Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mind First, Body Second!

Today I want to touch on a topic that's very passionate to me, and is the foundation for everything I teach: The mind is in control of everything our muscles do!

Recently, I was being debated by a physical specialist in his field, trying to convince me that our muscles need to be trained before the mind can trust them. He couldn't be more backwards! Our muscles can't do anything without permission from our brains, either consciously or habitually. I agree, our muscles need the proper training for any physical change to take place, but what we tell them as they're being trained will dictate that future change.

This trainer believes that correct mechanics dictate all physical success, which at a very basic level, seems correct. "If I train my muscles hard and long enough, they'll do what they're supposed to..." The problem with this assumption, is the lack of pressure placed in the equation, and how it affects our muscles. No amount of physical practice can keep our bodies from tensing up under pressure if our minds don't come to the rescue. Our brains, through different techniques, send messages to the muscles which help them perform to their potential. Without learning these specific techniques, our muscles (no matter how many hours we practice) will tighten up and break down during extreme pressure.

The mind is in control of everything our body does, including involuntary heart rate and breathing. When properly trained, the brain can also control those. To preach muscle first, mind second, is irresponsible teaching at least... completely ludicrous at worst. I'm a huge advocate of physical training and mastering our bodies, but never at the expense of learning the power of our minds.

People instinctively have a difficult time with this concept, mainly due to lack of knowledge. We've all been taught: "Want to become a better athlete, workout and master your mechanics. Want to lose weight, exercise and eat healthier. Want to improve grades in school, study more."

Rarely, if ever, do we hear: "Practice creating new thoughts, work on developing new habits, and practice visualizing what you want to achieve!"

Our minds are the key to success, not our muscles. Our bodies definitely play an important role... but they're not the main character. It's not rocket science. We are, and become, what we think and say. This leads to specific action, eventually manifesting our results. It really is this simple.

Regardless of your specific path in life, focus on creating a stronger mindset, and I guarantee you'll create better results!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Marinate On This...

I talk about it all the time, but it has to be repeated once again: What we think ultimately creates who we become!

I've been battling this concept in my personal life as of late. There have been certain obstacles popping up, testing my belief in this process, and making sure I live by what I preach. Every day, I find myself having to consciously remind my thoughts to be about what I want, rather than what I'm afraid of. Every moment, it seems, I catch myself talking to the mirror about how this process works, and why I teach it so passionately.

Without constant practice, it becomes too easy to fall into the negative, fearful trap of what we don't want. Without conscious reminding, our minds fill itself with ways to sabotage our daily paths. If we allow it to rule our thinking, it will absolutely take us to places where negativity reigns.

I know this personally. I live this daily.

No one is immune to the pitfalls of fearful thinking. The key, though, is recognizing the doubt, and sending it on it's way. Constantly replacing the negative with the possible is critical to our growth and achievement of any goal. The difficulty lies in recognizing when the fear is taking over, and consciously focusing on the possible; the "I will" attitude.

Many years back, my mentor taught me the importance of "going to sleep the right way." He explained how the unconscious mind takes over during our sleep, and what we choose to tell it before we fall asleep will eventually dictate who we become during waking hours. It's natural, as we're drifting off, to focus on the bad that's happened to us during the day, or the worries of tomorrow. Unfortunately, by concentrating on all the negative and fear, we cement this thinking into our unconscious, allowing it to marinate overnight. Do this often enough, night after night, and it will eventually manifest.

Now, as I'm falling asleep, I focus my mind on exactly where I want to be and who I want to become. I make myself feel the passion and confidence of the future, allowing THAT to marinate into my unconscious while I sleep. I repeat the same phrase to myself over and over, as I visualize my future:

"What I think, say, and do creates my future."

This is how I fall asleep every night, as I rid myself of the daily negatives and worries. Fear can't exist under the same roof with the definite, absolute truth of my future. As I regularly train myself to focus on the possible, I remind you to do the same. Look at your reflection daily, and ask what it will take to get there... then get there!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Like Commitments Better

Happy New Year! Instead of resolutions, make commitments!

Commit to a new mindset, beliefs, and actions. Live these, rather than only talking about them. Become these commitments, beginning with every morning you wake. Stare at yourself in the mirror and look within... deeper than ever before.

Your mindset is there, waiting to maximize it's potential. Like many other things in your life, it won't make you change. It will wait and wait... until you're ready to step another type of path. When you do finally commit to those steps, it will take you places you've only heard others talk about.

Commit to a new way of looking at people around you. They're struggling with their own challenges. Remember this always. When you're tempted to bark... say you understand instead.

We only have DO or DON'T. The word, "try" doesn't exist. Don't try anymore... DO! Do now. If not now, then when?

My thoughts are with you, as this new path is created.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Before & After The 1% Mindset!

This next 1% story comes from a former football player, turned golfer. He's composed, quiet, and a total fighter. When we met, he was afraid of all the negative, making that negative manifest in his life. On the golf course, he continued to focus on all the things he didn't want to happen. His mind could only see the potential mistakes, and thought it was out of his control. We immediately began working on what he thought and said to himself. Our biggest goal for Darell was to help him see the possibilities, and help him believe he could have anything he worked for. The only person that could keep him from reaching his goals was him... specifically his thoughts, words, and actions. By changing his thought process,  his self-talk and actions immediately changed, giving him better results. 

This is his before-and-after the 1% mindset:

Before 1%, I was just a person who thought I was a good golfer, and thought I was on the right track by practicing everyday. I really wasn’t because there is totally more to it then that. Just "TRYING" wasn't working, but I kept telling myself it would. Basically, I was just going out everyday working and changing my swing as I went because I felt that I must be doing something wrong since I'm not even playing close to how I should be. I was so inconsistent. One day I would shoot a 71,72 and the next day it would be 80,82. It was ridiculous and irritating because I just wasn’t getting better, and feeling like I was reaching my plateau. I knew my mental game had a part to do with how I wasn’t succeeding. I made all sorts of excuses besides my mental game, such as needing better clubs, better coach, and should be playing better courses. You name it, I made the excuse for my poor play. I only made those excuses because I needed some sort of safety blanket to make me feel better about myself on reasons why I did horrible, rather then just accepting the fact I played bad. In reality, I was just scared on the golf course. I was scared of failure, but in order to succeed we must fail first. It had been so long since something good  happened. I was waiting for something to just magically happen, and felt by practicing everyday, it would somehow just randomly hit me one day. Thus, if I kept waiting, I would still be waiting... and wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near to where I am today.

 Now with the 1% mindset, it has totally (and I mean totally) changed how I look, not just at my golf game, but with life as well. Working with Coach Dayne has honestly changed my life for the better. It has taught me to become so much more positive and have a lot more confidence, rather then being scared all the time. Being scared is just a roadblock, and will set you back from making any progress. Doing things to be separated from the pack is what it’s all about! In order to separate, you must do things others aren‘t willing to do; being uncomfortable in order to become truly comfortable. When others make excuses about the cold, the wind, or the greens being too slow, for example, I just use that to my advantage. I WILL not let something like that effect how I play my game because that is just an EXCUSE, and therefore a safety blanket. 

My mindset now is not that I need new clubs, better coach, or be playing the best courses in the world. Instead, I'm focused on having a better mindset. My mindset, alone, will change my game. I can have the best swing in the world, but by having the wrong mindset, "perfect swing" will fold under pressure when I need it most! Working the mental aspect is crucial to success, because without it, I will just be AVERAGE. Who wants to be AVERAGE? I definitely don’t! 

I recently changed my mindset, and am realizing how powerful the mind really is!!!! Perfect example for me that made it crystal clear: I learned that by trying NOT TO HIT IT OUT OF BOUNDS, my mind never heard the "don't," actually making me hit it out. It had been only responding to "hit it out of bounds." If my mind can make me hit it out, then it could also make me HIT IT DOWN THE MIDDLE. All I had to do was begin focusing on exactly what I wanted, rather than what I was afraid of. That showed me just how powerful my mind really was, so why not use it to help me focus on the positive thoughts instead of all the negative?  

Lastly, one of the biggest things I learned from being 1% is living EXCUSE free! Being EXCUSE free made my life so much easier, and instantly freed my mind... resulting in better and more positive results. I could go on all day about how this way of thinking has truly changed my life. The 1% mindset has gotten me this far, totally changing how I think and act. I'll never be satisfied. I'll always want more! 

Derell Aton
(Future PGA Tour player)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big Things Happening!

Stay tuned for some huge updates about the progress of some of my students. It's impossible to mention all their incredible accomplishments, so if I don't mention YOU, I apologize.

I've been going pretty heavy on Twitter, which has been awesome... and helped me meet many more future 1% stars. 44 year old Southern California golf pro Bill Ranson (@golferBill), soon to be 45 year old Touring rookie, will be featured at Not only is he laying it all on the line to turn pro, but is also going to play 24 straight hours of golf to raise money for the Children's Make A Wish Foundation.  Can't wait to join him for that experience. 24 hours!! Bill is 1% on and off the course.

Derell Aton (@Tourboy10) is former football stud, turned golfer... now in college, and making his way to 1%. The confidence he's shown in the last month has been shocking, actually. There's no doubt he'll be playing big time golf at the next level. I'll be featuring him here in the next couple of days. Stay tuned for his "before and after" 1%.

Of course, there's Mareon Smit (@MareonSmit167). What more can I possibly say about her? I've written countless number of posts on this 1% master (only 17 years old, remember). She's fought back from serious illness, never thought about quitting, and is now on the road to the LPGA. Other than my wife and daughter, she's my #1 hero! I've learned more from her than I've taught her. My little two year old will grow up to know her... and know her well!!

I met Craig Swinburn recently (@craigswinburn), who's battling the European mini tours, but will soon step it up to the next level. He, Bill, and I have an ongoing bet of who will shoot the lowest round this year. As I was talking trash to them yesterday, it occurred to me that these two guys are PROFESSIONALS... and I'm... errr... NOT! What was I thinking? I'm really excited to work more with this future Touring Pro. 1% is our only goal for him!

I also recently met Davee Blair (@therealDLB3), who's on a journey to go from a 30 handicap to scratch. This guy is definitely passionate about making it happen. He's currently dropped his handicap down to a 19, which is huge... but will soon be tested, mentally, as he gets closer to single digits. His willingness to reach the 1% is awesome, and I look forward to working more with him. Check the details of his journey at

Of course there are more, and I love them all. They've all made me the teacher I am. I truly believe I'm as much of a student as I am a teacher. I believe in every single one of you 1% searchers, and know it will happen for you!

Keep stepping. Left foot. Right foot. 1% only!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

1% At Her Finest (A Mareon Update)

Here's the latest on Mareon, the 17 year old I wrote about in my last post:

After battling a mysterious illness for most of 2010, Mareon has been cured!! The doctors had tested her for everything from Lupus to Cancer, finding nothing. After being rushed to the hospital two weeks ago, they found an infected gallbladder, which subsequently was infecting the rest of her body. They removed the gallbladder and promised her a full recovery.

Through all of this, Mareon has stayed strong, kept fighting like no other I've ever seen, and promised to never quit. We talk nearly every day, and one thing that's a constant with her: An understanding that this ordeal has, and will continue to make her stronger. She doesn't talk like this to make herself sound tough... she really IS this tough. She always knew what being 1% meant on paper, but she now knows what it feels like in her core. She understands the importance of punching back when road blocks throw their best shot, and now can see the direct result of the fight.

Through all the tears of frustration, came a confidence and inner strength that will carry her past all future challenges. This 17 year old can (and WILL) do anything she wants in life. Her immediate goal: Play professional golf on the LPGA. There's no doubt she'll make it to the Tour, but I have a sneaking suspicion she'll be living a life of inspiration and motivation to more than just golf fans.

"If I can fight through this, NOTHING can ever stop me. 1% is how I live, what I do, and who I am!"