Concentration for Golfers
What do you think about most when you play in a golf tournament?
Are you focused on beating a rival? Maybe, you are focused on outplaying the players in your group? Or, perhaps, you think about what it will take to win the tournament?
Whatever outcome you are hoping to accomplish, there is one strategy that gives you the best chance to achieve that result… don’t become overly focused on that outcome.
This strategy may sound counterintuitive. You are probably thinking, “How can I achieve something if I don’t focus on achieving it?”
Let’s counter that proposition with another question, “How can you play your best golf when you are not focusing on just playing the current shot?”
In our Mental Game of Golf Survey, a player sent us the following question:
“Why do I always mess up in tournaments? I should be finishing in the Top-10, but I always come up short. Is there something I am doing wrong?”
Many golfers fall into this trap. You become overly concerned with shooting a particular score or placing in a tournament that those thoughts become a significant distraction.
Instead of golfing, you are constantly crunching the numbers, “I have to make up two strokes. I need to make par on the next two holes just to break into theTop-10. I can absolutely not bogey, or I will not have a chance to make it up on the 18th hole.”
When you have an outcome focus, you create more anxiety for yourself. When you are anxious, you begin to focus on avoiding hazards or not making any mistakes. Unfortunately, those fears often become a reality, and your performance suffers.
Instead of focusing on the numbers, you should just play the shot in front of you. THAT’S IT!
You can do nothing to change the scores of other golfers in the tournament, but if you focus on the shot you are playing with your complete focus, you give yourself the best opportunity to shoot a low score and achieve your objectives.
Professional golfer Dustin Johnson, the No. 9 player in the world, has undoubtedly had a successful career earning 24 Tour victories.
Johnson’s success results from focusing on the process instead of winning a tournament, placing in the Top-10, or beating a rival.
JOHNSON: “For me, I don’t go into an event saying I’m going to win this tournament. For me, it’s more of the process of how I get there. I want to put myself in a position on Sunday to have a chance to win. That is my goal for the week in any major, just to give myself a chance and see what I can do from there.”
When you are playing in a tournament, the most important thing is what you are doing in the moment.
Focusing on your game instead of worrying about your score leads to the best results.
How to Maintain a Process-Focus:
It is essential to understand what type of focus you have played with in the past. Do you focus on winning or playing your best?
Do you focus on the scores of other golfers or your strategy for your shot? Do you focus on the leaderboard, or are you immersed in your game?
Be sure the identify what thoughts help you execute one shot at a time and focus on those. When you start to think about outcome, stop and refocus on the current hole.
Related Golf Psychology Videos
- How to Deal With Negative Emotion
- How to Improve Your Mental Game
- Mindset for Golf Performance Evaluation
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