The Most Important Performance Principle


Much is written about peak performance and how to get the most out of your game. When I give a presentation or meet people who ask me what I do, I tell them Im a Performance Coach and I help people perform to their potential. Often they say, Boy could I use help with that! I then ask, So, do you do anything about it? This question is often met with things like, Not really or Yes, I read books and magazines. Unfortunately, these people see sporadic changes. I also receive calls from Teaching Professionals in different geographical areas who want to refer certain students to me. These students are often stuck in mechanics, physically stressed and spend a lot of time at the driving range and taking lessons while continuing to under perform. These students are not aware of the performance principles and believe that its all about mechanics and will often resist their teaching pros request; at first.
People have a variety of reasons for not taking the step to develop what is commonly called the mental game. Often its because their perception of what a mental game is can be somewhat limiting. Its been my experience that most clients come into our program excited to know they will not hear the standard tips and theories theyve seen and heard so often.
No matter what your personal challenge or issue on the golf course, whether its swinging as well on the course as on the range, poor thinking and decision making, inconsistency, negativity, poor confidence, emotional upset, etc. it is important to realize there are very specific and predictable performance principles that are at the root of how well or how poorly you play the game. These principles influence everyone regardless of age, personality type, gender or skill level (yes, even you!) When I say this to people at a presentation I can see the slight look of doubt and resistance on some faces. Some people have a difficult time believing this all encompassing statement but I can tell you that its incredibly easy to prove. There is one principle (or performance law) that is the foundation for all the others. It is:

The more honest you are with yourself; the quicker you get what you want.
Some people seem disappointed by this principle because it doesnt seem to have to do with golf; but it does. This principle is called a law because it is true for everyone, everywhere. The truth is; you cannot improve what you are not willing to see or admit. Its that simple. Do you think this principle is truer for one person that it is another? Its not. Its true for all of us. Whether you agree, disagree or deny it, the principle is in full operation anyway. Thats the beauty of working with the principles. They operate regardless of our opinion or acknowledgement of them and the proof is right in front of you in the form of who you are on the course and how you play the game. Imagine living in a home where the foundation is beginning to weaken. Instead of fixing or replacing it you put on new coats of paint. The house may now look good on the outside but the foundation is no longer solid and strong. This is what happens when we look for outside answers and put on new tips. All my clients, upon questioning admit that the tips often seem to disappear after a while leaving them underperforming once again. Tips are great but can often be just like the paint covering up the poor foundation of the house. They simply dont address what is most important. This is why I believe this one performance principle is the most important of all.
Here are some trigger questions to get you thinking. This is an opportunity to be honest with yourself and decide if you want to take action.
  1. If you apply a number of tips or strategies and find your game does not improve that much, are you willing to admit that what you are doing is not working?

  2. Do you analyze your game/swing so much that you are locked up over the ball or tend to talk about mechanics all the time?

  3. Does your confidence seem to come and go with your results?

  4. Do you say a mental game is important yet dont take action on improving it?

  5. Do you reject the notion there are specific, precise and predictable performance laws/principles that influence you and everyone else?

  6. Have you tried improving your mental game with limited success?

  7. Do you blame other people and situations when you under perform?

  8. Do you consistently tell others your story about why you under perform?

  9. Could you be more physically relaxed over the ball?

  10. Do you believe mental game talk is about vague or difficult psychological concepts and theories? (Many have said yes to this one!)

  11. Are you aware that you are the cause of many of your performance issues?
As with all other performance principles or any tips or strategies, taking action is the only way to experience change. If you answered yes to any of the first 10 questions what are you doing about improving that aspect? Is it helping you get what you want? If you have any further questions we are here to help. You are welcome to contact my office at or via telephone, 847.681.1698.
To Your Best Golf!
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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 move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For 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.