Sports Performance

Real Hobbies are not “Pass-Times”

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

golf 2Though many people find the idea of chasing a little white ball around a golf course for 4+ hours as being something close to madness, the reality is that this is more than an activity to just “pass time”. It challenges your skill, patience, perseverance, mental resolve and not alone do you compete with others but you also yourself. People come off a golf course with a wide range of emotions from elation to total frustration and every conceivable feeling in between. At a basic human level it actually fulfills a fundamental human need.

The late Robin Williams is famous for his sketch about golf (click here for great laugh!). Though not for the faint hearted due to his unique style, he takes on the Scottish accent as he hilariously describes the origin of the game. As he does you can see many metaphors about life, it terms of the tools we are given (golf clubs, balls, etc), the challenges we get presented with (trees, bunkers, tiny hole to put ball into, etc) and then the expectations in terms of results (strokes, scorecard, etc). This sounds pretty similar to what happens every day we go to work!

Golf is also about performance and the positive energy that comes from doing something you love. You typically play in front of 3 other people, there might be money on it or it could be a tournament and so the outcome has a consequence. Most golfers are very nervous on the first tee; “oh please just get me to the fairway or I just don’t want to “duff” my first shot”, are pretty common thoughts. Because of this somebody even came up with the idea of having a “mulligan” to offset the first tee nerves. Of course the reason for this is that we all want to do well, experience success and, most importantly, feel good about ourselves.

And finally, the most critical aspect of golf is its social capacity. You get time to spend quality moments with other people and hear about the work, their families and more. Four to five hours with 3 people is a long time and can create many moments of conversation; it is this basic need for community and belonging that is at the very root of our human existence.

I am not suggesting that you run out and buy a set of golf clubs. Rather take a look at your hobbies or things you love to do and make them a key part of your life. These activities are not intended to “pass times” or be gap filers. In truth, they are as critical as everything else you do.

5 Keys to Building Confidence

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

According to world renowned sports psychologist, Dr Bob Rotella, golf is simply a game of competence and confidence. The competence piece we can all relate to and most would contend that this is something you can continuously build, but the confidence piece feels a lot more elusive. For many there is something very innate about this and you either have it or you don’t.

golfIf you were to align with some of the work of Carol Dweck relative to mindset, there might be some hope. She contends that people can have a predominance towards either a “fixed or a growth mindset”. The former essentially assumes that the skills and talents you have are fixed with little or no change over time. However the latter contends that whatever transpires can be a learning opportunity and people with this mindset see potential for growth rather than limitations.

This is a critically important distinction and has a tremendous bearing on how to build one’s confidence.   Being of a fixed mindset has a tendency for fueling a results orientation which creates a clear distinction between good and bad, success and failure. This can play havoc with confidence and is not ideal in the long run. However being process oriented, you tend to see the outcome either as confirmation of what you have been working on or an opportunity to learn something new; either ways it’s positive. With this in mind here are the 5 keys to building confidence in whatever you do:

  • Identify desired outcome – then plan / prepare accordingly
  • Trust the process – believe in your preparation
  • Stay totally present – forget about past events and future possible outcomes
  • Execute to the best of your ability – focus on what you want to have happen
  • Make necessary adjustments – learn as you go

Whether its golf, other sporting endeavors or some aspect of your personal / professional life, these are all applicable. Confidence is something that can be developed, but like most things in life it requires constant attention and practice.

The Energy Gap

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

For many years I have been very curious as to what really enables performance at the optimum level. In fact I was of the belief that if you had the technical knowledge and the people skills (via personality type and emotional intelligence) to compliment this, then you had the full package. However there is a missing component – the energy to project this complex machine forward in the desired direction. If using a car as a metaphor, it’s like having a fully functioning car plus a very capable driver but forgetting to put in the gasoline.Z

iPEC Coaching, in its ground breaking work, has proposed that one’s energy holds the key! It can be influenced by many variables and unlocks optimal performance. iPEC are taking many of the fundamentals of Life and Business Coaching and seeking to use these directly with athletes relative to their excelling on a consistent basis. One key element of this is understanding the role of energetic presentation. This speaks to one’s motivation and the degree of stress at a given point in time and essentially is the “level of gas” in the tank at that moment.

energyAs an example for golfers, think about that moment on the first tee; for most of us it’s not a good feeling and very often is the precursor for poor performance. Constant practice alone or expensive equipment is not sufficient. In order to fully understand one’s energetic presentation relative to your golf game you must look at it in the context of the following six variables:

  • Spiritual – what’s your purpose for playing golf?
  • Mental – how do you respond to competition?
  • Emotional – what happens when you have a really bad hole?
  • Physical – do you get tired before finishing a round?
  • Social – who don’t you like to play with and why?
  •  Environmental – are you a fair weather player?

These influencers all have a bearing on how you show up energetically and, whether you are a professional or amateur, they have a huge impact on your ability to perform to your own potential. Ever wonder why athletes have bad days?