In the zone

Update: November, 11/2018 - 09:00

By Robert Bicknell

Ah, the things that cross my inbox… Sometimes they’re downright bizarre. I get things that tout the “miracle cure for your slice, hook, etc”, the usual health cure scams and even a personalized letter from a Nigerian Prince who wants to befriend me and give me US$10 million …

But, occasionally, I get things that make me sit up and start thinking. Yes, I have already established the fact that thinking is very dangerous for someone with my mental condition, but still, it is worth it to tempt fate sometimes. Especially, when a question is so good it’s worth spending a few minutes of deep thought on.

However, if the planets start to change their orbits and the sky turns flaming orange because the sun is exploding, while dinosaurs roam downtown Manhattan, don’t blame me… OK?

Anyway, Golf Digest magazine asks the question “Can meditation make you a better golfer?” And, of course, I have to kick in my two cents because that’s what I do, and anything more than two cents would be overcharging.

Naturally, I refused to read past the headline because I’m lazy and I really have no interest in what other people have to say anyway. Besides, I have my own opinions on the topic, so why risking my position based on other people’s facts and scientific study? Ignorance is bliss…

OK, bottom line first (for a change), meditation would be a great benefit to any player in any sport. Come to think of it, it’s also great for office workers in a stressful environment and for students as well. There is really no downside to meditation.

OK, sure, it’s not a great idea to slip into a meditative trance while barrel-assing down the highway doing 120 kmph during rush hour, but other than that… OK, you shouldn’t do it while deactivating a live warhead either, but other than that… Meditation helps you in many ways.

Golf has never been a sport which has been plagued by accusations of PED’s (Performance Enhancing Drugs) such as anabolic steroids, although it occasionally happens – such as when Vijay Singh sucked down a bottle of Deer Antlers without knowing it had a banned substance, but for the most part, steroids really don’t help golfers much.

However, the powers that be are always on the lookout for other substances such as “beta blockers” which lower your heartbeat and, thus, would benefit a player standing over a four-footer to win a million dollar tournament.

Now, we all know you can buy almost anything over the counter here in Viet Nam, let me first warn anyone who is even thinking of getting some beta blockers that this drug can kill you quite easily. It’s one of those “don’t be stupid enough to try it” drugs. Even doctors think twice before prescribing them, so you shouldn’t consider it.

Meditation, on the other hand, achieves the same calm, peace of mind, state that drugs attempt to provide and, best of all, it’s perfectly legal and quite safe.

Professional athletes are always trying to get into a mental state known as “the zone” and, having entered this state a few times, I gotta tell you there is nothing like it. You truly cannot do anything wrong when you’re zipped in. Every shot works, every decision is correct.

The problem is that it’s not an easy zone to get into because the conscious mind interferes constantly and floods your brain with a ton of useless information and self-doubt. In a nutshell, you become your own worst enemy out there.

Meditation helps you to block out all the negative influences and just motor along on autopilot. This is when great things can happen.

Whether you’re on the golf course, in an office with an overbearing boss, or a student sitting for an exam, meditation can help you succeed by reducing your self-induced stress, and this is why I am 100 per cent for it.

Oh, and by the way, reducing stress is also why most people play a little better after a beer or two on the golf course. The problem with this, of course, is that alcohol dehydrates you a lot faster than you think and once dehydrated, your thought process becomes a bit erratic.

And every beer after that point is reached, only causes further problems.

Better to meditate… VNS