Pro Mental Coach Software Now Available at Golfsmith

PRO MENTAL COACHPro Mental Coach, mental coaching software for golfers, is now available at leading golf retail store Golfsmith. Priced at $139.95, Pro Mental Coach features an assessment test and scientifically-proven games that designed to build the “brain muscle” and help create an “in the zone” state. The software works to help golfers improve their focus, confidence, motivation, stress management, endurance and recovery from bad shots.

“Pro Mental Coach has earned incredible reviews as an essential tool for managing tough times on the course, playing better and enjoying the game more,” says Dr. Stephane Bergeron, Founder of BCI. “Consumer demand has led to the very best retailers adding our just-launched, one-of-a-kind program alongside other must-have gift items.”

PC and Mac compatible, Pro Mental Coach is powered by a proprietary Dynamic Intelligence System. This breakthrough neuroscience technology was developed by BCI in collaboration with medical centers. It is used in clinical research funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Pro Mental Coach software continuously adjusts exergame difficulty levels in real time according to performance. This personalizes each training session, creating a fully customized regimen to deliver maximum benefits in the shortest period of time.

“We’ve been field testing Pro Mental Coach with players of all abilities and the positive impact it’s having on scores is undeniable,” says Joe Hallett, coach of LPGA Tour star Stacy Lewis and a GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher. “Even with only training on the software one hour a week, it’s fine-tuning each golfer’s mental game in ways they didn’t think were possible.”

Unique features of Pro Mental Coach include:

– Assessment and full diagnostic of a user’s mental game strengths and weaknesses
– Customized training program that matches users’ skills
– Tracking and evaluation of performance from each training session
– Ability for PGA Professionals to access a student’s mental game profile

Visit Golfsmith or www.ProMentalCoach.com for more information.

Pro Mental Coach: Your Virtual Sports Psychologist

PROMENTALCOACHIf golf is 90% mental, isn’t it time you started working with a mental coach like the PGA professionals use? If noted sports psychologist Bob Rotella is out of your price range, there might be a more affordable answer.

Pro Mental Coach is the program created for golfers of all skill levels to help them play better, enjoy the game better, and manage tough times better. Pro Mental Coach can be downloaded to your computer for $139.95 and is powered by Dynamic Intelligence, which is engineered to deliver maximum results in minimum time: three 20-minute sessions a week are recommended.

The program runs a full diagnostic of your mental game skills with a comprehensive assessment test. It then rates and compares graphically your mental game skills to golfers what have the same handicap. It also customizes the right golf mental coaching program to matches your needs.

To help maintain your progress, Pro Mental Coach tracks and evaluates every training session and adapts the difficulty level of the training exercises in real-time.

Pro Mental Coach was selected by the PGA Center for Learning & Performance and provides professional training 24/7 with no appointment necessary. You can also use the Pro Login feature, which allows you to share your results with your PGA certified golf instructor.

For more information or to order, visit the Pro Mental Coach website.

Yoga Postures Into Golf

YOGA GOLFHave you considering incorporating yoga into your life to help with your golf game? If not, you may want to consider this ancient practice, which originated over five thousand years ago in India.

Most golfers are more than willing to spend whatever it takes for the latest Callaway or TaylorMade driver. However, they often neglect the body that is responsible for swinging that driver in a repetitive motion hundreds of times per round.

Recent research has found that Yoga can counteract golf’s one-sided repetitive motion, which can have a negative impact on the back and joints. Could this ancient art form be right for you? It seems as though the popularity of yoga among PGA professionals is reaching new heights.

Over the past decade, golf professionals such as David Duval, Annika Sorenstam, Brad Faxon, Gary McCord and Gary Player have been avid yoga practioners. Ken Green, a former bad boy of the GPA says yoga has helped him “kill the demons” so he could regain his tour card.

Golfers’ back pain can result in some golfers giving up the game all together. Vijay Vad, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York developed a program randomly adding Yoga practice to his patients on medication for back pain. After six months about 80% of the patients practicing yoga experienced a decrease in back pain compared to 44% reduction for patients on medication only. Fifty-six percent (56%) of the patients on medication experienced another acute episode of their injury while only twelve percent (12%) of patients using yoga experienced a reoccurrence.

Click here for more information on yoga for golfers.

PGA Tour is the Goal of The Dan Plan

DAN PLANWhat does it take to become a professional golfer on the PGA Tour when you’ve never played before? One man is committed to applying a popular performance strategy in the hopes of achieving this goal.

The Dan Plan started on April 5th, 2010, when Dan quit his day job as a commercial photographer and started dedicating over 30 hours a week with the hopes of reaching 10,000 hours practiced by November of 2015. During this time, Dan plans to develop his skills through deliberate practice, eventually winning amateur events and obtaining his PGA Tour card through a successful appearance in the PGA Tour’s Qualifying School.

According to research conducted by Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, “Elite performers engage in ‘deliberate practice’–an effortful activity designed to improve target performance.” Dr. Ericsson’s studies, made popular through Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and Geoff Colvin’s Talent is Overrated, have found that in order to excel in a field, roughly 10,000 hours of “stretching yourself beyond what you can currently do” is required.

Before starting his quest, Dan had no previous experience as a competitive athlete, nor is he even in particularly good physical condition. Dan has also never played a full 18 holes of golf, and has only been to a driving range a handful of times.

Dan hopes to use this journey to inspire others to start reaching higher. Hopefully Dan will make a major impact on many lives by the time he reaches his goal on the PGA Tour in November of 2015.

Visit The Dan Plan website.

Golf Instruction Tool Uses Brainwaves

BRAIN ATHLETEGolf improvement takes on virtually all forms, whether you’re working with a golf professional, reading a book or magazine, or using one of the thousands of golf training aids. One segment of the golf improvement market that has become quite popular recently has been biofeedback.

One Japanese company has recently launched a new brainwave athletic trainer called the BrainAthlete. It is a biofeedback device, especially tailored to athletes, that tracks concentration levels to help the athlete find the optimal level for each activity. The device is integrated in a standard golf visor, with three non-invasive contact points in the headband that monitor EEG activity.

NeuroSky has been working with the USA Olympic Archery team for over four years, but the concept of “mental training” goes back much further. “When it comes to expert level players or athletes, the difference between win or lose, gold or silver is often the athlete’s mind”, says Dr. Lee, NeuroSky’s CTO and one of the company founders.

The potential of this technology and device to help other athletes – amateur or professional level – is huge. According to the National Golf Foundation, there are 28.8 million American golfers. Acknowledged as a mental game by many, golf is the ideal sport to introduce the neuro-feedback technology because it can help golfers improve on their skills.

As a professor of psychology at Arizona State University, Dr. Debra Crews has been studying golfers’ brainwaves for a decade. She sees a correlation between mental state and performance accuracy. Her challenge has been the lack of portability in bringing medical EEG to the golf course. “EEG will be a factor in golf coaching and other sports where mental acuity influences outcomes.” Dr. Crews would historically record EEG data and return to her office on campus later to conduct analysis.

The device will communicate with a PC and cost around $500 when it hits the US in the first quarter of 2011.

Click here for more information.

Golf Swing Fix – How to Swing Like You Practice

SWING SUNSETWhy are most golfers able to make a beautiful practice swing and then lose that rhythm in their actual swing? According to leading PGA professional Dr. Jim Suttie, the main reason is that the “hit” impulse comes into play. The hit impulse can be described as the golfer’s desire to hit at an object instead of simply swinging through an area.

Good players have what we call “incidental” contact. In other words, the ball just gets in the way of the swinging club. Sometimes, the golf swing can be a difficult thing to master.

For example: (1) We are standing to the side of the object to be hit instead of facing the target; (2) We are asked to focus on three things at the same time: the swing, hitting the ball, and the target; (3) We are asked to use an underhand, sidearm throwing action to hit the ball; (4) We are using a long stick with a small clubface on it, which requires the golfer to constantly repeat and come through an impact area that demands a very small margin of error; and (5) Finally, the clubface must be square to the target at impact.

Click here for the full article.

Revolutionizing How Golf Is Taught and Played

QIGONGThere’s never been a shortage of golf training aids and there’s never been a shortage of golf instruction gurus. But since the market demands more products ever year, the golf improvement business continues to grow.

These days, it’s all about the power of the core in golf. To address that demand from the marketplace, a couple of instructors in San Diego are combining their different disciplines looking to revolutionize how golf is taught and played.

Bill Westerlund, a 40-year PGA instructor, and Scott Bartley, a 30-year practitioner of the Chinese discipline of Qigong, are working together at the Mission Bay Golf Course on a program they call “The Power of Core-Breathing 4 Golf: Mind, Body, Breath.”

The goal is to mesh the benefits of the deep, mindful breathing practiced in martial arts with an awareness of golf fundamentals that are tied to the body’s core. “Mind” refers to removing emotional thoughts that hinder energy flow; “body” is learning to maximize the use of core energy for peak performance; “breath” is learning a process to make a mind-body connection through core breathing.

“You’ve watched the movie ‘Rain Man?’ Westerlund asked on a recent morning on the Mission Bay driving range. “Well, he (Bartley) is my Dustin Hoffman. He’s out there, and this is, like, out there.”

Out there, yes, but Westerlund and Bartley speak passionately about their approach, and it’s clear they believe in its benefits.

“No one is doing this but us, and we feel we’ve got a winner,” Westerlund said. “Our goal is to change the way golf is taught, the way the game is played, and the way it’s viewed by announcers.”

Click here for the full article.

Fixing The Golf Swing In Your Brain

GOLF BRAIN SWINGAlthough the ball never moves, virtually everything else during a golf swing. In fact, the most active part of your body during your golf swing is actually your brain.

The best way for an individual of my limited mental capacity to understand how our brain works in a golf swing is to realize that for the purposes of swinging a golf club, our brain is not one big brain, but a million little ones. Each small brain has a specific job while working in conjunction with the rest of the other brains.

For example, the brain that controls the right index finger works in conjunction with the rest of the brains that control the right hand. They in turn work with the other brains that control the other body parts involved with the activity. So in a sense we swing the golf club by committee. If you try to take that line of logic one step further, I guess it would be fair to say that the best way to swing a golf club is to not start a fight within the committee.

Without question, the most frequent instigator of the battles that occur within the committee of brains responsible for swinging the golf club is the eyes. We call it “visual interference.” Rather than swing the club in circle around our body, our vision perceives a straight line to the target, and we route the club on the perceived straight line to the target. This always causes a mis-hit shot. The solution to this problem is to not allow the eyes to interfere once the club is in motion. Don’t try to steer the club to the target. Swing the golf club through the ball and let the club face take care of direction.

Click here for the full article.

Quiet Your Mind & Your Golf Swing Will Find You

PUTT DROPSby Dan Phillips
PGA Professional and Director of Golf at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, IL.

Golf itself can be a very frustrating sport. The thing is, we try and be perfect at a sport that is imperfect. For one thing, the surface that we are playing on is grass. It’s beautiful and it’s maintained, as all golf courses are, especially now. The grass is inconsistent. A putting green does have bumps on it. You can land in a little ball mark in a fairway and you might not even know it. So you have to take that for granted. Even the best players in the world are going to hit some bad shots.

I know that the best players in the world are not constantly in the middle of changing things. They really are trying to keep their focus on just one, maybe two things throughout the round. For a Tour pro, it may be a feeling of timing. For the rest of us, timing would be great; but normally we need some, or just maybe one, mechanical thought to bring us in there.

That takes work. It takes a few rounds of golf; going out on the golf course and just literally thinking one thing.

Let’s say, as a thought, I need to turn my shoulders. Well, as you are going through the round of golf, once you hit a bad shot, the first inclination is to think, “Well, maybe it’s my hands; maybe it’s my knee, maybe it’s this; or maybe it’s that.” You really have to stay away from that and just concentrate on that one thing that you brought on the golf course. Which, let’s say its turn your shoulders; so with every shot that you take, the only thought that you can have would be, “For every swing, I’m going to turn my shoulders.” At the end of the round, the swing will normally come and find you.

If it really doesn’t, if you are just having a bad day; at least you can chalk that up to maybe a swing thought that just wasn’t the best for that day. Instead of going through a myriad of things and by the time you are done with the round you are just mentally drained and thinking that you’ve tried everything today and nothing works so I’m a really poor golfer.

Camilo Villegas’ New Key to Winning Golf

CAMILO VILLEGAS

After an impressive start to the 2010 season, Camilo Villegas is having a huge impact on golf instruction as well. For the past few weeks, Villegas has been working with Sports Psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante on improving his mental game. Villegas’ new outlook and game plan courtesy of Valiante has professional and amateur golfers alike looking for clues that they can implement into their own games.

NBC Golf Commentator Johnny Miller noted during the broadcast last week, “Camilo has been working with Dr Gio Valiante and is now playing with an ‘attitude of gratitude’ and it’s paying off. He’s been playing well ever since.”

Many are wondering, who is Villegas’ Sports Psychologist Dr. Gio Valiante?

Dr. Gio Valiante, a professor of psychology at Rollins College , has trained the minds of the best golfers in the world. By combining research from diverse fields in performance psychology, Dr. Valiante has created a program that has had measurable results with golfers at all levels. Fearless Golf is based on the principle that golf is as much a mental game as a skills game.

“My program teaches golfers to get rid of the extra baggage that clutters their minds, which allows them to remain clear and focused on their way to playing fearless golf,” said Valiante.

Dr. Valiante and Fearless Golf have produced winners including Heath Slocum, Chad Campbell, Will Mackenzie, Vijay Singh, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Bryce Molder, and Matt Kuchar.

Click here to read more.