Notice the kinds of distractions that rattle you most:
Is it something you SEE, something you HEAR or perhaps something you FEEL.
Having been through a lot of my material you'll understand the VAK (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) - SEE, HEAR, FEEL
I want to mention something seemingly obvious but essential: make sure you're hydrated and nourished when you play! Lack of liquids and food places you in a potentially poor mindset that make sit easy to allow distractions to ruin your game. Think about it, when you're hungry are you the best person to be around?! You know what I mean. When you're hungry it is much more difficult to focus, isn't it…
The key is to reframe the distractions and understand they are "part" of the game. Trying to force them out is actually amplifying the effect of distractions. Remember from one of the earlier ebook sections talking about focus? The peak performance principle "What you focus on you get more of..." Remember? Ok, this is critical here.
The challenge with distractions is that they DO get your attention, so in effect we focus on them even more. So, the intent for you now is to place your attention, your focus, on something different.
Here are a few options to test. When I say test I mean identify which one applies most to your personal distraction issue. Find one (or more) of these techniques that give you a way to shift your focus and allow you to commit to your swing and remain unaffected by ANYTHING going on around you!
- When over the ball, ready to swing, place your attention directly on the back of the ball, right where the club-face will make impact. This narrowed focus gathers your attention which takes energy. Energy that would have previously been available to notice distractions…
- Hum a tune you like - this is a great process for calming and centering the mind. As well, it aids in your rhythm which positively affects your swing and putting stroke.
Now here are some drills to practice to eliminate the influence these distractions have on your game.
The following drills are best done with a friend as they can act as the distractor:
Find a way to reproduce a real world distraction you'll face on the golf course. So if it's someone coughing you need a friend to cough in your backswing.
• Tear the Velcro from a golf glove while you are swinging and at various stages throughout your swing. Make sure it is done randomly not in a predictable manner. Perhaps miss a few swings then do it.
• Throw a leaf in front of the ball as you swing.
• Have him/her shuffle their feet and move along your peripheral vision while swinging.
• Place some mud or other junk on your ball and make swings.
• Have them talk at various volumes and create outbursts while you swing and at various stages of your swing.
Drills done by yourself:
- If visual distractions seem to affect you most pick a single point of focus when standing over your shot. It can be a blade of grass in front of the ball or a clear sense of your target.
- If sounds distract you then humming a tune is a great way as mentioned above. Find a song that has a feel to it that matches your personal rhythm. Hum that tune and the payoffs will be measurable.
- Remember to breathe! Distractions tend to get our attention in our heads and it scatters our attention. By getting back into our bodies we can centre our mind once again. Do the 4,5,6 breathing pattern.
- No harm in adding the humming of your favourite tune after you do the breathing drill!
- Create your own combination of these and/or your own. You'll find you can create your own and in fact you should as your mind and body change over time so new, fresh ways will be a wise move going forward.
Ultimately by applying some or all of these methods your mind will recenter itself and your focus will improve.