NLP & Sports–Golf

NLP has always been concerned with excellence. That dedication is one of the core conecpts of modeling, is it not? So, it is not surprising that many of us become fascinated with sports. Not the usual fascination, with batting avreages and free throw percentages and things like that.

No, the NLPer wants to know what the athelete is doing inside his mind as he plays. Let’s set natural talent aside: for instance, in tennis Nadal has shots and moves in a way that say, Justin Gimblestob, never could no matter how much he practiced. There are physical differences from one person to the next. But, I would argue, those differences are far less of the outcome than what goes on inside the mind.

Being in Florida, you cannot swing a dead cat around without hitting a golfer–golf courses are everywhere. I live across the street from one–and I am not a golfer. But I have worked with a lot of them to help improve their game. In the same vein, I have worked with a lot of pregnant women to help them prepare for childbirth, even though it is physically impossible for me to become pregnant!

Most golf gurus tell their students to focus on some particular part of the body during the swing. The body has between 650 and 690 muscles (different text books give different numbers).  Six-fifty is the bottom one, so let’s stick with it. How many things can you consciosuly be aware of? It is the old 7+ or – 2 rule. The conscious mind is going to be over whelmed real fast!

That is just one of the mental mistakes golfers make. I’ve compiled a list of what I believe to be the Top Ten Mental Mistakes golfers make. I just did a press release on this list. If you want to take a look at it, here is the link:

Advertisements

Never Cry Over Spilt Milk

Good advice, I suppose. I thought about it today, but in a different way than you might think. I was having a pretty good day. Got some work done this morning, then decided to go to they gym this afternoon. On my way home, I stopped at Starbucks and picked up coffee for me and Wendy. So, I pull into our driveway, get out, take the coffee cups to a table next to the grill, and go back to the car for the gym bag.

Every move was plotted out. I’ve spilled coffee before getting it from the car into the house. I’m not doing that again. The next step is to get the coffee from the outside to the inside–piece of cake. I carefully put it down on a small stand just inside the door, making sure it is not near the edge. Then I step back out, pick up the gym bag and bring it into the house. At which point,  the gym bag twists in my hand, swings around and hits the stand. My cup of Starbucks Pike Place goes crashing to the floor. Wendy’s decaf was okay.

But I was not okay. I used numerous combinations of Carlin’s Seven Words. I moved her coffee to a safer position, got a mop and bucket, and began the clean up. I put about one-half gallon water in the bucket and quickly had the coffee mopped up. So, I put the mop in the bucket and turned around to look at something. I hear a “clink” and swing back around to see that the mop handle was heavy enough to topple over and take the bucket with it. Now, I get to mop up a cup of coffee and a half-gallon of water all mixed together! I paid more homage to Carlin.

I am old enough to remember the “Maverick” TV show from the ’60s. One of the running jokes in the show was Maverick coming up with some twisted homily attributed to his father, “As my old Pappy always said, ‘Don’t cry over spilt milk, it could have been whiskey.'” That one came up more than once, I believe.

So, I am sitting at the kitchen table thinking about Maverick and how it applys. Well, it does NOT. Haven’t drunk any form of booze in 12 years. No interest in the stuff. Milk’s only purpose is cream in coffee, as far as I am concerned. And Starbucks is the nectar of the gods. It is the best coffee going. Whatever is second is so far back, it is off the chart. So, according to Maverick, this is something to cry about!!! Cannot come up with a worse situation involving a consumable!

On the other hand, why should I ruin the rest of the day?????  Everything else was pretty good up to then. Why let this one (two?) unfortunate event spoil everything else. So, I fired off some resource anchors and began messing with the submodalities of the situation. Pretty soon, I am laughing about my incompetence with coffee cups and the world is a brighter place. Thank the gods for NLP!

Over the years, I have coached (mentally, not physically) a lot of golfers. This is a skill that I always teach them–recovering from a bad shot. How many times have I heard, “Everything was great until the fourth hole. Then I sliced my T shot, and it was over. Should have just gone straight to the club house.”

One bad shot should be just that–one bad shot! Setting up a resource anchor for a golfer is a great way to give them control over this situation. You can do more, but the anchor takes care of a lot of these problems. I have that built into my Golf Easy program <http://www.success-is-easy.com/Golftop.htm&gt;. You can make a really strong case that Golf Mental Toughness has mostly to do with letting go of a bad shot. I suppose it is a little more complicated than that–my program has 6 CDs full of NLP and hypnosis techniques.

So, tonight I called my daughters on the phone and told them, “Never cry over spilt milk, it could have been Starbucks.”