By Greg Pryor
Although I played baseball on a professional level for over 16 seasons, I sometimes I wish I had played professional golf. Both sports are difficult to master and a very small percentage of men and women are able to make their living at either sport.
The cover of the latest Southwest Airlines magazine showed a picture of a man who decided to put 10,000 hours of practice time into becoming the best golfer that he could be. His goal was to play professional golf.
Regardless of your athletic goal, your success will be determined, in large part, by the way that you think during practice time and during competition. If you want to improve your “game,” here are a few simple suggestions!
Having the mental strength to deal with failure in sports is crucial to improvement. By mental strength, I mean specifically the ability to focus and concentrate to allow your muscle memory to take over your physical actions.
Your brain contains ten billion neurons (brain cells). Between each neuron are neurotransmitters that are natural substances that help transmit your every memory, thought, and emotion.
The three most important neurotransmitters that support brain function are:
- Noradrenaline is nature’s “natural speed” and your “get up and go.” This is what you want an adequate amount of in your brain as you compete in sports or when you head off to work.
- Dopamine is a special neurotransmitter which helps with focus and concentration. If dopamine levels are low we can have focus issues such as daydreaming or not remembering where we put our keys or not being able to stay on task. Dopamine is responsible for our motivation.
- Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that helps you with memory and organization–the way you order things in your mind, the way you retrieve them in an orderly manner. It’s also involved in focus and concentration. Your body manufactures acetylcholine from a diet that contains the essential nutrients B5 and choline.
The ability to think more clearly and effectively and the drive to succeed are all tied directly to your brain’s ability to create adequate neurotransmitters. If you provide your body and brain with the proper nutrients to make neurotransmitters, it could be the determining factor in your level of persistence and even your success or failure.
One time I made a 50 ft. putt in a charity golf tournament in front of about 200 onlookers. When I made the putt, I was simply thinking of how to make the proper putt and was able to cleanse my brain of all unnecessary thoughts.
Golf puts a strain on virtually every major joint in the body. The shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and back are in motion during every golf swing. It is difficult to repeat a good swing if one or more of those areas are misfiring or are experiencing joint pain. Taking dozens of golf swings can put a stress on the cartilage, tendons, and muscles and lead to joint inflammation or osteoarthritis. Having healthy cartilage is crucial to all athletic moves in any sport.
In 1996, I was experiencing severe pain in my right hand. The pain would not let me swing my golf clubs. I began using glucosamine HCl and, after three weeks, the pain disappeared and my flexibility returned. I have been using glucosamine HCl ever since.
Glucosamine HCl is a simple amino sugar made by the food that we eat and is one of the main building blocks for healthy cartilage. As a retired pro athlete and owner of a health and nutrition company, Life Priority, I advocate the use of nutritional formulas for your health and the health of your golf game.
The Life Priority products, Joint Decision (glucosamine HCl) – a dietary supplement for joint pain, and my Mind, Lift and Muscle Memory products can help support the mental strength needed in all sports.