This past week the PGA Tour made its annual trip to the Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. This unique tournament offers the opportunity for amateur golfers to play alongside the PGA Tour professionals. These amateur golfers included the likes of Tony Romo, George Lopez, Ray Romano, and Bill Murray. As fun as this tournament is year after year, it requires the PGA players to focus and concentrate even more because of the increased distractions. This was how Phil Mickelson, one of the most skilled at concentration, was able to pull out a tournament win.
There are three main components to concentration – attention, sustained attention, and sizing up of the situation.
Attention is selectively focusing on relevant environmental cues. There are many distractions during this tournament, but by focusing one’s attention to the meaningful surroundings, one’s concentration improves.
The second component, sustained attention, is all about maintaining this attentional focus. The reason Phil is so mentally strong is because he is able to maintain a high level of focus over the course of a five-hour round of golf. Try to increase your focus little by little and see if your performance improves.
Sizing up the situation is the final component to concentration. Athletes must understand the situation. For example, a basketball player at the end of the game must ignore the distractions of the fans, trash talk, and referees, but must still be aware of the score, the time remaining, the number of timeouts, and so on. Understanding the situation is what Phil Mickelson does on the golf course every day. Coming down the stretch on Sunday, he knew exactly what to do to execute his shots for an impressive win.
Concentrating is not an easy thing to do and it takes practice, but if you can try to hone in on these three components, your concentration will improve!
Sports Psychology/Mental Training from Mental Apex