How Sports Can Improve Your Business

By David BreslowSeptember 8, 2004, 4:00 pm
Im often asked by people in business if the insights, principles and tools in the Perform In The FlowZone program for athletes can be used to help people be more successful and productive on and off the job. The answer is a resounding YES.
 
Many organizations offer training programs for their employees that focus on topics such as leadership, change management, effective communication and stress management in addition to other forms of technical training. In the Perform In The FlowZone At Work workshops we focus on the mind/body/performance insights, mindsets and practical everyday tools that help people excel in changing environments on the job. Beyond traditional training, the focus is on root cause mind/body/performance principles that are linked with the success habits and mental game principles that trigger peak performance in sports as well as other fields.
 
People in business perform every day. Similar to athletes, they are challenged by both external environmental issues and internal factors (confidence, stress, limiting beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, etc.). Performing well on the job requires not only some of the same tools athletes use but also the insights that help break limiting patterns and allow people to perform up to their potential and be at the top of their game on a consistent basis.
 
THE HIDDEN INGREDIENT
Think about what golf or any other sport demands of you in order for you to perform it well. Of course, there is the mechanical side of the game that focuses on developing the proper technical skill. Then we want to increase our knowledge about the game through experience as this serves as a guide to play the game more effectively. Beyond technical skill and knowledge however, there is another aspect of performance that generates an even more powerful influence on your game. Great athletes understand there is a hidden ingredient that exists beyond the mechanics and knowledge and that understanding it allows them to perform their best. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods both stated that when they developed their inner game their performance went to another level. They had great physical skills but when they harnessed their mental and emotional skills and brought all three together, they really understood how much the inner game influenced the outer game. They understood that talent alone takes you only so fareven great talent!
 
There are talented people who dont perform up to their potential in many walks of life. How many people with talent do you know who dont perform up to their potential? Talent is only part of the equation. Everyone on the PGA or LPGA tour is talented. What separates them? Most would agree, its the hidden ingredient of the inner game.
 
People in business experience the same performance related challenges as athletes do. Environments charged with too much negative energy, poor stress/recovery habits, work/life balance issues, confidence, burnout and subtle forms of self-sabotage can all cause a person to underperform on the job. This costs organizations time, productivity and money. In the FlowZone program, people in organizations learn the same insights that clarify how the mind/ body/performance principles operate to create optimal performance and the practical daily tools and strategies to bridge the gap between knowledge and application.
 
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN SPORTS AND BUSINESS
Athletes develop the following skills/traits and these same skills are appropriate for success in the business environment as well. They include:
  • Present Time Focus

  • Resilience during adversity

  • Decision Making under pressure

  • Confident optimism

  • Balancing stress and recovery

  • Honest and direct communication designed to build spirit

  • Clear vision and goals

  • Focus on excellence

  • Focus on team success

  • Build energy rather than deplete it each day

  • Setting an environment that triggers success

  • Leadership that inspires the best from others
There are also some interesting differences between sports and business as well. Here are a few of them:
 
Athletes train themselves to perform in high stress situations
In business people may not train (the mind, the body, emotion or spirit) to perform at a high level for extended periods of time.
 
Athletes expect to work with a great coach
Coaching in the business world sometimes has a negative connotation and may be resisted
 
Athletes practice more than they actually perform
In business the norm is to perform more than practice
 
Athletes develop rituals and routines that trigger high performance states
People in business may have routines that dont trigger high performance states
 
Athletes know how to balance work/stress with recovery
People in business may experience burnout due to overwork and over stress causing them to experience the crash - burn - recover cycle.
 
Do you think improving these areas would make a difference for you? The business and sports worlds can learn a great deal from each other to create an environment of positive energy that fuels the best from people.
 
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    Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program for sports and business. 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). Also, review the new series of Performance Training Manuals available online! Contact: David Breslow at 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715
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    OB tee shot, bunker trouble dooms Rahm to MC

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:24 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The key to surviving Carnoustie is avoiding the bunkers.

    Jon Rahm found three bunkers to close out the front nine Friday, the start of a triple bogey-double-bogey run that led to a second-round 78 and missed cut at The Open.

    “All of them were as bad a lie as they could have been,” he said. “Besides that, things didn’t happen. I can’t give an explanation, really. I don’t know.”

    Rahm’s troubles started on the seventh hole, a par 4 with a steady left-to-right wind. Out of bounds loomed left, and Rahm, who primarily plays a cut shot, hadn’t missed left all week. This time, his ball didn’t curve, and the OB tee shot led to a triple.

    “Whenever I start missing shots to the left,” he said, “it’s really hard for me to play.”  

    After a career-best fourth-place finish at the Masters, Rahm has now missed the cut in consecutive majors.

    “Right now I’m not in any mental state to think about what happened, to be honest,” he said.

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    Three of world's top 5 MC; not 60-year-old Langer

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 7:04 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three of the top five players in the world missed the cut at The Open.

    Bernhard Langer did not.

    The 60-year-old, who is in the field via his victory in last year’s Senior Open Championship, shot even-par 71 on Friday. At 2 over through 36 holes, he safely made it under the plus-3 cut line.

    "You know, I've played the Masters [this year], made the cut. I'm here and made the cut. I think it is an accomplishment," he said. "There's a lot of great players in the field, and I've beaten a lot of very good players that are a lot younger than me."

    Langer had three birdies and three bogeys in the second round and said afterwards that he was “fighting myself” with his swing. He’s spent the last few days on the phone with his swing coach, Willy Hoffman, trying to find some comfort.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Despite his score, and his made cut, Langer the perfectionist wasn’t satisfied with the way he went about achieving his results.

    "I wasn't happy with my ball-striking. My putting was good, but I was unlucky. I had like four lip-outs, no lip-ins. That part was good. But the ball-striking, I wasn't really comfortable with my swing," he said. "Just, it's always tough trying stuff in the middle of a round."

    Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has never won The Open. He does, however, have six top-3 finishes in 30 prior starts.

    As for finishing higher than some of the top-ranked players in the world, the World Golf Hall of Famer is taking it in stride.

    "I'm not going to look and say, 'Oh, I beat Justin Rose or beat whatever.' But it just shows it's not easy. When some of the top 10 or top 20 in the world don't make the cut, it just shows that the setup is not easy," Langer said. "So I got the better half of the draw maybe, too, right? It wasn't much fun playing in the rain, I guess, this morning for five hours. I had to practice in the rain, but I think once I teed off, we never used umbrellas. So that was a blessing."

    Getty Images

    Kisner doubles 18, defends not laying up

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 6:42 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – It was only fitting that Jean Van de Velde was there working as an on-course reporter on Friday as Kevin Kisner struggled his way up Carnoustie’s 18th fairway.

    Rolling along with a two-stroke lead, Kisner’s 8-iron approach shot from an awkward lie in the rough from 160 yards squirted right and bounced into Barry Burn, the winding creek where Van de Velde’s title chances at the 1999 Open Championship began to erode.

    Unlike Van de Velde, who made a triple bogey-7 and lost The Open in a playoff, Kisner’s double bogey only cost him the solo lead and he still has 36 holes to make his closing miscue a distant memory. That’s probably why the 34-year-old seemed at ease with his plight.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “It just came out like a high flop shot to the right. It was weird. I don't know if it caught something or what happened,” said Kisner, who was tied with Zach Johnson and Zander Lombard at 6 under par. “You never know out of that grass. It was in a different grass than usual. It was wet, green grass instead of the brown grass. So I hadn't really played from that too much.”

    Like most in this week’s field Kisner also understands that rounds on what is widely considered the most difficult major championship venue can quickly unravel even with the most innocent of mistakes.

    “To play 35 holes without a double I thought was pretty good,” he said. “I've kept the ball in play, done everything I wanted to do all the way up into that hole. Just one of those things that came out completely different than we expected. I'll live with that more than chipping out and laying up from 20 feet.”

    Getty Images

    Wind, not rain more a weekend factor at Open

    By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:39 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – After a half-day of rain in Round 2 of the 147th Open Championship, the weekend offers a much drier forecast.

    Saturday at Carnoustie is projected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of rain.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Sunday calls for much warmer conditions, with temperatures rising upwards of 73 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

    Wind might be the only element the players have to factor in over the final 36 holes. While the winds will be relatively calm on Saturday, expected around 10-15 mph, they could increase to 25 mph in the final round.