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EFT and humor to develop golf confidence

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

Coach Stephen Ladd combines EFT with some outrageous humor to help his young golfing client get beyond feeling like a loser. This is a classy approach that is useful for many issues.

Hugs, Gary

By Stephen Ladd, EFT-ADV


I thought some of the EFT practitioners on the forum might be interested in one of the creative applications I’ve been using with athletes.  What I find so valuable about EFT is that it seems to naturally enhance other coaching modalities like NLP, hypnosis, etc.

Over the last two years, I’ve been getting more and more junior athletes – average ages between 12 and 20.  They now make up over half of my regular client base.  This is an ideal group for me, because they seem more open than most adults to allowing humor to be part of coaching.  And from my experience, the combination of meridian stimulation and levity are hard to beat!

As an example of combining EFT, other coaching modalities, and humor, I will share a recent coaching session with a golfer I’ll call Sarah.  Sarah is a very competitive high school golfer, with several colleges already recruiting her.  Despite the fact that she has high ranking in the state and in the country for golf in her age category, she has been plagued with self doubt and confidence issues since starting high school.  (Editor's note: Stephen indicated that her ranking has improved since he submitted this article for the newsletter)

Our initial phone session went well – just a basic intro to EFT and some specific exercises to do during the week between our next appointments.  Sarah reported back that she was very pleased with her progress, and that she felt far more confident on the course, most of the time.  But there was still a voice that would sneak into her head every now and then.  I asked her exactly what the voice said.  She answered, “It says the same thing every time – ‘you are a loser’.”

Now some of the more traditional EFT protocols at this point might go after that voice and clear it, determine whose voice it really is, when was the very first time she heard the voice, etc.  I’ve used all these angles many times before, with great success.  But on this particular day I had a sense to go in a different direction with Sarah.

I must admit that I think what I did would be some version of an NLP “scratch the record” (or DVD for all the juniors), but it could be a combination of several other modalities.  I get them all mixed up after 2 decades of fooling around with them.  So here’s what I did:

GC COMMENT: The technique below helps install a different perception. It is a reframe and be quite effective, especially when combined with EFT. I have done this many times myself.

  • I had Sarah tap continuously throughout this entire exercise - whatever points she wanted and in any order. 
  • I then asked Sarah to imagine a situation where the voice would certainly make itself heard.  She said “missing a short putt”.
  • So I had her vividly image that scene, and hear the voice in her head saying “You are a loser”.
  • She reported that her level of intensity was 8 out of 10 for “self-loathing” (I don’t think I even knew what that meant when I was her age).
  • But then I made sure that things got fun.  I had her imagine the scene, while tapping, and then imagine the sky parting from above, and a deep booming voice thundering down from the sky saying “You are a loser!”
  • And then to imagine all of the other golfers on the course coming over and encircling the green, taking out their golf balls and “stoning” her with them.  All the while chanting “You are a loser … You are a loser”.
  • To make matters even worse, she is to realize (in her visualization) that she is wearing the “Loser Scarlet Letter” (an L on her forehead – most teenagers know this symbol).  At this point Sarah is laughing quite hard - but I’m just getting warmed up. 
  • Next, I had her add circus music to the whole scene, and put Mickey Mouse hats on all the golfers stoning her with golf balls. 
  • And then I had her make the big booming voice from above, as well as those of the other golfers, be the voice of Donald Duck, all saying “You are a loser”.

Through her laughter, she was able to spit out a reply – “This is the most ridiculous thing that I have ever thought”.  “Indeed”, I said.  Then I asked her to repeat after me:  Even though I am a loser and full of self-loathing…  At this point she completely cracked up laughing.  After at least 30 seconds of trying to regain her composure, she said “I’m not a loser, that damn duck is!!”

Two weeks later, I got an email from Sarah, reprinted below with her permission:

Coach Stephen
Thank you so much for your crazy coaching.  I have never been so confident on the golf course.  Even at school and with my friends I feel it, too.
I do get the “loser” voice sometimes, but now it just makes me laugh really hard, because it’s Donald Duck.  Who can take him seriously?  I missed an easy putt in a tournament last week, and actually started laughing!  Instead of being upset for the rest of the round, I birdied the next hole.

Just goes to show what EFT and a whacked out imagination can accomplish!


Stephen Ladd


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.