In this article, I will explore into some of the skills to initiate your peak performance state that you can utilize in off course practices, preparation and tournament play. Now, realize here that initiating your peak performance state is a “skill.” Therefore to sharpen the skill comes with practice. Practice makes Permanent!
The first skill I would like to mention is actually the simplest to implement. There are three “state” changers, however in this article you will learn to utilize your physiology (or body) to initiate your peak performance state.
First of all, ask yourself this question: What are my peak performance characteristics? In other words, what are my performance characteristics when I am playing my best? If you do not know your best performance characteristics, how can you efficiently train your brain for peak performance?
Now, the significant performance principle to remember is this! Your results (or outcomes that are out of your control) are determined by your present, moment-to-moment performance mentality and your performance flows from your present, moment-to-moment emotional state.
Consciously our mind likes to travel. It likes to take you out of the present moment and run to the “past” or “future.” The skill required is remaining within the present moment, neutral in mind and emotion with a calm state of concentration on the task at hand. When golfers are in the zone, it is visible, very evident. When they are playing their best. When they’re flowing and performance is effortless, you see and feel their calm concentration, smooth pace and emotional neutral state. It’s projected in their rhythm, unforced, and approaching each shot with pinpoint calm neutral focus.
Now, what if you could initiate this peak performance state? What if you could initiate your ideal performance state without having to “hit” your first “good” shot of the day?
Well, now you can!
Try this little exercise. Stand up and walk around the room as though you’re really off your game. Recall a round that was frustrating, losing belief, confidence, emotional control and possible motivation. You can’t seem to do anything right, and tired of not reaching your expectations.
Now, do the opposite.
Imagine your best performance. You are feeling free and focused. Confidence is flowing through every fiber of your being. You feel like you can do anything with ease. You’re incredibly in the present and focused and yet you’re so relaxed. You are calm, emotionally in control, focused within the moment, and executed golf shots with precision and effortlessness. It’s like you have no care in the world!
Now, take note of the following from both exercises:
1. How was your breathing?
2. Were you standing taller?
3. What was the pace of your walk?
If you actually stood up and tried the above exercises, you would probably notice a significant difference. What is most exciting about this skill is that, rather than “waiting” for a result or outcome (good shot or birdie) to create your peak performance state, you can literally step into this state and help to trigger your best performance more consistently. You can do so my using your physiology. Use your breathing, pace of walk, walk taller with your head high and eyes up.
Enjoy your best performances more often!
phot credit: Keith Allison