The Mind Matters

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I have been playing golf since the age of fifteen and golf has been an important aspect of our family life. When people describe their favorite comfort feeling as a child, like the smell of a specific food cooking on the stove or a favorite family memory. Mine are the sound of metal cleats on concrete and the smell of good scotch. Both were a good indication of my fathers close proximity.
 
Yoga for Golfers - Katherine RobertsUntil the day I discovered yoga I played most of my life to a 24 handicap. Once I began to implement the physical and mental aspects of yoga into my game my handicap dropped to a 16. Specifically when I became more aware of the first and second yoga principles, addressing my negative inner dialogue, my entire game changed. These principles also benefited my students who have lowered their handicaps as well.
 
The Yoga for Golfers program offers a unique blend of scientific research on golf biomechanics and cutting edge training techniques with ancient yoga postures and principles. Through this blending of the mind, body and breathing, our objective is to maximize your performance on the course and enhance your life off the course. Our intention is to reach these goals through the eight guiding principles of yoga. These principles include the following:
 
1. Conduct towards the outside world
2. Personal conduct or personal discipline
3. The physical exercises or poses
4. Breathing exercises
5. Internal awareness ' withdrawing from the external
6. Concentration of the mind
7. Meditation
8. Enlightenment ' The Whole in One.
 
Now you maybe asking how these principles will benefit you on the course. Over the next few weeks we will practice some of the physical aspects of yoga combined with tips on how to reach the optimum level of peak performance through body and mind awareness.
 
Having grown up with golfers I can say this with confidence ' golfers have a tendency to exhibit self-loathing behavior. We are always telling ourselves we are not good enough, we can always be better. A friend of mine is a sports psychologist and for his Masters thesis he positioned himself off the eighteen green of a local course for two weeks. He asked each golfer as they walked off the green one question, How was your round? The younger golfers responding with comments reflecting how much fun they had on the course. The older the golfers age and the lower the handicap the response reflected some form of disappointment. They should have hit the ball farther, made more putts, etc
 
Your inner dialogue is a direct correlation to the outcome. It is a universal law that what you focus your attention towards is what you create. If your focus is negativity you will be surrounded by negativity. At one time I suffered from the yips in my chipping. It was so bad that for six months I stood over every chip shot and said to myself, This is not going to be good! As you can imagine, my body heard the message my mind was telling it to believe. Once I changed my inner dialogue to, You can hit this shot Katherine! my ability to hit chip shots returned.
 
Here are a few tips to help you establish a positive thought process:
  1. Visualize the desired outcome for each shot before you set up. Visualize with clarity!

  2. Incorporate a deep, cleansing breath into your pre-shot routine and see the tension leaving your body and mind.

  3. Practice positive inner dialogue. I can make this shot!
My recommendation is that you begin this practice on a daily basis, setting a positive intention for the day before your get out of bed in the morning. Practice these thoughts in your car on the way to the course and on the practice tee. You will see benefits in all aspects of your life.
 
Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
     
    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@KRTotalFitness.com or visit www.KRTotalFitness.com.