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Almost every golfer Ive ever worked with has been on a perpetual search for anything that will help them perform better. Organizations in business spend a lot of money on training classes designed to help employees improve as well. The important question is: Where is this money going and are people actually changing as a result? I also find an interesting trend with both the golfer and the businessperson who seek to improve themselves. The trend is something I call: Im working on it.
 
On the surface it looks great. We all want to improve and one of the ways we go about it is by working on our game. We read books, take lessons, go to training programs, etc. The problem I encounter though is that most people sadly report that they arent really changing that much and its frustrating. People get so caught up in working on their game they actually spend more time doing just that; working on it rather than changing it! I believe the emphasis is in the wrong place; for the golfer and the business organization. The approach they take may give people more things to do (tips/strategies, etc.) but doesnt address real change. There is a saying that goes: 'Surfaced approaches tend to yield surfaced results.'
 
YOU CAN PLAY BETTER...NOW!
Amanda and I began working together last year. She is an 11 handicap and in our first phone session I asked her how long she had been working on her game. At least ten years,' she said. When I asked how she was working on her game she answered, I take lessons, I practice at the range and I read some books on sports psychology. Great,' I replied. So, in the ten years, how much would you say your performance has improved/changed? Amanda curled her lips, scrunched her face and said, WellI knocked a couple of shots off my handicap but I still dont play as well as I know I can. What can you do better? I asked. I still let bad shots bother me too long and I focus on the score a lot and I feel a lot of pressure to play well. Ive been working on all that stuff for quite a while now, she said proudly.
 
Amandas situation is very common - - underperforming in relation to her actual capabilities. I know youve been working on your game for quite some time but I will tell you that it doesnt take 10 years to get what you want, I said to her. What do you mean? she asked in surprise. Well, besides working on developing a better golf swing with your teacher, you say youve been working on your impatience, frustration, perfectionism, etc. for some time. What Im suggesting to you is that it doesnt take 10 years to see the improvements you want in that area. In fact, you could start seeing changes in just a few weeks. Amanda was quite surprised by this statement and of course wanted to know how.
 
I told her thats what the FlowZone program she just entered is designed to help her do. Then I asked: What part of your game would you say you work on the most? She said, I spend a lot of time on my swing, like most people I guess.' 'Well, let me ask you this. A stool stands solid and strong when it has all 3 legs to rely on, right? Yes, she replied. When you take away one of the legs or even shorten it a bit what have you got? Something very shaky to rely on, she said sheepishly. Exactly! And thats how a lot of players sabotage their performance without even realizing it.
 
Amanda spent so much time (money and energy) thinking she was actually working on her game when she was really doing a bunch of things that werent getting her where she wanted to be. In addition, she was working more on one leg of her game creating a major imbalance. She tried tip after tip only to discover it didnt last very long. As long as she was trying something, she felt she was at least working on her game. When she took an honest look, she realized she was fooling herself by finding enough ways to work on her game even though she wasnt seeing consistent change in performance on the course.
 
What about you?
 
Here are 3 questions that can help you be clearer about your game:
 
What are you actually doing to help yourself play better golf?
(i.e. buying new clubs, taking lessons, reading books, looking for tips, etc.)
 
What is the actual effect of these things on your game?
(Scoring, enjoyment level, consistency, playing to potential, etc.)
 
How, specifically, has your game really changed in the last 6 months, 1 year or 2 years?
 
Ive asked these questions to many players and businesspeople over the years and most often the answers are very revealing. Here is the big challenge:
 
While people believe they are working on their games, they discover they are not actually making real change the way theyd like to. They also discover they spend more time/money/energy working on their game but not on themselves! In other words; they severely shorten or ignore one of the legs that can bring them back to a strong balance and allow themselves to perform their best!
 
Lets face it; its far easier to focus on the physical aspect or search for the quick-fix tip before taking a look at any of the internal reasons that are really influencing performance. This is true in the business world as well. Remember, its all connected whether you believe it or not! There are 3 legs on the stool and if you dont use them all; you may underperform. Surfaced approaches yield surfaced results. Take a close look: no matter what club a player has in their hand or no matter how many lessons they take, players who dont utilize all 3 legs (the mind, body and emotions) EFFECTIVELY; are not using all their resources to perform. Are new clubs, lessons and practice importantsure they are and yet most golfers inherently know that theres more to their performance than that!
 
Do you know someone who seems to have the physical tools yet somehow manages to underperform? The proof is all around. You can play better NOW and turn Im working on it into Im doing it!
 
NOTE: END OF SEASON OFFER!
We are pleased to extend this end of season offer to all Golf Channel viewers! You can now register for one-on-one Performance Coaching; keep the discount rate and now for only 3 sessions (rather than the normal 6 session minimum). All you need is a telephone. Its easy, cost-effective and fun! Weve taken the time and cost factor out of the equation for you! Simply email: David@theflowzone.net and type intro offer in the subject line and well send you all the information you need to get started.

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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone and Resilience Factor programs for athletes of all levels and business professionals to help them adapt and excel in any conditions. His unique approach is designed to affect real change from a root cause perspective helping people break ineffective patterns. 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: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.