Be Out of Control


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Control yourself. Control your emotions. We are often given the message to control so many things that we may take the notion of control too far. Some golfers, actually many golfers I know and work with try to control things so much on (and off) the golf course they end up getting in their own way ' and their results are just the opposite of what they hoped for. They tend to point the finger of blame at some other cause for their poor results such as a poor set up, the course conditions, poor mechanics, clubs, etc. They are willing to look at anything but themselves ' to see how much they try to control too many things.
Try this little exercise. Open your right hand and place a small amount of water in the palm. Now make a fist with that hand and try to control the water without spilling it. Its virtually impossible to do. When you make a fist ' you bring pressure to your palm and this pressure forces the water to move and leak out of your palm. Now put another bit of water in your palm and this time just keep your palm open and relaxed. In this position, you could move around the room and not spill any water because you are not trying to control the water and your hand is relaxed. You actually gain control by relaxing your hand.
This is an example of what happens to us on the golf course when we try to over control things and when we dont try to over control things. Just like the water in the palm exercise ' when we try to over control the golf swing or our results we leak power and consistency. When we are able to let go of the control we gain power and consistency. Here are some examples of how the need to over control negatively affects performance followed by a tip to turn it around in your favor.
When you over control you:
Tighten more muscles than you need to hit the shot
The need to over control leads to muscle tension in your legs, arms, shoulders, hands and facial muscles. This tension causes lack of fluidity and power. Think back to a time when you really wanted to crush a shot. What happened? Chances are you lost power; not gained it and chances are you also lost distance and accuracy as well.
Over controlling the golf swing translates into more tension than needed to hit the golf ball.
Tip: Make a conscious effort to focus on the legs, arms, hands, shoulders and facial muscles before you take a practice swing. Let them drop and slip into a more relaxed position. The more relaxed you are the more powerful you are.
Control leads to worry.
When you try to control outcomes the tendency is to not only focus on outcomes too much but to also worry about them as well. In this case your mental energy is being drained which takes away from your physical body to perform the movements smoothly and with rhythm.
Tip: Focus on what you DO have control over (and its NOT the results of your shots!). The more you do this the more you trigger feelings of calm and confidence.
The need to control reduces enjoyment .
The players I know who try to over control things on the golf course (and off!) tend to report their enjoyment level is lower than theyd like it to be. Think about it. If youre too focused on controlling everything then you simply dont have time to enjoy yourself. There are too many things to control ' how can you enjoy yourself with so many things to worry about?
Tip: Make enjoyment a large priority. One way to do this is to reduce your control time. Give yourself some time to be out of control by picking certain holes (like the even or odd numbered holes) and commit to allowing yourself to be out of control on those holes.

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    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