Experience is about gaining wisdom as well as years.

Phil Mickleson_US PGA

I’m neither an expert nor an aficionado of golf but as I awoke to the news of 50 year old Phil Mickelson winning the US PGA tournament, I was prompted to reflect on the skills and emotions required to be successful at the highest level and how wisdom garnered over the years may have helped him triumph over younger, and perhaps stronger competitors. Here are some of the positive attributes that I saw Phil exhibit as he played his way to his 6th major title:-

  1. Belief – having a clear goal and thinking clearly about what is possible fires the positive emotional attractor leading to feelings of clarity and confidence
  2. Motivation – the deep routed competitive instinct that provides desire and determination to persevere
  3. Confident mindset – the self-awareness of the performance you are capable of producing based on years of self-reflection and dedicated practice
  4. Mindfulness – one of the keys to successful golf and an important life lesson, the ability to focus on the shot in hand and not be distracted by the missed putt on the last hole or what lies ahead
  5. Visualisation – taking the time to visualise what great looks like before you step in to the moment to take the shot
  6. Respect – treating your competitors as worthy opponents enables you to feel at ease with yourself and revel in the intensity of competition
  7. Values – 100% buy-in to the rules of the game means you accept the breaks, good and bad, with emotional balance enabling you to stay calm under pressure
  8. Humility – the willingness to listen to feedback and advice from your caddie, acknowledging that your perspective is not necessarily the best perspective
  9. Timing – tuning in to your emotions to guide your decision making during the ebb and flow of competition; when to go aggressively for the flag and when to lay-up
  10. Adaptability – staying flexible and responsive to the ever changing conditions means when the wind changes or you find a bad lie, you are not phased and can adapt your game


Understanding and being mindful of your thoughts and emotions enables you to perform at your best. Developing such self-awareness takes both time and considerable effort. Often, especially in the sporting world, it is aided by a professional coach. If you want to explore how working with a business coach could help you perform at your best please get in touch.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts