Friday, January 31, 2014

The Four Pillars of a Fit Mind: Mental golf tips

Go ahead. Pump iron. Do pilates. Just remember: A million crunches can't make up for a fragile mind. Call it mental fitness, a soundness of the psyche that's as vital to low scores as a flexible physique and solid fundamentals.


Nicklaus and Tiger are famous for it. Mental toughness: performing when it matters most. "It's having the strength to stand up to pressure," Parent says, and being comfortable in that spotlight.
EXERCISE: Don't give yourself gimmes
To get acclimated to pressure, embrace it. Put yourself under it. For starters, Parent recommends putting every short putt, even if someone is waiting behind you. "Act like the shot matters, and you'll be more ready to hit it when it really does."


Your mind needs to be as limber as your body. The most successful players adapt to different courses and conditions. They think creatively and accept things as they come. When Vijay Singh was asked if an Augusta downpour bothered him, he replied, "Only if it's just raining on me."
EXERCISE: Reconsider your clubs
Mental flexibility means keeping your mind open. Or as Parent puts it, "Just because you're in the bunker doesn't mean it's a sand wedge." To cultivate creative thinking, take one club and work around the practice green, hitting many kinds of shots: high, low, soft, hard. The next time around, choose just one shot and practice hitting it with every club in your bag.


One shot at a time. Stay in the moment. They're clichés for a reason: They work. "Not getting too excited, not getting too depressed," Parent says. "That's what mental balance is all about."
EXERCISE: Take stock of your thoughts
During your round, count how many times you find yourself dwelling on the past or pondering the future. Are you still simmering over that three-putt? 

Tips for Juniors Who Want to Play College Golf

Playing college golf can be a wonderful experience and is the goal of many junior golfers. The biggest challenge for the average junior golfer is deciding where he or she fits into the college golf picture.

One thing that is consistent for any high school player is the importance of a good golf resume. Your resume will give a college coach an accurate account of your golfing and academic record. The following are a few tips on how to put together a strong resume and how to get that resume into the hands of college golf coaches.

Preparing Your Resume
Your resume begins with the basics. The vital information should include:

• Name
• Address
• Telephone
• Birth date
• Social Security Number
• Height
• Weight
• Name of High School
• Month and Year of Graduation
• Grade Point Average/Class Rank
• SAT or ACT Scores
• USGA or State Handicap Index
• High School Stroke Average
• List Other Sports and Extracurricular activities

Next is the most important part. You need to list your tournament results and highlights. These scores are much more important than a handicap from your home club. Remember to list:

• Event name and location
• Number of players in the field
• Your finish
• Course rating and distance
• Unusual weather for the event
• Yardage for the course

This part of the resume is where you show a college coach how well you play tournament golf. You may want to break this down by year, so coaches can see improvement from year to year.

Along with a cover letter, this resume will be sent to college coaches.

Many high school players also send video to coaches. If you can get taped, this is a good idea. Remember to use a VHS tape with good quality (or burn a CD/DVD). 

What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate (And How it Benefits You)

What is Meditation?

There are different ways to meditate, and since it’s such a personal practice there are probably more than any of us know about. There are a couple that are usually focused on heavily in scientific research, though. These are focused-attention, or mindful meditation, which is where you focus on one specific thing—it could be your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. The point of this type of meditation is to focus strongly on one point and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders.

The other type of meditation that’s often used in research is open-monitoring meditation. This is where you pay attention to all of the things happening around you—you simply notice everything without reacting.

What Happens in Your Brain When You Meditate

This is where things get really interesting. Using modern technology like fMRI scans, scientists have developed a more thorough understanding of what’s taking place in our brains when we meditate. The overall difference is that our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would. We start to show a decrease in beta waves, which indicate that our brains are processing information, even after a single 20-minute meditation session if we’ve never tried it before.

In the image below you can see how the beta waves (shown in bright colors on the left) are dramatically reduced during meditation (on the right).

Below is the best explanation I found of what happens in each part of the brain during meditation:

Frontal lobe
This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.

Parietal lobe
This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.

Simple Safety Guidelines for Golfers

Golf is a very safe sport - as long as a few basic, common-sense rules of safety are followed. When those rules are ignored, injuries can occur.

Golf involves the swinging of metal clubs, which propel golf balls at high speeds. If you're in the way of either the clubs or the balls, you're in danger. You could be placing yourself in danger, too, if you do not respect the power of the sun, the danger of lightning, or your body's need for the right kind of fluids on warm days.

Keep Track of Those Around You
When a golf club is in your hands and you are preparing to swing, it is your responsibility to make sure your playing partners are a safe distance away from you. It's not too difficult, after all, to keep track of where everyone is when your group is likely just four or fewer golfers.

Never swing a golf club when another golfer is close to you. That's the most important thing to remember. And be a little extra cautious on practice swings, when it's easy for golfers to let their guard down. Extra vigilance is also needed when younger golfers are part of your group.

Also, look ahead of you, and to the left and right of the area where you are aiming your shot. Don't hit your ball until you are confident that any golfers up ahead are out of your range.

Heads Up
While it's the responsibility of every golfer to be sure it is safe for them to take their stroke, you can't always rely on every golfer to do just that. So even when it's not your turn to hit, stay aware of your surroundings.

Be especially careful if you have to venture into an adjoining fairway to retrieve or play an errant shot, or if you are close to an adjoining fairway and golfers on that hole are hitting toward you.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Make the Most of Your Life: 50 Wise Tips

Life is precious.

But how to make the most of your life?

Here are fifty wise tips by readers on how to make the most of your time on earth.

1. It starts with being present and in the moment. Really appreciating the ‘small’ things in life – the smell of the morning, the feel of flannelette sheets, the warmth of a hug, the gift of a smile. And gratitude.

2. Follow your passion and you can create a life you can be proud of. The formula is really simple: find what makes you useful and happy.

3. Speak for those who have no voice. Make a difference in someone else’s life.

4. Help others, love fully, judge less, and take care of your body and your mind

5. Help your family and make sure they are okay.

6. Heal, if you need to be healed, forgive if you need to forgive, learn to love if that is your lesson.

7. Strive for a healthier, more purposeful life to get to the bones of existence.

8. Listen, breathe, and seek for the answers to who you are and what you are meant to do, as they are unique to all of us.

9. Face and accept pain and hurt, and to act in spite of fear.

10. Discover who we truly are – and live that life.

11. Use your own sense of self to look at others without judgment, see them with clear eyes and exercise compassion.

12. Remember to be present in each moment, see what beautiful thing is here now, no matter how small.

13. Take the time to really look carefully and contemplate.

14. Stay in the present and know we are where we aresupposed to be.

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