The “Mental Game,” Thirty Common Misconceptions

What follows are the thirty most common misconceptions about mental performance, and coaching the mental game, that I’ve come across over the past few weeks. I’ve listed them without further explanation with hope that you’ll reflect on each and draw your own conclusions. 1. A mental coach’s job is to impart information or strategy. 2.… Read More

Mental Performance: Where I Stand, Right Now

Over the weekend, it occurred to me to pause and take a good look at my current perspective on the human mind and how it relates to performance. The following fifteen bullet points were the result. Our feelings stem from thought. They’re not the result of environment, circumstance, or the behavior of someone else. Because… Read More

When Struggle Strikes

In my experience, people behave one of two ways when struggle strikes: They look outside and grind for causes and cures; or they take meditative timeouts seeking peace of mind. Unfortunately, in either case, they’re lessening the odds of ending their struggle. In fact, they usually end up perpetuating it (e.g., a slump in sports).… Read More

The Spirit of Thought

The key to peace of mind is understanding that you don’t control your mind. As I’ve often said: “You’re not in charge of your thinking—or the feelings that follow.” Now, assuming that I’m correct, where does your thinking come from? Who or what determines the ebb and flow of thought and then feelings? At the… Read More

Where Answers Come From

Following Troy Merritt’s win at last week’s event on the PGA tour, many were quick to point out that he had missed the cut in his proceeding five tournaments. These same writers and experts also expressed the opinion that never giving up, or grinding away, was the reason that Merritt found what he was looking… Read More

When to Listen to Your Thinking—and When to Discard It

Here are two questions I’m often asked: “When should I listen to my thinking?” “When should I discard it?” The answers are: never and always. Productive choices and behaviors occur instinctually. To illustrate, let’s say while in the midst of writing an article, I get a case of writer’s block. I then think that I need… Read More

Understanding Versus Trying to Control

Take a moment and reflect on this question: If your son were upset and claiming that a schoolmate had hurt his feelings, how would you respond? A. “Don’t let anyone hurt your feelings.” B. “No one has the power to hurt your feelings.” While the difference between A and B may appear subtle, it most… Read More

Normal Mistake, Normal Illusion

If you play shortstop in baseball, you’re going to miss groundballs. If you play golf, you’re going to miss short putts. If you play forward in hockey, you’re going to miss open nets. While these mistakes are normal aspects of playing these sports—they are still mistakes. Likewise, if you’re a human being, you’re going to… Read More

An Update on “Confidence”

What follows is an updated version of an article deemed “contrarian” by some. Let me know what you think… GK — Here’s some misinformation that I’ve heard while watching sports programs over the past few months: “Success breeds confidence.” This morning, for instance, I listened to a golf announcer ask a PGA tour player: “Did… Read More

True Control

Have you ever heard a coach, teacher, employer, or parent say: “Focus on the things you can control; don’t worry about what you can’t control”? I’ve heard it plenty, and it never sounded quite right. Just the other day, a well-known productivity expert gave an example of this line of thinking. He said, “You must… Read More