Do you have difficulties staying focused on your task? Then join the crowd. As a motivational and corporate inspirational speaker, being able to focus better is always one of the main concerns of the audience members.
Well-spoken and thoughtful Harris English (2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic Champion) may have a solution for you. Harris stated that he loves the pressure and thrives on the nerves. Also, he mentioned that intense pressure gives him a more laser-like focus. His butterflies actually make him concentrate better.
Harris English is hitting upon an important psychological principle related to concentration: Our ability to concentrate is modified by our intensity level. Think of your concentration like a search-light. When you are not motivated, not warmed-up, not interested (i.e., your intensity level is very low), your search-light will be bouncing all over the place. In other words, when you have low intensity levels, your focus will bounce around the course and you will have a difficult time staying focused on the shot at hand.
However, if you are very motivated, very interested, and the pressure is on (i.e., your intensity level is high), your search-light becomes like one beam of light focusing intensely on its target. Your focus becomes like a laser-This is what Harris English was alluding to concerning his comments about focusing better under pressure.
If you are having difficulty concentrating on the course, then it may be a function of your intensity level being too low-Here are a few suggestions to give your intensity level a good pump:
1) When I work with players who feel flat, I tell them to think of their thigh like a pump, and slap it, not hard, but in a way that when you hit it, you imagine yourself pumping up your intensity level. You could do this before every shot in your routine, and/or every time you feel your mind wandering.
2) Use some pump-up words. Another useful technique is to use some key self-statements that will get you pumped up quickly like “Find the fire” or “It’s go time.” Find some key words for you that resonate and you will feel the pump!
3) Key images can get you pumped up as well. Recall an image from a moment in your past that got you fired up. This image will work great to spark your fire on the course.
Pump yourself up with the right intensity level and you will light up your focus.
Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf. For personal coaching questions and to can get your autographed copy, please visit www.drgreggsteinberg.com.