Stop Trying To Control Everything

By David BreslowJanuary 11, 2006, 5:00 pm
Giving up control is a very difficult thing to do isnt it? Many of my clients dont realize they are trying to control things so much on (and off) the golf course that they actually wind up getting in their own way. They point the finger at some other reason like a poor set up, the course conditions, poor golf swing, clubs, etc. They are focused on so many other reasons they dont realize how much they try to control not only the golf swing but where the ball goes as well.
 
Try this little exercise. Open your dominant hand and place a small amount of water in the palm. Now make a fist with that hand and try to control the water without spilling it. Its virtually impossible to do. When you make a fist the water will spill as it leaks out of your palm. Now repeat this except now keep your palm open and relaxed. You could move around the room and by relaxing your hand you actually gain more control over the water without spilling it.
 
This is an example of what happens to us when we try to over control and when we dont. When try to over control we leak power, control and consistency. When we are able to let go of the control we gain power, control and consistency. Here are some examples of how over controlling affects performance followed by a tip to turn it around in your favor. When we over control we:
 
  • Tighten more muscles than we need to hit the shot
     
    When we try to over control the golf swing we tighten our legs, arms, shoulders, hands and facial muscles. This tension causes lack of fluidity and power. Think back to a time when you really wanted to crush a shot. What happened? Chances are you lost power; not gained it and chances are you also lost distance and accuracy as well. Over controlling the golf swing translates into more tension than needed to hit the golf ball.
     
    Tip: Make a conscious effort to focus on the legs, arms, hands, shoulders and facial muscles before you take a practice swing. Let them drop and slip into a more relaxed position. The more relaxed you are the more powerful you are.
     
  • Tend to worry about future results
     
    When we try to control outcomes the tendency is to not only focus on outcomes too much but to also worry about them as well. In this case our mental energy becomes dispersed causing us to be focused on results more than what we actually DO have control over (i.e. breathing, proper routines, proper club/shot selection)
     
    Tip: Focus on what you DO have control over (and its NOT the results of your shots!). The more you do this the more you trigger feelings of calm and confidence.
     
  • Reduce enjoyment of the game
     
    The players I know who try to over control things on the golf course (and off!) tend to report their enjoyment level is lower than theyd like it to be. Think about it. If youre too focused on controlling everything then your enjoyment level has no choice but to move up and down with your results. This is a very tenuous position to be in and can reduce your ability to enjoy yourself no matter what is happening.
     
    Tip: Make enjoyment a large priority for yourself. One key to do this is to allow yourself to enjoy the gameperiod! Try to reduce the little rules that say Ill enjoy myself when I do (fill in the blank). When we have such rules we are basing our enjoyment levels on whether certain outcomes happen or not. Make it a priority and enjoy yourself no matter what!
     
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  • David Breslow Article Archive
     
    Copyright 2006 David Breslow is a Speaker/Facilitator/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people perform at the top of their game. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and has spoken to corporations across the country. To reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net.
  • Getty Images

    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated,” taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor. Kang made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

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    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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    Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

    The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

    Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

    Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

    “We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”