by Dr. Kim Redman

as published in SNAPD Aurora

I was recently at a dinner party and found myself talking to a good friend. Out of nowhere she asked me, “I want to learn how to be a better golfer, and I want to do it quickly! I have a golf tournament coming up in July and I want to break 100. Any tips?”

Her spouse was surprised at the question and likely even more surprised by my answer.

In Neuro Linguistic Programming and in Coaching we use a technique called modeling. Successful modeling allows you to learn something up to ten times faster than you could in normal circumstances.

So what, exactly, is modeling and how do I use it effectively?

Modeling is a technique that allows someone with relatively little or no skill, to successfully act as if they are very skilled in an area. Modeling is a mechanism. I like mechanisms because mechanisms produce results. It doesn’t matter how you “feel” about yourself, or your capabilities. Use a mechanism = get results. Breathing is an example of a natural mechanism. Breathe in and oxygen gets into your system. Breathe out and toxins are released. Regardless of how you feel.

In order to use modeling, you need to first decide on a specific piece of the golf game. I’d start with the most challenging part first. Next you find someone who does this skill really, really successfully. You don’t need to know this person. They could be a public figure, like Annika Sorenstan. Finally, you break the skill down into specifics physically, emotionally, mentally, and if applicable spiritually as well.


What does the person physically do? Specifically? For example if I wanted to hit a driver like the golf legend Annika Sorenstan, I would watch footage of her swing and then copy it as exactly as I can. I would want to know exactly how they stood, breathed, moved their arm, held their hand, focused their eyes etc.


What were they feeling? Were they seeing something, or hearing something in their own head that helped them to get ‘that feeling’. How did they magnify that feeling? Where did they feel that feeling in their bodies? What was their recovery strategy…what did they do when they weren’t ‘feeling that feeling’, to get them back to ‘feeling that feeling’?


What were they thinking? What were they seeing or hearing as they went about accomplishing this skill? Specifically? Were their images, mantras, focus points? What visualization exercises are they doing?

As always, seek out a professional. If you need to get to a goal in a specific amount of time, or guarantee that you continue on a particular growth curve, then you will want to hire a coach. In this case a golf coach. You want to avoid wasting time “recreating the wheel”!

Preparing for a change can be a challenge. Remember to get as many specifics as possible, and duplicate the recipe exactly. After you have success then you can change the recipe to suit your specific needs.

Have fun and be gentle with yourself as you learn your new golf skills or whatever skills you want to add to your repertoire. Joy, excitement, and passion are all contagious and power-full building tools too!



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