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Playing Soft The Key to Playing Your Best

I want to be mentally tougher. This is a comment often made by my clients as a request by them in the hopes of improving their game. While it may sound it like it makes sense, the opposite is true. The phrase, Mentally Tough is a misnomer, especially in the experience many of my clients have in trying to do it.
Id like to address the notion of soft versus tough ' or hard ' when it comes to helping yourself be your best and perform your best. This notion has little to do with your handicap or your current level of play from weekend amateur to experienced professional. It applies to everyone.
When you see the word soft what do you think? The majority tend to link the words or phrases such as, weak, giving in or not trying to the word soft. Yet, I invite you to rethink your assessment if you think these same words or phrases or anything similar to them.
Think about it. Great performances in any sport or even in life occur as a result of the individual doing soft rather than hard.
High-level golf is played by people who understand that a powerful, accurate and consistent golf swing is really a result of softening the mind, body and emotions, so that the body can release the power from within. Because they demonstrate soft vs. hard, great baseball players appear to run, jump and field with ease and fluidity. Dancers are the perfect demonstration of soft as they jump and move with grace and power while performing very intricate and difficult movements with speed and precision. Pick any great performance in the world of sports or arts and entertainment and you will see that they are released because of the notion of soft.
Soft is a reflection of yielding, surrendering ' and ALLOWING, so that you are not trying hard mentally, physically or emotionally.
When people hear the word tough or hard they equate it with strength and power as in building muscle through lifting weights. While tough might sound good, because of the way it is perceived, it is not the way to tap into your highest level of play.
Here is what I mean. The notion of hard is often perceived in a way that causes people to:
  • Over think and over try

  • Sabotage themselves

  • Trigger more stress

  • Lose power

  • Lose consistency

  • Reduce enjoyment

    Want more proof?
    Think back to a when you tried to kill the ball. What happened? If youre like most of us you tightened your body, tightened your mind and tightened your emotions to get ready for the BIG BLAST. Then what? Did you get the result you wanted? Most will say, No. In fact, we get just the opposite result, dont we? Sure, we lose power, accuracy and consistency. This is the perfect demonstration of hard (trying too hard, tightening up too much, trying to use force, etc.) rather than soft (surrendering, allowing the power to release itself, etc.).
    To experience soft versus hard takes practice but it can be achieved by everyone.
    It is the first step in mastering yourself and your game. It is the link between trying to play good/great golf and actually playing good and great golf.
    At least you can begin with this. I invite you to rethink your own personal definition of hard and soft to realize that soft really means pliant, flexible and resilient and power. The human body simply performs its best when in that state.
    To Your Best Golf.
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    David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit:, email: or call: 847.681.0247