The Focus of Calm
When you stand over a golf shot and you feel Calm... that is a good Sign.
As we discussed in the last post... Calm is one of the Signs that let you know you are in the Zone or getting close to the Zone.
The psychological (what you Feel) key to accessing Calm is Trust.
If you do not Trust that you can be successful it is very difficult to feel Calm.
The neurological (what you Focus on) key to accessing Calm is clear, singular Focus.
As much as we all love to believe that we can multi-task with our brains during a golf swing… neuroscience research tells us it is not true.
When you have multiple goals for your swing or focus on multiple cues during your swing… you are causing your brain to rapidly switch attention back and forth between the goals/tasks.
This switching back and forth of your Focus causes increased cognitive activity which makes a state of Calm inaccessible.
Calm is the strongest when you have NO thoughts and just allow actions to happen.
Teaser... We will discuss this feeling of autopilot in the next post! ;-)
For now... Imagine your Focus is a laser pointer.
When you have one goal… the laser pointer stays focused in one place which allows you minimize distraction and maximize Calm.
When you have multiple goals… it is like switching the light back and forth at a very high rate of speed.
Now picture your mind is a cat chasing the laser pointer beam back and forth… back and forth.
Lots of unnecessary energy will be expended, your focus intensity will be reduced due to the distraction of the constant switching and it will limit your ability to access Calm.
Zone science tells us “one clear goal” is a key trigger for Zone access… the same is true for accessing the feeling of Calm.
How do you learn to access Calm?
The most effective way is to set up a learning progression.
Start with accessing Calm somewhere easy.
For example... a quiet room with no distractions.
Notice as many aspects of what Calm feels like as you possibly can:
Practice this a few minutes per day until you can access Calm on command in this easy situation.
Next you begin the progression. Test your ability to access Calm in progressively more challenging situations.
The end goal is to be able to build your pre shot routine so you can access Calm every time you swing a club.
The gap from being Calm on command in an easy situation at home... to being Calm in your pre shot routine before a very important golf shot can take some time.
The key is to build Trust that you can access Calm in increasingly challenging situations.
DO NOT try to progress too quickly.
This will undermine your level of Trust.
Getting better faster is great... but if you go to fast you will fail a lot more often and that is what undermines your Trust.
Always remember the Big Picture... Trust your Skills and Focus on one clear goal gives you the best chance to feel Calm and get in the Zone!
Make sure to check the next post to find out how to access autopilot performance!