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This has been widely regarded as the perfect golf swing. It transpires there is no such thing, and even more interestingly, its hugely unlikely that Tiger Woods (the gentleman in the video) is very aware at all, of what he is ‘doing’ in said swing. That’s why he uses a coach.

Get yourself a coach

There is nothing more powerful in a sales person, or a business person in general for that matter, that their mind-set. A ‘good’ mind set means everything. Like the myth of positive thinking would have us believe, your ability to visualise an outcome and believe in what you are doing can make the difference between winning and losing. Unfortunately, it’s also the biggest problem most sales people face. If you think you can, then at the very worst you might, if you think you can’t, then you haven’t got a chance.

The problem is however, that telling the difference is really hard. Can you really do it? Or is it genuinely beyond you? Who can tell? Thats the trouble. And that’s why you need a coach. Or a trainer. Or a mentor. Or one of a variety of people who are able to advise you as to what is real, and the difference between that and what you feel.

My dearest wish

I have said before that I consider myself extraordinarily lucky. I have a great job, and a lovely family, my health etc. My focus, beyond career, has been trying to turn a vicious slash into a cultured golf swing. It’s hugely frustrating. I have always managed to excel in the things I have felt important to me. At school, in work, sports, whatever I have turned my hand to, I’ve had the level of success I’ve desired. Except golf.

There is a fundamental flaw in my approach to the game that prevents me from reaching my true potential. And for years I wrestled with it, not truly aware of what the problem actually was. After 6 or 7 years of this approach (really!) I finally decided to see a coach, who in our first session, spotted the flaw, and was able to tell me what to do about it.

Unfortunately I’d spent so long ‘self diagnosing’ and ‘fixing’ things myself, I had absolutely ruined whatever ability I had when I first took up the game. To the extent that my coach pointed out that my great talent appeared to be hitting the ball at all, as he had no idea how this was possible, considering the afore-mentioned vicious slash.

How to stay on target

The thing is, where my golf game is concerned, I don’t half like to make it complicated. I’m alway looking for the next ‘level’ the next ‘fix’, the next ‘feeling’ in order to move forward. But Terry, my golf coach keeps pulling me back to that same basic fault. (Its my grip by the way, Tiger has little to fear from me)

But perhaps more importantly, as I get carried away with my new-found abilities (now the grip problem is getting sorted) Terry is there to keep pulling it back to the most important elements of what I personally need to focus on. The grip is a fundamental part of the swing. And there is a saying in golf, that when you are comfortable with your grip, you’re doing it wrong! My own, and most other people’s tendencies, are to make ourselves more comfortable right? And there is the problem. When the grip gets comfortable, it goes wrong, and my golf game heads south along with it.

So Terry is there to keep me on track. No matter what I ‘feel’ I am doing, whether I think I have moved on or not, Terry is there to tell me exactly what is really happening.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

The thing is, get someone you really respect. I’d tried a few golf coaches before I found Terry, and I either befriended them to the point they stopped ‘shouting’ at me, or I was mentally stronger than they were, and refused to let them set the agenda for the lesson.

Get someone bigger than you are, someone better than you are. It doesn’t have to be in the same field, In fact, it might be better if their not in the same field. Someone that can ‘bully’ you (as in my case) or speak with sufficient authority that they will cut through your self-confidence to the level you are willing to listen to them, and crucially, make changes to your game.

Otherwise I find, you’ll listen, but not act. You’ll nod sagely along to the advice you’re getting, but as soon as you are out of earshot of the person giving the advice, its disappeared like so many noises in the wind. You may even do your very best to tune in for a while, but unless that person has something you don’t, that you respect, it won’t stick.

They will keep you on track, on plan. They will provide you with honest opinion and the reality of the situation, not what you think is happening. Watching a sales person under go a paradigm shift is an amazing thing. Something they had previously thought unobtainable suddenly brought near and into sharp focus. The excitement palpable for a time as they go off after this newly achievable target and hit it! And then grow in the process and become bigger and better than they were before.

Think about it. You owe it to yourself to get yourself someone who can take you there. Someone that can take you onwards and upwards, someone who can give you the reality check you need to make the required changes to your approach, to get the most out of your talent.

Good luck, let me know how you get on!

UPDATE – Terry is a real person, and I’d like to make clear he is a good friend of mine as well as an inspiration in the golf sense! He is not a bully, but he does know what it takes to ‘manage’ me. You can find out more about him here.