The Mental Game Influence


We just witnessed a U.S. Open tournament that tested the Mental Game of every competitor in the field. The entire subject of the Mental Game inspires some interesting conversation and even debate over the importance and impact it has on performance. I run across many different attitudes, beliefs and perspectives when it comes to this subject. Of course, there are many books written and research done to help identify and clarify what the mental game is and how to improve it.
Some people say the mental game is very important. Some people say it has little significance. Some rate it to be 90% significant in their performance and others say its 50% or even less. Its always interesting to see the very wide variance when it comes to the topic of the Mental Game in sports or in life. Many people do admit its important yet many remain hesitant to address it.
There are many different types of research done on performance. Sports Science conducts research to identify and discover how the mind works and the affect it can have on the body and performance. There is research on the power and impact of emotions and how they can affect performance. There is research on how to increase relaxation and the effect it has on our ability to perform and be in the flow. Research and study are wonderful as they help generate a level of proof that people can look to. However, one of the comments I often make to clients is:
Dont wait for proof for things you already know to be true from your own experience!
Think about it for a moment. When your body is more relaxed do you usually perform better or worse? Most people notice they perform better. When your emotions are on the calmer side yet still intense enough, do you perform better or worse? Again, most people notice they perform better. When youre feeling good and confident do you handle pressure situations better or worse? Once again, most people notice they handle pressure better. Over 20 years, Ive never run across a client who didnt already know these things were true for them.
In my opinion, the real challenge is in learning how to APPLY what they know and make tremendous strides to close the gap between what they know and what they do on the golf course. Most clients I meet already know many things about Peak Performance principles in terms of knowing the important traits such as confidence, present time focus, relaxation, routines, emotional control, etc. The problem: they arent sure how to actually do them.
People often enter the FlowZone process with the idea they need more information in order to play better. This is a mental trap. Most clients usually dont need more information; this has been getting them into trouble anyway causing them to over think and over analyze. The trap is: the more information I have the better Ill perform. Im certainly not against knowledge, however for many it becomes a buffer between knowing and doing. Have you ever experienced the zone? Think back. Were you over thinking and over analyzing? Were you over doing anything? Probably not. Its one of the many performance paradoxes. I tell people all the time their best performances will show up more often when they get out of their own way. (Have you ever heard yourself saying those words?). Its really a matter of subtraction; not addition!
The bottom line is; there are very precise and predictable mind/body/performance principles influencing your performance all the time. Because the mind, body and emotions are all connected (see my article Its All Connected in the archives) they influence what you do every time you put a golf club in your hands. There is no way to separate them. I consider these principles to be root -cause factors and these principles operate the same within everyone. An awareness of the principles in action can lead to greater awareness on the golf course and the opportunity for more quick and effective solutions. When the mind, body and emotions are more in synch, energy flows through your body more easily and you tend to think better, feel better and can perform closer to your true talents and abilities. You already have these elite parts. You dont have to go anywhere to get them. Performance improves when they begin to function together.
Do your results match the time / effort / money you spend on your game?
EXTENSION NOTICE! Due to the U.S. Open the discount offer did not appear last Friday in the Insider Newsletter and some folks notified us after the deadline. As a result weve extended the One on One Performance Coaching discount until June 30th, 2005 as a continued thank you to The Golf Channel and its viewers. Discounts will only apply to those registering on or before June 30th 2005. Email: and write discount offer in the subject line. You will receive the info via email.
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone program: Your Resilience Factor: Adapt and Excel in any Environment Workshop and One on One Performance Coaching. 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). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.