Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Rory McIlroy

Have you ever noticed how, when there’s something in life you want to happen and push and push to make it happen it seldom happens. Then, when you back off and “let go” and begin to move on with your life, presto! It happens!

You see this quite often among hunters of whitetail deer. They positon themselves in treestands and are constantly looking around for a deer to come close to them. Finally, they decide to sit back and enjoy the moment not caring whether they see a deer or not, and just like that, a huge buck appears within sight.

The detachment principle also works in male-female relationships. A young man is interested in dating a particular girl and keeps trying to line up a date with her but she continually refuses. Finally, he says “the heck with it” and shortly thereafter the phone rings and it’s her, wanting to meet him for a date.

The power of detachment generally works after you go afer something with great intensity and then finally acknowledge it’s not going to happen and “let go.” This is also sometimes referred to as the Theory of Pardoxical Intentions.

But what about Rory McIlroy? According to the Associated Press: “Three holes into the Deutsche Bank Championship, Rory McIlroy had to make a 15-foot putt just to escape with triple bogey. He already was 4-over-par and had every reason to believe this tournament was headed for an outcome that was becoming too familiar for a player of his class.” But then, something surreal happened. McIlroy went from a miserable start to a memorble finish, closing with a 6-under 65 on Monday to make up a six-shot deficit and win the Deutsch Bank Championship. Is it possible he unknowingly practiced the concept of “detachment” and had accepted the fact he was not going to win and decided to “let go.” And when he made that decision, his game vastly improved.

So remember, when you go after something in your life, with great effort, and it doesn’t happen, you may need to back off and become detached by “letting go.” Take Rory McIlroy’s word for it. It works.

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I’m a big believer that relationships in sports can have a positive or negative effect on performance. When the relationship is good, the results in competition are good. But when the relationship is bad, it can be devastating to performance.

That’s why I believe it’s no coincidence that Caroline Wozniacki experienced a three year drought on the tennis courts during her relationship with PGA golfer Rory McIlroy. According to USA TODAY the breakup came about after a phone call from McIlroy after the wedding invitations were printed…”At 25, he’s clearly playing better without her. At 24, she’s clearly playing better without him.” I wouldn’t be surprised if she won the U.S. Open.

Twenty-five year old Rory McIlroy, one of the world’s top professional golfers, recently sat down with golf legend Jack Nicklaus during which the subject of McIlroy’s first and second rounds at Nicklaus’ recent Memorial Tournament came up. Nicklaus asked him: “How the hell can you shoot 63 (first round) and then 78 (second round)?” I think I might have one possible answer to that question and you might agree with me if you subscribe to the theory: What takes place away from the golf course affects what takes place on the golf course.

McIlroy recently broke off his engagement to Danish tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki and said at the time: “The problem is mine…I wasn’t ready for all that marriage entails.” But there could be some lingering effects from that decision. What if (and I’m only speculating) Caroline didn’t want the relationship to end and is still pursuing the possibility they will get back together. And one of the ways she stays in contact with him is through his cell phone. As you may be aware, some of the PGA Tournaments allow participants to take and make calls on their cell phones during competition providing the calls are personal and not performance related. So let’s assume (and this is strictly assumption) that just before teeing off the second round he receives an unwanted call from Caroline. They get into a brief spat and the results show up on the leader board. But the weirdest thing of all is why do they even allow cell phones (or i-phones) to be used during competition and how can they police usage?


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