How are you “Showing Up?”

How are you showing up on the golf course… during your play, or even when you practice?

Last week I spent a day with Dr. Joseph Thomas, head of the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the U.S. Naval Academy.

(If you follow these columns, you might recognize the name: James B. Stockdale. I wrote about VADM Stockdale in this space about a year and a half ago:

I was with Dr. Thomas at the iconic Gettysburg Battlefield in Gettysburg, PA on a staff ride to discuss the leadership dynamics, impacts and ramifications of the famous battle that took place there between General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia (Confederates) and General Meade’s Army of the Potomac (Union Army) 156 years ago this week. ( July 1-3, 1863)

Dr. Joseph Thomas leads the discussion near the famous Gouverneur Kemble Warren monument at Little Round Top.

As I’m sure you are aware, the Battle of Gettysburg is famous for the impact it had on the trajectory of the Civil war. But it is also one of the most studied conflicts in world history  – in part because of the lessons learned about what we would call today; leadership and performance.

After a long day and many discussions about what it takes to lead one’s self and others, make good decisions and thrive under pressure, Dr. Thomas said something that made me think immediately of all my friends in the GGA community. He said that one of the most important factors which determines performance is this:

Your awareness of how you are showing up in each situation.

Meaning: how aware are you of the feelings, emotions and behaviors that you are operating from at any given moment…and ultimately…of the thought patterns that they come from?

When we carry a sense of awareness (Moe called it ALERTNESS) onto the course, we can SHIFT to more productive thinking and behavior when necessary…which typically means we can PLAY BETTER GOLF Shoot lower SCORES, and ENJOY the game more.

Continue down the path to improve your mechanics. These are must-haves to gain the confidence and where-with-all to play the game at a higher level.

But also: get intentional about TUNING in to the thoughts you are operating from…it’s these thoughts that can either support you in your quest to play the game better, or that can induce the pressure and tension that makes solid play on the course very elusive!

Tune-in to how you are showing up today and this week, and you will play better golf!


Paul Monahan

Paul Monahan

Paul Monahan is an International Coach Federation (ICF) - credentialed coach working in the arena of human potential. Paul’s clients are leaders, executives, athletes and musicians who are serious about transforming how they perform in critical moments. His experiences in leadership and development over a highly-successful 25-year corporate career have created powerful context and understanding for the leaders and executives he coaches. Additionally, his passions and experiences in sports and music have uniquely positioned Paul to profoundly impact his clients in those areas as well.

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