Murphy Peak Performance is the natural culmination of my 30 years of training and experience as a clinical psychologist, educator and golfer. My study of athletic peak performance led me to train in the area of mental game coaching with Dr. Joseph Parent, founder of Zen Golf. Joe showed me how the practice of mindfulness, long an element in my life and work, facilitates peak performance in golfers. It can be said that the inverse is true as well, as Hall of Fame golf instructor and author Harvey Penick famously stated: “Playing golf you learn a form of meditation.”
So what exactly is peak performance? It’s the experience of performing at your personal best, and it can be applied to any endeavor from athletics to business. You don’t have to break the course record or win a competition to experience it. As a golfer, your peak performance is that round where you were focused, calm, and in total control of your game, which resulted in you posting your best score ever.
Many top athletes have talked about “being in the zone.” This is where a state of “flow” happens, leading to a peak performance. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, describes flow as a creative and intensely rewarding state of mind where you are fully immersed and focused on your participation in an activity for it’s own sake, free from worry about results.
Here’s an example of Arnold Palmer describing a round in which his state of flow led to a peak performance. “….on…a day I will never forget, I chose just about all the right clubs, made nearly all the right swings, and made every putt I looked at — or so it seemed — when I shot a career-low 60 at Latrobe Country Club….I knew from the moment I teed off that I could be in for a special day. “
As a mental game coach my aim is to empower you to capture as many of those special days as you can.