Dec 17, 2006
By: Alvaro Fernandez
Just came back from a holiday party where I met some avid golfers who thought the concept of managing emotions through breathing, visualization and technology sounded like a bit far out.
First I tried to paraphrase the quote “Effective management of the emotions in your golf game will not only lower your scores, but is guaranteed to increase your enjoyment of the game”, by Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson, Voted Top 50 Teachers 2003-2004, Golf Digest.
Then, I promised to find some relevant article on Brain Fitness for Golfers.
Here you have a Golf Digest article-The Future of Golf: Special Report. Some quotes:
– “Jack Nicklaus was that way more than anyone—having that balance of being uptight in terms of concentration, with the ability to relax and let himself perform at just the right time.”
– “In those moments, the equation “performance equals potential minus interference” loses its limiting component. The zone results when a skilled actor meticulously first uses the conscious mind to commit lines to memory and inhabit the character, then unleashes the intuitive mind to deliver a performance full of spontaneity, originality and emotional connection.”
– “Another system, this one devised by HeartMath, focuses on controlling emotions and their negative effects on performance by monitoring the heart and its pathways to the brain and nervous system. HeartMath adherents contend they can synchronize activity in the brain and nervous system through the self-generation of a “coherent” heart rhythm pattern.”
– “The key technique is called Quick Coherence. It begins with a person focusing attention on an area of the heart and pretending to breathe slowly and gently through the heart to a count of five or six. While continuing to breathe this way, the subject concentrates on a positive feeling or attitude like compassion or appreciation. The process produces an even and more coherent heart-rate pattern that triggers optimum performance potential in the brain. Proponents say the technique works anytime or anyplace a person feels nervous or irritated, including the golf course before or after a shot. The effect can be quantified by Freeze-Framer software that provides heart readings with the use of a finger clip.
– “I use the techniques in my lessons, and I’ve seen them bring peacefulness and fluidity back into people’s swings,” says Laird Small, 2003 PGA Teacher of the Year and director of the Pebble Beach Golf Academy. “It shows people the difference between being in and out of the zone, and they can take it from there.”
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