Question Yourself More Effectively

By David BreslowMarch 23, 2005, 5:00 pm
Adapted from the book Wired To WinThe Mental Keys To Play Your Best Golf by David Breslow, Performance Success Coach
Did you ever notice the kinds of questions you ask yourself on the golf course? Do you ask more positive or negative questions?
The questions we pose to ourselves usually come with lightning quick precision. Were often not really aware were even doing it. Its as if theyre lurking around in our memory and nervous system and the moment some event triggers thembam!
Top performers understand the value of questioning themselves. They realize the importance of creating questions that produce great responses. Your mental and emotional states are affected by your internal conversation. Golfers work on developing positive self-talk by repeating statements TO themselves (for example: stay calm or you can do this). What a lot of golfers dont pay attention to are the questions they ASK themselves. Much of our inner dialogue comes in the form of questions. Questions are like spark plugs. If the spark plugs in your car are clean, they fire more efficiently. When they are clogged they can misfire and the car runs poorly. Questions can have the same affect on the body. They spark an immediate chain of physiological events that translate feelings into action. I call this process, Direct Access Questions or DAQs (pronounced daks).
Your questions provide a direct access to your brain and the quality of your questions determine the quality of your feelings, actions and outcomes.
What types of questions do you tend to ask? The golfers I polled said the most common questions were:
  • Whats wrong with me?

  • Where did my feel go?

  • I hit that shot yesterdaywhy didnt I hit it today?

  • Why does this keep happening?
Then I asked: When you ask these questions; how does it impact you/your game? Their replies:
  • I usually feel worse

  • I become more frustrated

  • I get angry

  • I press harder

  • Sometimes it makes me play better
If you ask questions that arent helping you feel and play better; start asking questions that can energize you. I call these, PDAQS (Positive Direct Access Questions). With practice your brain will search the archives of your mind to come up with answers to these questions as well. These will put your thinking on a more positive track and allow your mind to automatically follow up with even more useful questions and possibilities.
Here are some examples of PDAQS:
  • What would a wise golfer do in this situation?

  • Whats the great opportunity I have in front of me right now?

  • How can I really enjoy this moment?

  • What am I willing to do right now?

  • How can I turn this around and use it my favor?

  • Am I focused on the past, present or future right now?
The beauty of the PDAQS is that you only need to ask ONE really good question to get the positive track started. Ask the first great question and your mind will come up with the others!
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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 TeleCourse that takes performance to the next level. 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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