Flow Golf Podcast TV Episode#8 / Golf Mental Game
Rick, we’re back again for another episode, back to share some more stories on your 2021 year, some incredible stuff, as we spoke about last time, but actually we’ll spend a lot of time talking about golf and about the performance of some of your players.
Actually, I want to dove into your own performance as well, because I know you spent a lot of 2021 engaging in many presentations, many keynote speeches, and I’m sure that was at times pushing yourself at your own comfort zone, as well as what you you take your place to do at the same time.
So there’s one in particular I’d like to talk about and your experience with some of the lessons you’ve learned how you got into flow yourself, potentially. And that actually is the Golf Magazine Top 100 Coaching Summit. So I’d love to hear your experience there and some of the lessons you learned and yet how you managed to level up your performance in that sort of situation. Wonderful. Yeah. No, I’d love to talk about it. I think it’s interesting as coaches and I joke with my golfers all the time when I’m coaching golf. Golf is easy.
Just do this. Just do that. Just do this. I can’t believe you. three. Put it right. And because we’re the we’re not the ones performing, so it’s so easy to tell people what to do. And then yet as coaches, we need to be present right.
We need to ask the right questions. We need to be aware of our clients and stuff. So we are performing as coaches. And yet when I’m doing presentations I am performing and I am needing to be at my best.
I do need to use the same strategies and skills that of course I’m utilizing with my clients. Correct? And so it is wonderful. Remember that when we want to perform now, I’m a very big believer that every moment is an opportunity to perform at your best.
And yet, of course, when you highlight, you know, having the honor to speak in front of the top 100 golf magazine and in that Pinehurst, North Carolina, just just a wonderful setting. I’m getting to meet some people that I really, really respect.
And they’ve asked me to present on developing Colin and my ideas on flow and so I went into it. Honestly, I took it very, very seriously. And I would hope that when people talk about performance it’s that it’s something that is passionate, it’s something they want to do really well.
And that’s the thing is that again, people confuse that it’s OK to have a good outcome. You want to have a good outcome. Yet we then kind of reverse engineer what’s going to help me be in my best state during the presentation.
And so first off, I think it’s much easier to present things you’re passionate about because in flow, if you’re passionate, you have a purpose. It helps your focus, right? And flow follows focus and the ability to be in the present moment.
I think the other part is from a preparation standpoint as I’m not the type who does my speech over and over and over again. Years ago, I learned that it’s not about reading, it’s not about trying to have everything perfect.
It’s about having it come from more of you than having to be perfect. And so I rarely use PowerPoint. I use PowerPoint for this because we had an audience and it had some great audio visuals.
Yet it was coming from me. It was coming from, I’m passionate about this and I want to share it. And that was the thing is, I want everybody to have an intention behind their performance. In this case, I wanted to educate and entertain and motivate and inspire.
And I had this clarity of what I would want the audience to get from it. And part of that is knowing who your audience is. Yep. So presentations, sometimes people think about just giving information instead of understanding that communication is about what’s the message that you want to elicit in your audience or in this case.
And I certainly wanted to educate them. I wanted to inspire them. I wanted to share information that I felt could help the coaching community. So I had a very clear intention going into that. Now the information behind it, I certainly wanted to come across as an expert at which I feel I am.
And when you have those things aligned, I don’t have to have a perfect presentation. I don’t have to remember every single fact. I don’t have to make sure, Oh, I don’t want to forget something. If it’s in you, it’s going to come out.
And so from a presentation standpoint, that’s how I set it out is like, I get very clear on who I’m speaking with and to and then what do I want to convey? And and from that, it kind of comes into it kind of falls into place, if that makes sense.
It sounds like you’re actually you’re almost trusting your subconscious mind. So you provide the clarity, you provide the direction. But then actually, the way in which it’s delivered is kind of like you’re trusting your subconscious mind to do that for you.
So we speak about obviously, transient high volatility is the process in which you move into a flow state. And what that means, essentially, is that temporary downregulation of the prefrontal cortex and the prefrontal cortex, obviously that thinking part that conscious part of the brain.
So it sounds actually like you were attempting to step into flow by, of course, set in the direction consciously, but then actually allowing you to act and perform because it is a performance from the subconscious mind. And that ultimately is out as we step into that flow state.
So I think it’s really powerful. Actually, I’m really interested in how you deliver that. That information is something I’ve heard a few times from some people that give fantastic presentations. Guy called Ed in my lab. I listened a lot, and he actually said that it’s not necessarily about getting the audience to believe what you’re saying.
Part of it is getting them to believe that you believe what you’re saying and conveying that passion, conveying that energy because we speak about it as well. And I’m now kind of going down a bit of a path with this.
But we speak about in the local golf academy, we speak about mirror neurons and the impact those mirror neurons have in terms of social flow alignment. It’s mirror neurons, or essentially they’re almost like a messaging between two people.
So if one person smiles, the other person will smile back. And actually again, that can be of huge influence when you are giving those presentations. Because if you are high energy, if you’re engaged, if you’re focused, you’re much more likely to create those things into your audience as well.
So it’s really interesting how you’re applying some of those. Principles to your performance, your performance arena, your clients are on the golf course, yours is on the stage at some of these huge speaking talks. So really interesting.
Really interested. So yeah, I’m sorry. Go. Yeah, you bring up a really important part that, you know, I’ve been fortunate to be able to speak and perform. It will call it performing, but give presentations for the last 20 years in the golf industry.
And at the start when I did this 20 years ago, it wasn’t always good. It was not always in flow. And part of it is what you just mentioned is I was not trusting my subconscious. I became very conscious during it and hoping people weren’t judging me.
And my gosh, I just messed up. Did they hear? Do they see that or like that? And I would be in my head so much that the communication had a lot of gaps to it. OK. And so now and I, I’m going to say it anyway.
I want to connect with my audience, but I am not going to be obsessed with what they may or may not be thinking about me. If that makes sense, because if I’m going in this room, we had well over 100 people and it’s like, OK, I wonder what?
Oh my gosh, they don’t look like they’re liking this. Or maybe, oh, they’re liking it. Oh my gosh, I would be in my head so much, and I would be self judging myself throughout that it takes me away from being the message and such.
So one of my key values when it comes to coaching or presenting is being of service is if I can be of service and there was a connection. Awesome. It doesn’t mean perfect. It doesn’t mean I need to show myself being a certain way.
And I want that person to like me because that in and of itself, years and years ago interrupted my performance a lot. And like we talk with golfers all the time is, you know, they sometimes want to be perfect and not make mistakes so much.
It doesn’t allow them to get into the subconscious to trust the thing that they’ve been training for for thousands and thousands of repetitions, and they’re not tapping into that. So even though I don’t have haven’t had thousands and thousands of repetitions when it comes to presentations, I’ve had a lot and what I’ve noticed is that preparation helps me get into the subconscious.
But there is also that, like you say, trusting and don’t having to be perfect and just be of service allows me to connect, which is the key thing. Connect with my audience more and more.
So I loved what you said there. I used to be in my head too much. I I wanted to be perfect and not miss anything in my presentation and I hope they like me and I know that gets away from connecting.
Definitely. Definitely. It’s really interesting, actually, because I was going to ask how much structure versus spontaneity do you bring into your presentations? And it sounds like you have the structure in the clarity of what you want to deliver and what message you want your audience to take away.
But then actually, the spontaneity comes into the way in which you deliver that message. So that allows you to trust the subconscious, deliver the message in a way that feels engaging to you, feels natural to you in that moment and actually quite automatic.
So nigh. Incredible, incredible and great to hear how all of these flow principles that we talk about and that we teach inside of our coaching, but also inside the Flow Coach Golf Academy. These are principles that can be applied to so many different performance arenas, not just the golf course, but so many different areas of life and professionalism and all sorts as well. So that’s why I love this so much.
That’s why I love Bloquer Golf Academy. The principles, the framework so much is because I believe so deeply in developing the individual as well as the golfer, and these principles can be applied universally in all these different areas: personal life, professional, like relation, everything, and that’s what makes it so powerful. So I love that. I love that. Have you got any frameworks that you utilize to help communicate and deliver that information? So it’s actually and this can be I guess this is important in one on one coaching.
Group coaching is important in huge audiences that you’re talking about. Here is, yes, the information’s key. Actually, the delivery of that information is even more important. So if you got any frameworks that you follow to ensure the deliveries are as effective as the information that you’re provided, yeah, definitely know.
It’s a great question because I think people get stuck in that. It’s just what kind of information am I going to use? And I think we’re missing the boat on that. I think I use two different frameworks.
The first framework is what’s the intention of the presentation? And it is also going to be for coaching also. But from a presentation standpoint, am I there to entertain people? Am I there to motivate people? Am I there to inspire people and am there to educate people?
Those would be different reasons to present now. For me, it might have been a mixture of all of. And by the way, I wanted people, I wanted to inspire coaches, I wanted to show them that, hey, if we develop relationships with young junior golfers and we help them with the mental game, that great things can happen, right, I want to inspire that. Yet there was also education from a standpoint of the things that I’ve done with Colin or things that I’ve done with my other clients that have helped them perform well. They’re educating.
Here’s my steps. I hope it was entertaining. I wanted people to connect and say, Wow, he’s passionate about this, and I could hear I can listen to him. I wasn’t bored, anything like that. So I had clear intentions of what I wanted to convey within those.
OK, so it’s like, why am I speaking now? I’ve given plenty of speeches where it’s purely an educational, informational type of 30, 45 minutes. This had many layers to it. So that’s one thing I look at is, you know, what do I want the audience to take away from this?
OK, and how am I going to convey what I think is very important? The other aspect is from a formalized presentation is people learn different ways. And one way from a presentation standpoint is, I call it. Well, I don’t call it.
This is called the format system is clear when you are writing out a presentation or even a coaching. This is very important, especially for a new client to be very clear, as a coach or the presenter of what you are going to talk about, which is really getting clear on the definition of boom.
I am talking about this today. This is what this is. Define it. People go, Oh, great, now I know what he’s talking about. Then there is what we call the why people. OK, you told me what you’re talking about, but why should I even listen?
Why is this relevant? Why should I even give you, you know, listen to you. A lot of people are that way, but they want to know why. And then there’s the how? OK, that’s fine. You told me what it is and why I should listen to you, but how do I apply it?
How can I make it a part of my life? How can I do that? And I think those first three ways are where most people are going to begin. But there is a fourth person out there and we call them the what if people, those are the ones that are, they’re going to question you and they’re going to debate you and they’re going to say, Yeah, yeah, yeah. But how about this, about this, about us? And that’s fine because they’re trying to gain clarity and they’re going to debate you and all that stuff. But I want to be ready for that, too.
OK, if I talk about flow and then I have somebody who says, Yeah, Rick, but how about trauma? And how about this? I go, Okay, great, let’s talk about that and how flow can help that as I’m prepared for that.
So in my presentations, I’m making sure that I tell the audience what I’m talking about, why they should be listening, and how they’re going to apply it. And then I do throw in a few like, Hey, some of you out there may be thinking this and this way, the whole audience, at least their learning style, has been dealt with.
OK. Coaching coaching is the same way. Hey, today we’re going to be talking about flow triggers as it relates to focus. Oh, they’re going to say, Well, what is that? OK, well, these are the triggers that help you focus on the present moment.
Why should I pay attention? Why? Well, because flow follows focus, and if you can focus in the present moment, your performance is going to get better. Don’t you want to perform better? Well, yeah. Then flow and focus are intertwined.
OK, that’s fine. But how do I apply it? Well, here’s the things we can do in our pre-shot routine through visualization and asking better questions. This is how we can focus better. OK. OK. And then other people like, yeah, rec.
But how about if I’m distracted or how about water? Then OK, we do this right so we can use that framework in coaching. We can use it in presentations because people learn different ways and we want to make sure that we connect with our audience.
I don’t care if it’s one person, a group or in this case. For me, it was over 100 people of well-respected coaches. You know, some of them have egos and they’re probably saying, Hey, I don’t agree with what he’s saying, fine.
But I wanted to make sure that I could present my way and be able to speak with each person in the audience, which is interesting, right? Each person in a big audience, you want to connect with everybody, don’t you?
And we have to make sure that our framework would connect with that. Definitely. Definitely love that, Rick. And actually, as you were speaking now, I’m thinking as well about whether that could be applicable to potentially even a golf pre-show routine.
What you’re basically doing there is you’re bringing your focus to the right place through the power of questions. And actually a lot of those questions are going through that process. You’re sharing your framework. I’m thinking, Well, this would work as an incredible pre shot routine for a playoff.
Okay. Well, what do I want to achieve here? Why do I want to achieve that? OK, well, how am I going to achieve that? And then I. The asking potentially what if actually this happens or what if this happens, or what if this is the current what?
What if they lie like this? Or what if this happens as all of those different questions are really powerful and ultimately it helps you create which is exactly what you spoke about, how you’re going to deliver a certain result with complete and utter clarity and commitment.
So actually, your goal when you’re delivering a presentation is very similar to how a player and the goal a player has in delivering a specific shot or result on the golf course. So that framework, from my perspective, ties quite nicely and can be applied to those areas as well.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether you think that could be applied in that scenario as well. A definitely. And I think to kind of look at it another way is that if I don’t ask all those questions, let’s say you may be doing yourself a disservice in a pre shot routine.
If it’s purely what do I want? Oh, I want to knock it in the hole from 150 yards away and all we think about is the flag, which seems pretty simple. Oh, that’s what I want. But how am I going to do that?
Well, oh boy, am I going to hit a draw? Am I hit by a fade? Am I going to hit three or nine? And, you know, now we have some different questions and then it’s like, Yeah, but there’s trouble on the left.
If I short side myself, right? And now that’s what people say. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But how about that? I think having a balancing of all those things is going to be important. A lot of golfers get stuck in what their preferences are and then sometimes they don’t see the whole picture.
So maybe asking a lot of those different questions, they gather enough information, right? You and I have certainly talked about awareness of our environment . Really the first step is, OK, I’m aware of the lie in the wind and how firm the green is and all that.
Those are awareness questions. And then as we get closer to analyzing it, we’re going more into, OK, how am I going to do this? And we’re basing it on these variables, but then we have to make a decision.
This is what I’m doing, OK, and it narrows us down. But we’ve hopefully already asked ourselves a lot of the what ifs. What if that wind here is what if this this lie is going to do this, and I think we get the whole picture?
Then finally, on what I call the fourth stage of execution of the shot, we are fully involved and we kind of synchronize everything together and I’m ready to go. So I think questions are always a way to lead focus.
And in this case, if you’re asking yourself, what do I want and why and how that’s going, be a big one. But what I think becomes important on the golf course too is there’s different scenarios. And can I think through those in a very clear way, I think is extremely important?
Definitely. Just just on what is there, because I find that really interesting. I think it’s something that when people are delivering presentations or when they’re trying to perform in an arena, it’s actually one that is most likely to be forgotten.
But the what and why seem quite obvious questions to ask. But what? It actually isn’t so much of an obvious one. So I know a lot of your presentations have gone fantastically well and it doesn’t surprise me.
But how do you feel you would react if something didn’t go to plan or something didn’t go the way that you intended? Because again, that’s happening to a lot of your players on a regular basis on the golf course, there’s arguably more variables on the golf course than there are on the stage when you’re presenting.
But how would you manage or deal with some of those interferences if they were to be thrown your way? Yes. So being, I’ve spoken for 20 years and different environments, but the, you know, the golf magazine top 100 was an interesting one. We’re at this wonderful resort at Pinehurst and I’m speaking in the first 45 minutes it goes smooth and then the power goes off in the hotel. Complete power off, lights go down.
Mike doesn’t work anymore and at the moment I probably took about one second and two seconds to survey it. And then I just kept going, and I got some very positive feedback afterwards, like, wow, that didn’t that didn’t derail you or anything like that. And I think part of teaching flow is understanding that if you’re fully in the present moment, then we just stay in the present moment. And I’m not saying, Oh man, I can’t believe this is happening. Oh my gosh, this is screwed up, etc. I just got into it.
OK, well, I don’t have a mic, so we’d have to talk louder. People can still see me, even though the lighting is not where it wants to be. I still need to have a goal here.
My goal is to have 20 more minutes left of my presentation. Let’s go. And I think it’s not allowing that environment to trigger a negative response. Now, back in the day, man, I’ve had a lot of things trigger me and get me out of a flow state or not.
I’ll even allow myself to get into a flow state because I was so concerned about this, this or that, or, hey, the PowerPoint went out or something like that. And then you start getting out of. Again, we talked about kind of trust and you get out of your trust mode and you get into again critical what could go wrong. And so I think part of the training flow is being so in the present moment that those things could happen. And that’s what if other presenters say, Hey, what happens if PowerPoint doesn’t work or the computer doesn’t work or the clicker doesn’t work or you have what?
And again, a lot of this has already happened to me. And then you start learning like, Oh, I wish I would have done better. And I think that came in this one. It’s like, Oh, OK, this is happening.
I still have an audience in front of me. Let’s keep it going, so part of that’s preparation of what could interfere in the first place and do you have a strategy for that? And I don’t care if that’s on the golf courses.
You could double bogey the first hole. And you could say, OK, well, I got 17 holes left, let’s focus on the second tee shot there. Let’s create what if scenarios of if blank happens, then I do this instead.
I think it empowers us a little bit more carefully. There’s two things I want to touch on there, actually. They really kind of jumped into my mind as you were talking. one is, is that concept of training it? So I think it’s really important for the listeners to understand that actually, you weren’t always right and you weren’t always able to tap into flow and maintain your flow state when things were kind of curve balls were thrown at you.
But this is something that you’ve trained over time, and it’s very easy, I think, for people to look at individuals like yourself, those that have generated huge amounts of success and continue to learn and continue to develop and actually kind of put them on a pedestal and think that I’m not capable of also doing something similar. But in order to actually remove that, that limiting belief is really key for them to understand and appreciate that you want these talks to originate.
You did struggle to get and stay in flow, but it’s something that’s trained over time, and I think that’s really, really vital. The second, the second thing I actually wanted to mention there as well is this concept of almost negative visualization.
And it’s something actually that I’ve heard Michael Phelps talk about a lot. And he says, I don’t just visualize a swim going perfectly well because swims very rarely go perfectly to plan. So it’s actually very valuable to imagine a swim going wrong, something happening, a curve ball coming in that he didn’t expect and then visualizing himself still overcoming that obstacle and still coming out on top. And I think that’s a really powerful message you’ve provided there, which is to actually visualize some of these what ifs in advance that visualize yourself and imagine yourself overcoming that water and still providing a fantastic performance in any arena that you’re in.
It’s really interesting there, actually, and yet just popped a few things into my mind that I wanted to share. But right now, no. And I think, you know, you and I certainly when we coach flow, it’s a lot about positive outcomes and intentions.
And here are the things you want to focus on, you know, what’s in your present moment and what’s the intention. However, we do know not everything works smoothly, and it’s not visualizing bad things happening. Just for the sake of that.
It’s what am I going to do about it and have strategies that you have actually played off in your mind? I mentioned this all the time as I have plenty of people who tell me, Hey Rick, I was in a flow state when this, this and this happened, I go great.
Now what are some times that could interfere? And they go, Oh man, on, it’s slow play out there and I’m playing with these people who are talkative and it’s windy. I will do great. Now tonight you’re going to visualize you’re playing with people you don’t like in super slow and 40 mile an hour winds.
Now what do you do? Yeah, but Rick, that’s going to be tough. I go, you signed up for it. Let’s figure it out, right? And now it’s not always about I played great, but it’s the behaviors behind it now they say, You know what, Rick?
I was patient. I was composed. I stayed focused, right? Those are what you and I are always trying to train is the behavior of the performance. Yes, we want it to lead to a better golf shot. I get it.
But if people are already allowing the interference to get in the way, they have no chance. And so that’s part of what the what ifs and and just one last thing on where I used to be and I still am, I’m still not to the level I want to be as a presenter by far.
I even saw the golf magazine win the presentation and I assess myself after the fact and I was not pleased with everything. OK? I am always happy that I did. I did connect to the intention and I felt that I gave the energy I wanted.
But there’s things that I want to work on. But back 20 years ago, and this is a tricky thing for everybody with self-assessment or having other people assess you is it was challenging 20 years ago to get feedback.
Because guess what, a lot of feedback wasn’t good. It was, Rick, you look like you’re in your head or wow you, you looked robotic or whatever those things that I’ve heard in the past. It’s hard at first to listen to that.
And I think as golfers, you know, hopefully you entrust a coach to give you honest feedback. You need to be open to feedback and not look at it as criticism or so on. The only way we’re going to get better is to identify what are those interferences and how we can get better.
So I want to emphasize that 20 years ago, if you saw some tape on me, it was not good. OK? It was. It was robotic. It was trying to be perfect. It was trying to not make mistakes.
And that comes across as a very choppy presentation. OK, now I’ve improved tremendously and I plan on improving even more, and I get feedback from other speakers and from other speaking coaches, which I’ve had. I’ve had speaking coaches.
But you have to be open to that initial assessment and feedback. If you don’t, you’re not going to get any better. Definitely. Definitely. And sometimes it’s absolutely fine to want to be the best, but sometimes it can be really powerful on wanting to be the best learner actually in the room so that that can be a really, really important focus to have if you want to develop, if you want to grow, if you want to improve any kind of performance in any kind of arena. So no great stuff. Rick, it’s been a pleasure to learn about some of your lessons from your keynote speeches, some of the presentations you provided in 2021.
I’m sure you’re going to have tons more opportunities, exciting speeches and shared tons more value to some more amazing audiences in 2022. So I look forward to discussing those in the future, and I’m sure we’ll see that development, not progress in each one of your talks.
As you learn, as you grow, as you develop. So great stuff. Great speakers. Always. Thank you, Hallam. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. I know you’ve received some incredible information, and if you would like to hear more, please subscribe.