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Golf, energy & the mental game - When you think of the term mental game do you naturally think about your body? Likely not. Yet how you are feeling physically is critical to your state of mind.
If you are filling your body full of coca cola and chocolate bars while you play, this has a direct influence on your mind. How? These spikes of sugar levels in your bloodstream dramatically affect your brain's ability to process information.
While maintaining decent blood sugar levels is a good idea for overall performance, taking in the “right” sugars is most important. Just think about how much your mood is affected by food.
For example, recall the last time you might have had a hangover. How full of energy were you? And how easy was it to focus? Or to even use your mind at all in any meaningful way!? If you want your mind to function at its optimum then you must feed it properly and nourish both mind and body.
Keys to improve your energy & your game
•Wear a hat – let’s face it, golfer’s wear hats not because they look cool, or because the average golfer is paid to wear it by their sponsor, it’s because it keeps your head cool. The head absorbs heat very quickly and raises your core temperature. This can lead to a loss of energy later in your rounds.
•Maintain hydration levels – this is essential. You should make a habit of consuming water throughout your round and especially during the last few holes. The brain requires water to function properly and even small levels of dehydration cause an inability to stay focused. Couple this with the intense demands on your attention during competitive rounds and you can see why you must drink lots of liquids.
•Drink Natural Sports Drinks – There are several excellent sports drinks on the market now for you to bolster your energy with. Eliminate pop and junk food during your round. These well made drinks balance the sugars released in your body which allows you to maintain a steady energy level.
•Nutritional Bars – Ok, no surprise here. Again there are countless high quality energy bars available to satisfy even the most discriminating taste buds. These bars are designed to release sugars slowly and prevent those unwanted spikes that chocolate bars and colas give.
•B-12 – Vitamin b-12 is in many energy type products. There’s a product called Energy and it’s a vitamin that is geared toward providing energy when fatigued.
These additions to your intake are a great way to keep your energy constant in a natural way.
It’s usually later in the rounds when most people become fatigued. The walk, the requirements on your attention, the heat, all play a roll in affecting your mind. If you fill yourself with artificial sugars like pop and chips and chocolate bars you are virtually guaranteed of creating stress on your inner and outer game.
I recall several matches I’ve been in and watching my opponent as they stopped after nine for a snack. When I saw them grab a cola, some chips, and a hot dog, I knew that was going to pay off for me in the last few holes. And sure enough it did.
I came back from 3 down with 4 to go in one of these occasions. As I stood on the 15th tee I felt as good as if it was the first hole. My mind was clear and unconcerned, even though I was clearly in a do or die situation.
To use your mind at its peak you must treat it with respect. It wants to perform at its best yet the way most players treat their bodies while they play doesn’t help in making this happen. Think well, eat well, and drink well to play well.