RON STOCKTON BIOGRAPHY continued...
mechanics. That was the huge breakthrough, the ‘light bulb moment,’ if you will. I had spent my whole playing career trying to emulate his mechanics, not understanding that the magic was all in the routine."
Working with sports psychologists Dr. Deborah Graham and Jon Stabler, founders of GolfPsych, helped advance Stockton to polish his skills.
“I was able to accomplish two things: (1) It reinforced my belief of what I had observed – that everyone is different; everyone’s strengths are different; even how they learn is different. Teaching, therefore, should reflect that philosophy and thus instruction becomes highly individualized.
2) GolfPsych made it tangible – They conducted research that showed me how particular states of mind (“8 Traits of Champion Golfers”) are optimal for success.
What wasn’t different for each player was the inherent trust required in oneself for success to occur. Stockton found that GolfPsych’s 8 Championship Traits provided a highway, a path, to success as a player.
“Ron is very intelligent, analytical and a student of the game,” says sports psychologist Dr. Deborah Graham, who along with her husband Jon Stabler, founded GolfPsych in 1989. They have known the Stocktons since 1990, hosting schools for players and instructors.
“What they were teaching made sense to me,” says Stockton, “because I observed that under pressure, I confirmed my belief that the mind controls the muscle.”
So, what are those eight personality traits of a Champion Golfer?
Cool vs. Warm (focus trait)
Concrete Thinking vs. Abstract Thinking
Submissive vs. Dominant
Tender-minded vs. Tough-minded
Self-assured vs. Apprehensive
Group-oriented vs. Self-sufficient
Emotionally Reactive vs. Emotional Stability
Relaxed vs. Tense
GolfPysch has nearly 400 tour professional clients, including 21 that have won a combined 31 major championships while under their guidance. Ron Stockton spent time in developing a mental approach by working with Graham and Stabler.
“Ron has always been good at observation, and seeing more than the average person,” says Graham. “Ron has the passion, talent and the skill. We felt that we helped him expand his skills.”
In the end it all comes down to trust…getting clients to realize they have what they need to perform. If a player doesn’t trust his swing or stroke, it’s not happening.
Expanding upon the influence of Graham and Stabler, Ron Stockton carried on his own style of “Process Coaching,” understanding the multi-faceted needs of the individual student golfer:
Process vs. Outcome
Average vs. Champion
Ego vs. Soul
Thinker vs. Athlete
The tools and techniques Stockton uses to get the player to "process" are not quick fixes – such as hypnosis – but always begin with personal insight and awareness of personal "blind spots," which Graham and Stabler say is found with personality testing and brain-typing. Once that is achieved, the cognitive and behavioral tools are inputted into the teaching.