Mastering the Mental of Golf
December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
by Dr. Ron Mann
What is this approach?
What does it take to play great golf? Good equipment? Good swing mechanics? A strong mental game? All of the above! The mental game is probably the least understand and the least addressed aspect of the game, expect for pros on tour who make a living at this game. They understand the competitive importance and necessity of a strong mental game. The average golfer does not.
My approach with mastering the mental game is based upon thirty years of experience as a clinical psychologist, forty seven years of playing golf and holding a 5 index, and thirty five years of spiritual practice with meditation and yoga. I know golf and I know how people are put together. I understand the nature of consciousness and the power of the mind/body connection. My extensive yoga and meditation practice has taught many subtle things about the power of the mind and the nature of consciousness to impact performance. I have integrated all these aspects of our being into my approach in Mastering the Mental Game.
I am writing this to explain my method and my approach. The concepts are simple, but they do require some dedicated practice in obtaining self-mastery. Let’s understand how everything relates to peak performance.
1) Our personality and how we master our emotional life is critical in golf. When we are emotionally reactive and out of control, we lose focus and the power to play well. Emotional upsets that are not quickly released, lead to breakdown and big numbers. Different types of personality patterns respond differently in various circumstances. Each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. We need to know our strengths and capitalize on them, as well as learning how to overcome our weaknesses. I have been certified in the GolfPsych Coaching Methods which includes the GolfPsych test based upon the 16PF. This test has been given to professional golfers and shows how you compare to those playing on tour. It is very accurate and a great start in the Mastering the Mental Game Coaching Process. It is important to understand your personality and resolve any issues that might limit your competitive ability.
This is especially true for junior golfers. They are developing a mastery of self and have a lot of normal developmental issues to resolve. Often, the most important is their relationship with parents. When young people feel pressured by parental expectations and demands for success, it affects their game. Parents often do not want to address this reality. However, if it is ignored, the child’s performance will suffer or they can lose interest in the game altogether.
So, first we must address psychological factors that hamper great self-esteem, self-confidence, determination, perseverance, concentration, focus, and mental toughness.
2) The mind is affected by many things and it takes a lot of practice to master one’s mind. A wandering mind with little focus does not achieve great results. How do we master the mind and develop a laser like ability for concentration and focus? I have found meditation and advanced yogic breathing techniques to be the best tools. Meditation changes consciousness very quickly and develops concentration and focus. It also opens a greater sensitivity to energy and consciousness, which results in a greater power to direct the will and achieve higher levels of success in competition.
Visualization techniques are known to be helpful in peak performance training and have more power to achieve results when the mind is clear and quiet. Simple relaxation techniques are not as powerful as advance meditation practices. I have explored many different approaches to meditation, self-hypnosis and yogic breathing methods. These practices are powerful and will help an individual achieve at a higher level when done properly.
3) Self awareness leads to self mastery. Self-awareness opens the possibility for balance of mind, body and soul. When one finds inner peace and inner balance and has developed physical strength and skills, then great things can happen. An open and aware inner life results in newfound abilities and insights into peak performance. As one becomes more aware, subtle aspects of consciousness emerge that are very powerful in affecting performance.
So there is an obvious relationship between mind, body and spirit that results in higher levels of performance. My recent book, Bouncing Back: How to Recover When Life Knocks You Down, which is based upon interviews with world-class athletes, speaks to this reality. The Mastering the Mental Game approach is based upon all these factors and integrates all aspects of human functioning. We address both outer and inner dimensions that lead to peak performance. The work goes from the inside out. My book, The Yoga of Golf, has some great information on the power of self-mastery as it relates to golf. I also created a 3-hour CD called Find the Zone: Master the Mental Game of Golf, which is loaded with state of the art sport psychology information and actual guided meditation programs for enhanced concentration, focus and visualization.
Personal development, growth and change do not usually happen overnight, although it can. My work with subtle energy does speed up the change process. My work as a psychologist and healer in complementary health care taught me how to more quickly and more effectively facilitate change in those who are open and interested.
In summary, Mastering the Mental Game is more than a series of techniques to develop concentration and focus. This approach is about self-mastery and how to apply a new perspective to golf for enhanced performance. This approach is philosophical, psychological, practical, and transformational. If you would like to find out if you are ready to this approach, give me a call.
©2010 Copyright Ronald L.Mann