Two secret words to win the British Open Golf Championship

Rory McIlroy looked out at a room packed with reporters and knew he was going to disappoint them.

All week, he had talked about two secret words he used as his trigger for the shots he played. Even as he stretched his lead to six shots going into Sunday, he said he would only reveal them if he were to win the British Open.
Rory McIlroy

In the hours before he teed off, the media put one pound ($1.70) in a pot and tried to guess the two words. “Very simple,” McIlroy said, the claret jug at his side. “It’s going to be a big letdown for everyone. It was ‘process’ and ‘spot.’ That was it.”

And the meaning? “With my long shots, I just wanted to stick to my process and stick to making good decisions, making good swings,” he said. “The process of making a good swing, if I had any sort of little swing thoughts, just keeping that so I wasn’t thinking about the end result, basically.”

The “spot” was about his putting. “I was just picking a spot on the green and trying to roll it over my spot,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about holing it. I wasn’t thinking about what it would mean or how many further clear it would get me. I just wanted to roll that ball over that spot. If that went in, then great. If it didn’t, then I’d try it the next hole.”

I highlight this because non-champions (1) don’t do this, (2) try to make it more complicated than it is, (3) are not quite sure how ‘this’ works, and (4) don’t educate or inform themselves on how to develop their mental game.

That’s why they aren’t the ones holding the trophies, standing on the podium, accepting the awards, winning the championships.

 

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Every sport has rules or does it?

This video is one of those instances where you can choose a pro or con argument. I will pick the pro argument.

What I admire is that he doesn’t stop – he keeps on going – no matter what.

That is what I choose to focus on – the perseverance and desire to win.*

YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/v/ewckPYePzbU

* I am NOT advocating cheating and winning at “all costs”. I am mindful of the intellectual challenges of the contestants, but maybe, just maybe we can learn something useful here.

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  • Don’t give up.
  • Do it your own way.
  • F_ _ _ the rules! Sometimes it’s the only way to get things done.
  • Give it your best shot.
  • Give 100% each and every time.
  • Leave it all out there, don’t hold anything back.

And to the list with a comment below.

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Success is a lousy teacher…

…It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. This is true in sport as it is in business and life in general.

Bill-Gates-Success-is-a-lousy-teacher

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Minutes make a difference

If you weren’t sure if practicing makes a difference, here is an interesting chart showing that minutes make a difference.

Minutes-hours-in-a-day-chart

Of course if you are going to practice, you need to use Deliberate Practice techniques to make sure you are improving while you are practicing.

Practice does NOT make perfect – Practice makes permanent.

Only perfect practice makes perfect

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Network analysis applied to soccer

Technology is changing sport is countless ways. Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours in Melbourne Australia sent me the following article from the MIT Technology Review that shows how network analysis can reveal a soccer team’s strategy… Very interesting.

Soccer network

 

 

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The 5 Best Skate Events in the World

Skateboards, PennyOriginally deemed to be just a fad, the art of skateboarding is now satisfyingly ranking around the same level as rap and video games for sheer piss-off-your-parents ability. But that’s not the reason why people take up this sport – well for some maybe. It’s about creativity, expression, freedom, triumph when you accomplish that trick and above all – pure destruction.

Because of its staying-power and ever-increasing popularity, it’s only natural that many competitions exist for skaters, seasoned or amateur to show off their skills. If you’re a professional skateboarder or just a happy spectator keen to keep an eye on the competition front, here is some of the best competitions to add to 2014’s calendar.

Dew Tour

While the Dew Tour may only be in its ninth year, it has made a huge impact on the world of skateboarding. The free four-day action and lifestyle festival has three separate events throughout the year focusing on different types of extreme sports from snowboarding to skateboarding. The summer series is where professional skateboarders and BMX riders come together to shred up the other competition. Along with live music acts and an MTV television broadcast, fans get the whole interactive experience with pro athlete meet and greats, sponsors freebies, and the opportunity to ride the skate and BMX fan courses.

X-Games

Nearing its twentieth year, the X Games is the epitome of extreme sports. It features the biggest collection of alternative sports including skateboarding, mountain bike, surfing, race car riders and roller blading in the summer and snowboarding, slope-style and snowmobile in the winter. Thousands of fans gather together for each event with the aim of witnessing a moment in sporting history. The X-Games boasts a carnival atmosphere with a multitude of tents and booths, along with the unavoidable expensive stall food, souvenirs and another sport related goodies.

Mystic Sk8 Cup

Regarded as the best skateboarding competition Europe has to offer, the Mystic Sk8 Cup not like any other. It’s not because of the $40,000 prize packet nor the fact that it offers both men’s and woman’s rounds. The Mystic Sk8 Cup is unique for one reason: each year the organisers like to spice it up by building a brand new skate park to meet the latest trends. This makes it interesting as competitors never know what to expect; it inspires them to perform at the top of their game and perform ground-breaking tricks. The contests include both men’s and women’s street competitions, prizes for vert and best trick. The Mystic Sk8 Cup is usually held in early July in Prague, Czech.

The Tampa Pro

Every year Tampa, Florida plays host to one of the most widely broadcasted skateboarding competitions, the Tampa Pro. Much like the Mystic Sk8 Cup, the competition is held at the Skatepark of Tampa where a new course is designed every year to keep the contestants on their toes.

There you have it, four great skate board championships to add to this year’s calendar. Interested in taking up skateboarding? Don’t make your first board one of those poorly designed creations from a department store. Make sure it’s a good quality skateboard from reputable brands like Penny Skateboards. With boards like this, you’ll be able to master awesome tricks in no time at all.

This is a guest post – if you would like to submit one, please contact us and we’ll send your our terms and conditions and writer”s guidelines.

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Turning negative self talk into positive affirmations

Negative self talk is hard to stop, but at least now you have a fun way to stop it!

Sports psychologists have known for decades that the mind can:

  1. Only have one thought at a time and
  2. It cannot focus on the REVERSE of an idea or thought.

What that means if you are a squash player, is that if you say “don’t tin the ball, or don’t choke or don’t boast“, the brain only hears “tin the ball, or choke or boast.”

You need to replace your negative statements with positive affirmation statements, as suggested below.

Worrying

 

Negative self talk Positive Affirmation
Damn it! OK, next point.
F$@##$#%#!!! FOCUS!
Idiot /Stupid C’mon, you can do better!
Bad shot Think of the RIGHT shot
Shot is too good Next time I will be ready
Can’t get there I almost got to it
Lucky shot I’m next to get lucky
Bad call (by the ref) The next call will go my way
No let?!?!? Next time I will strike the ball
Stroke?!?!? OK now I know how he’s calling it (the ref)
It was up! I know it was up, the next time he will too!
(Serve called down/out) Focus – this is an EASY error to fix!
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5 health goals you should aim for in 2014

Measure Your HealthStaying healthy and fit is not just important so you don’t get in trouble when you visit the doctor. Instead, maintaining a certain level of health helps you live a long life, watch your children grow old and get more out of the time you do spend on this earth.

Now that it’s 2014, what are five health goals you should aim for? Have you included them in your New Year’s Resolutions?

#1 Plan a Realistic Diet

Many diets don’t help people to set realistic goals, and this is a major reason as to why they fail. Some diets want you to eat a ridiculously low amount of calories each day or to completely eliminate one food from your diet. By choosing to participate in one of these plans, you are practically saying you want to fail. Instead, work to craft a diet that integrates a variety of foods and does not leave you starving at the end of the day. If you want to test the latest – easiest diet – try the Fast Diet which means you reduce your caloric intake 2 days out of 7 instead of starving yourself all week long.

#2 Exercise on a Regular Basis

You might roll your eyes or shrug your shoulders when you think about joining the gym again and how crowded it gets at this time of the year. You don’t necessarily need to go to the gym, lift weights and run the treadmill to improve your health. Instead, consider participating in a sport you enjoy or signing up for some exercise classes you always wanted to try out. You could even look for a walking or running group around your community or neighborhood.

#3 Doctor and Dentist Appointments

Certainly, you can take some tips to improve your own health at home, and you might read some books or guides to help you out. However, no matter what, nothing can take the place of advice from a qualified medical practitioner. Let this be the year when you start to see your doctor on a regular basis again for an annual physical exam. You should also set an appointment with a dentist to ensure your teeth stay are and remain in good health. Remember, dental health is related to the overall health of your body and your wellness.

#4 Reduce Stress

Some people start out the year by saying they are going to get rid of all the stress in their lives. However, we are just human beings, and we are always going to have at least a little bit of stress. Instead of setting this unrealistic goal of eliminating all stress or booking the best Chiropedic in Melbourne (or wherever you are), work to reduce its presence in your life rather than trying to eliminate entirely. This might mean you work less hours at work or you let someone else take charge of a major project. Stress can contribute to ailments, make your life significantly less healthy and in extreme cases even kill you.

#5 Know Your Medical History

Confronting diseases that ailed, or even killed, beloved family members is difficult, but you must do so if you want to stay healthy. learn what your family’s medical history is, and start to take steps to help yourself. For example, if breast cancer runs in your family, now is the time to start going for regular examinations. We all know that early detection is the best source of prevention and disease management – but that can’t happen in ignorance.

Let’s face it, without good heath, life becomes much less enjoyable – most ailments and health issues are preventable, but it’s up to you to do something about it… NOW.

This has been a guest post – if you would like to publish on this or any of our other blogs, please contact us.

 

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Willoughby Squash – Motivational Messages

If you play squash at Willoughby Squash Club, you’ll notice new motivational messages at the entrance to the men’s and women’s changing rooms. It’s a fantastic reminder to focus on the mental side of the game – inspiring positive thinking and enhancing mental toughness.
Willoughby Squash - Messages -2

What additional motivational messages or Words Of Wisdom would you want to add?

Willoughby Squash - Messages -1

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Negative Self Talk: Stop It!

I recently presented mental toughness strategies at the East Coast Squash Academy‘s Adult Squash camp organised by squash professional Aaron Frankcomb at Willoughby Squash Club in Sydney. Attended by a wide range of squash players, it became quite obvious that squash is a very demanding sport physically and technically where attention to stroke execution, shot selection and court movement can provide beneficial results.

While focusing on technical improvement can yield incremental results over time, today’s lesson can produce INSTANT results and in some extreme cases, a quantum leap forward!

Please watch this video and then scroll down.

The next time you are on the squash court and hear yourself talking negatively about something you just did or that just happened…

STOP IT!

Think back to this video as your pattern interrupt.

The first step is to Stop it – then you will need to replace the negative self-talk with something positive.

Sports psychologists have known for decades that the mind can (1) only have one thought at a time and (2) it cannot focus on the REVERSE of an idea or thought. What that means is that if you say “don’t tin the ball, or don’t choke or don’t boast“, the brain only hears “tin the ball, or choke or boast.”

First things first – Stop It and come back to this blog for more on how to replace negative self talk with positive self affirmations. There are a few “tricks” to getting this right…

Just like today’s distinction – most players don’t know this stuff!

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