Athletes struggle in every sport to go beyond the boundaries they set for themselves in their minds. When self-imposed limitations are overcome, we become witnesses to spectacular performances that are turned into records and a source of inspiration.
The mind is the number one adversary that trainers and sport psychologists battle. Is this not the same challenge we face in real life? From this perspective, the sport of the golf becomes the perfect mirror of what life is as well as a great opportunity for spiritual reflection.
The relationship between a quiet mind and an extraordinary performance is no secret on the PGA tour. Here the disciplines of meditation and yoga are part of the training routine of many professional players such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, just to mention a few.
Dr. Joe Parent, PGA Tour coach and author of “Zen Golf,” invites players to analyze the principles of meditation through golf. The well-known brand NIKE offers a similar invitation through “Yoga for Golfers” in collaboration with Katherine Roberts.
“It is as if everything clears away and my training takes over. My body does all the work. I just watch.”
Tiger Woods, one of the most extraordinary minds in the field of golf, shares his secret of success through statements in different interviews. We may note again and again his references to reaching a state of “here and now.” When asked how he controls his mind, it is interesting to hear the words he chooses to describe this process: high state of consciousness, body awareness, creative mind, relaxation, here and now, let the performance happen, be absorbed in the moment, and others.
Tiger says that slowly everything around him disappears: noise, people, even himself. The only thing left is the game. The player becomes a spectator.
One of the highest forms of human intelligence is the ability to stop and look into oneself without forming an immediate opinion; that is, without judging. This principle is fundamental for those who chose the path of meditation that, according Dr. Deepak Chopra, can be achieved through Golf.
Every activity, circumstance or person is an opportunity to be more present and more aware of the miracle that is life. Taking this approach with all your interactions and daily tasks no matter how ordinary they seem makes you smarter and more productive. At the same time, it illuminates the most fascinating path in life, the one that leads to your true self.
Let Golf become the source of your deepest meditation and add an extra dimension of happiness and truth to your life.
My intention is in no way to claim to be an expert on golf or spiritual paths. However, life has given me and continues to give me large doses of education through contact with the best speakers of both worlds, if they can be considered two separate worlds. I have found fascinating similarities between golf and life that I would like to share.
Do not be a prisoner of your mind
Where is your mind when hitting the ball or facing a challenge? Where are you right now? If your mind is very active, solid contact with the ball will be impossible.
Let go of expectations
As Sports Psychologist Dr. Robert Winters says, “Expect the best, prepare for the worst and let it go.”
Be a spectator of your own game
Muscle memory is developed through constant training. This is only possible when your mind, with all its expectations and concerns, is put aside.
Here and Now
The previous shot is history and the next is the future. Outside of right now, nothing exists. Your only concern is this shot.
Align yourself with the present moment
Learn how to find the sweet spot for an effortless swing. It will unify the ball, the club and the course.
Learn to let go of victories and defeats, otherwise arrogance or a sense of failure will invade your consciousness at the end of each swing.
Whatever the outcome, the ability to fully enjoy a moment lays within us all.