Yoga Helps Promote Focus & Concentration In Golfers
Golf is a mental game, and with that comes many potential problems. You can often overanalyze the situation at hand (bad lie, bad hole, etc) or allow stress from your daily life to creep in and distract you from your game. Yoga helps your physical game by improving your flexibility and strength, but it can also do wonders for your mental game as well. Yoga offers you the chance to learn how to quiet your mind and focus on just your golf game.
The issue lies with the thoughts themselves and the fact that they are able to enter your mind whenever they feel like it. Golf connects your subconscious mind to your conscious one. Your conscious mind is the part that allows you to access logic, alertness and analysis, and your subconscious mind is the part that gives you access to long-term memory and intuition. Your subconscious stores the fundamentals of golf like your stance and your swing. You need to access both your conscious and subconscious mind in order to perform optimally.
However, having access to both layers of your mind while trying to play golf can be a bit overwhelming. It can cause you to have too many thoughts roaming around in your head when you need to be focusing on just your swing. If you don’t learn the gradations of the mental game of golf, then you are doing yourself and your game a disservice. You may become frustrated which can easily lead to poor shots, thrown clubs, and high scores.
But if you learn to use your mind’s complexity to help your game, then you are one step closer to improving your golf game permanently. Practicing yoga is the best way for you to learn to develop and hone your mental golf game so that it allows you to perform at your best.
The Importance of Concentration For Golfers
Golf is highly taught around the world. There is wide variety of golf how-to videos, books and programs available to golfers trying to learn how to hone in on the mental game and in golf it is incomparable to any other sport. This amount of information available highlights golf’s reputation as a mental sport. But all this preparation is meaningless if you allow stress and other distractions into your head during your game. That is why it is so important that you learn to train your mind to concentrate during times of stress.
When your golf game is good and you’re performing well, you’re state of concentration is heightened. It allows you to focus more on your game and how well you are performing. However, when that is not the case, a flood of poor thoughts enter your mind and distract you from being able to bring yourself back to a good golf game. This is because you allow your conscious mind to tap into your subconscious one, causing your golf game to suffer. Many people try to cope with this by working the physical aspects of the game. While those things cannot be ignored, it is important that you don’t confuse a physical problem with a mental one. Learning to cope with the stress that occurs when a game is not going well is one of the things that yoga can help you to achieve.
Yoga gives you the opportunity to learn to meditate and focus on your mind’s innate ability to perform well. It gives you coping strategies that allow you to quiet the outside influences of your mind and tap into your subconscious’ full potential. Deep breathing techniques as well as concentration techniques are two of yoga’s main focuses outside the physical realm. If you can perfect these, then you can apply them to your golf game and give your subconscious the room it needs to improve your golf game.
The state of relaxation created during yoga is one of the most important lessons yoga can teach you. It gives your subconscious the chance to experience the present when you clear your mind from distraction. Your sense of awareness is heightened and you can feel your body’s movements more easily. This will allow you to make necessary adjustments if you feel off. You already have the latent skills necessary to play good golf, you just need to allow your subconscious to access them without any distractions from your conscious mind. That’s what yoga can help you to achieve.
Forgetting about Your Goals
When you become frustrated, it is difficult to remove yourself from the likes of the images of golfers throwing clubs or swearing or making fervent self-hate remarks in the light of that frustration. However, these things tend to happen only if you’re focusing on your end goals. Goals like whether you’re above or below par, striving to lower your handicap or even whether you hit the ball into yet another sand trap are all goals that are driven by the outcome of the game. By allowing yourself to be present and to not focus on your goals for the game, you are able to concentrate more on performing better rather than winning.
Having a clear and present mind is essential to any good golf game. Yoga can teach you how to get there.
There is an old legend of Zen monks who use archery in order to achieve a state of consciousness that is a more intensive version of the one you seek as a golfer. They shoot their arrows until they become masters of the sport. After that, they toss away the bows and arrows because it isn’t about winning or being the best. It is about getting to and maintaining that level of consciousness. Archery is just the means of getting there.
Similarly, you should think of yoga as archery in this metaphor. You are not doing yoga in order to become a master at it. Instead, you are using yoga to teach you methods of control and concentration. You are allowing yourself to become better.
Yoga teaches you various breathing techniques that will help you along the way. Yoga forces you to focus on your breaths, meaning all other sounds and thoughts fall away. Breathing in and out deeply and pointedly allows you to enhance that concentration. Use your body to focus on your mind. Use its pain, stiffness and movements to guide you to the correct level of consciousness. This use of concentration allows you to hone in on the skills that will make your golf game better.
Don’t Completely Ignore the Physical Game
While golf does have a lot of aspects that require mental acuity, it would be a mistake to ignore the physical aspects of the game completely. Golf is a game that is built upon muscle memory. The same motion of your swing and the same nuances of a putt continue throughout any golf game. It is important that you practice the correct movements for these actions so they can be stored in your mind’s subconscious.
Yoga is a great way to improve aspects of your physical game as well as your mental game. Yoga allows you to improve your flexibility and strength in areas that are important to golfers. For example, doing yoga stretches out your various muscle groups as it focuses your strength and attention on various parts of your body. Your core strength will grow immensely after practicing yoga. This will undoubtedly improve your golf game.
Having a good physical game will give you the mental capacity you need in order to be at the top of your game.
Golf is a complex sport with many different aspects that can affect the outcome. But while many people focus on the physical part of the game, they neglect the importance of mental concentration while performing the physical tasks of golf. Yoga is a great tool to allow you to improve the mental portion of your game. By giving you strategies to clear your mind and put it into the present task, yoga creates a unique opportunity to improve your golf game one step at a time.