Are You Still Coping


It seems the accepted approach to working on a mental game is to learn how to cope more effectively. Most clients enter into our work together with this mindset because it is the one most often written about and used. The way most people go about fixing their performance issues is to find more coping mechanisms.
The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book. The dialogue below takes place through Dans eyes (the client). I begin this portion with a question and Dans responses are in italics. He has just spoken about a number of his performance complaints.
{beginning of excerpt}
Are you more interested in adopting more coping strategies to deal with all these performance issues you just told me about OR do you want to create a new approach that reduces the number of times they show up?
Dead silence.
I thought the whole idea was to learn better coping strategies. I said.
Well, that would be the idea most people have but I dont believe its the optimal way to go about things. This is why Ive asked you the question. So, Im awaiting your answer.
'Well, if I had a choice I guess Id like to create something new and reduce the number of times these things happenif I had a choice.
You do have a choice. David said.
Can you tell me why you asked that question?
Sure. Heres one of the first insights Id like you to consider. There is a difference between coping and creating and many people, out of habit or training, think coping is the way to go. When you look at what the word really means youll understand why I dont focus on it. For example, the synonyms for the word cope are: to manage, to get by, to struggle with and muddle through. Is that what youre striving for?
No, definitely not!
Well, thats what coping is!
When you explain it like that it sounds pretty average.
'Learning to cope means you are keeping your chin above water and it reflects the mindset of just trying to get by. Its subtle and I want you to know you are capable of so much more than that. David said.
{end of excerpt}
I just received the following email from a client who read my earlier book Wired To Win and then took action to make an appointment. The original email is longer than what is presented here and Ive edited portions for the sake of space. He writes:
Dear David,
Everybody has hopes that with just one more key, they'll be playing like pros. On top of that almost nothing in the golf world really works for more than a few days. I don't know if you realize this but your material is the only thing that has made a lasting improvement that I can 'count' on.

More importantly look at the nature of the improvement. Numerically speaking, this process reduced my scores by about 15% from an average of 81 to an average of 70!!! Years of practicing hitting drives, years of practicing putting, years of measuring how far each swing would throw the ball what particular distance but nothing was there to tie it together until I read your material and spoke with you and most importantly; it sticks, it continues to work and there is simply nothing else in golf to compare it to.
So, I admire their (golfers in general) ability to hope because they have no way to understand the good you are out to do them, until they have it in their hands.

- - Jim Fenney
This was quite a remarkable and unexpected letter to receive. Will everyone drop 11 strokes? No. We didnt set out to drop 11 strokes from Jims game, it happened as a result of his expanded awareness and application of the principles I write about so often.
I invite you to take a look at your approach to the game. Are you busy coping with things like poor focus, lack of confidence, reactions to unfair bounces, stress, pressure and generally performing below your capabilities? Is your automatic approach to find more coping skills? Take a look and see if youre spending time coping or creating something new for yourself.
Thanks to the hundreds of folks who requested the free PDF on 7 Keys To Play Your Best Golf. This free offer will be made for the final time this week. To receive it; please go to: and click on contact us and type free pdf in the comments section.
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    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people perform at the top of their game. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and has spoken to both large and small corporations across the country. To get more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: or visit the web: To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.