Tag Archives: peak performance

Take the Shot!

Recently I was giving a playing lesson to a student of mine.  He came to me frustrated that he could hit the ball a long way, but could not score.  “My friends always out play me and I hit the ball better than they do!” he exclaimed. His ability vs. his results were getting the best of him. 

After he attended my Breakthrough to Your ‘A’ Game workshop, he realized that he needed to master his mental and emotional game.  It wasn’t until I went out on the golf course and watched his mind at work on the course that we discovered the main domino causing his exasperated state.

From the first tee, I could see that he was diligently thinking about his swing as he was setting up to the ball.  It didn’t take me long to share my assessment, “The problem is you are playing from the wrong side of your brain.  Golf is not played from the left brain—it’s played from the right side of your brain.  We have to move you from playing ‘swing’ to playing the game.”

He confessed to me that he had taught himself how to play the game.  I could tell he was a superb learner.  A professional nurse who worked in cardiac, he had to be extremely precise on his job as people’s lives hung in the balance.  He took that precision into his golf, but in the wrong way.

I explored his thinking further.  “Please talk to me out-loud as you set up to this shot.”  He said, “Now I don’t want to go over there.  It’s out of bounds. I don’t want to go over here…if I hit it too long then this is going to happen…”  “STOP!”  I shouted.  “Your problem is you are playing defensive golf.  Golf is not played that way.  You have to play offensive golf!  You have to envision the shot you want to hit and then hit it!” 

We both looked at one another as we discovered his breakthrough revelation.  I continued.  “You were a basketball player in college.  You didn’t play basketball that way, did you?”  “No!” he confessed, “Never.”  Golf is the same way.  When you invoke your imagination and see the shot you want to hit, then you will be playing the game.  It’s time to move from defensive to offensive golf.  Now hit the shot you want to hit on this hole and don’t think about anything else!”

He proceeded to get the correct yardage, ask for my feedback on what club to hit, and then took dead aim on the target.  The ball went sailing right toward the pin. He hit the green!  Turning around to me in utter joy, he exclaimed, “I did it!”  After several more shots just like that, he was all smiles.  “This is FUN!”

All we did is turn his strategy from one of survival on the course to one of executing.  This 90-some shooter, after taking about four mulligan shots, ended up shooting 3 under par for the nine holes.  Amazing!

It was a beautiful thing to see the shift take place in his game and the way he approached it.  Driving home, the revelation that was such a powerful breakthrough, was not only for my student, but for me.  I began to think about how many times I have sabotaged “scoring my best in life,” because I took the defensive posture.  Instead of aligning myself to the shot I wanted to take on my dream, on a career move, or on an idea, I settled for what would get me by.  Just like my student, I ended up with a result that was far below my ability—and I brought unwanted suffering upon myself as a result.

How about you?  How has the Corona virus affected your mindset?  Are you playing small when you need to play big?  Have you pulled back when your heart is saying to go forth?  Is it causing you to bring unnecessary suffering upon yourself? 

While being cautious, I absolutely refuse to let this nasty virus make me play defensive in life.  I took 3 shots I wanted to hit recently.  I moved out of my home, left a job, and wrote a courageous letter to someone I needed to stand up to. Why?  I’m on my way to the game I want to play—envisioning and hitting my shots!

As you tee it up in golf and life today, focus on taking the shot you want to hit.  Take dead aim on it.  That’s what champions do.  I want to be a champion. I believe you do, too.  Take the shot!  Who knows, maybe there is a 3 under par round just waiting for you, too.

If you would like to start calling and hitting your shots in golf or in your life, please reach out to me. We’ll hop on a quick call and see how to release your inner champion! veronica@truechampioncoaching.com.

For performance coaching programs, please visit truechampionacademy.com.

Finding Total Victory on the Road to Championship

I have been playing competitive golf for 55 years. Through the various stages of my life, my approach to the game has taken on many transformations. My recent championship, the Tennessee Senior Women’s Open, proved to be yet another enlightening experience on my road to championship.

It was so different than the first time I made a road-trip to play in a big championship. I was 15 years old, a young whipper-snapper who was bent on winning. It didn’t matter that it was my first tournament away from home and I should have been satisfied with the experience of playing in a national competition. It didn’t matter that this was my first road trip with my mother and that creating a fun memory with her was a good aim. I just wanted to win!

After I shot a horrifying 100 in my first round, all I wanted to do is leave. Mad that I didn’t win, I made my mom get in the car and make the five-hour drive home from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh immediately after my round. I could not see that there is much victory between a winning and losing score.

Forty-six years later, I have learned that no matter what you score, you can achieve total victory on the road to championship.

While I now help others become champions as a performance coach, I thought it would be good to tee it up myself. Over the years, I have learned and taught that the mental-emotional state in which you play is even more important than your skill level. In order to reach peak performance, you have to create an Ideal Performance State of total positivity and calm concentration.

I’ve also learned and taught that identity is the key missing ingredient in high performance. You are not a champion because you win a trophy. You are a champion based on who you are. Helping others connect their head and their heart with the truest part of themselves, empowers a player to play from victory. They play from a high sense of self-belief in their heart.

As I headed to Tennessee, I packed my bags along with all the dynamics of the inner game that I live, breathe, and teach. While I have not played a lot golf, I had victory in my spirit.

One of the challenges of playing golf in Tennessee in the summer is the high probability of rain. This time around, the rain and thunderstorms were constant. The first day we had a four-hour rain delay. I didn’t tee off until after 4 pm! Come the 16th hole, we were playing with the fire flies and all the chirping night sounds. My focus and ability to read the greens was stellar. My ball had a little GPS system on it—I made putts from everywhere! I was leading the TN Senior Women’s Open by 5 shots after the first round!

The next day I had to get up at 4:45 to finish my round. Due to three bad nights of sleep from a noisy hotel, I was very tired. My mind was so tired I could not focus. A total turn-around from the day before, the wheels came off. I topped 3 balls into the water on my drive on one hole, ending up with an 11! I ended up losing 14 shots to the eventual winner.

While my emotions felt a letdown for about fifteen minutes, my spirit rose up. I thought, “It’s just a score and nothing more.” It came again, this time with a little melody, “It’s just a score, and nothing more. I play free. I have the victory.”

Unlike my 15 year old self, I did not feel the sting of defeat for more than a moment. All I felt was victory. Victory in winning the first day. Victory in defeat my second day—why? Because my worth has NOTHING to do with my score.

Neither does yours. Whether you are playing in the US Kids, the National High School Team Championship, or any other competition, my encouragement to you is to PLAY FREE. You don’t have to wait 46 years to discover this reality. You can discover it on the road to championship today.

Enjoy your entire experience. Embrace your family and friends—all the relationships that come your way. “To enter” is to win. And most of all, know that your priceless worth as a person has nothing to do with your score! That’s total victory.

If you would like some help for yourself or your competitive junior golfer and are in the Orlando area, please join me on Friday, August 21st, for a one day Breakthrough to Your ‘A’ Game workshop at Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Florida.

More info here: redtailgc.com/instruction.

Hope to see you there!

Veronica Karaman is the founder of truechampionacademy.com, a performance coaching practice on-line and in person and the author of The Champion’s Way: Core Foundations to Achieving Peak Performance in Sports and Life, available on Amazon.com. You can contact her at: veronicakaraman@gmail.com

The Championship Mentality

“I have to be realistic,” my champion wanna-be client confessed to me.  She made this comment as we were winding down a coaching session in which I was helping to prepare her for an upcoming big golf championship.

She had just won her club championship by a milestone.  Hitting the ball the best ever in a long time, her confidence was sky high.  For the first time, she was learning to focus on the target and not her swing during competition.  The result was a quieter mind and more focused concentration.  Fitness-wise, she was very strong, having committed to a regular exercise routine.  I could tell that she was now in a position to open up her mind to a whole new possibility—one of winning the national championship she was about to enter.

“But I have to be realistic,” she said again when I confronted her limiting belief.  “Realistic?” I said.  “Champions don’t focus on what is realistic, which is all about staying in the box of what already is.  Champions focus on creating a new reality by breaking through the limits of possibility.  That’s why they are called champions. They open their minds to new possibilities. They go to the edge of their capacities. They push through what is to create what can be. Do you want to be a champion?”  “Yes.”  “Then let’s spend some time writing down what is MOST TRUE for you and 25 reasons why you believe you now deserve to be in the winner’s circle. The idea is to expand what is possible for you based on what is most true right now.”

This one exercise of connecting the head and the heart fuses a person’s belief system and leverages her identity it to a whole new level.  The focus is not on what is realistic, but on what is MOST TRUE. It took her some time to identify her most true reasons. When the list was completed, she was pleasantly shocked on what she read.  A few of her “why I deserve to be in the winners’ circle” reasons are as follows:

  1. My limiting beliefs are dissolving.
  2. I am strong.
  3. I just slayed the field in my club championship.
  4. I’m learning how to successfully focus on target and not my swing while in competition.
  5. I’m opening up my life to the fullness of experience and enjoyment that is awaiting me.
  6. My confidence is sky high.
  7. I discovered an effective swing thought that is empowering my swing.
  8. The timing is perfect for a peak performance.

When we finished with all 25, I had her declare them out loud.  The power that came out of her as she read them was remarkable.  When done, all I could exclaim was “Praise the Lord!”  She agreed, joining me with her own, “Praise the Lord!”  We laughed.  Now she was in her upcoming championship at the cellular level.  All her energy—her mind, her body, her emotions and her spirit—were in “go’ mode.  She is now “all in” her championship well before it happens. I further encouraged her to declare her reasons out loud several times a day to get them into her subconscious mind with even more certainty.

“You just upgraded your champion identity based on what is most true for you,” I summed up for her.  “Now you will go play in that championship from the CENTER of who you are as a champion. This is your most powerful self—and when you play from this “inside-out” place—you have already won.  Now go give it your all and let the chips fall where they may.  You are now playing from victory. Regardless of the result, you have positioned yourself for a peak performance and it is going to happen.”

The coaching conversation itself was a peak performance experience.  I, too, left feeling like I was doing what I was created to do—empowering people to tap into their championship mentality—to position themselves to perform from their highest self. I wish to reach more with this empowering training.

To learn more, visit jointhechampionsway.com.  Reach out to me at veronica@truechampioncoaching.com to set up a strategy session.

 

 

 

 

How to arise from defeat and advance to victory before the new year!

me and tee

The Christmas holiday is over and the new year is upon us. Have you thought about how you are going to enter the new year from a place of victory?

Most people think about starting new years’ resolutions, but we both know how ineffective a new resolution is. By February, most people have bailed on their resolution, largely because it was done from a “willed” place.

But how can you truly finish off the final few days of the year from a fresh place of victory?  I’d like to offer a champion mindset that will help you arise from defeat and advance to victory, right now, today!

Champions are those who enter a new paradigm before others.  The best way to start the new year off from a place of victory is to start before the new year begins. That means this week!  Victory doesn’t have to be determined from a place of the end result.  Victory can be determined by creating moments of success in an area that you have felt defeated in. One action of victory will announce to your being that you are on the upswing!

For example, I was determined this year to knock off the excess weight that I have gained over the last “too many years.” I started the year off losing over 20 pounds.  During that time, I moved to NC and experienced a lot of stress.  Then I gained it all back.  Determined to lose it, I did the diet again, losing another 20 pounds.  Still in a state of stress, I gained it all back and more.

Not wanting to end this year without some measure of victory under my belt (ha, ha, pun intended!), I decided NOT to judge myself.  Instead, I took some time to reflect on what caused the yo-yo outcome.  I realized that I eat as a source of comfort and that was not empowering me. Getting to the true source of my unsustained success, I knew I had to work on building relationships instead, particularly in the midst of all the changes associated with moving I had experienced.

Next,  I had to make a decision to go back on the diet short term, long enough to lose enough weight to feel that I was ending the year on the upswing—that is, that I would not let myself go into the new year without some measure of success—a state of victory in the same place I had defeat.  The diet I was on was a short term “knock it off diet,” so I will switch to a more lifestyle change diet once I achieve my initial victory. But I had to begin!  I had to get victory into my spirit first!

The hardest part was deciding to lose the weight over the Christmas week.  Yep!  But I did it!  Down 5 pounds already.  I am ending the year in victory and starting the new year FROM victory.  How about you?

Here are some coaching questions to ask yourself to arise from defeat and advance to victory:

1. area of your life do you want to turnaround right now before the end of the year?  Name it!

2.How can you get away to be in an undisturbed place of reflection?  Upon reflection, what was the root cause of the defeat?  Was it a mindset, skillset, or not getting off your assets (motivation)?  What did you learn about yourself from the defeat that can set you up for victory?

3.What action can you take in these next 5 days that will change your state of being—your mindset and emotional-set about that thing?  Determine to step into your victory.

4.Take the shot!  Regardless of what the culture says about chillin’ the rest of the month, you be a champion.  You decide what you want to arise to, and do it!  I remember going into a grocery store and asking the person behind the counter about weighing a piece of meat for me.  I then said something about the enticing sugary food at the counter.  Upon telling her I was on a diet, she said, “Today it’s okay to cheat.”  I said, “Oh no it’s not. I am on a mission to lose this weight and gain victory today.  My mind is set.”  She looked at me like I was from another planet—someone who was set on victory as she was set on mediocrity and compromise.  I knew I was speaking into her soul a completely different mindset. Don’t let your atmosphere influence you to change your mind.

5.Rinse and repeat.  Once you get the taste of victory, you will want to do it again!

It’s a beautiful feeling to know that in the midst of losing weight I am gaining victory.  While my end goal is going to take some time, I am loving myself to a higher place. My new year has already begun from a place of victory.

Come join me.

Please feel free to share your “arise from defeat, advance to victory” places.

I am currently offering a special on private coaching through the end of the year.  Book before December 31 and enjoy a $75 savings.  Normally $200, now $125.  UP to 2 sessions.  Redeem before Jan. 31.  Email: at veronica@truechampioncoaching.com.