Striving vs Arriving


Do you strive to be a better golfer? Id like to make a fine distinction between striving, which I define as constantly working to get there and arriving which is being there.
Im not talking about striving for a goal in the future. If you have performance goals you want to reach that is great! Im talking about a MINDSET that causes players to under perform because they continue to think in certain ways and do certain things that arent necessarily getting them what they want. Striving focuses on all the things you think you need to fix (a poor premise to begin with) and arriving focuses on being honest with yourself, in the moment and on your existing talents.
By the time clients come to me they have often tried a number of different approaches to improve their game. They might work with any number of PGA Teaching Professionals moving from one to the next in the hope of grooving that perfect swing. They report they have read many of the Mental Game books on the market and try to implement the information they pick up only to discover that, in their words, it doesnt last. They read articles, watch videos, buy the next great gimmick to strap on their bodies and of course go after the next technologically advanced golf club. With all of this behind them; 95% STILL say their results do NOT match the time/effort or money they put into it!
What does this mean to you? To me, this means the approaches people are taking are not getting them what they want and I receive emails every day supporting this.
By the time I talk to a new client they often say theyve tried just about everything and are still not performing up to their potential. The decision to work on their mental game is often last on their list. This is understandable as the mental game is often narrowly defined in terms of its overall impact on a golfers game. Some people believe its a large percent and other a small percent.
I can tell you without reservation that the mental game, as I teach it affects 100% of your game. Unfortunately, it receives very little air time and when it is the focus of attention it often becomes a series of repetitive tips, vague or confusing theories or comparisons to what others do well, for example notice how he or she is relaxed, positive and confident. While this is clearly what you want to exude; the truth is, Ive never met a client who didnt already know being positive was better than negative or that being confident was better than lacking it. If you could do those things more often youd be doing them wouldnt you? In twenty years Ive not suggested that a client be positive or more confident for this very reason.
The amateur and professional golfer can get caught up in what I call The Striving Trap. Here are some of tell tale signs:
  • When you try tip after tip and things dont change very much

  • When you hope that new clubs will get rid of your problems

  • When you practice long hours and still dont perform up to your abilities

  • When you talk about doing something about your mental game but fail to take action on it

  • When you look for the next quick-tip answer time and time again

  • When you struggle, yet have a hard time figuring out why you slip into the same traps again and againyet continue doing the same thing and getting the same outcomes
You can put an end to the frustration that striving creates and move toward what I call arriving. Arriving occurs when you:
  • Can be honest with yourself and admit that the approach you are taking is not getting you what you want (if this is the case!)

  • Realize that your game will change ONLY when YOU begin to change

  • Realize that the golfer you want to BE already exists within you; and when you learn how to get out of your own way he or she will emerge more often. In other words, when you stop trying to fix yourself!

  • Realize that one of the ways you get in your own way may be by loading yourself with more information (a common strivers tactic) that can cause your mind to work overtime reducing, focus, energy flow and power. You dont hit the ball with information; you hit it best when your mind/emotions and body are clear and functioning together!

  • Understand and utilize the Performance Principles to get what you want. There is no striving or trying to be good when this happens. There is a strong yet quiet sense that you have everything you need and can make each moment a peak moment rather than over trying and over working.
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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.