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Jon Gold, M.A | Go 4 Gold

“Striving and Slacking”

Do more, do this, do that. I need to do x, I should do Y. Wait just a minute…. Let’s discuss pacing. When we consider our performances and when we consider our sport/performance domain we need to focus on the right effort to be our best. Being present and focused on the right thing at the right time comes from the right level of effort. 

Consider two ends of a continuum – on one end we have over-striving, the do more no matter what mentality. On the other side of the continuum we have avoidance, procrastination, and  laziness. While there is a time to push beyond barriers and work harder there also comes a time to know your limits and slow down. 

Tiger Woods recently discussed this on ESPN when asked about his rehabilitation process following surgeries. In answering this question Tiger stated that it comes down to listening to his body and understanding its limits. In his reply he stated “on the days I feel good I make it clear to those I am working with that I can do more and can push harder, then there are other times that I need to slow down and not do as much. He goes on to discuss how he has developed this understanding and awareness through experience and that it has become a skill. So I pose to you this challenge: Work on observing your effort.


  1. Sit in silence for 5 minutes with a soft gaze in front of you or with your eyes closed. Focus on nothing other than being there. 
  2. Pick a focal point or what some may call a “home base”. This is something that you can bring yourself back to when you find yourself distracted. It can be a part of your body, a spot on the ground in front of you, your inhale, your exhale etc. (you decide)!
  3. Putting it together – Notice the nature of your thoughts and call them out… 
  1. If the mind begins thinking about doing more – call it out by saying “STRIVING” and then return to your home base
  2. If the mind wanders towards avoidance and/or wanting the exercise to end – call it out by saying “SLACKING” and then return to your home base 

As you practice this outside of the performance arena and grow your awareness muscle you will become better equipped to apply this same skill of noticing and managing your thoughts in practice and in action. 

Your home base is always there! Come back to it and make sure your effort is guiding you and not hurting you. 

For 1-1 work in developing your awareness muscle visit

Be well,

Jon Gold

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