As I mentioned last week (see Quieting The Mind if you havent read it yet), quieting the mind is a practice and not simply a strategy that one often can turn on and off while on the course. In fact, the skill of quieting the mind is most often learned away from the golf course more effectively. You dont need to be at a driving range or on the golf course to improve this part of your game.
For those of you who dont believe quieting the mind is really that important or is some kind of out there concept, consider this. The peak zone state that many athletes desire to experience is more than a mental state. Its a WHOLE BODY state. In other words, the zone is the ultimate demonstration of a mind that is quiet. This quiet mind CAUSES the emotions to be at the right intensity to get the job done and CAUSES the body to be more physically relaxed. There is nothing out there about it. It is a reflection of the incredible precise and predictable connection/communication of the mind, body and emotions. Many people know this connection is real and theyve experienced both sides of it; the zone side and the opposite; the noisy side which is filled with doubt, fears, worries, etc.
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
Here are 2 suggestions to begin your own practice of Quieting The Mind.
1. THE CANDLE DRILL
This is an exercise that can help you focus and can train the mind to be still and quiet. Find a location where you will be undisturbed. Place a candle about 2 feet away from you at eye level and gaze at the flame for 2 minutes. Keep your eyes fixed on the flame and while doing so your mind WILL want to wander to other things and you may have thoughts such as, this is dumb, I need to check my email, I can hear the voices outside the room, etc. Your task is to gently (no forcing) move your attention back to the candle no matter what your distraction is.
2. BREATHING FOCUS (yes! Breathing again!)
Thats right! Youve heard it and read it a zillion times and I can assure you that 85% of my clients do not take advantage of it properly. Proper breathing is the gateway to quieting your mind and your emotions. This is the awesome power that proper breathing has and yet so many people dont do it properly. Others use the story that they dont have the time to do it. Yet, when the mind is cluttered and noisy you can rest assured that breathing is also sporadic and uneven. The breath is the key; when it is even and deep the mind, body and emotions are very positively affected and you are in position to perform your best. Sit quietly and undisturbed once again. Close your eyes and inhale through the nose for a count of 3; hold for 1 count and exhale through the mouth for a count of 5. Do this for 30 cycles every morning (and you can reproduce this breath anytime throughout the day).
To Your Best Golf!