At THINQ Golf, we emphasize the importance of five different mental skills – Adaptability, Attention, Awareness, Intention, and Synchronicity. When a player becomes proficient at all of these skills, they are more likely to achieve peak performance or “the zone”, as it is often referred to. But, what does it mean to be in “the zone”? THINQ Team Member, Dr. Debbie Crews, has concluded that players who are performing at their best often possess a “synchronous” mind state. Dr. Crews arrived at this conclusion after many years of research and by having golfers of all skills levels hit shot after shot while wearing EEGs; the resulting “brain maps” were then analyzed to see what constituted a great shot or a poor shot. So, what does “synchronous” mean in terms of the brain? Quite simply, it means that brain activity is balanced across all four quadrants; from left to right and from front to back. So, it is probably safe to say that “the zone” is a balanced state of mind where the left and right brain are working harmoniously together. Now, if we could simply enter this balanced mind-state more often, think about how much fun the game could really be?
The idea of “balance” applies to more than just our brain maps though; it is a theme that is crucial to a golfer’s training routine and even the bigger picture of life itself. THINQ Golf Founder, Tim Suzor, has worked with numerous elite level professionals (PGA, Web.com, LPGA) and collegiate standouts throughout his coaching career. Tim firmly believes that a balanced training routine and balanced life are two of the most important keys to success. THINQ Golf itself was spurred into existence by the simple fact (or imbalance) that the majority of golfers do little to nothing for their mental games. It seems silly that so many players neglect an aspect of the game that is often touted by the world’s best players as being a key to performance.
Playing the THINQ Games for 10-15 minutes a day, completing the THINQ Workbook, attending webinars, and using the THINQ Scorecards will be more than enough to keep your mental game sharp. But, what would a balanced training routine look like for the physical side of the game? For a professional, it would include fitness, physical therapy, long game, short game, putting, playing, and tournaments. If you’re just a weekend warrior, you would be apt to divide what practice time you have into playing rounds, the long game, the short game, and putting. As golfers, we should really strive to turn ourselves into “complete” players as it will not only help us lower our scores, but it will also give us a better appreciation for the nuances of the game.
On that note, a question that has been thrown around a lot lately is, “What makes Jordan Spieth so good?” Well, the answer is that he is the true definition of a “complete” player; in terms of his PGA Tour stats, Jordan really doesn’t have a weak spot in his game. When you combine his outstanding mental game/attitude with his skillset, it’s not too surprising that he has won the first two majors the year.
And finally, in terms of that big mysterious thing called “life”, always remember that the little white ball doesn’t define you. At the professional level, golfers often tie their identities to their golf games. This means their self-esteem is directly linked to their results. Seems dangerous, doesn’t it? For the professionals out there – don’t be afraid to hang the clubs up for a bit. Taking some time away from the game may not only help you balance your life out a bit, but it may also bring more enjoyment to your practicing and playing. Remember, this is a game and it’s meant to be fun!