Worldgolf Golf Tips

Peak Performance Psychology

P-3 for Golfers: An Historical Sketch

by Nick Rosa, Ph.D

This author has received a number of inquiries concerning the genesis of Peak Performance Psychology (P-3) for Golfers, questions concerning: (1) how and when P-3 got started and (2) what prompted the use of Ericksonian Hypnosis (EH) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The following historical sketch is intended to answer those questions

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Ericksonian Hypnosis derives its name from a medical doctor who developed the method, Milton H. Erickson. Dr.Erickson, who died in 1980, is widely considered to be the most innovative hypnotherapist in history. He is highly regarded for the, seemingly, magical results he got with people who consulted him. Frequently, within one hypnotherapy session, Erickson was able to help people overcome their fears, phobias, obsessions and compulsions or to manage physical pain. More importantly, he was equally adept at helping people to generate whatever feelings or attitudes they wanted to have in particular settings; be it, for example, feeling confident and relaxed and being focused when giving a speech or performing as a musician.

In short, through his intuitive genius, Erickson created a hypnotic approach that remains unparalleled in its speed and power to help people more fully realize their potential. As word of his approach spread, psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health workers called upon Erickson to teach his methods to them. Unfortunately, as is common among geniuses, frequently he was not consciously aware of the principles, procedures and techniques that he created and followed. Therefore, he found it difficult to teach his approach to others.

Fortunately, Erickson had recorded many of his sessions from which he published numerous detailed narratives in professional journals and books. Furthermore, he allowed researchers to record and film him using his approach with volunteers in seminars, conferences and workshops. Accordingly, researchers could read, view, analyze and outline Erickson's approach, thus, making it teachable.

Two such researchers were Richard Bandler and John Grinder who, in the 1960's, set out to find out what it is that Erickson and others with outstanding success rates did to get what seemed like magical results. To this end they began by analyzing the linguistic patterns; that is, the language usage of Milton H. Erickson, Frederick "Fritz" Perls and Virginia Satir, all famous for their outstanding successes in helping people to make desired changes. The genesis of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, as the name suggests, began with the identification of numerous linguistic patterns these therapists employed. Subsequently, these linguistic patterns could be taught to other therapists who desired to become more efficient and effective.

However, the researchers concluded that Erickson's phenomenal success rates could not be attributed to linguistic patterns alone. They recognized that Erickson's procedures and techniques were of primary importance. Accordingly, they proceeded to analyze and outline Erickson's procedures and techniques so that they could be taught to others and, sometimes, improved upon.

The process of outlining Erickson's techniques that Bandler and Grinder began in the early 70's resulted in a psycho-technology called Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Today NLP provides its practitioners with a body of powerful techniques that, when used skillfully, empower people to access desired feelings and attitudes with lightning speed; enabling them to feel better and perform better.

As a certified master practitioner of Ericksonian Hypnosis (EH) and NLP, I frequently used these psycho-technologies in my private practice in psychotherapy. Being located in the Philadelphia suburbs and teaching at a university, collegiate and professional athletes would be referred to me as clients. Occasionally an athlete would request that we try EH and NLP to enhance athletic performance. It worked so well, so often, that, in 1990, I decided to modify EH and NLP for use with athletes.

Since then I've worked with every major and minor sport at the university and with golfers within and outside the university adapting these powerful psycho-technologies for use with athletes, in general, and golfers in particular. The result is the P-3 system which features techniques that, when applied to golf, rapidly enable golfers to perform at peak levels.

Our latest venture is developing P-3 audio tapes and CDs. One which improves driving and another that improves putting will be available January, 1998. Others will follow as early as March.

I hope that this historical sketch addresses the majority of questions regarding the genesis of P-3. All of you who have emailed or telephoned me with your questions, comments, support, suggestions and requests; thank you!.

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