Are You Developing Your Mental Game

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CONSIDER THIS: Golfers of all levels were polled with the following results:
  • 95% agree, the mental game is very important

  • 12% formally develop this part of their game

  • 70% said they underperform too often

DID YOU KNOW
  • The mental game consists of far more than just your mind.

  • There are very precise and predictable laws and principles governing how you perform on the course.

  • You are under the influence of these principles 100% of the time.

Do you believe your mental game is an important part of your performance? Do you take the time to truly develop your mental skills? Players who take the time to develop them tend to see real results. Those who make slight attempts usually do not and there is a difference between developing them and working on them. When John, a 14 handicap was struggling, he came to me to work on his mental game. I asked him if hed developed his mental skills in the past. Sure, he replied, Ive read books and studied it and I know a good deal about it How long have you been developing your mental skills? I asked. Oh, Ive been working on it for over five years now, he replied somewhat proudly. Then, I asked, have you been developing your mental skills over a five year period or have you been working on them at different times over the five years? He thought for a moment and admitted, I guess Ive been working on them at different times over the five years, starting and stopping and starting again. As a result of this approach; John continued to struggle with many of the same performance issues over that time period.
 
Developing mental skills means growing and improving steadily over time. With consistent development early on in the process you can hone the key baseline skills you need and build them as you play.
Do you develop your mental skills consistently over time or do you work on them from time to time?
 
This is not just a challenge for athletes. Individuals in the corporate world share the same performance frustrations. Organizations realize these performance skills are important for people to succeed on the job yet rarely develop them as part of an ongoing process to improve performance.
 
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT?
 
At each presentation I ask participants why they dont formally develop this part of their game. Here are the three most common reasons:
 
1. I already know what to dojust playing should be enough
 
2. The information and language is vague and confusing
 
3. Dont know where to begin
 
Lets face itthe idea of sitting in a room and listening to a lecture on the mind can be a bit boring. Most of us would rather be out hitting balls wouldnt we? Some players are armed with a lot of information about the mental game yet continue to struggle with similar issues time after time. When developing these skills you turn knowing into doing!
 
Much of the same information IS used over and over again in books, tapes and lectures. The FlowZone approach is unique in that it focuses on the practical root cause mind/body/performance principles that trigger you to perform at a higher level. The insights, principles and techniques translate into usable action. No vague concepts or confusing language.

When a player doesnt know where to begin, it makes it difficult to get started. What do they work on first? How do they monitor and track what they are doing and how do they bypass their own conditioned ways of seeing, perceiving and reacting?
 
So, what do players do? They read articles and books and look for the tip that will help them break free and play their best. Tips are great but they tend not to be root cause solutions to performance issues. We know this from experience dont we? How long has a tip youve used lastedone day, one round, a few days or a week or two? When I ask players how long tips last for them they say on average that it lasts about two weeks at the most. After that, it seems to give way to old patterns. Have you ever had that experience?
 
WHY TIPS DONT LAST
 
This is the reason why making consistent efforts to develop your mental skills is so valuable. I believe tips dont last because we are always going up against our old conditioning. Our conditioning is nothing more than our habitual ways of thinking, seeing, perceiving, reacting and doing things. When our old conditioning is triggered, it has more force and more emotional connection attached to it than the new tip does. Because of this, the old conditioning wins out more times than not. When this happens the new tip seems to go away leaving players frustrated.
 
Consistently developing your mental skills is an important element of your game so keep on developing it over time.
 
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    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