Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘PGA Golf

Everyone remembers when Roger Bannister broke the mental barrier of running a mile in less than four minutes, and once he did, others followed soon thereafter. But there are two other mental barriers to consider, one of which could be coming down in the not-too-distant future. The two barriers remaining are when a professional golfer shoots 18 birdies in 18 holes (something Ben Hogan thought was possible since he himself had shot 12 birdies in 18 holes at one time) and the other is when a major league baseball player consistently bats over .400 during a season. From my perspective, it isn’t that much of a stretch for a batter to get a hit 4 out of 10 times at bat rather than 3 out of 10 times. Major league baseball players I’ve discussed this with are adamant as to how impossible that would be to do on a consistent basis. And yet, once it’s done, I feel confidant others will start batting over .400 when they realize it’s only a mental barrier and nothing is holding them back but themselves. But getting back to the 18 birdies in 18 holes, I believe that if Tiger Woods continues to date Lindsey Vonn and in fact marries her, you will see him pull far ahead of all other golfers in tournament victories and he could well be the first to make 18 birdies in 18 holes. And once he does…

The following is from an article that recently appeared in the New York Times:

“This is about one of the more frightening — and remarkable — rounds of golf ever caught on video. Charlie Beljan, 28, endured a five-hour stress test, staggering through 18 holes at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He sat down in the grass to catch his breath. Medical personnel in his gallery monitored his racing pulse. The fear of a possible heart attack dominated his thoughts.
“He carded a 64, the second-lowest score of his rookie season, to take the lead, then left the grounds in an ambulance.
“He spent the night in a hospital, with machines hooked up to his limbs and his golf shoes still on his feet. A battery of tests revealed nothing physically wrong with him. It was a panic attack.
“And when Beljan was released on Saturday, he decided to put his nerves to the test for the final 36 holes.
“When he returned to the course, he said, “I was crying on the range because I was so afraid these feelings would come back.”
“For the next two rounds, Beljan fought bone-crushing fatigue and worry about his health to hang on for his first PGA Tour victory, a triumph over the most mental of games.
“’I was just thinking about my health, one shot at a time, one hole at a time,” he said Monday in a telephone interview from his home in Mesa, Ariz. “And shoot, it worked out pretty well.’”

What the article hardly mentioned and I believe were the primary reasons he won, were the facts that he was married in the beginning of 2012, and in September, his wife, Merisa, gave birth to their first child, a boy. Beljan had his first panic attack a month before the birth of his son, passing out on an airplane that needed to make an emergency landing as a result. I believe his new marriage combined with the birth of his son were the primary reasons he performed so well on the course.

N. V. I.
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