Life is a marathon, not a sprint; pace yourself accordingly.-Amby Burfoot
Have you ever wondered how Professional Golfers stay focused for 4-hours rounds for four whole days while we’re here losing our mental stamina on the 10th hole? As we know, golf is a mental game, a mental marathon. We can lower our golf handicap simply by focusing inward. We can now do it without having the best golf balls, best golf shoes and best clubs in our bag.
I’m here to tell you a secret, they’re not 100% focused at all times.
Golf is a marathon, not a sprint.
I know some of you may roll your eyes and think that golf is more of a stroll in the park than a marathon. I mean after all, golfers don’t even sweat. And I agree in the physical aspect of it. Sort of. That’s a discussion for another time.
When I say that golf is a marathon, what I really mean is golf is a mental marathon. You see, most fast paced sports such as tennis or basketball are shorter in time frame. An average singles tennis match is 97 minutes and the average NBA game is about 90 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking away the credit that these amazing athletes deserve, how much talent and commitment they have to get to where they are.
All I’m pointing out is the difference in mentality between those sports and golf. The mentality of tennis player is to stay focused within the entire game, except for breaks. With balls flying at you so quickly, your mind constantly has to be quick and laser focused. The objective of the game is to give it everything you got and then rest when its over. This mentality can be closely correlated to a runner’s sprint, give it everything you got for a short(er) distance (100 meters).
The golf game, is a whole other animal, where the average round is 4 hours and each tournament is four days. It would be impossible to adopt the mentality of an NBA player and stay laser focused the entire time, golfers would be loopier than they already are!
Professional golfers have trained themselves to fade their focus in and out, pacing themselves for the duration of the round. With so much downtime in between swings, it would be mentally exhausting for them to be laser focused the entire time.
Here are three ways you can adopt professional golfer’s mentality and increase your mental stamina:
- Be laser focused at the ball. When you’re at the ball, you’re laser focused. You’re so focused that the world fades away and all that’s left is your ball, lie and target.
- Make sure to give your focus a rest. As soon as you hit the ball, the world comes back into vision and you let loose of your focus. You focus on the birds, the beauty of nature and talk to your playing partners (or caddy). You are not focusing on your next shot or thinking of golf.
- Learn to narrow and fade your energy. As you approach your ball, your focus begins to narrow again. You observe the lie, the wind and your focus narrows again. No one and nothing else matters during this minute.
This concept of a golf being a marathon is eerily similar to life. Stay tuned for an article about how we can take this into everyday life. PS Aloha from Oahu 🙂