I met Chip in 2003 while he was struggling on the Nike-turned-Nationwide Tour. He had seen many different swing coaches and talked to several folks in the arena of Sports Psychology yet his struggles continued for some time. Finally, Chip settled on swing coach Dr. Jim Suttie, a Golf Channel guest and Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher (www.jimsuttie.com). Dr. Suttie introduced me to Chip shortly after and within 5 weeks of our working together Chip was making birdies again, finishing in the top 10 twice and tasting success again.
Chip is now the new guy on the Champions Tour and clearly enjoying it. For any of you who have ever been down and out or felt as if youve lost your game, Chip remains a beacon of hope and persistence. Chip Beck is a golfer. Although he ventured into other areas during his down periods, his journey led him to the realization that in his core: he is a golfer. The Champions Tour provides him a tremendous opportunity and teaches us all there is a second chance out there if we are willing to recognize it and seize it.
In our time together, Chip was exposed to some of the Performance Laws I write about so often on this site. These Laws are all about helping people tap into a potential that already exists within them. These Laws are undeniable and influence everyone, no matter who you are or what your level of play is. In fact, the basic foundation of the FlowZone Approach is:
After spending years searching for an answer, Chip discovered that everything he needed was already within him and this insight goes beyond the usual be more confident and focus on targets. I suggest that a mental game is not only a part of your game, it IS your game (the way I teach it) and its impact is undeniable because everything is connected. There are some golfers who still believe a mental game is a small percentage of their game (at least less than 100%) and it is this belief that causes players to continue to under perform, regardless of their physical skills. Ive witnessed this time and time again. Chip is aware of the internal process taking place and how it creates outcomes, both positive and negative, and that things dont just happen most of the time.
In fact, when we first met, Chip was happy to talk about the poor experiences hed been having over the past 7 years. After several minutes of this I asked him to stop. Dont you need to hear my story in order to help? he asked. Not really, I replied. This surprised him because, like many, he believed that telling and retelling his story was necessary for improvement. Im not disinterested in your experiences, I said. We can glean the important messages from them but to tell and retell them is not the most effective strategy. Besides, when you truly understand the workings of the mind/body relationship and the predictable laws by which they create outcomes, youll probably want to stop telling the story on your own. For now, your first assignment is: STOP telling it. Chips jaw dropped in surprise because, until this moment, he thought telling his story was necessary. Then I asked, How long have you been telling this story? On and off for about 6 years. Mostly on, he answered. Then I asked, How long have you been struggling on the tour? Chip laughed because he could see the connection coming. Okay. About 6 years. Theres your proof, I said. Chip smiled.
I reinforced the fact that the FlowZone approach is not about learning how to cope with the past so we dont have to dwell on it. Its not ignoring the past but it is about realizing that most of the things we think we need to cope with, we are actually creating. Then it becomes about creating something new and doing it immediately! Many of my clients find themselves in a similar predicament as Chip. They think they have to get rid of the past, make sure it doesnt happen again, try and figure it out, etc. and therefore continue to focus on it. This does not work. I was so proud of Chip when, 5 weeks later, as his play was returning to form, a reporter asked, So, what about all of your past trials and tribulations? Chips immediate response was, Well, whats most important now is how Im creating a new future I stood off to the side pumping my fist in joy.
Chips journey contains great messages for all of us and I see two very important lessons:
Take an honest look to see if what youre doing is truly getting you what you want.
You can cut down on your down time by applying one of the very first Performance Laws and it is: the more honest you are, the quicker you get what you want. Be open and willing to see the truth. Do you continue to do the same thing and get the same or similar results? Chip put his ego aside and was willing to be open to hear and see a different outlook and perspective at a time when hed tried just about everything. What can you learn from this?
Never give up on your dream.
Everything on his journey, even the down times and side roads occurred for a reason. They all made him stronger and wiser. This is the purpose of a lesson and if you are alive, there is no escaping them. In this way, Chip rediscovered his dream because all of his lessons pointed toward the fact that Chip is a golfer and this is what he wants to do. It doesnt matter if you are a pro like Chip or not. You could be someone who is struggling to be a pro or an already talented golfer but not displaying that talent enough. Your dream could be to cut strokes off a 25 handicap or 10 handicap. It simply does not matter. The Performance Laws are influencing all of us just the same and the lessons in Chip Becks journey are there for all of us to learn.
Heres to all of us Chip Becks in the world and to the achievement of our dreams.