Southport, NC – Practicing and competing involve two distinct mind-sets. While practicing is an intellectual activity, competing is intuitional. When we have a problem on the golf course or the baseball field, our natural tendency is to go back and work on the physical, mechanical aspects of our performance, but you can’t simulate the stress and pressure of competition. What needs to be addressed is your mental focus.
Dr. Marcia Whiting is the founder of Coastal Counseling Clinic, a general counseling practice with a unique focus on sports counseling, specifically golf. Dr. Whiting is the author of Get Birdies: The Mental Aspect of Golf and the creator of the acclaimed golf instructional video: DVI: Determination, Visualization and Implementation, which teaches players to overcome the obstacles presented in competition by our analytical mind.
“A typical golf coach is more interested in the mechanics of your swing and the rules of the game,” says Dr. Whiting. “I am only focused on the problem area of thinking. It’s not their swing, it’s their thinking.”
According to Dr. Whiting, there was a prisoner of war who was kept in a cage for seven years. In order to maintain his sanity through this experience, every day he would play a visual game of golf, complete with the time of year, weather, clothing, where the tees were, where the hole was on the green, all in his mind. He played a perfect game of golf every day in his mind for seven years with no mistakes. He entered the service with a handicap of 16. When he returned home, his handicap was 5.
“It’s all about being present,” says Dr. Whiting. “You’ve done all the necessary work. Decide what you want on your shot; visualize it landing where you want it to land and swing. We do the thinking, analyzing and processing part later.”
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