What To Do When A Player Won't Get Rid Of Their Pain

Do you know a baseball player, golfer (or someone else) in emotional pain? Maybe it's coming out as being in a slump, choking under pressure, withdrawing from competition or even quitting their sport. It's a problem with their mental game, it's holding them back and you'd think they want relief. But, they rebuff efforts to help them, perhaps even sabotaging suggestions or solutions.

Anyone Think Tiger Woods Doesn't Have A Problem With His Mental Game?

As I watched Tiger Woods lose the Chevron World Challenge (after starting the final round with a four-stroke lead), I couldn't help wondering - are there any golf enthusiasts out there who DON'T think Tiger Woods has a problem with his mental game?

Tiger Woods' Mental Game is What's Broken, Not His Swing

The latest Tiger Woods' news is that he's working with Canadian swing coach Sean Foley to redo his swing. I agree that working with a pro to build or improve mechanics is often a great idea.

BUT, Tiger Woods already has a great golf swing and he's certainly proved it, time and time again. So what's going on that he's in such a slump? My take on it is that Tiger Woods' mental game is broken, not his swing.

Was Hoffman's Mental Game Good Enough for the Ryder Cup Team?

The news just came out and Hoffman was passed over for the fourth spot. One of the justifications I've read from various sources is that there's too much pressure at the Ryder Cup and Hoffman probably can't deal with it, especially considering how many top golf pros have folded from the pressure.

I disagree for three reasons.

Does Phil Mickelson have a problem with the mental game?

If you define the mental game as pressure, and how a person reacts under pressure, than my take on it is that Phil Mickelson does have a problem with the mental game. I say this for several reasons.

The Sports Secret I Learned From The Sundance Kid

In the movie 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' Butch was auditioning Sundance for his shooting skills with a pistol. Butch told Sundance to shoot at a target. Sundance aimed his pistol at the target, fired and missed. Butch wasn't impressed.

Thinking or Reacting: What's Better in Competition?

I worked with a player recently who was thinking too much in competition. He kept second-guessing himself and making changes while in the process of competing. Although he had proven ability in practice, he wasn't doing as well as he should have been in competition.

Could you compete against your idol (or mentor)?

Watching the US OPEN on Wednesday, I saw a young tennis player, Sally Peers, lose her match in straight sets against an older player, Kim Clijsters. What's interesting is that Sally had an autographed photo taken with Kim in 2003 when Sally was 12 and Kim was 20.

Golf How To: Letting Go of Bad Shots or Bad Luck

You've seen it happen. A golfer is playing great, everything is flowing and they seem unstoppable.

Then something happens. A shot goes bad or a gust of wind costs them a stroke (that happened to Harrington at the 2009 Masters). They can lose their rhythm, confidence or focus. Shots go bad, they can choke, get the yips, get more and more stressed and they end up in a vicious circle of frustration. At that point, they've lost the mental game.

Potential, Pain and Lindsey Vonn

I can't even imagine how frustrated Lindsey Vonn is. I would assume she must have had high hopes of multiple gold medals at the 2010 Olympic Games. But a deep bruise from an accident resulted in pain, which she had to ski through. If she didn't have the pain, could things have been different? Perhaps they might have been.

Three ways to get past grief that's holding you back

The reason people can't get past grief is that they have unfinished business stored deep in their belief system. For some reason, that belief system - driven by a powerful emotion or feeling such as anger, fear, sadness, pain or guilt - is stopping them from letting go.

When People Won't Let Go Of Their Pain (and how to help them)

Do you know someone like this? They are in serious pain (physically or emotionally) and you'd think they want relief. But, they rebuff efforts to help them, perhaps even sabotage suggestions or treatments, all the while saying (or showing) how bad they feel and how much they want help. It's especially difficult to understand if it is a friend or loved one. Here are some ways to help the people close to you in these situations.

First, understand that what they are doing doesn't make sense analytically (they may even understand that). What I often hear from clients is that it's like a part of them wants relief and another part is holding them back. That is absolutely true. What's holding them back are beliefs, which are driven by powerful emotions such as anger, fear, sadness or guilt.

How can that hold them back? An example is a fear of change. If someone is free of their pain (or can finally control it) then their life will be different. Their identity as a damaged person will change, both in their own eyes and the eyes of those around them. People won't be as solicitous or helpful. They will need to take more responsibility for their lives and actions. Make no mistake, that scares the heck out of people and many times they will do anything to maintain their comfort level for them, as painful as it may be.

With the work I do, helping people let go of emotional pain and control physical pain (in three-to-five sessions, guaranteed) I see this a lot. I hear the talk of desire to be free of pain and have a better life, but when it comes down to actually doing it, many people are so scared, angry or guilty they won't let themselves even have the possibility of relief. It's frustrating for me (since my business is helping people live better lives), but I don't live or work with them.

If you live or work with them, then what you can do to help them is understand, first, you can't force another person to change. Understand that it's a problem with their belief system and trying to solve it analytically won't work. They may feel better if allowed to vent or share how they feel, but it's your choice whether to listen (and it can be frustrating to listen to the same litany over and over when they aren't doing anything about it). You can validate how they feel - acknowledging that they have the right to their feelings (that can help a lot). You can encourage them to not isolate themselves - to interact with people (real or virtually).

The bottom line, though, is that it's up to them. You can be supportive, encouraging and empathetic but it is their choice. The best thing you can do to help them (and yourself) is to let them be who they are and avoid taking responsibility for what they do and how they feel.

When you lose your nerve (and what to do about it)

It happens to everyone. You are ready to do some kind of activity (in sports, business, sales, performing, writing, etc.), but something happens. You choke, freeze, avoid it, maybe even break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it. The bottom line is - you just can't do it. It's like part of you wants to do it and part of you has both feet on the brakes.

When the Law of Attraction Doesn't Work

In the old X-Files TV show, there was a poster over the character Mulder's desk that had a picture of a flying saucer on it with the words: I Want To Believe.

The ideas of The Secret, of the law of attraction, of abundance through thought, of our thoughts affecting chance, are all so seductive that we want to believe.