Dealing With Success | Flow Golf Podcast TV | Rick Sessinghaus & Hallam Morgan | Best Golf Mental Game Training Tips

Flow Golf Podcast TV Episode 22 – Master your golf mental game training

Welcome back, everyone, I’m super excited to launch season two of our Flow Golf mental game podcast

And in today’s episode, I want to talk about something a little bit different. We spoke a lot in season one about dealing with failure. Dealing with challenges. How to take them on. In today’s episode, Rick, I want to talk about dealing with success and what some people would probably call your overnight success story.

There’s a lot of things to speak about in that journey, and that’s something I would love to talk about because there’s so much that you’ve learned throughout that journey. But also now you’re at this place where you’re having so many new experiences. You’re challenging yourself. I’m sure it comes with different challenges in itself, different things you have to overcome.

So we’d love to talk about some of those things in today’s episode.

Definitely no I think it’s interesting when we talk about success, you know, you and I work with so many players who want to be successful. They want to get on tour, they want to win an event, and that drives them. 

And I think that’s great. You want to drive towards that success. And, you know, I’ve been coaching golf for 28 years now and I’ve been fortunate that it has been a career.

I’ve been able to coach full time and go through the ranks and make mistakes and, and be able to literally have a career of coaching. Yet as we look at success, you know, how do you measure success? And coaching might be slightly different than in, in playing a round of golf and I get that. Yet I think the concepts are the same, right?

We want to get to a higher level. We want to perform at a higher level. There are certainly monetary things that come with that there might be recognition and stuff like that that comes with success. And you and I are going to talk a little bit about the fulfillment of that. 

Also, we can be successful but very, very unhappy because we think success is supposed to help us, make us feel a certain way.

And I’ve been extremely grateful that along this journey there has been some down parts for sure. I’ve loved what I’ve done so much that when I tap into the values of service and caring and sharing and when I live those things, it’s more beyond success than fulfillment. And I think when people now look and they now maybe know who I am, and yet they didn’t know me three years ago, I was still around.

I was still, you know, writing articles and doing videos and doing things like that. But with Colin Morikawa’s success, it obviously put me more in the forefront of a coach both on the golf course and the mental side of that. So extremely, extremely grateful for those things. But it’s back to back in the day when I first started coaching if I wanted to be a great coach.

Now, what does that mean? Well, it’s hard to define, but I wanted to help people and I wanted those people to play better golf. And I want them to enjoy golf more, enjoy golf. So I had a pretty clear idea of what that meant to me. Yet as I got older and I saw other successful coaches, sometimes it was only wrapped into the tournament players.

And then you got a little bit more notoriety because you worked with a certain tour player, something like that. And I got that, don’t get me wrong. But back then I was like, Wait a second, I’ve taken this 18 handicap and they’re a 12 handicap now. Don’t I get any like, Hey, I’m a successful coach, but deep down I knew I was.

I did know that I was helping people get better at golf again. And then when I wrote my first book, Golf The Ultimate Mind Game, 16 years ago, you know, I wanted to share my knowledge of the mental game at that point. And I was excited to do that. And it was well-received. And I’m not saying it was a, the Amazon bestseller or anything like that, but, but it did reach people and that to me was successful.

That to me was fulfilling to know that people got some value out of reading that book. And so as we fast forward and I’ve worked with college teams and college players and junior golfers and handicappers and, and now with column work, how is the success of winning two majors and being a top player? Certainly it’s put a spotlight on me, which sounds great.

And yet it has also exposed some of my vulnerabilities. And you and I are going to talk a little bit about imposter syndrome and things like that. It’s like, wait a second. Now people are looking at me differently in a very positive light, by the way. Yet do I need to be different to do it? Do I need to prove myself more?

Do I need to come up with this great thing to prove that I know more and I don’t know more? I just happened to have worked really, really, really hard, have a coaching philosophy that I believe in and I continue to refine. So that’s my little introduction. I kind of know where I’ve come from and where I’m at now.

There’s a couple of things I think you mentioned that the really important to take note of one of them is defining what success is to, you know, actually deciding or thinking success is something else that someone else has put on you, basically. So you decided that actually it’s more along the lines of the fulfillment. 

So you get your book out there and probably have just small messages that come your way, read your book, love it, and this is what I took from it, or implemented some of the techniques and some of the frameworks and this is the impact it’s had.

That was more your definition of success than necessarily the number of copies that sold. And I think that’s really important because society sometimes tries to put certain definitions of success on us. 

Even if you’re a professional golfer and you’re trying to achieve certain things through the golf, through the golfing world, again, certain things have kind of put on us as a definition of success, but we should start to decide what is our definition of success, because I think that then leads into fulfillment because we’re working towards something we believe in, not something that society or our family or friends or our peers believe in Centrex.

I think that’s pretty important, that’s super important.

And along those, when I was a younger coach, probably in my late twenties, early thirties, success unfortunately for me was about recognition. It was about, Oh, I want to be a. I want to be recognized as a top teacher in my state and I want to be on these lists and these type of things. 

And it was, it was a very hollow kind of feeling because I was pursuing recognition from people who one never seen me give a golf lesson yet.

I thought that was going to be the next thing to help me to prove that I was a good coach. And it really has nothing to do with me as as a coach it’s nice to get recognition. And of course now within the last couple of years, I’ve gotten some of that recognition and again, very grateful for that.

But I think it’s back to what you just said if we shift to why we’re doing it. So my motivation for coaching is the value of service. That’s my highest value. I want to serve others instead of doing this because that’s going to help me do this, which is going to get me this recognition and I’m going to be in this or that that that road leads to usually a pretty empty place.

And that’s something I’ve picked up on. You said your mission back when you started coaching was to help people play better golf and enjoy it more. And all I can say, I don’t even need to ask you, but that mission has not changed. That mission is still the same. 

You say it so many times in a lot of the sessions we have inside of local golf academy on various podcasts, but you say, I want people to play better golf and enjoy the game more and reinforce this.

And I think that is what’s allowed you to become more successful because you got so much clarity.

You know, and I appreciate you saying that is because I think as an early coach in my early twenties, it was about having people play better golf, shoot lower scores, hit the ball closer to the hole. And that was a very easy cause and effect. But what I noticed and even as somebody who plays golf is like, OK, I shot lower scores, but I wasn’t fulfilled.

I wasn’t happy on the golf course. To me, that’s an empty goal, right? So wrapping my part of playing better golf and enjoying it is a key part to this day because I want people to come off love and golf. I want people to say, Hey, I want to get better. Not because I want to shoot lower scores, but man, I love the challenge.

I love everything that is about it. And gosh, I’m smiling on the golf course more. I’m laughing with my playing partners. I’m to me that’s life, right? But we want to enjoy life more. Do we want to? And so that is still the central part of my coaching. 

And that’s why as I’ve gone from swing coach to more mental performance and understanding people’s attitudes and their perspectives and such, I know that, like what you and I are doing is making a difference off the golf course, too, which is, as you know, is a huge motivator for me.

So yes, the enjoyment part is super important as I keep moving on as a coach.

Not me, but it is literally success fulfillment. Playing better golf is almost successful and then I enjoy it. More is the fulfillment component. And I think it was Tony Robbins that said that success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. I think that’s so important for people to remember is, yes, success is fantastic. Of course, we work hard to create success, but we should also be conscious of the art of fulfillment.

Success is science. We do these daily habits. We work towards these goals, we achieve them, we take them off. But we also should be understanding that all fulfillment at the same time.

Definitely. And what you just said there, which I think is important not only as a player but as a coach or somebody who’s in their business, is the daily things, right? The habits, the things like that. It’s like if you don’t enjoy that, you know, good luck when you’re holding that trophy to enjoy that moment much because it’s like, OK, now what does that make me feel?

But the next day, if you can’t wait to get up and do your stretching, can’t wait to do your journaling, can wait, do your meditation, to me, that is about life. Right? And you know where I want people to look forward to those little things that they do every single day. 

Not that it’s always easy by by that me that’s it’s not and that’s part of what I’ve learned as a coach is that the ups and downs of not only coaching somebody but the business part of it and the ups and downs and the, you know, all these things that could affect my business as a coach I’ve had to deal with.

OK, and I’ve had to, you know, and so even though right now it looks like I have a successful coaching business, I do. I’ve had a successful coaching business for a long time. I’ve worked my butt off. OK, you know, I’ll make that very clear. Yet along the way, even though there had been some rough spots, I was able to keep moving forward, keep getting better with my craft.

And I’m a big supporter of Michael Dovey, who’s a wonderful sports psychologist and he talks about, you know, you improve your craft, right? I want to improve as a coach. How do I do that? And the different certifications and mentoring and stuff like that is that I want to continue to become a better coach to allow myself to serve other people at a higher level.

And I think if I got stuck, it’s like, well, now I’m working with a player who is one of the best players in the world. I guess I’m done. Hey, I’ve reached that mountaintop. Not at all, because I think that then we can unfortunately go right back down that mountain. 

I want to get to the next mountain, not only for Colin, but for other players and for myself to keep getting better.

And I think that’s something that you look yourself in the mirror and say, hey, am I getting better at my craft? Am I getting and and I think with that comes the fulfillment of going in the right direction that’s measured with your values more than it is just accomplishments big time.

I completely agree with that. And something I want to take a little bit, just to finish off the success versus fulfillment conversation, something a process I take some of my clients through to really help with that is essentially to list out some of the key experiences they may have had in the last one to three years, depending on how much is happening.

Make a full list of all these experiences. Really interesting because a lot of clients never really thought about it until that moment. I haven’t properly reflected until that moment. So we make a list of all those experiences and then we look at what lessons we learn from each experience, and we start to take maybe one to three lessons per experience.

We have this long list of lessons then, and then what we tend to do is we theme them because they kind of match into different parts where it’s really interesting because these different topics not cropping up and then from that we create these principles that we can take from their experience is and the lessons I’ve learned. 

And then we create these principles that they can now live their life either off the golf course and on the golf course in alignment with.

And something that I think that really helps is, is having both that success component, but also that component because the success comes from making better decisions based upon the lessons you’ve learned and the experiences that you’ve had. 

Super powerful moves, you call it towards success, but then the second part of it, the fulfillment comes up. It’s all things you believe in, it’s things you’ve experienced.

So it’s super relevant and in alignment with your values, your principles, your beliefs. And when you live in alignment with the things you believe in, that is, in my opinion, what makes you more fulfilled. So that exercise, that simple process that you can repeat every week, every month, every year, if you don’t want to go as often, can be super powerful because it just helps you get realigned with both success and fulfillment at the same time.

Right. And along those lines is that you know, flowcode has come about from a lot of hard work and not many people know that I have failed twice at something doing something similar in the past. I wanted to do an online platform. I wanted to get my content out there in, in, in an environment to help more people than just one on one.

And unfortunately, the two other projects did not go well. They started OK and then they just didn’t come through. And there’s a lot of hard work and there’s failure. And like you mentioned, it’s like, OK, what can I learn from that? What can I do? And so FlowCode was well over two years ago that it started and it was before Collin won his first major championship.

It was one, you know, so I already had these ideas that I wanted to come out with and I made some of those mistakes and failures before I learned from them. I have a great team, including you two, to help that vision go forward and so we talk about like, you know, overnight success. It’s like, OK, like flowcode.

I’m very proud of what we’re doing and we have a lot of wonderful goals and we want to be successful but we also are fulfilled in that process. That came from failing. A couple other times. I look in the mirror going, Do I really want to put in the work that’s necessary for an online thing to go? And so those are the things that people don’t see all the time.

And yes, if we’re doing well and we’re getting our message out there and I’m very proud of that and and success of some of my players has helped bring more attention to me. That’s fantastic. 

Yet I want people to understand that I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s not always been a successful part of, but every day I keep working harder to get better at my craft, but also to be able to have this vision of sharing that with as many people as possible.

Definitely. I love that. And you make it. And just obviously the success has always been that. But every single day you’ve had this vision, you’ve had this kind of fulfillment component because you love what you do and a way the icon of the time and whether I’m fulfilled and I’m waking up and feeling more fulfilled is do I finish the day?

And I can even some days where of course you feel less energized than others, but am I generally waking up and finishing the day with more energy than what I started it with? Or am I jumping on calls or working on projects that give me, involve and drain me of energy? And if the answer is yes, then I know I’m working on the right things.

That’s something that definitely I always stay in line with goal and fuel to keep focused on. So just another one again for the listeners to consider. How many things like doing that bring them energy, how many how many people are they spending time with that bring them energy rather than doing it?

Yeah, to kind of turn our conversation back to this idea of success where people I think that’s the, the, the carrot out there is people want to be successful. And then guess what? 

When you are successful, people look at you differently and how are you going to react when you now and as simple as break 80 for the first time or break par for the first time or when your club championship people have this now like oh my gosh am I really that type of player now and how people can look at me oh my gosh did I get lucky and well do I have to prove to people that I can do it again?

Right. And we get into this imposter syndrome of we finally got the success and now we’re uncomfortable with the success and I’m not saying I’m any different. I mean, with being you know, in magazines or maybe on TV or something like that. Do I feel uncomfortable?

Sometimes? A few times, maybe. But I have to remember, like, no, no, I’m there to also add value to the magazine or something like that and be aligned with what I want to share.

Right. But if like, oh, my gosh, they’re going to view me differently, I have to be careful of that because now it’s getting further away from who I am and such. So I think it’s interesting with golfers when they do get to that success and then they feel more uncomfortable, it’s like, well, I thought we were working our butt off to get to this point.

What now? It’s like, yeah, but I don’t know if this is a fluke. I don’t know. It’s like we, it’s like you’ve worked hard here. So I’m always intrigued when people do get the success, how they view themselves. Was this lucky or My gosh, or can they say no, OK, I deserve this. I put in great work.

That’s who I am. But now how other people are looking at them or they think they are looking at them can create some interference with them moving forward. So I would love your feedback on that, but I think that’s fascinating for golfers as they do reach a goal and then they become uncomfortable. Like, Wait a second, you complained all this time that you weren’t reaching the goal?

Now you’re there and now you’re complaining about reaching the goal. So I think it’s a self awareness piece. Where have you been leading up to that point? 

If someone is incredibly self aware and doing the reflection, if they’ve been stacking the evidence, that side of the Great Shop book, for example, that we’ve spoke a bit about, they know they put in the work, they know they put in the work they’ve done, the habits they’ve woken up on the morning routine, they’ve been at the driving range, have been on the golf course, they’ve put in the work.

Then I think that’s where they have the self-awareness to look back and be aware. That’s where they can then say, I know I deserve this. This is, this isn’t, this isn’t, this is I can quite clearly see and show you where that’s come from, where that success has come from. 

So I think that’s really important because more often than not, the players that I work with, they are doing the work they are putting in the hours, they are stacking the evidence but they’re just not necessarily aware of it necessarily.

They’re not consciously aware of all the work that they’re doing or the great shots that they’ve hit. I’ve spoken to many of my clients where they’ve hit some phenomenal shots in rounds but as we always say, they focus on the one or two shots, that one so great. So again, it’s stacking evidence on that side as well as the side that we could improve upon.

So I think that’s super important moving then into once you get to success as we spoke about not stopping that because again, I think that’s from a golfer standpoint, we’ve spoken so much and so many golfers, many tone level in particular, they have this vision of getting that European soul, getting that PGA Tour, and that’s kind of the goal that they set themselves and that’s the thing they’re always pushing towards.

And there’s countless stories of golfers who get that PGA Tour cost, and then they kind of lost all of it. Where do I go now? So it’s making sure that you have that process in place that allows you to never stop progressing, never stop moving forward. And I think it’s potentially this ego versus mastery concept. What is it you’re pursuing?

So I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. How do we continue if we get success, how do we continue to develop, grow, learn and make sure that success is a part of a part of our life for the foreseeable future? For the future?

Yeah, it’s an interesting dilemma. I’ll call it that I’ve seen this a player, let’s say they get to the Corn Ferry Tour, they get to the PGA Tour, they get the European tour. And so they’ve actually gotten to a major goal and then they think they have to do something completely different to then succeed on that. Now, you could argue, well, Rick, I mean I’m trying to get better.

I said, well, wait a second. You’re taking away the DNA that got you there in the first place completely oh, now I need to change my swing to hit the ball further. And it’s like, what else you got there? Let’s refine it. So I look at when somebody gets the success that they refine current skills, they don’t necessarily change everything because, oh, my gosh, I don’t know if I can hit the ball far enough.

It’s like, wait a second. And what happens is they break down what the strength was in the first place. OK, so I look at refinements, I look at blind spots. I think if we’re talking golf specific here, we have stats now we have all this data driven stuff. If you’re self-aware, you’ll know real quick where those little gaps are.

And it could be everything from wedge distance from 50 to 75 yards. And if you really know that, you can get two feet closer, awesome. That’s something to work on. That doesn’t mean that I have to change completely. My wedge strategy could be, Hey, maybe I’m not putting enough timing on that. Maybe I have to understand my attack angles a little bit more on certain turf conditions and stuff like that.

To me, those are curious questions that it’s not all about just completely blowing up everything that’s already you. OK? And then I think what you and I hope these players do is understanding that some of these are soft skills, we’ll call them that need to be refined, the ability to to show up under pressure, the ability to show up on that first key paired with one of the top players, somebody who, hey, I got to get better in my practice rounds to get a strategy, right?

These are the things that I believe are going to be the difference makers by the way. And that’s my bias coming out that people go, whoa, I haven’t I haven’t been used to being on say that on a Monday and then a Tuesday on a Wednesday in three days of practice rounds. And do I really work all day long?

It’s like, you know, you have to manage your energy. I mean, I could go on and on and on, but there’s blind spots that people have that if they’re self-aware, they have a good coaching team around them. They look at the data, they look at their stats, they’ll probably know quite quickly where they can get better at. To me, that’s mastery, right and I think we can always do that.

I’ve shared, I think in the past where whether it’s Colin or some other players is that at the start of a year, we may look at and say, Hey, what are some areas you want to get improved? And sometimes are very specific, like, Hey, Rick, I want to keep working on hitting long irons with my ball below my feet and control my trajectory.

It’s like, well, that’s very specific. Maybe that happens once in a tournament, but you’re now listening to this as something that you want to get better at to me is mastery, OK? And I think that’s what makes golf so great, such a great game, is all the variables, all the different shots that we can get better at instead of just saying, I need to hit the ball ten yards further, I need I get that.

That’s important. But I think when you look at it that way, every week can be a new nuance you can work on and that love of it. So I think as a coach doing golf mental game training, I’m always looking at how do I get better as how do I communicate maybe like you and I were talking off the podcast of of I’m taking deep dove into in focus like how people focus and I’m looking at how do we use different devices to help us get some feedback right.

I’m constantly learning and how do I communicate these skills in a more powerful way, an impactful way. And I continue to do that. I try it on myself and I try it on. So I think it’s us wanting to get better because for me I want to serve people better. I want them to play better. I want you as golfers, I want you guys to, of course, to play better.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s look in the mirror. Let’s have better self awareness skills. We understand why we are shooting this course and be OK with whatever that answer is two to one to get better at it. And that’s part of the mastery.

I love it. A couple of things just thought I want to pick up on that. You mentioned there as you were talking about how we continue to progress? How do we continue towards this pursuit of mastery? One was curiosity. I think that when you look at some of the most successful people on the planet they’re all extremely curious individuals.

I remember hearing the story of Kobe Bryant. People called him a serial cold caller. He would call out Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post and ask her about leadership things and leadership strategies. And he said it used to take a lot of inspiration from nature and again, some of the most curious people on the planet, super powerful. The other one was learning.

I know. And we could never reinforce that. And I know you speak so much about learning, learning, learning, developing, super powerful. So a couple of things I just wanted to get.

In on the idea of curiosity. I think curiosity shows mastery more than ego. I of some players of unfortunate I’ve worked with that feel they already know it all and and that’s ego coming out. I know it all. I know what I should work on. 

And curiosity is Kobe Bryant saying this may not directly right now help me shoot this better, but if I improve my leadership skills with somebody outside of basketball, oh my gosh, I could be a better team.

I mean, to me, that’s outside of ego. And you want to look at yourself and I call it just being more vulnerable. It’s OK to admit you’re not good at something, OK? And to go hmm. How could I improve this? And maybe I have a mentor. Maybe I, I, you know, get, get curious of what are the best of the best doing.

It’s OK to admit you’re not good at it, OK? Some people with ego don’t want to say, oh, I’m not. No, my putting is fine. I put it in. Think really. You’ve had three, three putts the last four rounds. I think we have some issues to talk about. Right.

I agree. And the final thing I kind of want to just just mention before we wrap this up and we’re speaking about how do we continue to push towards success? How do we stay in what I think it was in my letter? I spoke about this, but in this state of blissful dissatisfaction, we’re in complete blitz. We would say we’ve achieved some incredible things.

We’re content, we’re proud of ourselves, all that kind of stuff. We’re also dissatisfied that we want to continue to grow. We want to continue to develop. We want to continue to be curious and learn new things. And I think a big part of that as well. You’ve reinforced it, and it’s a big part of this conversation having that mission, that mission that never ends.

You will never wake up one morning and say, answer and ask the question, Can I help more golfers play better and enjoy the game? More? And the answer is No. You will wake up every day and you can always answer that question yes. 

So regardless of what you’ve achieved, regardless of the goals you’ve achieved, helping people to major championships, helping people to all these different places, you can still wake up and still answer that question with a solid yes.

So there’s still work to be done. There’s still more things to learn. There’s still more people to help. And I think that’s super powerful and that’s a really key thing for people to consider. What is that question you can ask yourself each morning and answer yes to it every single time you wake up? Because if you ask the question, how do I help someone to a major championship through a golf mental game training and that’s your only goal, the answer’s yes.

OK, I’ll go back to sleep then. If you ask yourself Have I helped everyone play better golf and enjoy it more, the answers always know the answers. You can always do more. So I think that’s super powerful. That’s kind of a life mission that is connected to a lot of these goals because of course, we want success. The life mission is the fulfillment component that never ends, right?

And to bring it back to kind of finish up with the golfer out there who’s listening to this, we can have success measured in your handicap going down or shooting a certain score. I get that. And I think that’s awesome to pursue. Yet something that Helen and I will talk about in future podcasts about his motivational styles is why is that important?

For you to pursue in the first place? And I think when you do connect to that, why can you show up to that golf course and say, Yeah, my intention is to break 80 today. That would be awesome. In order to do that, I’m going to be grateful, I’m going to be curious, I’m going to be focused, I’m going to enjoy my playing partners.

Right. You know, to me that’s more the experience and that’s being in the moment more than just did I shoot 79 or not. Right? And, and so I think that’s the thing that I want to leave everybody with today is yes, we want to get to these, these next levels. They push us, they focus us. They, you know, that’s awesome.

But again, something we’ll talk about later is, why is this important for you to pursue, why are you showing up to the golf course tomorrow? Why do you want to shoot a certain score? And I think if you’re honest with yourself there, that I think that helps push us through the ups and downs. And then when you get there, it’s more than just, hey, I’ve got this trophy.

It’s like, wow, this is so awesome. I worked my butt off and this is a part of who I am. Oh, I’m so proud of myself. This is fulfilling, and that’s what I want people to really tap into.

I love it. I love it. Another great one. I really enjoyed that one. I’m super excited for the rest of season two and we’ll catch you listening soon.

All right, go get them.

Flow Golf Podcast TV Episode 22 – Golf mental game training
FlowCode Golf Academy - Golf mental game training tips
FlowCode Golf Academy – Golf mental game


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