You may be thinking what does a post about golf have to do with helping people with the Coronavirus?
Although it may seem that way, this isn’t a post about golf!
We are certainly living in strange and deeply worrying times.
Back in 2018 I studied under Karl Morris and qualified under his brand as a Certified Mind Factor performance coach. Karl is one of the leading European golf performance coaches, having coached six major winners as well as many other Tour players and has helped thousands of ordinary club golfers, including myself better their golf game through working on preventing the mind from interfering with performance.
Much of Karl’s teaching “applies to sport but, more importantly, to life itself”.
What follows is content written by Karl, reproduced with permission which briefly discusses the type of thinking which I believe may help some people deal with the current situation and the darker times which almost certainly for many of us lie ahead.
It seems at the moment we are facing nothing but bad news with the escalating issues surrounding the coronavirus.
I have just spoken to a friend of mine in Holland and all the golf courses have been shut down for the next three weeks at least. Followed immediately by Switzerland! We have all taken an absolute battering of bad news lately and at the moment it doesn’t seem things are heading in a better direction in the short term.
I don’t have any obvious solutions to this crisis. But a thought I did have, was that if ever we needed to do our best to control our ATTENTION – it is now. A theme I have constantly talked about with The Mind Factor over a number of years.
The human mind inevitably wants to project into the future and forecast what may or may not happen. It is these projections which ramp up our collective fear and stress response. I think the only thing we can say with any degree of certainty right now, is we do not know what the future will hold. No matter how many ‘experts’ on social media advise us. We are entering into unchartered territory. There isn’t a rule book for this. The more we try to predict what the territory will look like in the future, the more anxiety we will create in ourselves.
As I have said before, one of the best ways to control your attention is with the effective use of good questions. This applies to sport but, more importantly, to life itself. Questions are our biggest weapon in the attention battle, to ask QUALITY questions.
What is going to happen in the future? May not at the moment be the most effective question. However, to ask the question:
What can I DO now?
I think in this current situation this is a very powerful and effective question. There are an awful lot of things totally out of our control but our actions TODAY are still ours to own. When stress levels spike the tendency is to sit and think even more. Thinking creates more thinking. The answer to the ‘what can I DO now?’ question does not have to be earth shattering. It could be as simple as going for a walk. Movement makes us feel better. The evidence is clear on that. Maybe checking in on people who may be really struggling. Giving them a call. It doesn’t really matter what the actions are. It is the action itself which is important.
The other question is one that seems to really resonate in our book ‘The Lost Art of Playing Golf’. What am I grateful for? If we are honest, it is a question over the last number of years that we all could have asked a little bit more.
What am I actually grateful for NOW as opposed to what I want in the future?
If you can get out to play a few holes, do so. Get into the fresh air.
If you can still go to the range and hit a few, do so.
If you can visit a friend who may need help or just some company, do so. (+social distancing)
Read a really good book or Podcast * (there’s nearly 100 here for you to choose from and they are free!!).
Enjoy the food on your plate.
Simple things we may have taken for granted. In these extraordinary times, it is worth remembering the connection many of us have perhaps lost to the most simple of things.
Stay safe peeps!!
*Karl has a fantastic podcast and is a top recommendation for anyone interested in developing their mind to improve performance. Click here to access.
You can find out more about Karl, his teachings and his ground breaking books at https://themindfactor.net/