Ron Goch
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Create a Mindset to Always Play Forward

June 16th 2008

A professional golfer – who had just won a tournament for the first time in many years – was asked how he was able to mentally overcome years of not winning a tournament to win a championship, and the golfer said, “I simply build on the good shots and I forget about the rest.”

It sounds so easy. It’s one of those things that make people say, “That’s easier said than done,” which for most is probably true since this type of attitude serves winners and champions very well.

Creating a mind set that is clearly focused on winning, remaining positive even when things don’t go quite like you expected, and remaining positive even when the cards are stacked against you will create many more positive situations than negative ones.

I once heard someone say a key ingredient to John Stockton’s success as a great basketball player was his ability to always “play forward.”

I asked what they meant by “playing forward,” and they explained that Stockton could get fouled on one end of the court, and whether he agreed with the call or not, once he started heading in the other direction on the court, he forgot about the previous play and had a laser-like focus on the play at hand.

How many times have you watched a basketball game, witnessed a player get fouled, and watched the player respond in disbelief that a call was made on him, which usually prompts the player to complain or question the official’s call? More times than not, a player will question a call versus “playing forward,” as I’m told Stockton made a habit of doing each possession.

I think this is terrific advice – always playing forward – no matter what happens to us in life.  Good or bad, small or big, we all could benefit from creating a mindset that no matter what life presents us, we’re going to maintain a positive attitude and “play forward.”
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