Golf…it’s all in your head
Part IV Focus
“What you focus on is what you get”
By Master Coach Albert Valentine
Think about this. Have you ever been driving your car or on your motorcycle on a rainy day, in the snow, or on a muddy road and you start to skid? What is your natural reaction? Where do you look when you are skidding? Do you look at the wall that’s facing you, the other car coming at you, or that tree? Sure you do!! It’s only natural to look in that direction. But what should you do?
Focus on where you want to go (focus on the outcome you want). Actively, consciously, look in the direction you want to travel (look to, think about, the positive outcome you want). Same goes for golf or anything in life!
Good drivers know that you go in the direction where you look. You travel in the direction of your focus. If you resist your fear, have faith, and focus on where you want to go, your actions will take you in that direction, and if it’s possible to turn out of it, you will— but you stand no chance if you focus on what you fear.
It’s the same in life, in everything we do, that’s why I say, “What you focus on is what you get.” If you focus on crashing, you will crash. If you focus on failure, you will get failure. If you focus on success, hitting the ball straight you WILL get that.
Throughout this series for Cambodia Golf Today, each of my articles have been building upon each other and flowing in a certain direction. My last article talked about Visualization. Your thoughts have a direct influence on the way you feel and thus, your actions. If you tend to dwell on negative thoughts or negative outcomes, say driving your balls into the sandtrap or water, you are probably going to accomplish that which you focus on.
Your imagination can be a powerful tool to help you combat stress, tension, and anxiety and FOCUS on what you want.
Use visualization to harness the energy of your imagination and create a laser focused outcome that you want to achieve. The more you do this the better you will get at using visualization and imagery, which will help you overcome not only golf’s challenges, but life’s challenges.
Here is an exercise:
- Do NOT think of the word chocolate…Now what did you just think of?
- Do NOT look at the pictures in this article right now…what did you look at?
Why and how can we focus on something? Answer: Filters. Each and every person in the world has built-in filters. Filters apply to many areas of our daily experience. For example, we are not able to observe everything around us all at once. If we did, we would go insane. It would be too tiring. So our mind narrows down our focus to enable us to function on a day-to-day basis. So filtering is important.
There is much to be gained from mental exercises that widen one’s habitual pattern of focus to notice more and to keep the excitement about our environment within us. One positive filter to develop, especially for golf is the ability to filter out external noises, such as conversations or other types of random noise. One may focus in on that noise, even if faint, rather than what one is actually trying to concentrate on doing, such as driving the ball or hitting that long, important putt.
Athletes use visualization to focus on how they want the outcome of a competition or training session to go. This helps the athlete stay relaxed, focused and confident.
Focus Using Trigger Method
Step #1 – Identify your environment. Make a list of items that you will see around you.
Step #2 – Think of an emotional state that will make you/force you to focus. It may be a frustration, a belittling statement, maybe even excitement of having achieved it. Feel it as intensely as you can (amplify it if you can).
Step #3 – Build this emotional state to its peak by making it bigger, brighter and louder, then open your eyes and look at the environment around you.
Step #4 – Clear your mind.
Step #5 – Repeat Step #2 – #3.
What you are doing is using your environment as a trigger to engage the states that help you to focus.
Looking forward to my next installment where I’ll talk about something that complements focus: STATE MANAGEMENT.
Until next time, hit your balls hard and straight.
“Focus on where you want to be, not where you were, or where you are.”
Coach Al Valentine is a professional Human Performance Coach who holds master coaching certifications in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Time-Line Therapy. Coach Valentine is a former government diplomat, career military officer, he holds various post-graduate degrees and certifications.
Visit the website of Human Performance Academy for more information.