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Taking ownership | Flow Golf Podcast TV | Rick Sessinghaus & Hallam Morgan | Best Golf Mental Game Coaching Tips

Flow Golf Podcast TV Episode 19 – Taking ownership

We’re back again for another episode of the Flow Golf Podcast with best golf mental game coaching tips. We’re here to support every single golf player, helping them become the best version of themselves. But ultimately, although we provide that support, they have to take ownership of their own development. 

They have to take ownership of the daily tasks, the weekly weekly tasks, the monthly tasks that move them closer towards where they want to be.

So in today’s episode, Rick, I want to talk a bit more about taking ownership and how the students, how the coaches that are listening can take ownership of their own development. You got any stories, any concepts, any kind of beliefs around this topic, right?

Yes. As a coach for so long, yeah. It’s certainly my responsibility to provide information, to ask questions to to help somebody get from point A to point B, and I take that very seriously. As you do. And yet sometimes there’s a disconnect where either the student is not clear on what they want or they rely purely on the coach to fix them.

And well, I’m not playing well because of the coaching and I get that. That’s kind of a victimhood mindset here. And yet what I see that the best of the best do is they do take responsibility for their own development. Right. 

And that’s a word you and I are going to throw around a lot here in this episode. It is developing, you know, mentally, emotionally, physically, mechanically, all these things that we’ve talked about before on kind of the puzzle pieces of performance.

Yet if we talk about why people take golf lessons is usually to get better yet how often do they come to a session with us without a lot of feedback, with not a lot of clarity on where their game is and where we want it to go. And so, you know, a basic student that comes to me as a new student wants to get better and I get that.

Yet when I ask about clarity of goals, either here grandiose huge goals which sound good on paper I want to be on the PGA Tour in five years. I want to be an all-American college student. I mean, sounds great. And there’s nothing against those goals. But as we dig deeper and say OK, how are we going to get those goals?

Of course, the players like, well, that’s why I’m here with you. And I go, No, no, no, time out. I said, you have to have enough, enough self-reflection to know why you’re and haven’t you been there yet? Right. And I know that’s a question you ask, which I want to get your feedback in a moment, but I asked some basic questions after that.

OK, let’s say somebody currently shoots 75 and they want to get to 70 and play on the mini tours and stuff like that. I sometimes ask a basic question like, so do you have a good short game practice area to go to? And I usually get no. And I said, Do you have a course that you can practice at a lot and that you can have access to?

That’s hard enough? Well, I’m still working on that. And then what I hear is that we already have some potential barriers of getting to that next level, which is going to require short game practice and on the golf course and resources to go travel for tournaments and money itself. And if that’s not there, it will make it more difficult.

I’m saying that right now, but if you don’t identify that now, you’re in for a rude awakening when you’re not getting better. And I say, How’s your short game started? You say, well, that’s the same. I said, How well, I haven’t really found a place that’s on you. That’s not me as a coach. Now figure out where you are going to go practice.

And so I think that part of it is resources being honest with your time. Can you actually put the time in necessary to do this? People want to tell me big goals. And I said, great, I believe that’s going to take you 22 hours per week. To do. And they go, Well, you know, I’ve got this, this, this and this.

I can do ten. I go, Great, then we’re going to have to lower the old goals then, aren’t we? Because those are not going to match. So let’s be honest upfront with what our goals are, what our resources are, what our time is, and what you’re willing to sacrifice for that goal to get to get better, you’re going to have to sacrifice things.

You may not be able to watch your football on a Sunday. You may not be able to do other things. You have to make that decision. Me as a coach, not going to tell you what to do. That’s your life. And I think overall the last two things before I want your feedback are expectations. 

I think there’ve been some players on the PGA Tour, Collin McCowan included, that have had a lot of success early and young.

And I think some players think, well, they did it. I can do it. You might. You might. But I think that they’ve raised the bar from an expectation standpoint that might be unrealistic for a lot of players. Is that everybody is going to be on their own journey and people need to look at where they’re at on that road.

Right. And then the last thing which we’ll dig a little bit deeper in is having a true understanding of your cause and effect of your performance. How come you and I have talked about puzzle pieces of performance and what causes maybe somebody to shoot a 75 one day and an 83 the next day. And it could be mental, it could be emotional, could be technical.

There’s a lot of things, but if you don’t know your basic cause and effect, you won’t know what to train. And the last thing is you’re not going to know what type of coaching you need. 

So that’s the thing where people are, I think doing a shotgun approach of improving their game. I’ll try this. I saw this on Instagram instead of looking, you say, Wait, where’s my performance going?

And what is the gap there that I need to kind of fill in that way? You’re going to have much more clarity as you reach out to coaches and as you coach, too. And the lesson is actually to have a plan for yourself going in there. So I’m done with my rant. How am I to know a little bit more about what your experience with some of these students are?

Not absolutely a and there’s a lot of stuff in there that we can dove into and we can discuss in a bit more detail. But from my perspective and I kind of appreciate the side of the player, it can be quite daunting to take ownership to take responsibility for your journey. And it can sometimes be a bit scary.

But ultimately, if you don’t take responsibility or ownership for the challenges that you’re going to be faced with, you also can’t take responsibility or ownership for the solutions. 

And I think if we all agree with every single lesson, whether you’re a coach or a player, we all agree upon that foundation of, I want to get better, I want to develop, I want to become the best version of myself that we have to take ownership of the challenges, we have to take ownership of any problems that we face and we have to find ways to solve those problems.

And that’s down to us and no one else. You see so many players as they’re trying to aspire to become total professionals, where I think they probably pass some of the ownership over to the coach. So that gives them a little bit of a get out clause almost. It’s like, well, you know, I’ll just move the coach because it clearly wasn’t working with that coach.

So I’ll move coach again and then move coach again. It must be the coach, but it’s not me. And I think actually it gives you huge power when you take ownership of the challenge, you take ownership of your current situation because that means you can also take ownership of your future. And that’s really what we want, right? We’re all here.

We want to take ownership of our future. So that’s the key that the other thing sorry, Gomer, the other thing I wanted to mention and you mentioned it briefly as you were chatting, Eric, but I asked some of my clients a few questions and I asked them, why haven’t you yet achieved your goals? What might prevent you from achieving your goals?

And then actually asked them a simple question of all of you often early on time or late. And then I ask them why as well. I’m really not too concerned about specifically what they answer. 

I’m looking for how many times they say the word I or the two letters emanating from me because the more frequently I hear those things, the more I appreciate it, the more I understand that they are willing to take ownership of their current situation.

When I ask, Why haven’t you achieved your goals, the main reason should be me. I’m the reason I haven’t been accountable while I haven’t done this, or I haven’t been able to achieve this yet, or I haven’t been able to. 

And that’s powerful. We hear so many often, so many times well, you know, COVID and the pandemic that prevented me and you know that the golf courses don’t quite suit me or I haven’t found the right coach.

Yeah, well, actually, it’s about me, it’s about me. Me and my work hasn’t got me to where I want to be, and that’s fine. It doesn’t mean you can’t get there. It just means we’re going to have to develop more skills. We’re going to have to learn new things in order to get to where you want to be.

So that’s that’s a powerful few questions that I ask and I would really advise players to ask themselves and to say to see in check how many things like blaming other than themselves because there should be one person on that list, one thing on that list, and it should be you and you only in my opinion.

Yeah, definitely. And I think, you know, with flow code, we talk about mindsets and there’s we could have a victimhood mindset or we can have a creator mindset or we could have a growth mindset or, you know, and it having a curiosity mindset, that doesn’t mean it’s always super positive. Everything’s going to be rosy. But you’re looking at, hey, it’s, it is up to me.

I’m going to figure out a way and you certainly can reach out to coaches. You certainly can look at Instagram posts and it’s great. That’s your curiosity going yet. I don’t think enough people understand where the gap is coming from in their performance. And I think it’s getting better, honestly, because I think with stat programs and stuff like that, it’s hard to shy away from it.

You know, I have people like back, let’s say ten years ago before we had a lot of the stat programs is like if I ask them basically, you know, rating your putting and they said, oh, my putting is really, really good and then I asked them to do some very basic stats back in the day. We find that they have two or three putts per round and have 35 putts and they’re, you know, they want to be a professional golfer like oh, that doesn’t match for where you want to go.

So that’s a gap in golf mental game performance. And it starts with being honest. Right? You know, we’ve talked certainly about honesty and ownership and such, and then get excited that you can do something about it. And the last thing that I really want to talk about is when you do seek out support is you are the one who now again takes ownership of that relationship.

Also, I appreciate when people want to ask me a ton of questions and hey, I saw this swing thing or this mental game thing, what’s your opinion? Right. At least you’re now saying how does that apply to me and that to me shows ownership in the relationship of coaching, not just, OK, Rick, what do I do? I don’t know enough about you yet.

I don’t know. I mean, so I think when you go to a lesson or a session, a student needs to be very clear. And their intention for that session, you and I were before the podcast were talking about we get a lot of students coming up and we ask them, so what are we working on? I don’t know.

It’s like, well, you book the time and you’re right. Right. And so getting clarity on a daily basis of what you’re doing instead of maybe being thrown out into the goals so far ahead of time, I think is something else in those little, those little habits. And we’ve talked about habits before. Another podcast is identifying Did I do the things that I said?

I would today? And then is that inching me closer? I can always assess it at the end of the week and kind of go from there. So I think that’s missing a little bit and such is the responsibility of the student going into a coaching session is to have those questions ready and such.

Absolutely. And I actually believe the coach will appreciate them. Oh yeah. And I’m sure you would as well, but you appreciate that so much more when the player comes prepared when they know exactly what they want to work on. And it may not be exactly right. 

You may have some conversations and realize, actually, you know what, I think we should go down this path, but they come with some intention and that allows you to go so much deeper on the work that you do.

If they’re not really sure, you kind of just scratch the surface in the hour or 2 hours that you have in the session. So I think it’s absolutely key. And I think an important thing for the players especially to remember and coaches, not just players actually, is to have that mastery mindset and to genuinely want to get better and to want to learn.

If you want to learn, then you’re going to be the student, not the follow up. So many people, too many people, in my opinion, are the followers. They listen and they just do. They just listen and they do. Well, actually, how about listening and an inquiry listening and then asking and actually starting to understand some more of the based information is going to help you get better.

I’m wanting to go out and learn more yourself, not just from the coach that you work your golf mental game coaching with. The other thing as well, and I don’t know your thoughts on this, but I often say this to some of my clients because I think they forget that they are the CEO of their own golf career. 

If you were the CEO of a company or a business, if you’re building a business, you don’t kind of just randomly employ people and then just leave them to give you all the answers.

You actually leave that company and you get the best. You work as a leader to get the best out of everyone in your team. And I think that’s exactly what players sometimes forget is that they are the CEO. They decide who they bring into their team and ultimately who’s going to support them in achieving the things that they want to achieve.

And they have to pick the best team for them. I speak to so many players, again, aspiring professionals or players that are actually already in it, playing on tools and even down to the Caddy level. They don’t really have a set criteria of who the best caddies are for them, what that relationship looks like, what the expectations of the Caddy.

It’s more often than not just that person who’s available. So I’ve got them on the back again. Take ownership of what works best for yourself. Have the self-awareness to realize What do I want from a caddy and how can I then match that up to the person I’m going to hire? 

Because again, in a business, you don’t just find a random person in the street and go, You do come enjoy my business.

You look at what the business needs to achieve and you look for people who have got those strengths that can bring value to the business to help you to achieve the goals. And that’s exactly the way that I believe aspiring professionals should be running their business, basically.

Yeah, no. And I love how you frame that. You know, you and I are here to support it, and we appreciate everyone listening and we want people to get better at golf. And back when I was an aspiring tour pro, you know, I think I made a lot of these mistakes. 

That’s why I’m so adamant about this. As you know, I could have some physical talent, but it never came through because I wasn’t honest with myself.

I didn’t know really what I wanted or and honestly, I didn’t sacrifice. I didn’t put it off, I didn’t sacrifice what was needed. I didn’t have the resources that’s on me, OK? 

And I could do the blame game and all that kind of stuff. Once I realized, like, wait a second, you didn’t do the things necessary. How can you be mad at anything?

Right. And so I think it’s and one last thing is a lot of people will come to me and say, hey, Rick, what if I put everything into it and I do all this stuff and it doesn’t work and I go, OK, doesn’t work. But man, you’re going to be proud of yourself for the work ethic you put in and proving to yourself that you could do the work.

And it may not have led to that, OK, but it’s going to help you in all areas of life. And I don’t want that to be a scapegoat where people self-sabotage. It’s like, well, yeah. And they want to always look back and say, I could have done this. I could have done that. Well, you knew in the you know, in that moment you could have done more.

OK, so be honest with yourself on that, because I made that mistake a long time ago.

Absolutely. No, I love that record. And quite a few people often ask like, should I have a Plan B or should I have a Plan C? Plan B? 

And people have asked me that question before, whether I have a plan B, plan C, blank day, and will I do I genuinely say I don’t need one because I know that what I’m doing is creating a better version of myself, regardless of what projects I work on or what company, I’m creating a better version of myself.

And that is my safety net to some extent because I know regardless of whether a specific project works out or not, I know I’m a better version now than I was when I first started it. And I can therefore trust and believe that I’m capable of achieving greater things. In the future regardless of what the environment looks like.

So that’s something that I think again, could give some support to players who are concerned about What if I do all of this and it doesn’t work out well, just know that if you have done all of that, you’re a better version of yourself in all aspects of performance in life and golf and everything. 

So trust me, you’ll be capable of achieving greater things, even if it’s not your golf performance.

And that, I think, is enough kind of support and trust to just go forward and go all in. So I absolutely love that.

Great way to finish this episode.

Absolutely. So, no, Rick, I really enjoyed that. We best take some ownership and we will continue to take ownership on our side. But I hope all of the listeners really enjoyed that, enjoyed speaking about it, and can’t wait for the next one.

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