GGA Performance Mindset Coach

I wasn’t expecting it.

I was getting ready to board an evening Southwest Airlines flight to Baltimore from my home in Cleveland, preoccupied with thoughts about the latest round of winter weather that had been bearing down on the Mid Atlantic.

With a two-hour-plus drive to my final destination after landing, would I have to contend with rain, snow, sleet, or even worse, highways clogged with cumbersome, slow-moving traffic? I was hoping that this would not be the case. And I also remember being on-edge about it…even wishing that the gate crew would pick up the pace a little so that we get off the ground as soon as possible.

I had scored the A1 boarding position for this flight…so I was looking forward to a prime seat near the front of the plane, ensuring I could make a quick exit when we arrived at BWI. I had my plan in place…all we needed was some solid execution. (C’mon people…let’s get this going!!)

Then we started boarding the plane, and everything changed.

It turns out that our flight was an Honor Flight originating in Phoenix, with Baltimore as its final destination. The plane was carrying about 40 WWII and Korean War veterans and their escorts heading to Washington DC to see the monuments built in their honor – many of them for the first time.

These were the men who fought for our freedoms against incredible odds almost 60 and 70 years ago. These men were in their 80s and 90s…and there was even one who had turned 101 that day. The mood was electric. And I was moved.

I got to shake a lot of hands, and even talk to a few of the veterans…who were so happy and appreciative of the chance to be on this trip. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much pure joy and excitement in a group of adults. It felt like such an incredibly unique and humbling experience.

And then I noticed that I had forgotten about my need to: move things along, get to BWI as fast as possible. And all my worries about the weather, the traffic and getting to my destination faded away.

But what happened?

The experience with the Honor Flight veterans allowed me to shift my perspective and to be just a little more conscious of what life is all about.

And I believe that it is an excellent lesson for anyone about how to show up for anything…including your golf game.

All your worries about getting off the first tee, hitting fairways, making crucial putts pale in comparison to the big things in life. Your families, your relationships, how you influence your employees, your companies and the communities you live in.

Those are the things that are important in life.

So, go for it. Learn to play this game better. Strive for better shots and lower scores. But remember what is essential in your life. Endeavor to be more conscious of what life is indeed about.

A little perspective will help you play this game better and enjoy it more.

Paul Monahan, PCC is a Peak-Performance coach, member of the International Coach Federation and a certified COR.E Performance Dynamics Specialist. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Paula and is the proud dad of three young men. He works with elite-level performers and leaders, helping them to expand their awareness so that they perform at their best more consistently.


He can be reached at

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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