Category Archives for Craigs Journey

Don't let Frustration Ruin your Golf Game

Controlling Your Emotions on the Golf Course – Part 2

20 Foot Putt For Eagle

20 Foot Putt For Eagle

This is the kind of scenery us golfers get to recreate in. It could be the picturesque contrast of the desert against a bright green grass, or fairways lined with majestic pine trees, or wetlands with wildlife and plants that you rarely would get to see otherwise. Most of us would admit that it’s one of the reasons we love this game; that we love the beauty of the outdoors. Even on a mini course in the heart of the city it’s still a welcome break from the normally chaotic scenes we take in our vision on an average day.

You’re there because you love it. You’re there because you want to be. It’s a release from our every day worries. It’s a respite from the pressures of our jobs. It’s a break from all those people who want a piece of you all day. It’s a time-out from stress and having to think hard to solve problems. And for some of us, it’s an opportunity to challenge ourselves when we don’t get enough of that to stimulate our brain as much as it needs to feel alive. On top of that, we get to do it with people of our choice, like-minded friends and friendly souls to exercise our social nature.

practicegreenEven those who are there for the hard-core competition and big money ultimately do it for those same reasons.

What I’m trying to say right off here is that, we don’t deserve to get anger or frustration. What? No, we don’t.  But I just missed a 3 foot putt that cost me $100 and yes, I am angry about it and experiencing frustration!

Go and reread the first paragraph again. Doesn’t it seem downright silly to be angry given all that? Just the fact that we have enough money to be able to spend some of it this way puts us in the top 5% of people on this planet that can even afford it!! Do you know how lucky we are to be able to even play golf? Billions of people don’t know where their next meal is coming from and so we have only the right to be thankful and grateful. And yes, even a duty to really enjoy everything about this game, even the times when we don’t play so well.

The thought I hope comes to your head now is: “I never thought of it THAT way.”

That’s called perspective.

I know, I never thought of it that way either until recently. We take so many things for granted in our lives and I’m now going to make every effort to be grateful and thankful and those conscious-directed thoughts will not only keep my body’s natural balance in order, but I believe it will also do something for my spirit.

GolferI threw a club a few years ago !  It’s true! I was so angry with myself for missing a putt I thought I should have made. I winged my putter about 30 feet toward the next tee (didn’t want to have to do any extra walking you see- Hah!) You know, I wasn’t even so angry that I missed the putt as much as I was for not following all of my own advice that I’ve been giving out. I didn’t follow through and didn’t hold my finish and so the putt was a weak stab. I was angry for not living up to my own expectations. And how many times have I preached and written about not having expectations? And there I went and did it myself!

What’s really ironic, is that the fact that I had expectations of myself to play the way I tell others, perfectly all of the time, is the exact reason why I didn’t play the way I tell others!  It’s the reason why I missed that putt! Had I put myself in the correct frame of mind BEFORE playing that day, and kept myself there,

I would have given my unconscious the opportunity to consistently follow all the instrutions I’ve been giving it including making sure that I hold my finish on putts. It all goes back to internal representations, it always does.

13235606_xxlFrustration comes from you expecting something to happen and you can’t figure out why it doesn’t or how to prevent it.

You get yourself wound up in this endless loop of “why me?”

More confession time: That day that I threw the putter, I was on the 6th hole and that putt was about 4 feet for a birdie. I had parred all 5 holes prior to that. So even after missing that putt, I was still at par. So I tried to get ahold of myself because I knew there was lots of holes to play. But guess what, the chemicals in my body had already been released from my little tantrum. My limbic brain had already hijacked my neuron transmission processes. I read in the book Emotional IQ by Daniel Goleman that when this happens, you are at the mercy of that part of your brain for awhile. Normal patterns of electrical impulses in the brain get redirected so that some information doesn’t get registered in parts of the brain that help with making informed decisions. Have you ever heard someone say something like “I’m so mad I can’t even see straight?” That’s a physiological fact.

I thought, no problem, I’m an expert at this kind of mental control and I’ll be fine. But I wasn’t! I was in denial and continued to play the same way I was before my losing it. And I double-bogeyed the next 2 holes. I never really recovered that day and my score showed it. I vowed to go home and figure it all out and find out why and never let it happen again.

3244613_xxlYou know, we’re all human. Give yourself a break! Get in the state of mind at the beginning of the round where you believe in your gut that no matter what happens you will still be enjoying the thing you most want to do – GOLFING!

The thing I want you to get from this article, this lesson, is that the best cure for negative emotions is prevention.  It’s so much easier to not have a loss of emotional control in the first place than to try to recover from one.

In Part 3, next time, I will talk about what we can do to get back into control when we do lose it. Until next time,

Greens and fairways,

Craig

Golf Practice in your head. Unconscious Golf Part 1

2945632_xxlYou might be sitting down at your computer at your home or at your office. You may have caught a few minutes of the Golf Channel or a pro tournament on T.V.

Your mind starts gearing up for golf! Yes, you haven’t played a round in what, a week has it been already?

13235606_xxlYour last round didn’t go so well and you almost vowed to give up the game. You could feel those arm muscles twitching as you walked by the last water hazard and that little voice inside your head said “go ahead, do it, throw ’em in there, you know you want to.”

But, you resisted, and we’re glad you did because you know that those feelings always go away and you’ll be driven like some magnetic force to that great green playground we call a golf course.

But wait! You surely don’t want to repeat last week’s fiasco and so you start calculating what you need to do to avoid that embarrassing score again.

Your mind immediately comes up with the solution to get your butt down to the range and start hitting some balls and work those problems out there until your hands bleed.

Yeah, that’s it! If it worked for Ben Hogan, it’ll work for me. At least that’s what we’re told. But then you start looking through your appointment book or planner to find some time and it’s filled.

There just isn’t a free hour anywhere. What to do now? You surely don’t want to go out there and just die again in front of everyone.

watching yourselfThe answer is Golf Practice in your head!

When big time pros like Phil Mickelson can come back from an injury and win a tournament when he spent hardly any time practicing before it, you know there’s something to it.

Even when they ARE able to practice, they supplement it with golf practice in their head as much or more than on the range. Before we go into this, I need to expound on what you learned in lesson #2 about your unconscious mind.

There have been many studies done to show that practicing in your head, while you sleep, or just daydreaming at your office for a few moments, is the same to the nervous system as actually playing.

And it can sometimes be even much better because many golfers practice incorrectly or without a purpose and all they end up doing is ingraining bad habits!

It can be very simple and I’d like to suggest that you have that intention while doing this.

5864320_xxlFirst off, you may have noticed that I use the terms “unconscious” and “subconscious” interchangeably. Yes, those terms mean exactly the same thing. I prefer “unconscious” but no matter.

Bandler and Grinder, the originators of NLP, said: “the part of your functioning which is responsible for about 95% of your learning and skill is called your unconscious mind.

Once the unconscious mind can accept an idea it begins to execute it, good and bad alike, it doesn’t matter what you put into it, if it accepts it, it will act on it and execute what you tell it to do.”

So you have to watch what you think and say especially to yourself. Never use negatives like: “I’m a lousy putter”. Your unconscious mind will believe it and act on it.

This is one of the most important ideas on how our unconscious mind works and it’s directly related to golf. Here’s some more:

7675084_xxl1. It’s prime directive is to preserve the body ie survive and thrive.

2.Stores all memories and organizes them in a time order.

3. It is symbolic. It uses and reacts to symbols.

4. It always chooses the path of least resistance. This usually means, unfortunately for us, that it will choose to do it what it has always done that has given you comfort and no stress. Again, this is not all bad so long as we understand this, we can give our unconscious mind orders where the easiest choice for it to make will benefit us.

5. It needs repetition until a habit is installed.

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6. It enjoys serving but must have crystal clear orders to follow.

7. Is the domain of all of our emotions. Wow, can you see the power here in learning how to work with our unconscious mind for golf in controlling our emotions?

8. It runs the body.

9. It contains the ability to transfer learned skills from one part of our body or mind to another. Here’s the big kicker concept for Mental Practice. This idea supports the contention that it is not 100% necessary to practice based on the old model of the brain that we “hard-wire” these abilities in our nervous system. That old model says that we “store” muscle memory and that it is only gained after repetitive learning has caused the proper neural connections to become established between brain cells.

9195836_xxlTo understand what I’m talking about here, take your non-dominant elbow, if you’re right-handed, use your left and vice versa. And write your first name in the air in front of you with the point of that elbow.

You’ve probably never done this before in your entire life but you were able to do this very easily the first time! So it can be with learning how to play good golf in our mind, as we will see.

Ok, we’ll continue with this idea the next time. It was necessary for us to cover this “why” area before getting into some details about the “how.”  You see, Belief is the cornerstone of achievement. And that’s a whole section in itself that we’ll save for another article.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

Have you heard it all before? Have you taken lesson after lesson and you’re still stuck at your old scoring level? Why is that? Why do some folks seem to make this game sooo easy and others struggle beyond belief.

What if you could play golf with the attitude of Fred Couples? What if you could shrug off your worst nightmare rounds and play at your highest level immediately after?

Have you heard the old saying that we only use 10% of our mind power? Whether it’s 5% or 10% or 20%, you know it’s definitely true as you have experienced times in your life, on and off the course where you have had absolute flashes of brilliance and wondered why you can’t do it all the time…guess what? You can!If you’ve hit a great shot with your clubs just once before, there is absolutely no reason you can’t do it again. What do you do differently when you don’t repeat a great shot? I’ll tell you…you run your mind a certain way that produces those results…simple. Break 80 Without Practice

If you would like to begin to unlock the secrets to the other 90% that you are leaving on the table of your performance, you need to check out:

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These CD’s are a goldmine of modeling what has worked for the most successful people on the planet in all sorts of endeavors. Craig Sigl has brought these secrets into the realm of the golf world with astounding results. You’ve never heard anything like this before!

Arnold Palmer Teaches How To Hit The Driver

At his peak, when Palmer put the ball on the golf tees, there was nobody better. In his own words on his shots off the tees:

Arnold Palmer Teaches How To Hit The Driver photoAt the 1958 Masters:

I’ve been telling you to hit the ball hard, but let’s pause for a minute and qualify that.

No good player ever swings as hard as he can; that is, he doesn’t throw everything at the ball. Rather, it’s a matter of timing, not of overpowering the ball off the tees.

Some people can turn farther than others. The bigger the turn, the longer the arc of the club head and the better the chance to speed it up.

Every player has to stop his turn at some point. When further movement back will affect the grip on the club or alter the stance, the limit of the turn has been reached. Each player has to find this point for himself.

With my left foot pointed slightly toward the hole and my right set at a right angle to the intended line of flight and slightly behind the front foot, I have room for the turn. My hips can rotate along with my shoulders, and my head will remain fixed without impairing my vision of the ball. My feet are almost exactly as far apart as my shoulders, and my knees are Hexed slightly, giving the impression I’m about to sit down.

If I can get back to this same position at impact, I know I will hit the ball right off the tee. If I position myself wrong at the start, my chances of hitting the ball properly are reduced, unless there is some compensation in the swing. Compensations create bad habits. You cannot do the same wrong things the same way all the time because they are unnatural. But you can get in the habit of doing the right things most of the time.

Arnold Palmer Teaches How To Hit The Driver photoGolf clubs are constructed for different distances by changing the loft of the club. The face of the driver makes almost a right angle to the ball and propels it the longest distance. The brassie or two-wood is cut with more loft and so on down to the wedge, which lies almost flat on the ground.

The feet are spread farthest apart in the stance for the driver and get closer together as the club loft increases. The stance opens, too, to the point that the wedge is hit with the feet barely apart and the left foot well behind the right.

The ball is positioned from the front toward the back. With the driver, the ball rests on the tee opposite the instep of the left foot. When you get to the five- iron, the ball rests halfway between the feet. And when you reach the wedge, it is opposite the instep of the right foot.

On my drives I concentrate on moving the left shoulder under my chin with a slow, deliberate action until I reach the top of my backswing. Now is the time to turn on the power. I have the feeling that my left hand is pulling the club down.

You should be able to feel the weight leaving the right side before you start thinking about hitting the ball off the tee. This prevents a quick uncocking of the wrists at the top of the swing and the resultant loss of all power. It also helps avert a slice, which takes all the distance from the hit.

Arnold Palmer Teaches How To Hit The Driver photoWhen the swing has started through and the hands are moving down, let the clubhead fly, making certain the effort seems late to insure the last-second break of the wrists.

Few things give a greater feeling of accomplishment than striking the ball with the middle of the clubface and watching it go straight and far. And there are few worse feelings of despair than those when the ball is hit with the heel of the club or with the top half of the clubface and dribbles away or shoots off into places where it was never intended to go.

It’s no disgrace to hit a golf ball crooked. There are so many things that can go wrong off the tee that even the best players have their bad days. Sam Snead, who is recognized as a picture swinger, occasionally hits the ball with a hook that makes a pitcher’s best curve ball look dinky.

Ben Hogan, who holds four Open titles and record scores in both the Open and Masters, was a notorious hooker and ready to quit the game until long hours of labor on the practice tees got the ball moving in the opposite direction-from left to right. With few exceptions, most power hitters produce hooking action, which I believe is the correct way for the ball to fly.

In 1958, when I first won the Masters, I hit a drive on the seventeenth hole that hooked a little too much, smacked into a tree, and almost put me in the land of bogey.

Arnold Palmer Teaches How To Hit The Driver photoFortunately it bounced back into the fairway and I was able to reach the green with an iron and get my par. I was lucky there since all players make mistakes. The idea is to reduce these mistakes to a minimum.

Until you get a slight hooking action, you aren’t coming into the ball right. The average player, I mean.

At most courses, there are four par-five holes and par is 72. When you can hit the long ball consistently off the tee, the par fives are reduced to par fours and par for you is 68. The shorter hitter is at a disadvantage most of the time. When the long-baller is on the green or mighty close, the shorter hitter has almost a full pitch shot.

He’s playing an easy par-five hole with this shot, but the long hitter has only a chip or two putts for his birdie-and is within eagle range.

One of the most important factors in setting yourself up for the long hit is the grip. You must hold the club firm, and use the strong position. That is, have the left thumb alongside the shaft on the right side rather than on top. The right hand will fall in line if you overlap the right pinkie be tween the first two fingers of the left hand and place it firmly in the valley there.

Arnold Palmer Teaches How To Hit The Driver photoI’m convinced that most players who slice take the clubhead back outside the line of flight the first six inches from the ball. Concentrate on moving the clubhead straight back. This will force you into the correct hitting position at the top. There is no breaking of the wrists until the hands pass the right hip.

Use a driver with a medium to soft shaft in the beginning. The softer shaft with more whip will give the ball a longer flight with less physical effort. The stiff-shafted club must be swung much harder to produce an equal amount of force.

The length of the driver is a factor in hitting the long ball, too. The longer the club, the bigger the arc and the more speed. It is harder to control the longer driver but, once you get the feeling of the long ball, it is easy to move back to a club of average length.

Many times I have been accused of swinging so hard that my eyes bulge. No doubt I have slashed at the ball on occasions when the heat was on and my temperature was a few degrees higher than normal. For the most part, though, I think it’s the last-second release of the club as it comes back to the hitting position that gives this impression.

I hit down on the ball more than most because I believe that the club- head and the ball should meet at the bottom of the arc of my swing. The more popular conception is that you hit the ball on the upswing. When you do hit the ball on the upswing, the ball gets a higher flight. This shot is more difficult to control if there is any wind; it does not have as much roll and thus costs you distance.

I have the feeling of starting back to the ball from the top with my left hand. At one time I was a bad hooker, but I always managed good distance and gradually learned to control the amount of hooking action. I still have a tendency to hook because I’m hanging onto the club for dear life with the left hand.

craig seglTry it and see if you don’t get more distance off the tee with your driver..

Craig’s Take:

I love this article by The King, Arnold Palmer. I have always been one to swing hard naturally and then work on accuracy through trusting my unconscious mind. My height is 5′ 5″ and I am able to sometimes hit it 300 yards. More often, it’s about 260-270.  This comes from my fearlessness at going at the ball with most of what I have in this body!  I don’t think you get more accuracy by swinging easy as Arnold says.

This is an excerpt from a book 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.

Arnold Palmer teaches how to hit the driver

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

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…

Do You Think Consistent With Your Golf?

I’ve got an amazing lesson for you here today on getting consistent.

Start off by thinking about, or better yet, writing down your top 3 reasons
for why you play golf.

Go ahead and do this, it will be worth your while. Don’t read ahead until you
really do this, it will be worth it for you…

Ok, got that down?

I’ve had a number of clients in my office lately that are having trouble with consistency
for their game.  I ask them what they think about before, during, and after the round with
respect to their game.

I hear all sorts of answers for each person…

They mention these types of typical thoughts:

Before:

1. I need to get out and practice more
2. I wonder if I can beat my playing partner/rival/best score
3. Wish I could have holed that putt on the 14th hole

During:

1. This hole always gets me
2. This hole is my favorite
3. I need to get a new putter
4. I’m just not driving well today
5. I need this next shot/putt to shoot a ____

After:

1. If weren’t for that out of bounds drive on the 6th, I’d have shot a _____
2. Why can’t I put together 18 good holes when I can have 9 good ones?
3. If only I would have __________
4. Dang, I’m so angry that I ______
5. I did pretty well with my ________ game.

One of the biggest secrets to playing consistent golf is to think consistently.

Yeah, yeah, I know, you’ve all heard it before…”play one shot at a time”
Yes, that’s good advice but easier said than done.

Now, a little test for you…

What’s the consistent thinking among those types of comments above?
Haven’t figured it out yet?  I put a few zingers in there to get you really thinking.

It’s “judgement” or “comparing” that is the consistent thinking in the examples above.

What if your consistent thinking was centered around one of the top 3 reasons you
play golf instead?

Which of those would you like to have running through all of your thoughts throughout
your golf life, on and off the course?

Would you have more fun and enjoy the game more? Would that keep you calm and
in the flow more?

I’m not asking you to do anything crazy here. Just suggesting that you think about the
things that are most important to you about this amazing golf with everything you do.

When I ask a golfer, “why do you play golf?” I rarely hear “to score lower.” And if I do, I then ask
him “what does scoring lower get for you?”  And he will answer with some sort of response that it
feels great and he carries that great feeling with him all week long.

So, it’s not really the low score…it’s the great feeling that is at the heart of the motivation to golf.

What if you could feed the feeling first with consistent thinking? The scores would go down as
a side benefit…

Think about it…

Greens and fairways,

Craig

Just Hit it Straight dammit!

You want the ball to go straight. You take lessons to line up your body parts and you hit practice balls all day long to try to make this happen.  Just hit it straight dammit! Right?  I’m here to tell you that this is the essence of the game…stop confusing it all up and making it difficult.

I’m also constantly asked about how to get Focus into your game. Of course, I usually answer that the secret is to golf with your unconscious mind and have a system for playing that allows that to happen WHILE having fun.

The following is  a shortcut for you and it was sent to me by one of my clients.  See how this can apply to you. It could just solve a huge amount of your problems…he asked to remain anonymous….

Greens and fairways,

Craig

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Dear Craig,

Thank you very much for the e-mail and a happy new year to you too. The New Year celebrations loom large in the lives of us Scots and I’m afraid some of the health issues you promote go out the window.
I want to share with you something that happened to me me and three golfing friends yesterday which I think  think helps to demonstrate the power of non negative thoughts at address.
Every year a whole bunch of us go way on a golf trip somewhere in the UK in the Spring and yesterday 4 of us decided to “recce” a course we fancied playing but didn’t know. Unfortunately, when we got there the place was enveloped in fog but having driven about two hours to get there we decided to play anyway.
What followed was very curious: none of us knew the course at all and had no idea on any tee what was beyond 100 yards i.e. we could not see any hazards, be they ponds, bunkers, out-of-bounds. burns or rough. All we knew was a rough direction in which the green lay.
Well, the guys I play with are not at all accurate off the tee but yesterday we were all banging the ball down the middle – straight off the tee and when the round was finished we all remarked upon this which gave me an opportunity to share some of the golf psychology stuff I’ve been learning from your programme and I have to say it made sense to them that if there was no visual imagery of trouble that the brain could see they seemed to swing better.
Also, I thought there existed a kind of “no blame” attitude so if they found trouble it wasn’t really their fault and they relaxed more. One of the guys is now contemplating wearing a gauze veil in future.
Whist writing I would like you to know that the most beneficial thing I have learned from the cd’s is to smile a lot. You’re right! It’s impossible to have negative thoughts while smiling and I do it a lot now and I find the whole game so much more enjoyable regardless of the outcome.
I’m an 11 handicapper so I normally shoot in the low 80’s but I do believe this will be year the one in which I become single figure man and, in the main, it will be down to a better mental condition.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and I look forward to more info from you.
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Here’s another trick…go out and play a practice round with nothing longer than your 5-iron. This will teach you some amazing things about strategy, the value of keeping the ball in play, and how well your chipping really is and where you should be spending any practice time you can…even if it’s just in your backyard…
Craig
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