Small Adjustments

By:  Paul Monahan, Graves Golf Mental Game Coach

Sometimes inspiration comes when you least expect it.

I had a chance to spend a couple great days at the Graves Golf Academy HQ in in Edmond, OK recently. It was a great visit…full of great interactions, creative ideas, stepping outside of my comfort zone, learning from the great team at GGA, and there was even time for a little golf with Tim.

Based on feedback and interest from the GGA community, we are planning some very exciting playing schools next year focused on helping our students to tune-up their on-course mental game.  ( I am looking forward to sharing the dates for those very special schools with you in the coming weeks.)

And yes, my visit with the Graves Team was inspirational. But something happened at the very end of my trip that made my trip even more so…and I just had to share it:

I ended my second day with Tim, Todd, Chandler, Shannon, Blade…et al, and headed to the airport late in the afternoon. Because I had stayed as long as I possibly could at Rose Creek Golf Club, I had barely enough time to make my flight.

The first order of business was to drop my rental car off at the Will Rogers World Airport and hop onto the shuttle that would deliver me to the main terminal.

As I approached the shuttle bus a guy greeted me cheerfully and offered to put my golf clubs onto the bus. I noticed his name tag…so I said: “Thanks Marty.” And he said…with a big smile and lots of great energy:  “Thanks for calling me Marty.”

Marty was the shuttle bus driver. When all the passengers had boarded the bus, Marty took his seat behind the wheel and we headed to the airport. Then he picked up the microphone and began making what sounded like a pretty-routine courtesy announcement.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Marty and I will be taking you on the four-minute ride over to the main terminal here at Will Rogers World Airport. I hope that you enjoyed your stay in the Oklahoma City area.”

I was only sort-of listening. But, then it got interesting…

“And if I may, I would like you to consider this…”

Uh-oh, I thought. Where is this guy going with this…?

“In a few minutes, you will be on an airplane headed to your destination. As the pilot points the plane down the runway and throttles-up the engines, he will make lots of very small adjustments to the engine, wings and other control surfaces so that you will soon be soaring high in the sky.”

Small adjustments in your game can make you soar.

And then he went on…

“I invite you to consider that life is like that as well. If you commit to making small adjustments every day in your own life, you too can set yourself up to soar. To achieve all you want to. To be who you want to be. And to create the life you want.”

 Woah.  I thought to myself: who is this guy!!??

He was articulate, polite, happy, and positive. His message was simple, thoughtful, and expertly-delivered. And he inspired me to pause and think. (Not who I expected to be driving that shuttle bus!)

It struck me that much of what I talk about with my performance clients can be thought of in exactly the same way he had described.

Small adjustments made often over time leads to profound changes. (Or as Marty would say…allows you to SOAR)

 It’s the same message you have heard from Todd, Tim and others when it comes to skill development in the Single Plane Swing arena: Start slow. Feel position one. Then Feel position two. Learn what proper rotation onto your trail leg feels like. Ask for feedback on ONE thing. Then another. …etc.

Small adjustments made often over time leads to profound changes.

And it’s the same message that I offer with respect to building a more productive mental game. Learn to be a little more aware of your thoughts today. Then a little more aware tomorrow. Learn the language of Performance Energy. Then learn how to see how Performance Energy shows up for you on the course. Notice how it impacts your ability to hit the shots you desire…or how it prevents you from playing your best.  …etc.

Small adjustments made often over time lead to profound changes.

We all get impatient sometimes…and it’s easy to fall into the trap of needing BIG change NOW.

But that’s not always possible. (Or advisable)

Part of Marty’s message is to say this: take the pressure off of yourself to FIX this week what you want to  – in your swing mechanics OR your mental game skills – and just get on a path to mastery.

Commit to making small changes over a long period of time. And TRUST that you will create the change you are interested in. That’s how you improve your swing mechanics. And that’s how you raise your consciousness and performance energy (read mental game!) on the course.

So the next time you happen to be at the Oklahoma City Airport rental car facility, be sure to look for Marty driving your shuttle bus…and LISTEN carefully to his advice!

 Have a great week!


PS…What do you want to create in your life and your golf game? And what small adjustments are you willing to commit to making today, this week, this month? 


Paul Monahan, PCC is a Peak-Performance coach, member of the International Coach Federation and a certified COR.E Performance Dynamics (TM)  Specialist, and a member of the Graves Golf Academy staff, specializing in the mental game. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Paula and is the proud dad to three young men.

One thought to “Small Adjustments”

  1. Paul,
    Great thoughts to take us through this crazy year and the holiday season.

    Awareness and consciousness of the little things each day do add up.

    Thank you and happy holidays.

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