Have you ever felt a strong focus and connection to the shot you are about to hit, only to have this connection interrupted in the moments before or during the performance? Whether your mind jumped to one or more swing thoughts or jumped to worrying about where you don't want to hit the shot, this change in attention during the performance could be one of the biggest factors in you not being able to transfer your practice form to the competition tee.
One of the key factors in achieving a solid, consistent mental game during competitive situations is to control and HOLD your mind's attention in the moments just before pulling the trigger and to HOLD that attention during the actual swing itself.
For a large number of golfer's, their attention jumps around to a variety of different points that creates an active and anxious mind, rarely helping the golfer achieve a calm/quiet mind that is necessary for achieving a high level of focus during performance.
The first step in helping you achieve a good quality HOLDING of your attention is to de-clutter the elements of what your mind will be attaching to during the performance to a maximum of 2 things. Ideally, I would like your mind to only have one element for your mind to attach to during the performance, but to begin with I am happy for you to attach to a maximum of 2 elements of your performance.
For those golfers that I have worked with that have had 2 points of Attention during the performance, they have achieved the best results when one of these points has been the target or shot shape. They have added 1 element in regards to a swing feel but that 2nd element has been the target/shot shape and they have been able to execute a consistent mental game during any competitive pressure situation.
A great exercise to begin to strengthen your minds ability to HOLD its attention during the performance is to execute the following process-
1. Set Up over the ball.
2. Have one extended/connected look at the target.
3. Bring eyes back to the ball, take your minds attention back to the image of your target.
4. Pull the trigger and HOLD your Minds Attention to the image of the target during the entire performance.
5. REPEAT for 5 x 5 Ball Blocks. Take a short break after each 5 ball block as its taxing on your mind to HOLD attention, so give it a short/sharp break after each 5 ball block.
When you begin to achieve a high-quality HOLD pattern in the performance, you should start to experience a calm/quietness that almost feels meditative during the performance. The upside of performing in this state is multi-faceted, from conserving energy during the round, achieving a high level of focus over the closing holes to helping you stay away from states of stress and anxiety so often connected to overthinking just to name a few.
I hope you enjoy the process of strengthening your minds ability to HOLD attention during the performance and I look forward to hearing your feedback on how HOLDING your attention during the performance has impacted your game.