A lesson in focus

Playing golf the other day, I was reminded of an important principle of performance – that we tend to get more of what we focus on. Rather like life, a round of golf is a journey that’s made difficult by a series of obstacles. But when presented with a shot over a lake, most golfers only see the water! Their inner voice goes into overdrive – “Don’t go in the water… I always go in this lake…think I’ll play an old ball…” Then of course the inevitable occurs – a big splash.

When the waiter brings us our cannelloni and warns us to be careful as the dish is very hot, the first thing we do is touch the dish! He’s put something in our mind and it just won’t go away.

That’s why coaches encourage us to think in terms of what we want, not what we wish to avoid. Bear this in mind when you find yourself focusing on problems and bad experiences. Learn from mistakes but don’t dwell on them. Find the positives in bad experiences and move on. Visualise the outcome you want and you’re more likely to achieve it.

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