Halstrom Blog Post

Athletic Performance, A Holistic Approach

Athletic Performance, A Holistic Approach

By: Mary Paulson

Mary Paulson is a LPGA Class A Coaching Professional privately coaching competitive amateur and professional golfers since 2008. She is a certified AFPA Personal Trainer & Sports Conditioning Specialist; a Certified Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness Expert Lev 3; and a licensed Institute of HeartMath® 1:1 Provider/Coach in the Mind-Heart connection.

Mind-heart connection?! What the heck is that? Quite frankly, it is what creates peak performance for high-level athletes, or anyone who wants to get into “The Zone”. Which comes first, our thoughts or our emotions? Do our emotions control our thoughts, or does our mind/brain control our emotions?

This unique approach to coaching competitive players, from the youngest amateur to the oldest professional, is a holistic one. The word ‘Balance’ is as complicated as the word ‘Love’. Both are integral to success and fulfillment in human lives, yet both are essential to master on vastly different planes.

Creating peak performance, allowing the athlete to get into ‘the zone’ and knowing when to turn up or turn down the dial of intensity requires equal balance. Balancing the physical, technical, mental, emotional, and social skills along with balancing intrinsic with extrinsic motivation creates not just a high level of awareness, present focus, and skill mastery, but most importantly it creates the glue that holds all of these elements together. That glue is called confidence- in their game and in themselves

The total approach is really rooted by each athlete’s spirit of the game. Watching a competitive person play with someone who just likes to have fun kicking a ball around is never fun to watch. One doesn’t motivate the other to perform their best. In fact, the odds are high that both players would play their worst game against each other! The competitive player would likely get frustrated because the other player won’t compete against them! And the fun-loving player wouldn’t be enjoying himself or herself because the other player is being too serious and grumpy! Both motivations are great, yet understanding the difference and staying true to their own motivation, why they love the game, is necessary to perform their best.

“My teaching and coaching philosophy stems from a core belief in possibilities, and in believing that whatever you set your heart and mind out to do on the golf course, or in life, you will accomplish your goals. I examine the five elements of golf: Physical, Technical, Mental, Emotional, and Social to help players increase performance; to gain positive consistency; to become more aware of themselves and their environment, thus leading to more enjoyment and lower scores on the golf course and in their everyday lives.”

- Mary Paulson

HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath