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To Manage Your Emotions Is To Perpetuate Them

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You have heard the advice of keep your head up, and keep a positive body language, and force a smile on your face, and keep a cool head.

You have also heard of managing your emotions.

You have certainly known managers in your life. How well-liked are they? How efficient are they? You have heard of world-class businessmen. World-class athletes. World-class CEOs. World-class artists.

Have you ever heard of a world-class manager? World-class managers live within the theories of academia. For managing anything leads to a manipulation of it. And that which is manipulated gets taken away from its natural source.

What if it were up to you to manage your heartbeat? Would you still be alive?

What if it were up to you to manage your respiration? Would you still be breathing? What if it were up to you to manage your digestion? Would you be appropriately nourished? What if it were up to you to manage your brain activity? Would you still be intelligent?

Think of all the things that are NOT up to you. The things that happen of their own accord. Are they not wonderfully efficient in their self-managed state? Unmanaged by you?

Now think of all the things that are up to you. Things that you directly control and manipulate and regulate and MANAGE. Your relationships, your decisions, your strategies, your financial choices, your parenting methods, your attempts at happiness, your attempts at success, and so on. How does their efficiency compare to that which goes unmanaged in your life?

There is an enormous amount of appreciation for the fact that some athletes, though they may be writhing in emotional discontent on the inside, are able to present an acceptable face on the outside. They are able to demonstrate a semblance of keeping it together. In fact, this is actually being taught to athletes. That no matter how you feel on the inside, just don’t let it show on the outside.

If an athlete is feeling it on the inside, he might as well let it show on the outside. For in letting it show, he will let it go. Let him break every club in his bag. Let him throw his caddie into the lake. Let him scream at his coach.

The effects upon the athlete’s performance are a function of what he feels on the INSIDE, regardless of whether he CHOOSES to manifest it on the outside.

When an athlete is playing his best, is it because he manufactures a calm face on the outside, or is it because he feels calm on the inside? Is it because he keeps it together, or is it because he is together?

The INSIDE is the only side that matters. The inside is what the athlete reacts to. The inside determines how he performs.

Dealing with emotions or managing emotions is to settle in for a life-long fight. Because you will not have addressed the source of the emotional turmoil, you will be doomed by it forever.

In understanding one’s mind, one understands the seat of emotional strife. He begins to unravel the maze of complexity that has been his life for decades.

In the work I do, I choose not to add things to human beings, but to subtract things from them. Subtract that which they have accumulated in their endless attempts at fixing and concealing and dealing and managing.

In this way, I can have the professional athlete return to his fundamental state. Like when he was a child, and all that was done was done naturally.

When there was no need to manage anything. When anything that came, left just as easily.

That which is managed is perpetuated. That which is managed gets destroyed.

When one’s conflicts and inner struggles are explored and examined, they begin to disintegrate.

When they are managed and manipulated, they grow roots within the human being.

Is it not time to unravel and dismantle the very force that has been managing YOU for so many years?

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Dr. Gupta is the founder of Siddha Performance, a company that teaches human beings to transcend their own mind in order to access the source of superhuman performance. Dr. Gupta has devoted close to 30 years of his life developing understandings and techniques that allow human beings to transcend the mind. Through his analysis and experimentation he has discovered that ultimate freedom and ultimate performance arise NOT from within the mind, but beyond it. Dr. Gupta can be contacted directly at [email protected] His work and his writings can be found at http://www.siddhaperformance.com/ He also appears weekly on PGA Tour's "On the Mark" radio show with Mark Immelman.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Progolfer

    Mar 10, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I completely agree with everything Dr. Gupta has written on this site. He essentially advocates playing this sport for the pure love and joy of it (and also, living this life for the pure love and joy of it as well). I believe this article deals with negative emotions, and in assuming that, he’s 100% correct. Attempting to change the outside without changing the inside is futile.

  2. Marc

    Mar 10, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga glunga… gunga, gunga galunga. It fits the tripe you write with every article. Please do us all a favor… go back to spending all of your valuable time with high profile clients and don’t waste it on us that don’t get it. Please!

  3. farmer

    Mar 10, 2015 at 11:17 am

    What this guy seems to be saying is that it is acceptable, even desirable, for a player to throw a tantrum on the golf course when he gets mad. Try that when you get pulled over for speeding. Pseudo Eastern mysticism, pop physcology gone bad.

    • BD57

      Mar 10, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      No, what he’s saying is (1) performance depends on how you deal with your emotions, not on whether others can discern what emotions you’re experiencing based on your behavior, and (2) right now, we’re teaching people to put on a pretty face when they’re upset, rather than teaching them how to deal with being upset.

  4. Neige

    Mar 9, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    In North America people like cool demeanor. After living here for almost 20 years I like it, too. However, it’s refreshing to watch people who are very natural. A lot of people are like zombies it seems – managing their reactions too much.

  5. Ben

    Mar 9, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    What we’re really talking about here is emotional intelligence. I wrote a paper about this in college. It’s not about hiding, masking or covering up your emotions rather changing how you interpret outside influences and being mindful of your reaction. Once you are aware of emotional triggers you can choose how you react perhaps by altering your perspective.

  6. Marknado

    Mar 7, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Outbursts like throwing clubs and cursing lowers stress level but anger lowers iq ….
    It’s a catch 22
    I’d say stay calm and address the problem and try to solve it but when all else fails
    Whatever feels good at the time, do it

  7. shimmy

    Mar 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I don’t know about your kid(s)…

    with mine things come naturally, but the ONLY way they leave is when his emotions are managed, whether that be through my acceptance of what he’s going through or his getting worn out from learning that whining won’t get him anything.

    WRX, why are you posting articles by these under-qualified performance gurus?

  8. Martin

    Mar 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Stupid article, I am a hothead by nature.

    As I have matured, I have learned to manage my emotions in my personal life, work life and on the Golf course and I am better at all three for it.

    The stupid part of the article is without learning to manage them on the inside, you can’t control them on the outside.

    Why is this posted on a golf website at all.

    • Marknado

      Mar 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

      what happens when the wife burns supper

      • Martin

        Mar 7, 2015 at 9:12 pm

        Nothing, I do all the cooking.

        I am a Hothead by nature, but long ago stopped actually being one.

        It’s called maturity…grin

  9. SRSLY

    Mar 7, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Ignore my previous comment, answered my own questions by visiting this guys site. He mentions disagreeing with modern psychology.

    So I’m guessing your MD isn’t in psychology? The only doctor I could find online with your name is a gastroenterologist.

    Care to share some truths?

  10. SRSLY

    Mar 7, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Couple questions:

    1. Has forcing a smile or laugh not been scientifically proven to improve mood? Why wouldn’t forcing a calm demeanor?

    2. How can you honestly suggest breaking clubs and throwing a tantrum in a game of honor and respect?

    3. Do your statements have any scientific backing in the field of psychology? Or are we simply taking “normal” psychology and jazzing it up with buzzwords to sell it to the field of golf athletes?

    4. One of these questions is rhetorical. See if you can figure out which one?

    • shimmy

      Mar 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

      This may be the perfect reply to this article.

  11. J

    Mar 6, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Bah, more of the same statements. Your articles all have the same smell. Good or bad it’s up to each person to decide, but it’s all the same to me.

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Instruction

Why you are probably better at golf than you think (Part 2)

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Golf is very much a monkey-see-monkey-do sport. If you ever go to the local range, you are sure to see golfers trying to copy the moves of their favorite player. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. While I understand the logic of trying to mimic the “secret move” of the most recent winner on tour, I always balk when the person trying to create their best impression fails to realize the physical differences between them and the best golfing athletes in the world.

Read part 1 here. 

In addition to most golfers not being at the same fitness levels as the best players in the world, they also do not have bodies that are identical to their favorite player. This single statement proves why there is not one golf swing; we all are different sizes and are going to swing the club differently due to these physical differences.

You have to understand your swing

The biggest reason I believe that golfers are better than they think is most golfers I meet do not understand what their swings should look like. Armed with video after video of their golf swing, I will always hear about the one thing that the golfer wishes they could change. However, that one thing is generally the “glue” or athleticism of the athlete on display and is also the thing that allows them to make decent contact with the ball.

We are just coming out of the “video age” of golf instruction, and while I think that recording your golf swing can be extremely helpful, I think that it is important to understand what you are looking for in your swing. As a young coach, I fell victim to trying to create “pretty swings”, but quickly learned that there is not a trophy for prettiest swing.

It comes down to form or function, and I choose function

The greatest gift I have ever received as an instructor was the recommendation to investigate Mike Adams and BioSwing Dynamics. Mike, E.A. Tischler, and Terry Rowles have done extensive research both with tour-level players as well as club golfers and have developed a way to test or screen each athlete to determine not only how their golf swing will look, but also how they will use the ground to create their maximum speed. This screen can be completed with a tape measure and takes about five minutes, and I have never seen results like I have since I began measuring.

For example, a golfer with a greater wingspan than height will have a golf swing that tracks more to the outside during the backswing and intersects the body more towards the trail shoulder plane during the backswing. A golfer with a shorter wingspan than height will have a swing that tracks more to the inside and intersects the body closer to the trail hip plane. Also, a golfer with a greater wingspan than height will have a more upright dynamic posture than a golfer with a shorter wingspan than height who will be more “bent over” at the address position.

Sport coats and golf swings

Have you ever bought a sport coat or suit for a special occasion? If so, pay attention to whether it is a short, regular, or long. If you buy a long, then it means that your arms are longer than your torso and you can now understand why you produce a “steeper” backswing. Also, if you stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your middle-finger tips touching the top of your kneecaps, you will have perfect dynamic posture that matches your anatomy. If it appears that you are in a taller posture, then you have your second clue that your wingspan is greater than your height.

Translation to improvement

Using this and five other screens, we can help the athletes understand a complete blueprint of their golf swing based off their anatomy. It is due to the work of Mike, E.A., and Terry that we can now matchup the player to their swing and help them play their best. The reason that I believe that most golfers are better than they think is that most golfers have most of the correct puzzle pieces already. By screening each athlete, we can make the one or two adjustments to get the player back to trusting their swing and feeling in control. More importantly, the athlete can revisit their screen sheet when things misfire and focus on what they need to do, instead of what not to do.

We are all different and all have different swings. There is no one way to swing a golf club because there is no one kind of golfer. I encourage every golfer to make their swing because it is the only one that fits.

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Instruction

How golf should be learned

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With the COVID-19 pandemic, golf is more popular than ever. Beginners being introduced to the game often find that golf is very hard, much harder than other sports they have played. To simplify the golf swing and make the game easier, it needs to start with a concept.

Golf should first be learned from a horizontal position. If the ball was placed four feet above the ground on a large tee, players would naturally turn in an efficient direction with the proper sequence to strike the ball on the tee.

Take for example, a person throwing a ball towards a target. With their eyes out in front of them? having an awareness to the target, their body would naturally turn in a direction to go forward and around towards the target. In golf, we are bent over from the hips, and we are playing from the side of the golf ball, so players tend to tilt their body or over-rotate, causing an inefficient backswing.

This is why the golf swing should be looked at as a throwing motion. The trail arm folds up as the body coils around. To throw a ball further, the motion doesn’t require more body turn or a tilt of the body.

To get the feeling of this horizontal hitting position or throwing motion, start by taking your golf posture. Make sure your trail elbow is bent and tucked with your trail shoulder below your lead shoulder.

From here, simply lift your arms in front of you while you maintain the bend from your hips. Look over your lead shoulder looking at the target. Get the clubhead traveling first and swing your arms around you. Note how your body coils. Return the club back to its original position.

After a few repetitions, simply lower your arms back to the ball position, swing your arms around you like you did from the horizontal position. Allow your shoulders, chest and hips to be slightly pulled around. This is now your “throwing position” in the golf swing. From here, you are ready to make a downswing with less movement needed to make a proper strike.

Note: Another great drill to get the feel for this motion is practicing Hitting driver off your knees.

Twitter: @KKelley_golf

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Instruction

Why you are probably better at golf than you think (Part 1)

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Golf is hard. I spend my career helping people learn that truth, but golfers are better than they give themselves credit for.

As a golf performance specialist, I give a lot of “first time working together” lessons, and most of them start the same way. I hear about all the ways the golfer is cursed and how s/he is never going to “get it” and how s/he should take up another sport. Granted, the last statement generally applies to an 18-plus handicap player, but I hear lots of negatives from better players as well.

Even though the golfers make convincing arguments for why they are cursed, I know the truth. It’s my job to help them realize the fates aren’t conspiring against them.

All golfers can play well consistently

I know this is a bold statement, but I believe this because I know that “well” does not equate to trophies and personal bests. Playing “well” equates to understanding your margin of error and learning to live within it.

With this said, I have arrived at my first point of proving why golfers are not cursed or bad golfers: They typically do not know what “good” looks like.

What does “good” look like from 150 yards out to a center pin?

Depending on your skill level, the answer can change a lot. I frequently ask golfers this same question when selecting a shot on the golf course during a coaching session and am always surprised at the response. I find that most golfers tend to either have a target that is way too vague or a target that is much too small.

The PGA Tour average proximity to the hole from 150 yards is roughly 30 feet. The reason I mention this statistic is that it gives us a frame of reference. The best players in the world are equivalent to a +4 or better handicap. With that said, a 15-handicap player hitting it to 30 feet from the pin from 150 yards out sounds like a good shot to me.

I always encourage golfers to understand the statistics from the PGA Tour not because that should be our benchmark, but because we need to realize that often our expectations are way out of line with our current skill level. I have found that golfers attempting to hold themselves to unrealistic standards tend to perform worse due to the constant feeling of “failing” they create when they do not hit every fairway and green.

Jim Furyk, while playing a limited PGA Tour schedule, was the most accurate driver of the golf ball during the 2020 season on the PGA Tour hitting 73.96 percent of his fairways (roughly 10/14 per round) and ranked T-136 in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. Bryson Dechambeau hit the fairway 58.45 percent (roughly 8/14 per round) of the time and ranked first in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee.

There are two key takeaways in this comparison

Sometimes the fairway is not the best place to play an approach shot from. Even the best drivers of the golf ball miss fairways.

By using statistics to help athletes gain a better understanding of what “good” looks like, I am able to help them play better golf by being aware that “good” is not always in the middle of the fairway or finishing next to the hole.

Golf is hard. Setting yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations is only going to stunt your development as a player. We all know the guy who plays the “tips” or purchases a set of forged blades applying the logic that it will make them better in the long run—how does that story normally end?

Take action

If you are interested in applying some statistics to your golf game, there are a ton of great apps that you can download and use. Also, if you are like me and were unable to pass Math 104 in four attempts and would like to do some reading up on the math behind these statistics, I highly recommend the book by Mark Broadie Every Shot Counts. If you begin to keep statistics and would like how to put them into action and design better strategies for the golf course, then I highly recommend the Decade system designed by Scott Fawcett.

You may not be living up to your expectations on the golf course, but that does not make you a bad or cursed golfer. Human beings are very inconsistent by design, which makes a sport that requires absolute precision exceedingly difficult.

It has been said before: “Golf is not a game of perfect.” It’s time we finally accept that fact and learn to live within our variance.

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