Mental Preparation for Golf
From Amateur to Pro
Mentally Preparing the Body
Having the right kind of mental preparation for Golf is key if you are to upskill in any way. We all know that golf is a sport that can be practiced at any age because of its low rate of injury and is very healthy given its game characteristics; it requires constant aerobic exercise, concentration, precision and above all control over our body.
But playing golf is not just about getting there and “getting on with it”. The mental preparation that is required to become a good golfer is quite steep in terms of its learning curve. As with most sports, practicing mental exercises is key in order to be able to use them effectively in your game. Playing golf requires some previous physical preparation, focused mainly on improving our skill and preventing certain unwanted injuries. This wont be an article about how to play golf. This article will focus mainly on mental preparations that I have learnt over the years.
All golf lovers know that the golf swing is a movement that involves a rotation of the torso that, if not performed correctly, it can generate pain in the lower back, especially if the muscles surrounding the spine are not strong. For this reason, the best thing to do is to train the body with the aim of improving our movement and avoiding injuries derived from certain fast and violent movements of flexion, compression, and rotation.
To get the best out of our game, it is best to prepare our body on three levels, training muscle strength, balance, and coordination.
Begin with these Three
Balance & Coordination
These two features are key to playing a game with greater precision and skill. It is not enough just to strengthen the muscles, we must also know how to control them to improve our movements and therefore have a higher percentage of success to leave the blows closer to our goal.
Good strength training gives us a more powerful impact with which we can send the ball further. In addition, by strengthening the stabilizing muscles of the back we protect the spine, thus improving golf performance. The lumbar and abdominal muscles play a major role here. Other areas that we should strengthen are the shoulders, elbows, and knees, as this will help us both prevent injuries and improve sports performance. For an in depth review on golf & muscle strength click this box.
If we add to these factors an aerobic exercise routine such as swimming, walking, or cycling, then we will achieve the perfect workout, as it will give us enough resistance to cover the 18 holes without exhausting ourselves.
Mental Preparation & Concentration in Golf
We all know that concentration is an essential part that the good golfer must learn to handle if he wants to play golf well. Just as we practice to improve our swing, or our swing speed, for the speed demons. We must also study the mental techniques that will help us maintain concentration during the important moments of the game. Understanding golf rules is another essential part. They all interlink together to form a bigger picture of your overall game.
How do you Manage your Concentration on the Golf Course?
Many believe that the importance of concentration in golf lies in the fact that we must be focused all the time, but nothing is further from the truth. Thinking about it objectively, a game of golf usually lasts an average of 3-5 hours, a time that would be exhausting to our brain if we demanded to maintain that capacity of concentration during the whole interval.
For this reason, we must know how to mentally prepare to manage both concentration and attention in order to use them at key moments and avoid ending up with mental exhaustion earlier than expected.
In Golf, we find peaks and troughs of these mental processes. The attention and concentration are higher when we approach the ball with full focus. Having good solid understanding of golf etiquette will also further help you to manage your concentration levels whileon the course.
Knowing how our concentration works in the game can give us a lot of advantage because if we know how to interpret the signals well, we will know when we are going to enter “the zone” where our brain is going to begin to make a greater effort ( getting closer to the ball, thinking about the next shot, the target to reach, the stick, type of shot…) In this way, we will be able to manage our energy better and make all the mental, physical and technical resources available for the execution of the shot.
Knowing how to Disconnect
If knowing how to recognize the signs is important to begin our mental preparation, knowing how to turn off the mind also plays an essential role in managing both the focus of attention and the level of concentration. After each shot, the golfer should “switch off” as a way of saving the energy he will need for the next shot.
There are several tactics that players use to free their mind. Chatting with the caddy while walking, humming a song, or even counting steps, can serve to lower our level of attention until we meet the next signal.
How to be a Golf Pro and What are the Implications
One question that many golf fans ask themselves is how to become a golf pro. Many of us think of it as a dream come true, to be able to live from the sport we love, but some succeed. Today I will give you some tips on how to become a golf professional and dedicate yourself to this sport full time. Obviously this is not me speaking from experience, but from watching many other golfers go through the ranks and make an achievement of themselves. Plus also speaking to golfer friends who have been Pro Players.
Obviously, the best advice we can give you to be a professional is to spend time on golf, a lot of time, but to become a professional you will need something else.
How much does it cost to be a Professional?
When we think of top-level golf professionals, we usually associate them with large amounts of money, and that’s true, but being a golf professional involves a number of expenses that we must take into account. The average expenditure of a professional player would be between 30 and 60 thousand dollars per year. These expenses are derived from concepts such as travel, accommodation, registration, equipment, caddy, etc. So to the daily training, you must add a considerable amount of money as an initial investment.
Being a golf professional is not easy, it requires sacrifice, high initial investment and a little bit of luck, however, the sportsmen and women who achieve it dedicate themselves to what they like best, in addition, they have the opportunity to be protagonists of the best golf tournaments in the world.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope you have enjoyed understanding the mental preparation that is needed in order to become the golfer your truly want to be. It takes a bit of work, but the results are truly worth it. The feeling when your “in the zone” and your fully prepared for a golfing session is great. So do make sure you do your mental and physical preparation.