By Sean Grey, Performance Coach
I am a performance coach and I specialize in using EFT to help athletes and musicians deal with the emotional pressure of performing.
A while ago I was working with a frustrated golfer who happened to be the station director of a radio station (Real Radio) in South Wales. Impressed with how I was able to help him relax and enjoy himself more when playing golf he suggested I be a guest on their weekly sports hour talking about how to use EFT to develop mental toughness in sport.
The host of the show was ex Welsh International football (soccer) player David Giles. David was a keen golfer and agreed to do an on-air session of EFT with me to help him with some of his challenges playing golf.
David was a 15 handicap golfer whose progress was suddenly halted by a mental block when trying to chip the ball onto the green. This of course was affecting his confidence and enjoyment of the game.
I asked him what was getting in the way of him playing well his best golf. He said, “I’ve been playing well, but my game hit a wall as I began shanking the ball (the ball goes sideways) when trying to chip the ball onto the green.”
I asked, "How often does it happen and is there any time when it is worse?"
“One particular course on the seventh hole.”
I asked him to imagine standing over the ball about to play the shot. "How do you feel? What are the strongest emotions?"
“I feel I am doing everything right and at the critical moment the ball goes sideways. My friends offer helpful suggestions about how to correct it, but nothing works. I feel frustrated that I can't work out what’s going wrong.”
His frustration at not knowing why this was happening scaled 8 out of 10.
So we tapped on:
Even though I’m frustrated and I can’t work out why I do it, why I shank the ball, I accept myself.
Even though I’m frustrated, annoyed, don’t know why I shank that ball, friends try to help me, but they don’t help, next time I do the same thing, I accept myself.
Even though I know I can hit the ball well, but I don’t know why at that crucial moment I shank it, I accept myself.
We then tapped through twice on the reminder phrases:
Frustrated, annoyed, don’t know why that ball goes sideways, I want to enjoy the game but I’m frustrated, I know I can play well, but I’m frustrated.
I asked David to scale how it felt standing over the ball again on the seventh hole. “I am standing over the shot, thinking about paying the ball, but I’m not so worried, more relaxed, very relaxed, down to a 3.”
Because there was such a big shift and being aware that I was on radio and wanted to demonstrate how EFT can be used for performance, I asked David how he would like to play the shot.
“Get under the ball, drop it onto the green, hit what they call a flop shot, a Phil Nickolson shot, and flop it on to the green, two feet from the hole."
We then tapped using "I choose":
I choose that when I play the ball especially on the seventh hole, I am going to get underneath the ball, hit a flop shot, let it drop just where I want at all times, especially under pressure.
I choose that when I am on the seventh hole, I’m going to trust myself, look at the target and just let it go, it’s going to drop right on the green, what a feeling.
I choose when I am on the seventh green, I’ve got my favorite club, I am going to trust myself, look at the target and just let it go.
Seventh hole, trust myself, hit the ball just how I want to, a flop shot, my favorite shot, look at the target, just let it go, I can't wait to play it, let me get out there!
David was amazed at how different he felt in such a short time. He still had to go and play, of course, and as you can imagine, working in a sporting environment, there were plenty of his colleagues lining up to poke fun at him for using this weird-looking technique.
As I have grown up in the sporting world, I understand the resistance to using something new, especially as it initially focuses on the negative thinking!
The next evening when David was on the radio again, reviewing the upcoming weekend’s sports events, his co-presenter couldn’t resist asking how his golf went: “How did it go today? HJow many shots did you play on the seventh hole, don’t tell me, eight?
David said, “I stepped up to the ball just off the green, thought about the points I worked on with Sean, played the shot, and placed it two feet from the hole!"
Not bad, after two rounds of tapping, David was free of his mental block and regained his love of golf.
Suddenly, there was an interest in this simple, odd-looking technique that can help sportsmen and women achieve levels of performance they previously could only have dreamed of.
PS: On the program, I fielded calls from listeners who played a number of different sports with their own challenges and suggested ways EFT could help them consistently play their best.
Sean Grey was one of the speakers at the EFT Gathering at Ilkley, UK, in January 2011.