Learning to Shoot in “The Now”

Brooks Koepka is currently (as of 9-8-19) the #1 ranked professional golfer in the world. His mental game?

“I just stay in the moment . . . I never think one hole ahead. I’m not thinking about tomorrow. I’m not thinking about the next shot. I’m just thinking about what I’ve got to do right then and there. It’s very simple.”– Brooks Koepka

This is further evidence as to why I follow golf coaches and golf coaching online. The similarities between golf and archery are profound.

Now, having finished the preliminaries, let me ask you. Do your students practice “present moment thinking” as Larry Wise puts it and Brooks Koepka does it?

I see a great many people walking around with their phones in hand. Even women with purses on their arm or men with messenger bags, many of whom also walk around with their phone in hand.

Why?

How many of them are expecting a call, do you think? Or a alert from their bank? And they are carrying it so they won’t miss that call from the babysitter or the caretaker of their ailing parents? I think that number is very small. I think most of these people have just been trained through the use of those instruments to keep them “at hand” and check them frequently. Do you?

Can you be “in the moment” with a phone in your hand? I don’t think so.

What happens if you turn off your phone for a time (I mean off off, not just blanking the screen)? Will you miss any messages? No, your phone messages are recorded, your text messages are cued, your alerts from the bank show up in your email In Box, etc. You will not miss anything important,

Your students can benefit from practice living in the moment. This is why archery, and golf, coaches recommend meditation and/or mindfulness practice. You might want to encourage them to turn their phones off, if just for a while. Think of it as “archery practice.”

Postscript Back in my teaching days I always noted when students were oh, so proud of the cell phones, especially smartphones. I asked them if they had received that device as a gift from their parents (most had). I pointed out that a better electronic leash didn’t exist. “You know your parents can track your whereabouts through your phone.” (Blank faces and “Hunh?”) So can the police. (What???) I considered this kind of banter with students as part of the “psychic rewards of teaching.” Teasing students, while possibly teaching them something was always fun.

I also noted that students waiting to get into a classroom used to engage in talk, often discussing inanities, but sometimes things pertinent to their educations. Soon, it was dead silent outside of my classrooms because every danged one of them was twiddling with the tiny box in their hand. I have always claimed that education is a social process. If you are not going to socialize, you are turning a superior on-site education into an inferior on-line education. Could the same process affect our society as a whole? Stay tuned, boys and girls! We are going to find out.

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