Archived Newsletters - Concentration:
Newsletter May 2000
Vol. 1 Edition 6
Dear Golf Enthusiast,
PMI is pleased to provide this free electronic newsletter, Mental Coaching
for Golf to give you information for balancing your mind-body-spirit so you
can play golf effortlessly, free from distractions, trusting your swing,
confident, focused, and enjoying the game more!
Thanks for subscribing. With your subscription you will receive tips and
insightful information at the beginning of each month to help you develop a
winner's mentality for your golf game by balancing your mental, physical
and spiritual bodies. In the last four issues we have written about
setting your goals for Y2K, balancing your physical body with the necessary
nutrition for consistent energy, finding the necessary emotional and mental
arousal level needed for consistent, high performance on the golf course,
and how your beliefs and thoughts impact your success and enjoyment of the
This month's topic is about how to focus your attention so you can
concentrate when you are over the ball.
Golf is a game that is played best when you are "in the zone" or "playing
out of your mind." When you are playing at your peak performance, golf
shots are easy and effortless, and you believe you have found "the secret"
to always playing well. At those times, golfers report that their minds
are so relaxed and absorbed that their bodies know without conscious
thought how to hit the ball. The mind and body are in harmony.
On the other hand, when golfers are playing badly, they are giving
themselves instructions on how to swing, judging their performance, and
experiencing fear thoughts and feeling afraid.
The golfer who plays at his highest level is the one who knows how to apply
swing skills of hitting different shots with clear thinking. The "player"
of the game is one who has graduated from focusing on his mechanics to
having fun conquering the challenge of getting the ball in the hole in the
Concentration is a mental activity that most people try to make happen.
When you try too hard to do something, you actually move it further away.
Concentration happens as the result of being engrossed in an activity. It
is similar to happiness. When you do something that you enjoy, you feel
During a round of golf, your concentration may be hindered by
- Anxiety. A golfer can become anxious when he is too concerned about his
score, or what others may think of his performance.
- Lack of confidence. When golfers begin to play poorly, they tend to
concentrate less, and then play even worse.
- Distractions. Outside noises such as a mower can affect how well you
- Boredom. Some golfers don't give as much attention to a short easy
pitch shot as they do for a shot out of trouble.
The human mind processes hundreds of bits of sensory information every 2-3
seconds, so it is no wonder that we have trouble focusing on one shot at a
time. This is obvious when we blame our wandering thoughts on Alzheimer's
or Senior Moments. A lot of golfers believe they have to concentrate on
the game for four hours when in fact it is a good thing to relax and joke
with your partners between shots. Focus only when it is your turn to hit.
Using the same preshot routine and swing key every time will help you stay
There are different ways to focus during a round of golf. Ben Hogan, for
example, concentrated on his round by not thinking or talking about
anything else. If you find that you lose your focus during the round, it
might be better to relax your concentration between shots. Joke with your
partners, and then focus only when it's your turn to hit.
A mind that is busy, restless or indecisive will find it difficult to
concentrate on one activity. Use the following steps to focus your attention.
- The first step toward improved concentration is to quiet your mind.
- Begin by breathing to relax your mind and body.
- Be decisive about your club selection.
- Mentally rehearse the shot, using positive images.
- When it is your turn to hit, "turn on" your focus by going into your
pre-shot routine to keep your mind from wandering.
- Trust that you will hit the shot you have imagined.
- Enjoy the experience
For most people, concentration repeatedly shifts from outside yourself
between shots to inside yourself during shots. Being engrossed in the
process of performing a shot is known as being in the "flow" or "zone"
where the golf swing almost becomes an automatic reaction to the target..
Sit down in a comfortable chair in a quiet room where you won't be
disturbed. Close your eyes and focus your attention on the space between
your eyes. When you notice your attention moving away, notice where it
went and bring it back. Did you lose your concentration because you lost
interest in the challenge?
Do the exercise once again with soft music playing in the background. Is
it harder to hold your concentration than when it was quiet? Where does
your mind go when the music is playing?
Repeat the exercise once again with music with lyrics playing in the
background. Is it harder to concentrate? Where does your mind go?
If you can hold your attention on the place between your eyes for one
minute, it will be easy to concentrate on the golf course, even with
distractions. When the Russian athletes trained for the Olympics, they
practiced concentration by sitting between two radios playing different
stations while mentally rehearsing their sport. Tiger's father challenged
his concentration by throwing objects at him and making noise while he was
hitting the ball.
Concentration may be the single most important mental attribute in golf.
You can increase your powers of concentration by listening to the latest
PMI audiocassete tape, Concentration for Consistent Golf. The imagery on
the tape will put you into a focused state where your imagination will
produce concentration that is easy and enjoyable.
"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark.
Professionals built the Titanic."--unknown