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The Philosophy of Meditation from an Athlete’s Perspective

Apr 21, 2014

meditation for golfers

Keeping your mind quiet, or mindfulness meditation, is proven to increase creativity, help deal with pain, and ease anxiety. For avid golfers, the last benefit is probably the most essential of all.

The Mindful Golfer’s Stephen Altschuler wrote a feature article on the relationship of golf, a player’s nerves, and meditation. One key takeaway from his piece is how it has the power – and is an effective tool – to lower a golfer’s anxiety levels while playing.

There are many different types of meditation. There are those that concentrate on phrases, mantras, and even numbers, while others simply sit in peace and ponder on the environment’s sounds.

For pro tour players such as Luke Donald, the main objective is to keep it simple. The former world number one ranked golfer relied on meditation principles while he was struggling with his game during a tough run of performances on the PGA Tour. Meditation allowed him to reflect quietly at home during his time away from the course.

It’s important to note that a golfer doesn’t necessarily need to have dedicated areas, shrines with customized pillows and sheets to start meditating. What’s important is they open their minds to do it regularly, taking baby steps of maybe three five-minute sessions every day.

At its core, golf is arguably the most mentally taxing individual sport an athlete can play, which is why regular meditation is not just an option, but also a necessity for players of all skill levels. Play Your Course, a website that works with certified pros in Chicago and matches them up with fledgling players, published a blog posts that highlights ‘17 Problems Only a Golfer Will Understand’. In the article it highlights key psychological battles players often encounter and why something such as meditation is a great way to overcome these challenges.

Michael Gervais, a sports psychologist who worked with the aforementioned Luke Donald, claims that the point isn’t solely about awareness, but also on vision. Practicing meditation on a regular basis helps a player tap into his or her feelings, focusing on acceptance rather than just fighting through challenges.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s vital to recognize negative thoughts without being dominated by them. Part of this also entails extending the space between this feeling and reaction – about how a golfer should take a significant amount of time to compose themselves before responding to an unfortunate situation.

Another important element is being present at all times, accepting the moment regardless whether it’s good or bad; the idea is to enjoy the journey every step of the way. Some golfers even go as far as imagining, seeing, and then inviting success.

As with most things in life, there is no one definite method to meditation with regards to improving a individual’s golf game. Essentially, it’s modified in such a way that a player adapts and embraces what works for them.

There’s a famous saying about different strokes for different folks, which is why it’s of utmost importance for golfers to experiment and find out the most advantageous meditation approach for them.

For more on the topic, please drop by the blog section of Meditate Center.