So very recently (in the past year and a half) I started to have this intense desire to learn golf. Don’t ask me why, but being able to tee off with the boys, hangout on the green, and dress the part of a golf-loving-gal just seemed so fantastic to me. That, and I started working part time for a golf/ cigar company out of Newbury Street in Boston so my exposure to the industry had a very nice start. The company was called Gina Cigar, and Gina and her girls (myself included) would dress up in cute uniforms and head out to various high-end golf tournaments. Just being exposed to the world of golf made me itch to get out and start playing the game myself. I wanted to be a part of what I was witnessing in front of me.
So, my first thought was to understand the ins and outs of the game. I headed to the library, and picked up what turned out to be a fantastic read for not only golf, but any other competitive sport. The book was called ‘Mastering Golf’s Mental Game‘ by Dr. Michael T Lardon. In short, the book broke down the mindset of a competitive golfer and how the game wasn’t so much about the swing, the stance or the strength, but rather, it was about how the golfer was able to prepare mentally and in practice before he/she took a shot.
Lardon states that professional athletes are basically able mentally slow down the moments and perform in what he calls ‘the zone’. He also states that there are 6 components of mental excellence: Attitude, Motivation, Control, Optimization, Concentration and Mental Planning. Lardon approaches each step with advice and strategy for preparing oneself to compete. The first time that I read the book, I was able to calm myself down, take myself out of my surroundings (such as not letting the other people around me mentally effect how well I hit the golf ball) and really focus on a movement that I pictured in my mind. I must say, for a girl who has never hit a ball before, his advice really worked!
My only problem was not keeping up with the practice. Like anything, the advice I found so helpful in the book only really becomes muscle memory after lots and lots of practice. However, this season, I have started getting out to the driving range, and although I’m a little rusty, the advice still has held true. That being said, if you are reading this and you are into any sort of competitive sport, I highly recommend it!
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