in and stored for you. Dont believe it? Just check out how fast your negative words come firing out. They are repeated over time and have become an unconscious habit. You dont think about themthey just fly out!
Language is a habit. For many, negative language has more of an emotional impact than positive language. This is only because weve practiced being negative and feeling negative more than positive. This emotional charge makes language even more powerful. Ultimately, you are the choice maker of the words you use. It might be difficult to change negative words all at once so try the following steps and see if you can begin making changes that will get easier over time.
Heres what top performers have learned to do:
  1. They understand that language has power and it affects their emotions, actions and outcomes.

  3. Learn to use constructive language away from the game. Find 3 times in your day to speak positively about yourself.

  5. Find a buddy who is willing to catch you when you speak in negative terms about yourself (Im no good, Ill probably blow this or I finally did it right!, etc.). Find at least ONE positive thing you did on every hole!

  7. Journal. Daily journal entries that begin with 3 positive entries.

  9. Say It Anyway!'players think they are lying when they say something positive and dont feel positive. The truth is that you dont have to feel positive to say it. Underneath your negativity there is a place within you that IS positive and optimistic! Its the part of you that shows up when youre in the zone. Its already there so SAY IT ANYWAY!

Language has great power and remember; your words will impact how you feel, what you do and your outcomes. Be very aware of the words you use and begin questioning your habitual self-criticism. Its only a habit and this habit can be busted!
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: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715
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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."

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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."

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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."

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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.