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Can you benefit from the ‘Jim McGuinness Effect’?

Like pretty much every other Donegal native. I have a fascination with what Jim McGuinness has managed to achieve with the Donegal football team. I guess as a sports coach what has gone on in my home county since 2011 is all the more fascinating.

Every word that Jim has spoken and every line written has been dissected by the media and sports fans alike. I have read everything I’ve had access to and had the opportunity to meet Jim and hear him speak at The Donegal Man of the Year (which he won surprisingly enough;) awards at the start of the year. There are a number of key lessons I’ve learned from his philosophies and values and  I will share them with you in this post.

The four words that have been coined as the Jim McGuinness mantra:

Commit, Focus, Believe, Achieve

I will explain how he used these words to galvanise and unite the Donegal Squad, then I will show how this can be used to fulfil your potential as a golfer or anything else for that matter.

Commit: Hi first job was to get the players to commit to the journey they were about to embark on, they got together agreed where they had been limited in that past and what was required to change their path for the future. This type of honest reflection was a key component to their success

Focus: They focused on a plan not only for the team but for each individual player. Based on their individual needs a plan was made and each player was 100% focused on carrying out their own performance plan as well as that of the team

Believe: You have got to believe that you are capable of fulfilling your dreams to stay on the path they were on. I don’t think there was any doubt among any of the players that if they stayed their course they would give themselves the best possible opportunity to maximize their potential

Achieve: The Achievements of the Donegal squad was in large part a by product of the previous steps, however even if they had not won the silverware they have over the last couple of years. They would still have achieved the self satisfaction that they became the best, they are capable of becoming.

How can you use this to help you get the most out of yourself and fulfill your potential

1. Commit fully to fulfilling your potential

Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability. (John Wooden)

This post is essentially aimed at those motivated enough and determined to find out just what they are capable of. If you are looking for quick fixes or miracle tips then youtube or google should be your next stop. Don’t bother reading anymore. Commit to the process of fulfilling your potential. No one knows what that is until the you are at the end of your journey

2. Focus on a plan of improvement

On your own or with your coach have some honest reflection of where you currently are. Then based on this reflection develop a plan you believe you can stick to and make sure it excites and motivates you enough to stick at it through the tough days when your will power is a little low. This is a daily journey adding up all the small steps and looking back at the actions you have taken giving you a deep sense of contentment at how you diligently applied yourself

3. Develop the your self belief

Self belief doesn’t come from saying nice things to yourself or shhhing the nagging doubts in your head. Belief comes from taking action, following your path and sticking to the values that make you the kind of person you can be proud of. Belief comes from heading up the fairway in the pouring rain when others are walking off the course (if becoming the best golfer you can be is an important part of your journey). Belief comes from acting and carrying yourself like the person you want to be.

4. Allow yourself to achieve peace of mind

The biggest achievement you will receive in following the plan above is not that you will win lots of trophies and accolades, although you may, it’s that it might help you become the kind of person you are capable of becoming and you can look back and be proud of the actions you took along the way. All of us have a responsibility to respect the freedom and opportunities we are afforded by doing the best we can each and every day.

A lot of it is about trying to make the best of what you’ve got. (Jim McGuinness)


All of a sudden now, he’s fulfilled his potential and is fulfilling his potential – as a footballer. He’s recognised as a top player and winning games in clutch situations.  He’s got his medals; his All Ireland and his two Ulster championships. That’s a great story in terms of an individual person. (Jim McGuinness)


We’ve a group of players and we’re trying to be the best we can be with that group of players. That’s what’s important to me. (Jim McGuinness)


So if fulfilling your potential as a golfer is something that interests you, start today. Commit to it. Take that first step. For your reflection. Use the image below to help you analyse where you are right now. From there you can move forward with a structured plan. If you would like help developing a plan for you to reach your potential, get in contact and I would be happy to help.

Game Analysis


I hope this has given you some food for thought and you can benefit from the JimMcGuinness ‘effect’.

All the best,