Closing The Performance Gap

By David BreslowMay 18, 2005, 4:00 pm
Do you know what you need to do to play better golf? Many golfers would answer Sure, I do. Most golfers I know have an idea of what they need to do to play better golf. If I pose the same question to someone in the business arena, they too might have a good idea of what they need to do be more productive on the job, be a better leader or communicator or reduce stress and anxiety.
Ive worked with golfers at all levels from professional to the high handicapped amateur and each one of them has a desire to improve their game in some fashion. The fact is nobody ever contacts me because they want things to remain the same. They have come to the realization that what they are doing is not getting them the results they believe they should have. There is a real performance gap between what they know and what they DO.
Maria, a 4 handicap contacted me and when we spoke I brought up a few performance related insights. Every time I mentioned something that had to do with improving performance her response was oh, I know. This went on for several minutes when I finally stopped and said Well, you seem to know everything thats important so why are you here? I wasnt trying to be sarcastic at all. Maria was fully clear on everything and sincere in letting me know that she knew everything that needed to be done. Her answer was Oh, I just have trouble actually implementing what I know. This is a common dilemma. What we know intellectually is one thing. What we actually DO can be quite another.
At this point we are faced with a real personal challenge. An important question becomes: what is it that prevents me from breaking through and playing up to my potential?
This question is appropriate whether you play professionally or not because we all face the one true challenge and that is: overcoming ourselves. For a high handicapper the gap is different than the low handicapper. The professional gap is different than both of them but the gap can still exist. Do you believe there is a gap between what you know and what you do on the golf course or on the job?
Here are some triggering questions that may help you identify the gap.
Are my results a true reflection of the effort I put in?
For golfers at all levels this is an important question. Golfers often believe the answer is no. They may spend a lot of time reading, taking lessons, looking for tips and searching for any way to improve. However, the golfers I speak to (amateur and professional) have a nagging feeling that their results DONT match the time and effort they put into their games. They believe their on -course results should be better. On the job this dilemma occurs as well. People put in tremendous hours and might not feel their results are a true reflection of the time, energy and dedication they put into it. For both, this leads to frustration.
Is what Im doing getting me what I want?
This is another important question that is linked to the question above. This asks you to face the truth of the actions (or non-actions) you are taking. Almost everyone has the desire to improve but not everyone does the things that will get them there; or they get caught in a cycle and continue to do what theyve always done and manage to get the same results they always have. Of course, the trap is that we do the same things and expect our results to be different! This doesnt work. Many have tried to implement new tips or ideas that have some benefit but often lose their luster over time. In terms of our outcomes, the reality is right in front of us if we choose to see it. What we are doing is either effective or ineffective for us. Those willing to acknowledge this begin to take more effective action.
Am I looking in the right place?
This may seem like an obvious question. Ive seen people on a continued search for the answer that takes them from one thing to another in search of the one thing that will help them break through. Its been my experience that we have two real options; one is to look externally and the other internal. Its also been my experience that those who look only at external solutions find themselves on a roller coaster going up and down with the results of a new idea or new tip they are trying to implement. These become what I call cut and paste solutions that look for the quick fix to change things and that dont have real lasting power. The other option is the internal one which means that we turn our attention back toward ourselves to see how much of a factor we are in the problem and how we have the tools for the solution. Some resist this but this is where the solutions reside. The great performers understand the importance of the internal arena and its impact on performance.
Close the gap between what you know and what you do to get closer to your true talent!
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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.
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