Golf And The Art Of Concentration

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Concentration is the root of human performance. It is much more than the ability of not being distracted or even visualizing the shot.

Granted, hardly any of the authors of ANY golf training book have comprehensive training in golf psychology, so let me give you some tips for peak concentration on the golf course. I’m not talking about “grinding” out on the course…this will burn you out early in the round and mentally deplete you.

First off, dance with which you brought to the course…in other words, don’t try to fix your swing out on the course. There is plenty of time to fix your swing on the range after the round. Your job on the course is to play golf, not play swing…you need to score!

Your thoughts need to be focused on getting the ball into the cup in the least amount of strokes possible…the object of the game! (How soon we forget this fact) The only things you should be thinking about while you plan your shot is the target, distance, direction, wind speed, your lie…and any other factor that comes into play.

Forget about your last shot and what score you might shoot…

Concentrate on the shot at hand…

You need to discipline yourself to stay in the moment…this takes time to master…if you want to become an accomplished golfer you MUST master this skill.

Once upon a time your ability to concentrate was incredible. Before you could think or understand what words are. This was when you were a baby. Your brain was a sponge. As a baby you could hold your attention on anything in your field of vision without any distracting thoughts.

As you got older and learned how to talk and to think you soon became aware of that little voice inside your head that seems to be with you during every waking moment.

It is that little voice that you can’t quiet no matter how hard you try. It is always telling you that the golf shot is too hard, or the other guy is better than you.

Zen master Dogen-Zenji teaches not to stop negative thoughts in your mind…let them stop by themselves. If some negative thought comes into your mind, let it come in, let it go out. It will not stay long if you are not attached to the thought. When you TRY to stop your thinking of a negative thought, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything.

It may appear as if negative thoughts come from outside your mind, but actually they are only waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer. In five or ten minutes your mind will be completely serene and calm. At this time your breathing will become quite slow.

Now that your breathing is slow and your mind is calm, you can nourish your mind with positive thoughts. Your mind follows your breathing, if you are breathing slowly; your mind is ready to focus on only the thoughts that will allow you to play the shot at hand.

If your ego gets in the way and you are thinking of how to impress someone, this thought will get in the way of your objective to play the shot at hand. Let the thought come and let it pass…do not try to get rid of it, let it pass on its own, like a wave on the ocean!

Hit ‘em Long & Straight!

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