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|Golf Article - It's all in the mind, part 2
by Dr Aidan Moran, Professor of
the third in a series of articles by Dr
Aidan Moran, Professor of
Psychology Research at
University College, Dublin. Dr Moran is adviser to
of Ireland's top Golfers including Padraig Harrington
learned in article one, concentration, or the ability
to focus on the
present task while ignoring distractions,
is probably the most important
mental skill in golf. As
Paul Azinger said, ~Staying in the present is the
the golfer~s game: Once you start thinking about a shot you
just messed up. You~re lost~. But what can you do on the
course to improve
your focusing skills? Here are some
practical tips that are designed to
keep your mind focused
on the job at hand.
Develop a pre-shot
As I explained in article two, routines train your mind to
focus on the ~here and now~. Remember the steps involved in
routine: Assess the situation, then prepare to
play and finally, trust
your swing and let it flow.
Pick a specific target
yourself "What's my target?" for every shot you
play. Picking a target is
a good way of blocking out
Focus on the challenge
of every shot
Try to see every shot as a contest between you and the
target. Nothing else matters.
Use "trigger words" to refocus your
If you find yourself thinking too far ahead, try using
phrases like "this one ~ now!" or "nice and easy" to
Visualise the type of shot you want to play
Visualisation, or "seeing" and "feeling" a shot in your
you actually hit it, is a popular
concentration technique among top
Learn to put the past behind you
Develop the habit
of "letting go" of the shot you've just
played. If it was a bad shot,
remind yourself that it's the
next shot that counts. If it was a good shot
done" silently to yourself but remember to re-focus on the
next target to aim at.
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