One of my missions is to help players realize that what is often called the mental game is much more than psychology or clinical rhetoric. Its actually a whole body process. I invite you to consider that the mental game really has four major elements to it and is a function of how you DIRECT energy in:
1. The Mind
2. The Emotions
3. The Body
4. The Spirit
Spirit as used here deals with the very core energy of a golfer. It relates to your ability to be confident, persistent, resilient, have complete trust and faith in yourself and your game (whatever level that is right now!) as well as take risks and be courageous with yourself. When the spirit is high it shows and when its broken it shows as well. You see the spirit of a golfer as you watch Tiger Woods stalking his way down the fairway when hes really focused and charged up. You can also see when a golfers spirit is low. Their body language changes, the head may be down and the pace of the walk may be slow or sluggish. These are just some indicators of a low spirit level.
Because these four elements make up your mental game you can see that they are in play every time you put your hands on the golf club! Isnt this true? Can you imagine a time when any one of these elements is NOT involved? They dont stand alone either. They are all connected and when you improve one, you improve the others. What we call your mental game is actually influencing your performance 100% of the time.
Top performers in any arena of life are effectively using all four of these elements to achieve success. Some people do it more naturally than others but the impact is just as influential whether you do it more naturally or not. Either way; your performance is under the direct influence of how well OR how poorly you utilize them. There are no short cuts and there is no getting around the real and tangible effect on you and your performance. So, now the question is: what do you do about them?
Although most athletes admit the mental game is important: there is still a resistance to developing it. Here are some of the most common reasons athletes express:
Developing my mental game means therapy
This is a major misconception. The word mental is often linked up with the word therapy and many people think that performance development means going through therapy. The FlowZone approach moves you forward utilizing mind/body/performance principles that influence you and everyone else. Blending the principles with strategies and tools allows you to become your own resource for change and consistent play
Its confusing and vague
Clinical and psychological language can be vague and confusing at times. Lets face it; your performance will not improve just because you have more information, data or insights. They may be interesting but more information does not translate into improved performance. Vague instructions to relax or focus better dont often trigger real change either. When you identify the root cause factors and mind/body/performance principles affecting your performance both positively and negatively you are then personally responsible for utilizing the strategies to get what you want.
Ill just keep looking for more tips
Tips are great but they are more often short term rather than long term solutions. In my experience with clients, the average time a tip lasts before it seems to go away is about two weeks. When this happens, players search for more tips hoping the next one will provide the answer. Once you have a solid foundation in the four elements of the mental game, tips can then act as reminders and trigger the FlowZone state. A new tip placed on top of an old attitude or belief usually is no match for the old attitude or belief and that is why tips dont often last very long for many people.
What are you willing to do to break through all 4 elements of your game?
Are you willing to develop your mind, body, emotions and spirit to play the kind of golf you know you are capable of? Isnt this what causes the most frustration for us: the realization that we can play better and yet dont? Ninety percent of the clients I see come into the process knowing that they can play better yet there is an obstacle in their path. Do you know this about your game as well?
Here are some questions for your consideration to take the Mental Game Challenge:
- What do you have to do to improve the 4 Key elements of your game?
- Are you willing to close the gap between what you know and what you do?
- Has your performance improved to your satisfaction up to this point?
- Whats held you back from committing to formally developing this part of your game?
- Who can help you fulfill this challenge? (golf pro, performance coach, etc.)
Note: Please contact David directly via email (David@theflowzone.net) to learn more about the Executive Golf program for committed golfers, the FlowZone At Work corporate program and the Performance Based Program designed for personal coaching with David ON THE GOLF COURSE!
Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program no matter where you live or play. 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