Emotional Awareness and Control are Keys to Consistency and Optimal Performance

by Dr. Lester Bouchard


“What separates great players from the good ones is not so much ability as brain power and emotional equilibrium.” -Arnold Palmer.

Tantamount to emotional control is emotional awareness. A player must be in touch with his/her emotions; in other words, a player must be familiar with his/her own emotional tendencies and reactions and the circumstances which invoke them.

He/she must recognize these situations when they are occurring and have a means of managing, counteracting or overcoming them. Without these abilities, a player is likely to be consumed by any one of a number of negative emotional reactions and thus devastate any chance of performing at one’s best. Players often experience negative emotional reactions prior to and at the start of competition.

They may also encounter them late in a round, when playing poorly, a moment of consequential importance is perceived, when distracted by some outside influence such as other players, playing conditions, or spectators or occasionally when playing well. Any of these situations may bring about physical and mental responses such as increases in heart rate, blood pressure, or respiratory rate, shortness of breath, clammy hands, butterflies in the stomach, muscular tension, flushing, twitching, sweating, losing self-control, feeling hot, doubt, awareness of unpleasant feelings, concerns about performance, negative self-talk or images and an inability to concentrate. Needless to say, all of this can be highly detrimental to performance.

Bouchard

To aid in this recognition process a player can make note of these events on a separate piece of paper or scorecard as they occur. List the different types of physical and mental reactions down the left hand column with the hole numbers across the top. Place a tick mark for each occurrence in the box of the hole in which it occurred. Make an independent column for pre-competitive reactions. Alternatively, a player can keep a post-round journal and reflect back on any negative reactions and the situations in which they occurred. This, however, may not be as accurate.

This process of merely recording the incidences alone will facilitate some attempt to control the reaction. Once you learn to recognize these situations at the time of their occurrence your own natural human tendency to self-regulate will initiate inherent mechanisms to attempt to overcome them. It’s a biologically conditioned response just like the reactions themselves. Regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative that a player stay cool, calm and collected.

A player must be thick-skinned and resilient. To enhance management, he/she can incorporate any one of a number of self-regulation and emotional control strategies; techniques such as deep concentration breathing, progressive relaxation, positive self-talk and imagery, affirmations, thought-stopping, the use of cues and triggers and modeling. The specifics of each of these techniques goes beyond the scope of this short article.

Define and Find Your Zone

by Dr. Lester Bouchard


Better Golf Solutions

“All seasoned players know, or at least have felt, that when you are playing your best, you are much the same as in a state of meditation. You are free of tension and chatter. You are concentrating on one thing. It is the ideal condition for good golf.” Harvey Penick

We have all experience moments of superior performance in one endeavor or another. This elusive high performance state has been most commonly referred to as the zone, but also the flow, peak performance, ideal performance state and other terms.

The zone is most often reached when an individual is faced with a challenging but attainable task, when confidence is high and when one has the appropriate arousal level and is immersed in the activity. In other words, when one is completely focused on achieving and his/her determination is strong and belief in success is unshakable. The ironic part of this, however, is that some individuals play best when they are relaxed, while others when they are excited, irritated or highly intense. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to teach players to get into or close to the zone. It’s individualistic, which brings me to the point of this writing.

To increase the chances of getting into the zone or the frequency of its occurrence, a player needs to identify the characteristic of his/her own zone state. No one would argue that exceptional focus, confidence, and determination are prerequisites. Which arousal state may be optimal for each player, however, must first be determined and then they can be taught the appropriate techniques to attempt to facilitate it and the zone.

One way of determining your ideal state is to keep a journal. When you experience moments of heightened performance or exceptional rounds record details such as when and where you were, how you felt, what you were thinking, how you were acting, or what you were doing that may have contributed. How was your attitude and intensity level and what were you focused on before, during and after shots? What were your self-talk and visualizations like? You may also want to list the quantity and quality of sleep the night before as well as the meal before the round and anything in between.

The more details that you notice and record the better. After several journal entries you should start

to see some commonalities. And these patterns will act as your guide to finding the zone. If you are a player that plays best when calm then you may start to incorporate more relaxation and calming exercises during your rounds. Likewise, if you are a player that performs better when excited, irritated or intense then you may want to integrate energizing exercises. Regardless of which, regulating breathing patterns coupled with self-talk and imagery can help you reach your ideal state. The pace and content of these techniques, however, will obviously differ dramatically depending on your own zone characteristics.


Dr. Lester Bouchard is a sport psychologist who works with athletes ranging from aspiring juniors to elite professionals. Dr. Bouchard is also the author of “Better Golf Solutions: Professional techniques, strategies and methods to break your scoring barriers and maximize your potential”

Gary Player on adapting his swing to the conditions

THE ability to adapt himself to changing circumstances is one of the most important skills any golfer can have.

I have realized this fact for a number of years, but it was never brought home to me so graphically as in the 1962 Professional Golfers’ Association championship on the Aroni-mink course in Newton Square, Pennsylvania. In the Western Open a few weeks before the PGA tournament, I had experimented with using a 4-wood off the tee on certain holes.

Previously, on the pro tour, I had very seldom replaced a driver with a 4-wood, believing that the fifteen yards difference in distance was too much to give up. But Aronimink is one of those courses where there is a tremendous premium on accuracy. The rough is thick and there are numerous trees and traps lining the fairways. And anyone knows that a straight ball is the hardest shot to hit in golf.

I figured that I could use the 4-wood to reach the green with my second shot, while the other fellows were hitting irons. If you’re playing well, there’s no reason you can’t do this.

Gary

I don’t mean to say that I’m not always striving for length. But many players forget that it is often more important to keep the ball in play. Chick Harbert says that every golfer must have one bread-and-butter shot, something that he can fall back on when nothing else will work.

I guess that my 4-wood falls into that category for me, although this may be only a phase. In another year it could be something entirely different. But in the PGA I used the 4-wood off the tee on 21 of the 72 holes. I made another alteration in my game at Aronimink.

A day or two before the tournament, I was watching Bill Casper practice on the putting green, paying particular attention to the way he broke his wrists.

I noticed he was employing a firmer stroke than me-a jab, with a short follow through. I had previously made a move in that direction, but my putting was still not going well, so I decided to adapt my style more closely to Casper’s. Putting is extremely important to the game of golf, and this fact is realized by the top pros.

I think the main difference between the tournament scores of today and 20 or 30 years ago is that the pros spend ever so much more time practicing on the greens. Anyway, the changes I made worked, and I was fortunate enough to win the PGA with a score of 278, although Bob Goalby made me sweat by coming close to a tie on the 72nd hole. I felt very lucky that, by the age of 26, I had won the Masters, the British Open and the PGA.

I would like to close with a story about a young man back in Johannesburg. We had an African shop boy at the Killarney Country Club named William. He couldn’t read or write when we hired him, but he was teaching himself how to read by poring over every golf book or magazine that came into the shop. Often I found him before a mirror practicing the strokes he had learned. He knew the records of almost every golfer in the world, much as a youngster in America can reel off the batting averages of all the baseball players.

Bobby Locke and I were scheduled to play a three-day, head-to-head challenge match. He had never been beaten in South Africa in this kind of match, and I was quite nervous. I asked William if he thought I’d beat Locke. “No,” he said, “you can never do that. You will be too frightened with such a great player.” “But I’m putting very well,” I said. “Especially the short putts.” “You’re putting very badly.

Bobby Locke will kill you on the greens. He is a wiz-ard with that putter. You are too young and you will be too scared.” The morning of the match I called the shop to see if anyone wanted a lesson. When William answered the phone, I thought I’d pull his leg.

He said, “This is William, the shop boy.” I disguised my voice and introduced myself as Bobby Locke. “Good morning, Mr. Locke.” “How’s Gary Player playing these days?” “Oh, very, very well,” said William. “How is he putting?” “He’s putting like a wiz- ard,” William said, using the same inflection in his voice as he had with me. “Thank you very much,” I said, changing my voice.


Craig’s take:

This is a perfect example of a hall-of-fame golfers explaining how he went with the conditions of the day and his swing in order to adjust to win. Don’t take this too literally for everyone because sometimes, it’s best to just play your game and work on being consistent with what you do best no matter the conditions. An example of this is Bruce Lietzke who almost always hit a fade even on dog leg left shots.

Gary Player’s stories here illustrate that golf is such an individual sport and that there is no perfect way to swing or play the game. You want to play it your way and commit to that. If you have the ability to adapt like a great player, then by all means, do it.

This is an excerpt from the book “Gary Player Golf Secrets” in the Online Classics Golf Library, an ever-expanding collection of golf books. Membership and lifetime access to the OCG library can be yours with your purchase of

Break 80 Without Practice,

A complete guide to score improvement for those with little time to work on their game AND A TURBOCHARGE for those that do. One payment, continuous books on golf sent to you to read on your computer or print out and read while sitting on your couch or easy chair.

Posted by
June 28, 2010 in Misc

What's REALLY Behind Your Behavior?

by Norman Hallett


Someone the other day commented to me that they thought Napoleon Hill, in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich” (click to download this as a free ebook), talked in riddles. I thought they were referring to “The Secret”, but they weren’t.

This person’s confusion stemmed from the notion of the Subconscious Mind… what it is and what is does.

I understand the confusion.

Something you can’t touch, see or smell lend itself to a deeper analysis. What you CAN “see” are the results of the functioning of the subconscious mind.

In the 1930’s, Napoleon didn’t have the science we have today to try to explain the way the mind works. And even now, you have to analyze the outcomes of the workings of the mind to understand the mind.

Of all the explainations I’ve heard and read of what the subconscious mind is, I like Frank Caprio, M.D.’s take on the subject. In his book, “Healing with Self-Hypnosis” he states,

“The subconscious mind is that part of your thinking that is governed by your instincts. Behind all behavior are motivations hidden in your subconscious mind.

He goes on,

“Your subconscious mind consists of associated sense impressions and memories of all your past. It is composed of your brain, spinal cord, and a network of nerves that branch out through your entire body. These nerves extend from head to toe, and information about every move, every thought, and every emotion follows the route from brain to body.

Every single bodily activity is thus controlled. This includes your involuntary internal organs, such as those that make up your digestive, circulatory, reproductive, and respiratory system, as well as every physical motion, even the blinking of your eyes.

Every automatic habit and personal idiosyncrasy is controlled by your subconscious mind.”

(Now, here’s come something very interesting…)

“This subconscious communication goes on day and night, whether you are awake or asleep. It maintains a storage bank of memories of that includes everything that ever happened to you — every experience, relationship, word spoken — everything.

Not only are the memories of your every experience, good and bad, stored in your subconscious mind, but also therein are the memories of the emotions and the environment that accompanied the experience.

Your subconscious mind controls all functions of your body that are not under direct control of your conscious mind, and upon specific occasions, it actually takes over the powers of the conscious mind. For example, the subconscious mind can prevent the conscious mind from speaking, resulting in stammering.”

These facts are only some of the reasons I’m so fascinated with the subconscious mind and why it is the ABSOLUTE KEY to getting what you want for you and your loved ones.

Recall ANY story where someone overcame impossible odds.

ANY story.

In every case, the “base” of the miracle was belief in one’s self.

I would advise all of us to set lofty goals… Goals that will inspire us.

But what about that little voice in your head that doubts that you’ll achieve a goal that high?

That little voice is your Subconscious Mind and the great thing is that you can self-program that little voice to support your goals… no matter how seemingly-impossible.

And the way you do that is to place your mind into a light alpha brain-wave state and submit your positive suggestions directly to your subconscious mind.

Deciding to take control of what goes into your subconscious mind is the main decision you will have to make in order to start creating your wealth… wealth of money, of romance, of golf or anything!

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Norman Hallett is a very successful entrepreneur, a golfer and a widely respected writer.

Together with his wife, Tisha Hallett, one of America’s premier subconscious trainers, they founded Subconscious Training Corp to offer state of the art mental training to help everyone from athletes to business executive get what they want.

STC has created programs designed specifically for golfers at the direction of golf psychologist Dr. Fran Pirozzolo. Visit: Golf Mind Software or Putting Genius Software to learn more.

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Craig’s take:

The reason you want to learn about the subconscious mind (I like to call it the “unconscious mind”) is because when you create a rapport with it, an agreement with it (I say “it” but I’m really referring to a part of YOU), then you can create all sorts of magic out there on the golf course.

Your subconscious mind knows exactly how to hit every shot perfectly if you’ve done it just once. It also knows how to hit bad shots if you’ve done that. Therefore, the name of the game in golf is to be able to make that communication link and tell your subconscious mind exactly what it is that you want it to do on any given golf shot.

The more you understand how the subconscious mind works and have the intention to make that connection and then trust it to perform, the more automatic and consistent you will become.

You are you're greatest opponent!

Free golf mental tip match play after another. Let’s start with this one By MICHAEL ANTHONY

Your Greatest OpponentGolf is 90% mental

You probably have heard many times that your greatest opponent is yourself, not old man golf. The following is a brief explanation why.

Your brain or computer starts working at a very early age. Approximately six months after conception, your brain starts recording all your mother’s thoughts and actions while you are still in her womb. It continues to record everything you do and experience during your lifetime and accumulates a data base on YOU.

For simplicity sake we will refer to your brain’s data base as your TAPE. Your tape is a conceptual representation of the entire history of all your previous thoughts and actions which comprise your present performance level.

The concept of your tape is important to comprehend because your brain or computer is programmed to make similar decisions in accordance to what is in its date base or tape. Since your brain is programmed to make decisions similar to what you have done in the past, the biggest challenge you will face when trying to change your thoughts and actions to improve your golf is your tape.

Your brain will use all of your strengths and weaknesses recorded on your tape to keep you at your present level of performance or within your comfort zone. To improve your golf, you must overcome your programming to repeat what is on your tape. This may seem like a simple explanation of what you are up against, but it is crucial for you to be aware that your tape will control you unless you exercise control over it.

Fortunately, you can change your past tendencies because the most current portion of your tape has the biggest impact on your decision making process. But make no mistake, it will be a battle between your desire to change or improve and your brain’s programming to have you repeat what is on your tape. Your tape doesn’t care if it’s positive or negative, its job is to have you repeat the same thing over and over.

When you go to sleep, your brain reviews all your thoughts and actions for that day. If you do something different from your normal routine, your brain has to decide to either assimilate this new behavior or reject it so it can make spontaneous decisions once you awake. This is why the best time to give your tape new instructions is just before going to sleep and immediately upon awaking. Otherwise, you will more than likely go right back to the previous responses on your tape.

Free golf match play mental tip : By successfully putting new thoughts and actions on your tape consistently for a period of 30 days, your brain will assimilate these as new habits and they will become part of your normal tape response. Remember that you control your tape or your tape will control you. It is your choice and will be reflected in your golf score.

If you are interested in more by Michael Anthony, check out his website: Michael Anthony’s Free golf mental tip match play page I have read this book and highly recommend it to all golfers. Many an excellent mental golf tip in this book. I have also used some of this info in my quest to break 80 as I found it extremely helpful.

About me

Welcome to Craig Sigl’s Blog. Who the heck am I?

Well, that’s a loaded question. I usually like to find out about someone by asking what their passions are. I think more than anything else, that is what defines us and drives us to act on anything. You know, those things we do with seemingly no effort. We feel like we are “pushed” by an invisible force to make it happen. We can’t NOT do it!
Some folks say they are driven by money. I would ask them what will that money get for them. Some say it’s religion or God. I would ask them “for what purpose?”

No matter what the answer, it’s right..It’s You! Having said that, my passions are to explore, to experience, to travel, to discover, to learn, to interact,….and to teach.

If I were financially free, and I’m working hard on that, then I think that I would spend my days going to classes, reading books, taking seminars, travelling the world and then using what I learn to make a difference in others lives, as many as possible.

“If we’re not growing, we’re dying”

Lately I’ve come up with some big Aha’s. You know, those light-bulb ideas that sound the bells in your head like…Eureka, I’ve got it now! In no particular order:
1. Belief is everything

2. Everything we do can be boiled down to emotions and feelings

3. We are exactly what we think we are and we project that to others
4. We have an unconscious mind and that’s where our untapped potential lies

5. There is a God. Just one.

6. There is another dimension or field out there that we can’t sense with our normal states of consciousness

7. Everyone has a purpose and meaning for their life. The concept of “Love” in it’s many forms is part of this.

8. I will have more revelations and ideas as I go along…I will never stop learning

Ok, here are my little “Aha’s” and passions.

I have 2 boys. I love to camp and play games with them and their friends. I really enjoy golfing and fishing, especially fly fishing. Yes, I let the fish go and give them the respect of life in the process. I love to play sports and games with anyone. Watching them on TV is fun too. I really enjoy just sitting with another person and talking about life, people, and how the universe works. I could do that for hours.
Since I was a teenager, I loved listening to hard rock music, until recently. My studies are showing me how some environmental choices we make affect our strength and ability to think and act powerfully and clearly. I will still occasionally indulge in some of my old favorites like Deep Purple, Rush, The Cult and 80’s metal for anchored nostalgia regression purposes. And now, most of my musical listening time is with Hypnotic Music and Sounds.

I read about a book or 2 a month. Some of my favorites are:

Holographic Golf, Confidence, The China Study, Blink, Everything You Need To Know To Feel Go(o)d, Overachievement, Influence, Inner Golf, Holographic Universe, Quantum Healing, Psychocybernetics, Superlearning. There’s more…I’m one of Amazon’s best customers.

My history? Ok, here it is. Grew up in Southern California with both parents, 2 brothers and one sister. I now feel very fortunate to have been placed in such a great family. The more I talk with folks, the more I find that to be the exception and I’m grateful for it, especially my parents.

Went to College and earned my degree in Business Finance. Wish I’d studied Psychology now. I moved to the Northwest at age 25 to see the great beauty of nature and play in it.Hired on with  Fedex Express and got married soon after. Both boys born in Portland OR area after we relocated there as I continued to seek out my own business opportunity.

It never happened until I accepted a severance package from Fedex after 15 years. Divorce happened right after that. I began my new adventure with www.break80golf.com

Breaking 80 is about scoring in the 70’s in the game of golf but it represents much more than that to me. It means breaking through every self-imposed barrier we have. And I’ve got a few more to crush yet; some mine, some others.

“Few really believe, the most believe that they believe…or even make believe”

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Craig Sigl is a Speaker, Trainer. and Master Practitioner of Hypnosis, NLP and Time Empowerment techniques. You can find everything he is involved in on his Business site including phone, address and email contact info at:

http://www.craigsigl.com

Just your average golfer

Craig Sigl, an average golfer who turned himself into pretty good one…without practice.

I was bitten by the golf bug when I was about 12 when my older brother and parents would take me to a par 3 course in Newport Beach, California. This course even had lights so that you could play at night. I thought the whole idea of golf was just a blast!

Over the next 25 years or so, I continued playing average golf like many of us. That is, I’d score (from white tees, regulation course) somewhere in the 90’s maybe high 80’s or over 100 once in awhile.

During those years, I took a golf class in Junior College, I took a lesson set from a pro, I read Golf magazines, I listened to advice from well-meaning partners and friends, and I watched pro golf tournaments on TV regularly. I enjoyed playing golf at that level but always felt I was missing something since my game never improved! I just stayed at that same level of play every time I went out.

Sometimes I would go out with the idea that I was going to just drink beer and have fun with my friends and partners and not care a whit about score. And sometimes I would really try hard to have a good round.

It really didn’t matter either way to my scoring and I felt there was just no way I was going to get any better.I just couldn’t crack this “golf thing.” It was very frustrating. I was having to admit that I was just an average golfer…and maybe for life.

So, at some point in many average golfer’s life, you either say to yourself “I give up trying to improve and am just going to go out and have a good time knocking the ball around in the great outdoors”. OR You say to yourself “I am on a mission to improve and I will try everything in my power to hit my scoring goal of breaking 80 or 90 or 100.

I chose the latter, yet, I had a big problem in that I didn’t have any time to devote to the game.

One day, I’m messing around in my garage and I start looking at a bunch of books gathering dust in a box. I thumbed through a couple in particular that I remembered from years ago in junior college. One had a chapter on Accelerated Learning for sports performance! Another one had quotes from Jack Nicklaus about golf! These 2 books sparked my interest and formed my foundation for self-improving my golf score to be able to
Regularly Break 80 Without Practicing!

After selling over 500 copies of Without Practice around the world in it’s first 9 months in 2005, I knew I was on to something. I took courses from American Pacific University and other Certifying Boards to begin my own Personal Mind Training practice.

I have since partnered with Sports Psychologist, Dr. Tom Kubistant whom I consider a mentor and a friend.

Today, on any given off day, you can find me at the gym working out, at the golf course, or just playing ball at the local school yard with my 2 boys and their friends. At the age of 47, I might even accept a challenge for a 50 yard dash race or a full court game of basketball!

“Participation in sports is more than about just playing a game. It teaches so many of life’s lessons that we wouldn’t otherwise experience. It can also lead to exciting possibilities of discovering potential in all areas of our life through the power of the mind.”

I also specialize in using Hypnosis for athletes and business people in getting over mental blocks, performance anxiety and fears.

For sports, visit: Seattle Sports Hypnosis

Qualifications:

Washington State registered Hypnotherapist

  • NESTA Certified Sports Hypnotist
  • American Pacific University Certified NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer
  • Association for Integrative Psychologies Trainer and Master of NLP, Hypnosis, Time Empowerment techniques
  • National Guild of Hypnotists, Certified Hypnotherapist
  • Medical Hypnotherapist Certification – Alabama School of Hypnotherapy
  • International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Assoc. Certification
  • The National Board of Professional and Ethical Standards Certified

Education:

B.S. Cal State University Long Beach

Other Experience:

Fortune 500 Manager

Speaker:

Discover U instructor

2007 Seattle Golf Show Main stage presenter

2007 Seattle Women’s Show main stage presenter

Toastmasters – Former Club President, CT level speaker

Various Fraternal clubs, businesses, and sports team meetings

Craig is a dynamic speaker who presents eye-opening and entertaining seminars

If you think your group can handle his uplifting energy, call 425-457-7777 to book him at your event.

You’ll want to check out the articles and click the button to get your free digitized golf ebooks. Send me an email if you need more info. I’ll be glad to help or steer you to where I think you can get help. Thx,

Greens and fairways!

Craig

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Posted by
June 21, 2010 in Misc

How I became the golf anti-practice expert

When I think about it, it’s been an odd journey for me. I started out my adult life at 18 in the express transportation industry. I went 23 years there, 16 of them with Fedex, the world’s 2nd largest airline by fleet size. And now, I am now helping golfers, athletes and business people with peak performance. If you would have told me 10 years ago I would be where I am today, I would have said you’re crazy. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision where I’m at today and the satisfaction I get from doing the work I do. The freedom I have now is just priceless.

As you may know, my golf journey parallels all of that to the tee! As I grew my mind in business, I expanded my thinking in golf…and both improved drastically. I’ve had some major breakthroughs along the way, the majority of them have come in the last 6 years believe it or not. It’s been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade what I’ve gone through for anything. The inner peace I’ve achieved and having gone through the junk to get here is priceless. I now help folks follow their own path and feel that is my mission to touch 100, 000 people in this way before I’m done here.

I don’t talk about my dark years much but it is important to set the stage, so here goes…

My 30’s were not a good time for me. I was doing a job I didn’t like. My marriage had huge problems. I had boxed myself into the transportation industry which is notorious for mediocre pay with long hours. My health was in shambles.  I abused alcohol. I was stressed out to the max. I was sick at least 4-5 times a year including some really weird conditions like Shingles. Yuck. Twice, I went on anti-depressants during those dark years.

I remember my little boys at the time asking me what was wrong with me as I lay down on my back and stared at the ceiling for hours on a weekend when I should have been having fun with them. If you don’t know about clinical depression, what can happen is, everything that you would normally find fun and interesting becomes a chore and dreadful.  Yep, even golf.  During a period in my mid 30’s, I actually put the clubs away for about a year. I was SO frustrated with the game and my failure to be able to Break 80, my longstanding goal. If that wasn’t bad enough, I had no friends and my family lived far away. There’s more but I’ll spare you the details and they aren’t pretty.

Hard to even remember that time but I do know it happened.  Much of that period is a blur to me now. It’s no wonder huh?

So what happened? What started the turnaround?  I hit bottom…and had nowhere to go but up..or out.

Gratefully now though, I had a couple gifts given to me prior to that.  The first major one was from the doctor who first diagnosed me with depression and put me on the pills. I thought, “No Way, these are for mentally ill people.” I gave in because I was getting sick so often and was really tired of that.  2 weeks later and a checkup, my doctor asked me how I was doing and I said: “Much better.” He said: “Great, nowwhat are you going to do to change your life!”   I was flabbergasted.  I was stuck in such a rut that I could not see how life could be any different. I had forgotten about all the fun I used to have when I was younger.  I made a vow that I was going to do some changing allright…and I did. I started taking computer classes and researching new careers and began reading personal development and psychology books.

The second great gift that I was given and accepted was from a boss I had at Fedex. I was a brand new manager. I hadn’t yet gone through any training. We had a management meeting and my new boss gave me a slew of projects to complete and deadlines to get them done. The things he was talking about might as well have been Chinese since I had no idea what he was talking about. After the meeting and later that day, I went in to talk with him to get some guidance on how to do the things he wanted done. I remember distinctly how he responded to my request for help:  “Figure it out.” I walked out of his office with my mouth hanging to my chest and the biggest sense of pressure I’ve ever felt. Somehow, I figured everything out. I always have since then. When I get stuck on something I just remind myself that I can “figure it out” and I do!!

What are the big gifts that you have received in your lifetime that can help you find freedom and abundance? Take a minute to reflect on that.  How can you apply those gifts to every area of your life to create something awesome for yourself and your loved ones?

Flash forward to my last day at Fedex.  I am under contract not to disclose why I left Fedex except I will say that I left voluntarily and my boss persuaded me to stay longer than I wanted to so that I could train my replacement.  They did not want me to leave.  Anyway, I WAS FREE!! And it felt great!! All of a sudden,  I started breaking 80 more often.

I began to work on version 1 of Break 80 Without Practice and hired a coach to teach me how to promote it.We spent hours on the phone over time as he guided me to my first online presence and sales of the new product that first year. During that time, I also got divorced. I was the one who left. It was very difficult for me and my boys but I did what I could to spend more time and more quality time with them than I did when we were all together.  That is something I am very proud of myself for. Once again, MORE FREEDOM!! Soon after that I got my handicap down to a 5.  My golf game was leading my life down a really awesome path!

I began taking hypnosis and NLP trainings in order to further my mental game knowledge. I was fascinated and applied what I learned to everything I did online and off.  The really amazing thing about that time period is, when you go through such trainings, you get to experience clearing your own personal stuff and go through your own transformation in the process.  Thank you GOLF!! I broke par on a full-sized course! A 1 under 71!

I’ve often said and written that I think that Golf is like a religion. It’s led me to where I am today…very happy, satisfied, excited to be alive, passionate about many things, abundant in personal relationships. It’s a metaphor for so much of how we live, work and play. It is said that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they play golf and that just the first 4 holes of a round is all you need.

There’s so much more to tell and so I will just keep writing, giving speeches, and doing trainings for you. Yes, I know that you signed up for golf information. Believe me, the way you live, is the way you play.

My biggest secret to transformation and/or reinvention in golf, business and in life is….COACHING.

Today, I am very proud to say that my current coach is Brendon Burchard.

Craig Sigl and Brendon BurchardCraig Sigl and Brendon Burchard

He is a trainer who teaches people how to take their story and expertise and turn it into an empire. He has taught me much over the last year and I am furiously implementing it all as fast as I can and in between my office clients.I just talked to him last week and this article is part of my latest strategies as you will see.

If you want to learn something about how to become a paid expert as I have, he’s given us, his coaching students, an hour and half free training on how to turn your knowledge into an empire using business models such as:

book author, speaker, consultant, internet marketer, coaching, getting sponsorships (what he’s really famous for).  He’s partnered with some of the biggest players on the planet. Jack Canfield, John Gray, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Paula Abdul, Frank Kern, Daniel Amen. He shared the stage last fall with the Dali Lama and Richard Branson.

Anyway, I think you will find something very valuable in the psychology of persuasion and strategies that you can use in your current business or if you want to start one for yourself and find the freedom I have. It’s an hour and half complementary training. It just might change your life or give you some freedom.

Go here to check it out:

If you want to go straight to the goods: https://burchardgroup.infusionsoft.com/go/EA_live/break80/

Lately, 2 things have been on my mind that are much bigger than anything I’ve gone through that help me get perspective. One of them is death and dying.  My mother’s passing last year has given me new insight about the term “purpose” and what we are doing here.  I am really becoming totally at peace with the idea of my mortality. Once again, this is giving me even more freedom! Freedom to be open, to share, to really live. To me, this is now going beyond being just a trite expression to “live every day like it could be your last.”

As with everything I teach, this stuff has to get into the cellular intelligence of your body. I feel that trite saying is now there for me. It’s a really good thing to be free of fear.

The next big idea that I keep running into head first is the fact that so many people just don’t believe that they can change. It’s very sad to me and I even get it in full force with clients who come to see me and are very motivated to change. They are paying me great money to help them change and yet, a great percentage of what we work on is getting them to really believe that what we are going to do will transform them into what they want…permanently.

I guess that if I hadn’t gone through my own major changes, I couldn’t very well convince others that they can change. As it is, I tell my clients to just “borrow” my confidence in their ability to get what they want.

I’m grateful for having been at the bottom of the barrel.  I don’t ever want to go back there but I’m so happy I went through it.

You can change too…You don’t have to wait to get to the bottom like I did.

What do you want to change in addition to your golf game?

I’m here for you.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

What Really Screws Up Your Game…and your life

I remember the days when I would get so angry with myself when I would miss a shot or an easy putt. I would just be fuming inside and obviously could not play my best on the next shot in that state. I wanted so badly to do well on the scorecard and beat my buddies. When I did, the satisfaction was tremendous. Ooops, there I go again, using another “feeling” word – satisfaction.

Being able to bounce back from mistakes…and we all know golf is a game of mistakes…is crucial to your scoring. It’s at the heart of Tiger’s mental toughness. We’ve all seen him in trouble after a bad shot and then he somehow comes out of it and puts himself back in a great position.

The standard advice given out there these days is that you: 1. Make a mistake 2. Go back to your instructor or swing program to identify the error. 3. Hit a zillion golf balls on the range to ingrain the countermove to cure that swing error.

You might have already tried that and found that it’s like herding cats because every time you fix one problem, another one comes up.  That’s because you’ve related the effect to a false cause.

If you’ve been with me for any amount of time, you know that I’m not going to be writing here, that to solve your golf problems, you just need to spend more time practicing and beating balls. And I’m not going to disappoint you with this article either. Rather, I’m going to talk about why that REALLY happens to you and what to do about them.

Let’s get down to what I believe is the REAL cause of most of your inconsistency troubles and here it is:

MEANING

Why do you think all the golf psychologists tell you to Focus on the present and the process?  Does that advice work? Yes, absolutely.  But it misses the mark. What focusing on the process does for you is it “Distracts” you away from MEANING. It’s just a good workaround for the true cause. It’s a heck of a lot harder to teach someone how to Focus than what you’ll learn below…especially for highly sensitive people.  Keep reading…

What?

As usual, I come from a different place than most golf teachers and yes, this is leading somewhere…that just might be profound for you.

You see, we get negative or difficult emotions like FEAR and DOUBT on the course and everywhere because of the MEANING our unconscious mind is currently assigning to the situation at hand. When that turns into a FEELING in your body, it messes up your swing or putting stroke.

For example, in the past, when I missed a 3 footer with my buddies, my unconscious mind assigned a MEANING to that event that “I choke under pressure” and/or “I’ll never get good at this game” or something like those.   How did that happen?  Well, it starts with the first time you ever played golf or maybe even another type of competition when you were younger. That MEANING gets reinforced over time because our mind always seeks to affirm what it already knows.

When you are a child and these things happen, the MEANING you give to yourself the first time tends to sink swiftly and deeply into your unconscious mind because you have little to no filter or perspective about the event.  The gateway to your unconscious mind is wide open.

Every time you choke under pressure from then on, the MEANING is recalled for that type of event and then the unconscious mind releases a chemical that creates the difficult emotion.That molecule of emotion, called  a peptide, is a messenger to the cells in your body telling them to do something…that something is a FEELING.

The FEELING is something like: “the shakes” or “nervousness” or other types of tension. Your reptilian mind starts to kick into gear at this time and actually hampers your ability to think correctly. All it’s thinking is survival. Your fine motor muscle movements are now not working so well because it’s the big muscles that need to work in survival mode and take over.

You already know how the most subtle changes and adjustments in a swing or a putt can drastically change the direction or distance on a stroke right?  It  takes so little to throw off your swing or cause a slight twist of your club or putterhead.

Golf isn’t a game of inches, it’s a game of millimeters or even smaller when it comes down to you…the player.

You’ve been taught that the cause is something labelled: “mechanical.” In some situations, that could be correct but for the vast majority of problems with golfers who already know the fundamentals and have hit great shots before, the real cause is the MEANINGs that we give to everything that ever happens to us. Those MEANINGS then trigger emotions.

“But Craig,” you might say, “I don’t FEEL bad before I miss those shots.”
I know, I get it. It’s not always something dramatic that you feel that knocks you off your game. Many times, it’s very subtle. It can be  simply injecting interference into your process. It’s like a radio signal getting jammed and coming to you as static noise.  What happens is that the unconscious mind does not get a clear message of what you want to have happen (can also be called lack of focus) or your conscious mind tries to take over the swing, can you say “STEERING” (which is like trying to ride a bike with your conscious mind directing your muscles).

Either way, when we dig and dig for the root cause, as I have done in my work with my golfers, you will find that it always comes down to MEANING that is stored at the unconscious level….and it may not have anything to do with golf whatsoever!

Ok then. What do we do about it? How do we fix that? I thought you’d never ask because you know that I don’t just give you the WHY and WHAT, I always give you the HOW because I personally need both to make changes in my game and elsewhere so I just figure that you do too.

Here’s what to do:

The next time you make an error or mistake on the course…(or even off the course), you want to immediately stop and ask yourself:

“What is it that I want right now” come up with a good answer that includes WHY you want to do that.

and then…

“What MEANING can I come up with for this mistake that will help me get what I want?”

and then…

“What is some proof or evidence that this MEANING I’ve given myself is true?

You want to do this when you are at the peak of your difficult emotions about the mistake. Why? Because when you are in any EMOTION, the gateway to your unconscious mind is open. This new MEANING has a very good chance of replacing the old meaning at the unconscious level. That’s where this whole process is regulated and where the change must occur.

In order to have new MEANINGs become permanent, and result in new feelings like: “I just feel like I can do anything out here,”  you have to get this into your unconscious programming.

The quickest, most efficient way to do that is through Hypnosis or other unconscious communication techniques. You won’t have to wait for your screwups in order to take advantage of the open gateway of high emotion.

You can certainly do this in your normal awake state as well and I would encourage you to do this kind of mental work off the course so that you automatically do it when on the course.

I find it interesting that serious golfers know that they have to practice their game to get better…and I’m all for that. But they don’t do the mental practice that it takes in order to allow all of that hard work to show itself in competition or under pressure.

If you’ve read this far, I’m thinking you’re not one of those golfers or are you?

Greens and fairways,

Craig

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To learn how to do self hypnosis, go to:

www.golfshortcutsecrets.com

To get useful MEANINGS into your unconscious mind and

delete the old ones, go to:

www.golfselfhypnosis.com

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Breaking out of the box

You know, for years, I was locked into some patterns. The worst thing about that is, I didn’t know there was such a thing let alone that I was inside them. You don’t know what you don’t know right?  What do I mean by all of that? Well, I grew up with the idea that you go to school, work hard, do the right things by people, and that gets you ahead

(whatever that means).

I created something of a silo for myself with my choices of college major, career, and types of relationships. People tell you things as you grow up and if you trust those people or they are authority figures in your life…wham, they become your belief system…for many people, it stays that way until they die.

For instance, when I was married, I was told by my in-laws that they believed that “you choose your profession, you get good at it,  and you work until you retire. You get weekends and vacations off to go golfing or whatever, and that’s that.” Needless to say, my wife at the time was not too happy whenever I would talk about changing my career from Fedex. Fedex offered safety and security, a steady paycheck, medical benefits, etc.

But that job almost killed me. I’m going to tell you some parts of my story I haven’t written before here. During those years in my 30’s,  I”ve got a broken down body, I hate my job, I’m abusing alcohol and I’m shutting out my wife in our relationship because I don’t know how to deal with emotion.  I’m totally entrenched in my silo and doing everything I can to FORCE my programmed belief system to work for me and the harder I try, the worse it gets. I’m pounding in a square peg into a round hole.

Honest to gosh here, the only thing that knocked me into sense was pain that I finally could not take anymore plus the idea that I might literally be dying. I HAD to do SOMETHING!

I went to my doctor for a bronchial infection and back pain. After asking me a bunch of personal questions, he gave me a prescription for some antibiotics and “something else.”  He said he just wanted me to “try” these seratonin uptake inhibitors.  I said “what, aren’t those for depressed people, mentally ill people?”

He convinced me to experiment. After a couple weeks in a checkup, I went back and was doing much better on all fronts. Then, he asked me this question that was the turning point in my life:

“Now, what are you going to do to change your life?”

Clearly, what I was doing, was not working for me.  But I never knew I had the power to change. I just thought that this was the way it was supposed to be for me. I thought everyone had these troubles.

I thought so wrong…I could not see outside of my silo (maybe it’s a box for you)

I think that too many of us have too great of a tolerance for pain…

Anyway, to make the story short, I quit Fedex, started internet marketing, ended up getting divorced, became a hypnotherapist and now today, at 46, I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. In the middle of all of that transformation, my golf game got good!  – Coincidence?  NO WAY!

You see, my doing all the things the golf instructors and magazines say and not getting anywhere was part of my overall silo. But I broke out of it…

What’s the point of all of this and how does it relate to your golf game?

I was recently told by my business coach, Brendon Burchard, that the main thing that us teachers have to offer is…

Perspective

In other words, a look outside of our box, or silo that we have constructed around us for different areas of our life, and our game.  You can’t tell why your drives are hooking but your swing coach has a perspective to notice the mechanics of what you’re doing that sends it off track. That’s one way to fix it. I, on the other hand, would help you to simply go back to swinging the way you did that time you scored your best. You have those instructions inside you.

So…everything I’m doing here is basically like that. You might have noticed the pain of not playing golf like you know you can and so you go looking for answers.

I had been given one gift growing up that allowed me to finally escape the silo I had constructed. My parents were risk-takers and entrepreneurs. They also love to travel and see new things. The lessons I learned about going on adventures, trying new things and being curious saved me. My parents are no longer with us but I have a picture of them, in their 60’s, going whitewater rafting to remind me to always be open and to live!

The perspective I want to give you for your golf game and your life is this…

Every day, there’s a lot of brainwashing (hypnosis) going on with you and around you. Cultural, advertising, peers, and on and on. It has constructed and continues to reinforce your silo (or box).

YOU want to NOW WAKE UP and BE CONSCIOUS about everything you do from now on. YOU want to take control of the brainwashing process and immerse yourself in positive brainwashing. YOU want to be CURIOUS and OPEN about everything as in:  “I wonder how this can help me?”

YOU WANT to expand your vision of what you are capable of. YOU WANT to learn about how you operate and function in physical form and mental exercise.

Become a little adventureous yourself in this. Fun and passion do not go together with “stuck.”  Go into any new situation (especially perceived difficul ones)  with this idea: “I wonder what this will be like?”

I’m not telling you to totally let your guard down and open yourself to trouble or spending money on every golf gadget there is…not at all. You are smart and can keep your discernment at the same time.

If you’d have told me I would be a full-time hypnotist 10 years ago, I would have said “you’re crazy.”

You have already been doing hypnosis. Time to take control of the trance you already know how to do…

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