Focused attention training with Muse is a type of powerful meditation that many top athletes are using to perform their best. Given that golf is one of the most mentally taxing of all sports, it’s no surprise that Muse use is growing quickly in the golf world. Coaches and players like Paul Dewland and Andrew Parr use Muse to boost awareness and focus and achieve results for themselves and their amateur and professional players.
(Watch Andrew’s videos here.) Still, you may wonder if Muse can help you. If so, ask yourself if any of these golf scenarios sound familiar:
- You have trouble replicating your driving range success on the golf course
- You want to have fun playing golf, but you often get frustrated with your performance
- You spend a lot of money on golf lessons, but don’t seem to improve your scoring
- You dwell on bad shots or holes, negatively affecting the rest of your game
- You make poor decisions that cost you a lot of shots
- You often start your golf game strong, but then lose focus and “blow it.”
If you can relate to any of these statements, Muse training can definitely help.
Brain-sensing technology makes Muse the first tool in the world that can give you accurate, real-time feedback on what’s happening in your brain during meditation and focused-attention training. Consider it your personal meditation assistant: helping to focus and calm your mind, enhance awareness and improve your concentration. While many wearable fitness technologies have emerged in recent years, Muse is considered the leader in meditation and focused-attention training. Muse also offers progress tracking, motivational challenges and rewards to take your mental game to new heights, all starting with short three-minute sessions.
But what does meditation have to do with golf, you ask? Well, meditation training with Muse helps you develop your focus and sensory clarity, so you can maximize your performance by overcoming negative self-talk and distractions on the course.
Distractions are everywhere in life. Within us, around us—distractions can be subtle, intense, or simply needle away at the back of your mind. On the golf course, distractions seem to multiply. Note the weather conditions: is it windy, rainy, sweltering, chilly? How’s the course playing? Dry and fast, or soft and slow? What about the people in your group? Are they incessantly chatty, unnecessarily angry, fidgety, slow to play? And what about that group that keeps hitting into you from behind – what’s their rush? These are all external influences you have to negotiate in your mind while you’re playing golf.
Then there’s your internal landscape. You’ve arrived at the course in a certain frame of mind: perhaps energized, anxious, fearful or unsettled. How will that affect your game today, especially when you can’t shake the memories of the last round or the water ball on the last hole? Can you recall that minor correction you thought you were going to remember in your set-up? And just what did your client mean earlier today when she said, “We should probably meet?”
See where we’re going with this? We haven’t even begun to address how you’re probably starting to project your thoughts ahead. “What if I lose this match, score poorly or put a couple in the water on the 7th again?” “And what will those guys say about me if I don’t break 80?”
There are disruptions everywhere that prevent us from playing like pros. We build up expectations. Emotions come into play and over thinking leads to underperforming. How we respond to distractions in the moment acts as a good measure of how focused we really are. When we aren’t focused, we let distractions consume our attention, and from there we go down into what we at Muse call The Spiral.
You may have another name for it. We call it The Spiral, referring to a swirl of negative thoughts that your mind can’t escape from. It’s when one bad thought leads to a succession of others. And as those negative thoughts breed, your bad shots lead to more of the same. The Spiral pulls you down and pulls your game down with it.
As The Spiral gets deeper, it breeds strong emotions. A part of your brain called the amygdala, where fear and anger come together, activates your fight-or-flight response. This chemical response from our early evolutionary history—which sends a distress signal to the entire brain and body—was originally designed to help us get away from danger or fight off an attacker. Your heart rate increases in response, your blood pressure rises, you breathe more quickly, you feel jumpy and your muscles become twitchy. In this scenario, your ability to make calm, cool decisions or to execute a precise physical movement, such as a refined golf swing, evaporates.
The Spiral can be stopped, though, by a trained mind. It does this by separating your emotion from your response, allowing you to address the feelings and then re-establish your focus. The trained mind lets go of feelings about a missed shot and allows you to concentrate on the current moment, thereby avoiding The Spiral altogether. The more you train with Muse, the more you can apply these skills to the golf course.