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Beating the Odds

Four Things to Learn from the U.S. Open

There are only two reasons to watch the U.S. Open this weekend:

If you’re a golf fan.
If you’re not.

Okay, why would a non-golf fan watch golf?

Because the U.S. Open will show the best in the world doing the things that helped them become the best in the world.

Here are two things you can actually see these peak performers do at Chambers Bay in Washington State.

They will visualize success. Before teeing off, each golfer will stand behind the ball and face the hole. For these few moments, the golfer will mentally see the path the ball should take. In any endeavor, vividly imagining the outcome makes it more likely to happen.

They will employ rituals. Before putting, each golfer will go through the same motions, in the same order, and at the same speed. As golf legend Bobby Jones said, “Rhythm and confidence are two sides of the same coin. If you’re lacking one, use the other.” In other words, using a ritual can lend a sense of safety and confidence when the nerves erupt.

Here are two things that will be going on in their heads:

They must quickly put the last shot behind them. No matter how good or bad the previous one, no shot is as important as the next. Keep your mind on what you’re doing while you’re doing it!

They must stay in the present. There’s a saying that when you win a major golf tournament, your life changes. You are recognized as a leader in the field. You gain prestige. You go down in history. But you can never let your mind drift to this while you are playing. You must concentrate on the present, and let results take care of themselves. It’s called “process vs. product.”

These four skills — two physical and two mental — work together to produce greatness in golf. They can work for you in your field. To win in your own life, invest some time in peeking at the U.S. Open, where all these techniques will be on display.

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Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. If your team, group or business needs a motivational speaker, please email coachtully @ totalgameplan.com. Here are some other resources for your success:

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Do you coach females? Are you a female athlete, or the parent of one? Here’s “Was It Something I Said? A Guide to Coaching Female Athletes” by Vanessa Sullivan and Mike Tully

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