Here are seven ways you can help train your competitive golfers to be more focused, including ideas on how to refocus whenever necessary: 1)      Help your clients practice focusing their attention on the present. Getting caught up in the past, future, or on other distractions is not going to help your clients in the present. In order to refocus on the present, have your clients take notice of distractions and then refocus by using an energizing word or positive phrases. 2)      Help your clients practice staying physically relaxed and mentally alert. Being physically relaxed and mentally alert will allow the body and mind to act and react in the moment. If your clients find their body getting tense or their mind wandering, have them notice what is occurring, and have them take 2-3 deep breaths to bring themselves back to a relaxed, alert state. 3)      Help your clients develop a routine in preparation for their game. A routine might include packing gear the night before, placing sticky notes around the house with positive words, knowing and seeing the course ahead of time, imaging a successful swing or game, listening to their favorite music, etc. Routines assist to focus attention and are a source of confidence. If your clients find their focus wandering during their routine, have them take notice and bring themselves back to where they left off. 4)      Help your clients learn imagery. Have them recall experiences where they felt positive about each/any aspect of their game. Help your clients learn to use those past positive images to help center and focus themselves during current and future games. Before a game, imagery can be used as part of a pre-game routine. During a game and in everyday life, your clients can use snippets of past positive experiences to re-energize and refocus them in the present. 5)      Help your clients to practice using focus in other areas of their life. For most clients, if focus is a challenge in golf, it’s probably a challenge in other areas of their lives. If your clients can learn to be focused in their daily lives, it will transfer over to their golf – just as learning to be focused in their golf will transfer over to their daily lives. 6)      Help your clients to become efficient at refocusing. We all get distracted from time to time, but the key is how efficiently we bring ourselves back to the present moment. The first step in refocusing is awareness. Help your clients have awareness around times they are unfocused. Once they realize they are unfocused, what’s important is they notice that they have lost focus, and help them figure out how to bring themselves into focus once again. There are many great ways you can help clients bring themselves back into focus. For example, energizing words, positive phrases, their breath, snippets of positive imagery, etc., all can help. One caution: Clients will be hard on themselves if they are not “doing this right.”  Be careful that clients do not take on too much too soon and get overwhelmed and frustrated. 7)     Help your clients to allow themselves moments of purposeful distraction. Sometimes, reverse psychology works. If they were to say, “I am going to focus and refocus as best I can throughout this game, and then, when I am through, I am going to allow myself some time to just think about everything else,” you’d be amazed how the brain interprets that information. (This is a portion of an article that will be printed in the next edition of Golf Teaching Pro, and was written by WGCA contributing writer, Dr. Michelle Cleere, San Francisco, CA for the World Golf Coaches Alliance, a division of the United States Golf Teachers Federation.)    
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