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Coaches Corner

Focus Like Tiger Woods: Strategies to Help You Win on and off the Course

by Randy Friedman

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Focus Like Tiger Woods: Strategies to Help You Win on and off the Course Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers on the PGA Tour today and possibly in the history of the game. Whether he's competing on the golf course or running one of his many businesses, Tiger has learned to use the power of extreme focus and mind power in everything he does.

As the crowds gather around him on 18th green, Tiger's determination and focus are obvious as he lines up his putt on the closing round of golf Sunday. He doesn't bother to notice that his opponent is watching him like a hawk and the growing crowd is holding their collected breath in anticipation. He moves forward with purpose, lines up and sinks the 25-foot putt ... what seems like magic to most of us, is expected by him. If only the same kind of determination and focus could be learned and applied to life. Think of how many business deals would end successfully. How many more sales would you close? How many more relationships would you build? How many challenges would you be able to overcome? Well, maybe there is a way!

The following tips will not only help you sharpen your mental edge, but also help you cope with the challenges of work and everyday life. Here are a few strategies to help unleash the "Tiger" in you, on and off the golf course.

Breathe for clarity
When you find yourself in a challenging situation, whether it's dealing with an unhappy client on the phone or feeling overwhelmed by a bad tee shot, this exercise will help you stay grounded and positive.

You can do this exercise either seated or standing.
1. Think of someone, something or someplace you love.
2. Experience the joy that accompanies thinking about that person, thing or place.
3. Close your eyes. (Yes, you can do this at your desk! It only takes a few seconds).
4. With your mouth closed, take a deep breath in through your nose. As you inhale, feel the breath extending down all the way to the base of your spine.
5. Picture the person, thing or place. Keeping your mouth closed, release the breath slowly through your nose.
6. Repeat this exercise three times.

This breathing exercise will help you think and see more clearly, while increasing the positive feelings to help move you through your day with ease. You can even make this a habit! Practice it whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.

Focused "in-sight"
How does Tiger Woods refocus after he hits the ball in the water, regain his focus after a camera goes off in the middle of his backswing, and maintain his laser-like focus to hit amazing shot after shot?
He uses his breathing to ground him, his internal words to relax him and visualization of what he wants to happen. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work, or even outside of the office, you can do the following exercise to help you improve your "in-sight."

1. Give yourself a 30-second timeout. Just sit down and stop everything else.
2. Take three deep breaths - in and out through your nose.
3. On a piece of paper, write down what you don't like or don't want to continue happening.
4. Now turn the paper over and write the outcome of what you do want.
5. Breathe in deeply and sit in silence with your eyes closed picturing your outcome as if it already happened.

Become aware of the things that are out of focus around you, and you will help bring your vision into focus.

Affirmations for a mental edge
Affirmations are a great way to improve your thoughts and become more aware of what you want to accomplish, on and off of the golf course. They are even more useful when they are repeated often. Here is a list of ten positive affirmations. Use this list or let them inspire you to write your own!

1. I have the ability to perform my work perfectly.
2. I enjoy being healthy in body and mind.
3. I love to feel happy in everything I do.
4. I am in charge of my life.
5. I am now open and receptive to all ideas.
6. I have definite, deliberate prosperous thoughts.
7. I give thanks for the realization of my desires and goals.
8. My goals come forth with perfect timing for me.
9. I have faith in myself and the people around me.
10. I create positive, creative thoughts and actions to improve my life.

*Optional tip: Mind power nap
Do you ever feel like tuning out the world for ten minutes? You've got deadlines to meet, board meetings to prepare for and a headache that won't go away. If you have a private office, or if you work from home, this exercise might be just right for you (but not at the risk of your job). A ten-minute power nap is the perfect antidote for a stressful day. Here's how to do it.

1. Close your office door.
2. Set your watch or a ten-minute timer, so you wake up from the blissful state.
3. Write down some beautiful places you've visited or seen pictures of.
4. Write down something you'd like to accomplish that day or that week.
5. Put on some soothing music.
6. Close your eyes, take three deep breaths and let your mind wonder to that beautiful place in your mind.

When you awaken, you'll be refreshed, revitalized and ready to take on the rest of your day with complete energy.

These simple tips and strategies help drive the best athletes in the world to compete at the highest level. The successful ones know how to turn negative thoughts into positive empowering ones. Now you have the know-how as well. Thoughts like, "I'll never get this project done by the deadline! I might as well give up now!" become, "I have everything I need to get this project done on time. I look forward to the challenge!"

You have the power inside of you to make things happen and improve your mental edge in your business and your life. Awaken the "Tiger" in you and watch your success grow!

Randy Friedman is a corporate golf professional, speaker and founder of Golf Mind Power. She helps others by applying the visualization techniques of golf to business and life. Her new book, "Your Inner Swing," shows how self-limiting beliefs can affect performance at work, in sports and even in one's personal life. Through mental exercises and sports hypnosis, Randy shows how to achieve the mental edge to elevate oneself to the next level. For more information or to hire Randy, visit: www.GolfMindPower.com or randy@golfmindpower.com or call: (203) 240-7828.

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