When we think about meditation, some people might think that it’s boring, a waste of time, and that it’s a difficult process.
Meditation is, however, a practice that can help you improve not just your golf game but your life as well.
Sometimes you’ve been on the range practicing so hard but then you still can’t get it right when you’re on the course. Or while you’re playing on the course, you get distracted easily and your mind goes blank when you’re over the ball. And there’s the anxiety when making those three-footers and you don’t know what’s happening. Any of the above sound familiar? If so, meditation might just be the solution here!
Golf is a physical game as well as a mental game. We can even say that at a certain level, it’s more of a mental than a physical game. On the course, you need to focus for 4-5 hours straight and you need to visualise every shot and every putt. And if it’s competitive golf then, it’s even more intense. There’s a lot of pressure and you’ll feel it every second.
Even world famous golfers such as Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Shiv Kapur meditate to improve their games. As a matter of fact, Vijay Singh comes to Thailand regularly to see Luang Por Singh of the Pai Luang Temple for advice in meditation. Vijay claimed that this is one of the reasons he became the world number one golfer in the world.
This is a link about how Tiger says that he’s meditating again after his scandal; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/06/tiger-woods-now-meditatin_n_527516.html
Many famous Thai golfers including Chapchai Nirat who once held the world’s 72 hole scoring record also practise the art of meditation.
Meditation helps improve your concentration and helps you relax. As a buddhist, I feel that it has helped me and I’ve been practicing since I was young usually with my dad. After I meditate, I feel like I have more control of my mind and I’m more relaxed. And I’m not talking about a one hour session, I’m talking about meditating for just 10 to 20 minutes. In golf, I feel that I can focus better especially with my short game. I can hold more must-make putts and that’s exactly what I need to lower my score.
Here’s a good blog about golf and meditation I think you guys should check out;
Now we all know how good meditation is for you, let’s see how we can practise it.
1. Find a nice quiet place that you feel comfortable in and make sure you wouldn’t be distracted. Get a soft mat to sit on like a yoga mat. I usually sit on one in my room.
2. Sit or lie down but make sure your back straight. This allows the natural energy in your body to flow freely. I, however, personally prefer sitting up.
3. Relax all your muscles.
There are THREE popular ways you can practise the art of meditation.
1. By focusing on your breath. This is also called the “Breath Meditation”. You simply start by closing your eyes and breathing slowly and deeply. Then you start to focus more on your breathing and nothing else. Pay attention to your breath and how it enters your nostrils, throat and lungs. And then feel the breath coming back up the same route until it exits the nostrils.
2. By focusing on some specific words. This is also called the “Mantra Meditation”. A mantra is simply a repeated sound, word or phrase. Choose a short and simple mantra that does not invite much thought. I usually use “Puut” and “Toh” but you can use something like “om”, ”ah” , or “hum”. Again, start by simply breath slowly and deeply, then when you inhale, think of a word like “puut” and when you exhale, think of a word like “toh”.
3. By visualising, you again start off breathing slowly and deeply but instead of focusing on your breathing or specific words, visualise the performance you want to achieve. For example, visuallise the course you will be playing in. Think about each shot you are going to hit and how it all ends up with desirable results. Keep doing this until you finish 18 holes. You can visualise how the crowd will react and how you feel when you win a tournament. Project Meditation’s research confirms, “Visualization techniques help athletes in all sports.”
1. At first you might find that you can’t focus and your mind just wonders everywhere but if you keep doing it you will find that you will be able to focus better and have a deeper meditation.
2. Start with a 5 minute session then increase it by 5 minutes every time you do it. I usually meditate from 15-30 minutes a day.
3. You can do it anytime you want and how many times you want per day, but I prefer meditating just before going to sleep.