Stayinginthenow2

Entering the Zone and Staying in the NOW

Learning how to improve your concentration and focus will no doubt help your golf, but it will also provide you with a personal development skill that will transcend your golf scores into your daily life.

Daily practice of even a minute or two will train your brain to focus automatically and you will see better results in everything you do. To execute every golf shot as best you can, you need to be in the “NOW”, solely in the present moment. Being in the present at all times is a key part of the learning the mental game and improving your scores. The intensity of your focus on your objective is not clouded by thinking about what has happened, or what might happen.

To get into “the zone” for your best golf, you need to learn the art of relaxed concentration. That is, your focus becomes more intense but requires less and less effort. It becomes a subconscious process. The good news, is that it does not take much practice to see results…

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A good technique to stay in the present, and one that is used for exactly the same purpose in meditation, is to focus on breathing. When you feel your focus drifting to the past or future, notice your breathing and focus on what you see (the ball and the target). This clears the mind of negative chatter, reduces stress and allows you to be completely focused on your objective. You are living ONLY in the present moment and acting only with your subconscious mind. By learning to be more aware of your senses, you will learn the power of being more connected with reality.

Try another exercise to practice staying in the present:

Ask yourself: “I wonder what my next thought will be?” and notice how long it is before a thought comes in. Practice this, trying to extend the time before a new thought comes in. This improves your ability to stay in the NOW. Another way would be to focus on an object e.g. a golf ball and then notice when your mind drifts away from it. When it does, gently bring it back. Try to practice this daily, each time trying to increase your focus time.

A good pre-shot routine and focus on the process of executing a good golf shot, is the best way to eliminate negative thoughts and stay in the present. You can start by introducing breathing into your pre-shot routine. When you are picking your target, visualizing the shot and making your practice swings, be conscious of your breathing. This will take your mind away from the “what ifs” and the “unknowns” and get you working towards playing with your senses and becoming more connected with want you want the ball to do. Your target and shot shape will become more vivid and self doubt will start to disappear.

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Photo by TourProGolfClubs

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David MacKenzie

is a golf coach and golf publisher and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind a teaching program designed to help golfers eliminate negative mental interference and play with confidence.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Troy Vayanos

    Some great tips here David,

    With the breathing to help stay in the present, do you recommend long deep breathes before you execute the shot and is there a specific number of breathes to take?

    Cheers

  2. Cam Ross

    I need help! I am always looking at negatives

    1. David MacKenzie
      David MacKenzie

      Hi Cam,

      When is it you feel negative? Before a shot, between shots, when?

      Do you have a good shot routine and techniques to switch off in between shots?

      Did you get a copy of the eBook yet, there’s plenty of good mental training techniques in there to keep your mind-set positive. More details here https://golfstateofmind.com/learn-the-golf-state-of-mind/

      Let me know how you get on.

      David

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