When you hear the word ‘hypnosis’ what immediately do you begin to think of?
Do you see images of people clucking like chickens on a stage show, a Svengali figure with piercing eyes and the ability to control someone by just clicking their fingers, an operation conducted without the need for anaesthetic? The very word hypnosis conjures up a myriad of perceptions for people, most of which are way off the mark.
Many are frightened of hypnosis as they perceive it as being a loss of control and surrendering to another person’s will.
clip_image003I am hopefully going to surprise many of you when I tell you that when you play good golf you are more than likely in a state of fairly DEEP hypnosis and yet when you are playing terrible golf you are most defiantly NOT in hypnosis!
‘the elimination of the multiplicity of the foci of attention and the establishment of selective thinking’ Phew.... this is one dictionary definition of the state of hypnosis and as highbrow as it sounds it does give us an insight of the kind of state of mind we SHOULD be in more often out on the course.

The elimination of the multiplicity of the foci of attention is really just a clever way of saying that of all the things that you could be focusing on, other people, noise, which disastrous place the ball might end up you establish selective thinking. In other words you HOLD your attention in a certain place.
This is why a good solid routine is so essential as it gives us a series of steps for the mind to hold onto. How many times have you found yourself hitting a shot with thoughts buzzing around inside of your head, many of which are probably totally unrelated to the task at hand.
The ability to hold your mind still on the task at hand is one that has challenged human beings for as long as we have been roaming around the earth. Yet I do feel that it is an ability that we are sadly becoming worse and worse at. We are living in such a fast paced, information overloaded, twittering, e mailing, texting, distracted environment that our poor brains are becoming conditioned to NOT concentrate but to be constantly distracted by the next piece of mental titillation that shoots across our attention bows. We are all becoming sufferers of attention DEFICIT disorder. How often do you find it really difficult to complete a task as the quality of your focus is constantly being compromised by meaningless and trivial distractions? Is it any wonder that we then struggle to hold our concentration for the duration of a round of golf?
The popularity of meditation is a testimony to the need that so many people have to slow down and calm their mind to allow themselves the space to mentally relax. Yet what is meditation? It is hypnosis by another term! When you meditate you have the INTENTION to focus on your breath, a word, a mantra or whatever your personal discipline is and you then allow the distracting thoughts to pass and keep bringing your attention back to your focus cue.
We don’t need to don long robes and sit cross legged on a mountain to improve our golf but I am sure we should all consider just how efficient we area at holding our mind in the place that we really need it to be. Next time you play golf just walk down the fairway and notice the feeling of the ground under your feet and see how long you can keep your attention in one place. What seems a ridiculously easy thing to do is actually a tough challenge. However the better you get at holding your mind in one place, be that you call it hypnosis, meditation or a pre shot routine it doesn’t matter, what does matter is that you will be giving yourself the BEST chance to play the golf that your are truly capable. At the very worst you will feel a LOT more relaxed and at peace with your world!
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