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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

What you can learn from Steve Elkington

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When you think of great golf swings from the past and present time, Steve Elkington’s golf swing instantly comes to mind. His playing career has included a PGA championship, two Players Championships and more than 50 weeks inside the top-10 world golf rankings. This article will examine not only key moves you can take from Elk’s swing but learning to take your swing to the golf course.

As opposed to looking at a swing frame by frame at key positions, viewing a swing at normal speed can be just as beneficial. This can give students a look at the sequence of the swing as one dynamic motion. Research also suggests learning a motion as one movement as opposed to part-training (stopping the swing at certain points) will enhancing learning.

When viewed at full speed, the simplicity of Elk’s swing is made clear. There is minimal motion as he gets more out of less. This swing pattern can correlate to a conversation he once had with five-time British Open winner Peter Thomson.

When asking Thomson keys to his golf swing and it’s longevity, Thomson explained to Elk, “You have to have great hands and arms.” Thomson further elaborated on the arms and body relationship. “The older you get, you can’t move your body as well, but you can learn to swing your arms well.”

So what’s the best way to get the feel of this motion? Try practicing hitting drivers off your knees. This drill forces your upper body to coil in the proper direction and maintain your spine angle. If you have excess movement, tilt, or sway while doing this drill you will likely miss the ball. For more detail on this drill, read my Driver off the knees article.

Another key move you can take from Elk is in the set-up position. Note the structure of the trail arm. The arm is bent and tucked below his lead arm as well as his trail shoulder below the lead shoulder – he has angle in his trail wrist, a fixed impact position.

This position makes impact easier to find. From this position, Elk can use his right arm as a pushing motion though the ball.

A golf swing can look pretty, but it is of no use if you can’t perform when it matters, on the golf course. When Elk is playing his best, he never loses feel or awareness to the shaft or the clubface throughout the swing. This is critical to performing on the golf course. Using this awareness and a simple thought on the golf course will promote hitting shots on the course, rather than playing swing.

To enhance shaft and face awareness, next time you are on the range place an alignment stick 10 yards ahead of you down the target line. Practice shaping shots around the stick with different flights. Focus on the feel created by your hands through impact.

Twitter: @kkelley_golf

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Instruction

Dennis Clark: Hitting from the turf

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I have seen as much as 4-5 MPH increase in clubhead speed when my students hit form a tee compared to hitting off the turf. Why?  Fear of FAT shots.

First question: Are you better hitting off a tee than on the turf?

Next question: When you play in a scramble and you have the option of dropping in the fairway or slightly in the first cut, do you choose the rough-especially when hitting over water or sand?

The answer to all these the same: Because the vast majority of golfers do not have a bottom of the swing arc safely in front of the golf ball consistently.

Consider a PGA Tour event, Korn Ferry, Champions Tour, LPGA Tour, whatever…You might see missed fairways, missed greens, hooks, blocks, etc. but we rarely, if ever, see a FAT shot. They simply do not hit the ground before the golf ball. Of course, there are exceptions, into the grain on short pitches, for example, but they are just that-rare exceptions. On the other hand, go to any golf course and watch average golfers for a while. Fat shots are not uncommon. In fact, they, or the fear of them, dominate most golf games.

The number one mistake I have seen on the lesson tee for over 35 years is unquestionably a player’s inability to control the bottom of the golf swing. I have seen everything from hitting 4 inches behind the ball to never reaching the bottom at all It has been my experience that that hitting fat shots is the number one flaw in most golf swings.

Let’s start with this fact: elite level players consistently reach a swing bottom (low point) some 3-4 inches in front of the golf ball-time after time after time. This happens for a variety of reasons, but the one I’d like to look at today is the position of the golf club at impact with the golf ball.

The club is leaning forward, toward the target, the hands are ahead of the club head, never straight up over it, never behind it-always, always leaning forward is the only way to consistently bottom out in front of the golf ball.   

A player cannot hit a ball consistently from the turf until he/she learns this and how to accomplish it. For every golfer I teach who gets into this position, I might teach 50 who do not. In fact, if players did not learn how to “save” a shot by bailing out on the downswing (chicken wing, pull up, raise the handle, or come over the top, (yes over the top is a fat shot avoidance technique) they would hit the ground behind the golf ball almost every time!  Hitting better shots from the fairways, particularly from tight lies, can be learned, but I’m going to be honest: The change required will NOT be easy. And to make matters worse, you can never play significantly better until you overcome the fear of hitting it fat.. Until you learn a pattern where the bottom of the swing is consistently in front of the ball, the turf game will always be an iffy proposition for you.

This starts with a perception. When first confronted with hitting a golf ball, it seems only natural that an “up” swing is the way to get the ball in the air-help it, if you will. The act of a descending blow is not, in any way, natural to the new player. In fact, it is totally counterintuitive. So the first instincts are to throw the club head at the ball and swing up to get the ball in the air; in other words, it makes perfect sense. And once that “method” is ingrained, it is very difficult to change. But change if you must, if your goal is to be a better ball striker.

The position to strive for is one where the left wrist (for a right-hander) is flat, the right is slightly dorsiflexed, and the handle of the golf club is ahead of the grip end. Do your level best to pay attention to the look and feel of what you’re doing as opposed to the flight of the golf ball. FEEL that trail wrist bent slightly back, the lead wrist flat and the hands ahead. It will seem strange at first, but it’s the very small first step in learning to hit down on your tight lies. If some degree of that is not ultimately accomplished, you will likely always be executing “fit in” moves to make up for it. It is worth the time and effort to create this habit.

My suggestion is to get on a Trackman if possible to see where you’re low point actually is, or perhaps you may just want to start paying close attention to your divots-particularly the deepest part of them. I’m sure you will get into a pattern of bottoming out consistently in front of the ball when you begin to learn to get the hands ahead and the club head behind. And best of all, when this becomes your swing, you will lose the fear of hitting the turf first and be free to go down after the ball as aggressively as you like.

Ok, so how is this accomplished? While many players are looking for a magic bullet or a training aid which might help one miraculously get into a good impact position, I dare say there is not one. It is a trial and error proposition, a learn-from-the-mistakes kind of thing achieved only through repetition with a thorough understanding of what needs to be done. The hardest thing to do is IGNORE the outcome when learning a new motor skill, but you must do it. A couple of things you might try:

  • Start with 30-50 yard pitch shots, paying close attention to the hands leading at impact. Again ignore the outcome, look only at the divot.
  • Hit a TON of fairway bunker shots. Draw a line in the sand 3-4″ in front of the ball and try to hit it.
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What you can learn from the rearview camera angle

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We often analyze the golf swing from the face-on view or down-the-line camera angle. However, we can also learn how the body moves in the swing from the rearview or backside view.

When seeing the swing from the rearview, we can easily see how the glutes work. The trail glute actually moves back and around in the backswing. This means the glute moves towards the target or towards the lead heel. Note the trail glute start point and endpoint at the top of the backswing.

To some, this may seem like it would cause a reverse weight shift. However, this glute movement can enable the upper body to get loaded behind the ball. This is where understanding the difference between pressure, and weight is critical (see: “Pressure and Weight”).

This also enhances the shape of the body in the backswing. From the rear angle, I prefer to have players with a tuck to their body in their trail side, a sign of no left-side bend.

This puts the body and trail arm into a “throwing position”, a dynamic backswing position. Note how the trailing arm has folded with the elbow pointing down. This is a sign the trailing arm moved in an efficient sequence to the top of the backswing.

Next time you throw your swing on video, take a look at the rearview camera angle. From this new angle, you may find a swing fault or matchup needed in your golf swing to produce your desired ball flight.

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