Tim Kremer Presentation at the 2013 PGA Summit

January 28, 2013 Jon Roy

Tim Kremer Presentation

“The Infinite Power of the Mind”

Tim is a peak performance coach who founded a company called “Spirit of Golf” which uses innovative mind/body coaching techniques designed to help athletes access peak mind states for greater success and joy in golf.  His goal was to enlighten us with insights in to emotional mastery techniques that have an impact on both performance and our enjoyment of the game.

Tim’s presentation was interesting and well organized but the format of the summit likely limited the impact of his powerful message.   He stood out among all of the presentations because he presented an entirely unique perspective.  His was a theory of game improvement that focused entirely on how our emotions impact our games, and even our reality.  His premise is essentially that we need to look at our emotions as guiding our lives.  “Don’t use experience to shape your emotions – it’s your emotions that shape experience”.  It was a fascinating theory that might have been lost in the day filled with mechanical and technical suggestions.

As coaches we are constantly striving to help our players get better – to enable them to achieve their potential in life through the vehicle of this sport.  But isn’t it interesting how little we talk about emotions and thoughts and how much these areas of our consciousness affect our performance?  We spend our time perfecting back swings, making sure eyes line up over the line, or talking about things like D planes and X factors.  But underneath all of this talk lies a virtually untapped phenomenon – the fact that all of our actions and movements are ultimately motivated by our thoughts and emotions.  How much time is spent on making our players more aware of their emotions and how these emotions impact their performance and happiness? The greatest swing in history stands little chance if it is propped upon a fragile emotional state…

To me, his presentation was reminiscent of the work of Michael Murphy, Fred Shoemaker, Tim Gallwey, Michael Hebron, and Nilsson and Marriott – to name only a few of the leaders in this paradigm that studies the way in which our minds impact learning and enjoyment.  Common to each of these coaches and authors is the belief that we need to search deeper into why we play the game of golf and what we are playing for.  We need to dive beneath the surface of technique and mechanics to uncover the little talked-about areas of our consciousness that impact our enjoyment and performance in golf.

Tim’s presentation focused on ten key points:

  1. What we want may not really be what we want at all – if every shot we hit is perfect would we really want to play the game?  We pretend that we search for perfection, but in reality we enjoy the mercurial nature of the game as it allows us to pursue the impossible for our entire lives.  Deep down we don’t really want to get it right.
  2. If you get the inside right, then the outside happens naturally – when your mood is right the body fires chemicals that are conducive to higher performance.
  3. We can never perform better than we imagine ourselves to be  – you will never play better than you think you can play.
  4. The eyes are projectors, not viewers.  “Reality” is what we desire to see.
  5. Believing is nothing more than seeing something in our mind’s eye – we have to trick the brain into believing before we even see the proof.
  6. Moods alter manifestations – classic quantum physics and the belief that our mood can shape the environment around us – thoughts and feelings can alter the matter of the universe
  7. We get what we focus on, not necessarily what we want.  If you focus on the places you may go you will end up there, even if you don’t want to go there.
  8. There is no action that can recover for the “bad feelings” you have inside.  If you feel bad, you will have trouble achieving peak states.
  9. To access your peak state you have to believe in a vision of something that hasn’t actually happened yet.
  10. Be here now.   “Imagine the Future Now”

He then went on to describe the importance of breathing exercises, and using meditation to find a calm state where we can use our “projectors” (eyes) to imagine incredible possibilities.  He invited us to quiet our eyes by looking very calmly at an object on the wall, and then to use our breath to heighten our focus on that object.  We could feel the effects as our focus was heightened – the outside stimuli vanished while we absorbed the “target”, and you could feel the effects of calm breathing and intense focus.  There simply wasn’t enough time (he was given only a half-hour to present) to dive deep enough into these “emotional mastery” exercises, but he did a good job of giving us a glimpse of how much our minds impact our focus.

Reflections:

This was a very “spiritual” presentation which studied an aspect of peak performance that is too often overlooked.  I certainly don’t think that this aspect of performance deserves undivided allegiance, but if the goal is to help players be more balanced in their approach to life and golf, then I do think we need to spend more of our attention on these areas which are so often overlooked but which clearly have an impact on how we play the game.  In a day filled with talk about angles, swing planes, camera angles, etc…it was very refreshing to hear this speaker describe an aspect of performance that could in fact trump all of the superficial material covered in traditional teaching.  Imagine the power of our mind – imagine that we could alter our environment by simply thinking and feeling in a certain way.  This was what Tim believed, and it was certainly an interesting and thought provoking presentation.  And while he was able to uncover a blind-spot in our coaching paradigms, the sad reality is that his presentation likely fell on mostly deaf ears.  As he would admit, we can only listen to and absorb that which fits into the reality we project…

You can view his website here

And if these ideas resonate with you in any way, I’d encourage you to look into the following sites:

Pia and Lynn Nilsson/Marriott:  Tremendous coaches who have brought the principles of emotions and spirit to high performance golf around the world.

Mike Hebron:  A researcher and golf coach who studies learning and who believes that what makes us human is our feelings – “Birds fly, Fish swim, and humans feel”.

Fred Shoemaker:  A pioneer in a style of coaching which inverts traditional approaches and focuses on enjoyment and learning as the base for performance

Esalen Institute: A retreat destination in California established through the research of Michael Murphy and George Leonard decades ago.

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