How Meditation Can Improve Athletic Performance

Over the years we have read and heard more and more talk about meditation and how the eastern influences have moved west. I was introduced to yoga and meditation when I was the assistant golf coach at the University of Florida in 2004. It was the off season with the team and the head coach and I set up some group yoga sessions for them. One of the sessions, we had a guest come in and introduce a lot of us to meditation and the benefits gained by a daily practice.

I was instantly intrigued. It appeared to be a great thing to do in the morning and evening and it sure seemed as if it would improve my golf performance. Since that day I have regularly meditated. I have experimented with different types and read a lot of books on it. When I started my regular meditation in early 2005 it sparked my desire to get back on the golf course and play full time. I was rewarded with qualifying for the 2005 US Open at Pinehurst.

Our breath is vital to achieving a calm focus. When we get nervous during a competition we experience fight or flight like symptoms. Breathing properly down into your abdomen immediately starts to bring the body back to a calmer state. The longer we practice meditation and learn to just follow our breath and watch and observe our thoughts, we are able to do that in our athletic endeavors and perform in a more zone like state. The greatest athletes have said that when they are in the zone they aren’t thinking, they just react, they see the ball, hit the ball, make the basket, or make the catch. By learning to put yourself in a calmer state where your brain quiets with all of its thoughts you get closer to performing in the zone.

To gain the benefits from meditation start very simple. Sit for 5 to 10 minutes with your spine upright. You can either sit cross legged or in a chair. All you have to do is be aware of your breathing. Don’t control it, just be aware of it. Also, have your awareness be on your thoughts. Don’t judge the thoughts just let them float through your head. If you find yourself going with a train of thought take yourself back to your breathing and focus on that. The more you do it, the more you will have moments where you won’t have much mind chatter. It will feel calm and pleasant and you will be immersed in the moment. Great performance comes from when we are fully engaged in the present moment. Besides the improved athletic performance, meditation has an even greater array of health benefits.

Until next time, enjoy improving your meditation practice or starting one for the first time.

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Imagine a PGA Tour Florida swing that doesn’t include Doral’s Blue Monster. Inconceivable? Maybe not.

The Tour released a statement on Friday saying that after the 2016 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Ft Lauderdale golf coursesTrump National Doral, it will “explore all options regarding the event’s future.” A Tour event has been held at the Miami-area course since 1962.

“We continue to stand by our earlier statement, and the statement of other golf organizations, that Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf. The PGA Tour has had a 53-year commitment to the Doral community, the greater Miami area and the charities that have benefited from the tournament. Given this commitment, we are moving forward with holding the 2016 event at the Blue Monster. Immediately after the completion of the 2016 tournament, we will explore all options regarding the event’s future.”

The statement was originally sent to and later obtained by Golf Channel.

This comes on the heels of a controversial proposal by Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump to at least temporarily bar Muslim immigrants from entering the United States. The Tour did not explicitly say whether it is considering moving the event because of Trump’s remarks.

The Tour’s indication that it might move the WGC event comes while a petition calling on the Tour to cancel or move the 2016 tournament from Doral has collected more than 36,000 signatures on the website Care2.

“Trump’s outrageous, dangerous statements seem to be fueling his political popularity,” Aaron Viles, the petition’s author, is quoted on “Let’s see if we can hit him where he feels it – in his bank account.”

Another Internet petition, calling for British lawmakers to enact legislation to bar Trump from entering Britain has collected more than 500,000 signatures, reported. Only 100,000 signatures are needed to put the issue before Parliament.

Trump owns two golf courses in Scotland – Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen, which is scheduled to host the 2017 Scottish Open, and Trump Turnberry, one of the British Open rota courses.

Last summer, the PGA Tour, the USGA, the PGA of America and the LPGA issued a joint statement after Trump suggested that golf’s leaders agreed with other controversial remarks of his, including calling Mexican immigrants “rapists.”

“In response to Mr. Trump’s comments [about the golf industry ‘knowing he is right’ in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants], we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations,” the statement reads. “While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA don’t usually comment on presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.”

Source: Golf Channel