Improve Your fitness, life, or anything, in One Easy Step
By David Hegarty
Some time ago, Peter Finnerty said , in the Sunday Independent,
that Limerick would have to play out of their skins to beat Cork
in a Munster Championship hurling match.
They didn't just play the game. They were the game. The game was
them. The pitch, the grass, the sky, the very air they breathed,
were all parts which made the whole of each individual, who went
to make the team. The spirit, the heart, the hunger, those intangible
yet palpable qualities of human nature, to which we're all privileged,
created that indomitable force on that memorable Sunday afternoon.
Finnerty was close. But the Limerick men were spot on. They did
play out of their skins.
So. What's that got to do with life?
Everything. It's to do with summoning that quiet unstoppable force
that expresses itself in total belief and ultimate performance.
Watch the Tiger when he plays. Isn't the name so appropriate?
See him prowl the course. Watch, when he plays, how the club head,
the shaft and grip, the arms and shoulders, the driving twisting
torso, the easy angle of the head, all form that rhythmic driving
swing that launches that tiny missile into a sure spot in the middle
What does it? Technique? Fitness? Natural talent? Sure they do.
But there's something more, isn't there?
Anyone who has seriously yearned to excel in any endeavour has experienced
this at some time or other. Some have felt it on several occasions.
It's that feeling of complete ease; when a golfer strikes faultlessly
on every drive and chip and putt, when the sailor rides the wind
and waves, fits his hull to them, careens and rides over the crests
and valleys with an ecstatic ease, when the driver guides his screaming
machine in a seamless rhythm of perfection that culminates, in any
activity, what we call a superb performance.
To the outsider, it's a display of skill that is beyond our comprehension.
To the player, the sailor, the driver, it's being in the zone, on
a plane, in the frame, where the mind guides the body, and lets
the body respond, so that the mind, body, spirit, fuse into that
artistry of action that produces these results.
The Brian O'Driscolls, the D.J. Careys, the Woods and the Schumachers
are rare, not just because of their innate talent, but more, for
the heroic devotion to the honing, the sharpening, the tuning of
that instrument that is their performance; themselves.
They've long discovered that they are their own greatest assets.
Just as you are yours.
Anyone can raise his game. Just as you can. Whatever your game may
It isn't just by being fit, or skilled, that you excel.
By training the mind to train the body, and allowing the body respond,
it exerts it's own powerful positive influence on the mind. This
is how people are frequently arriving at results in their lives
that they previously thought impossible. Not everyone. But many.
Call it what you may, inner skill, mind games, focus, hitting the
zone, anything you want.
What it really is, is that ability to be at one, isn't it? To access
that ultimate concentration where the sense of peace and rhythm
are at one in mind, body and spirit, where that state of relaxed
calm allows us function with an easy power.
People who see this try to achieve it on a regular basis.
But it isn't by trying that you'll get it.
The very act, the very effort, of trying, immediately engenders
a level of tension that distracts from, spoils, the object of the
exercise. It squanders and blocks the underlying force. Shuts it
The true level of concentration comes only from allowing it to
happen. And this too is a skill. And it comes with practice.
Every skill has it's rudiments. Learn the rudiments. Well. Practise
them. Again. And again. And then again. And when you start to get
good, you'll instinctively adapt these rudiments to your own style.
And you'll get better.
Relaxed concentration can be learned by anyone. It' not just for
the Masters, or an All-Ireland medal, or the Drivers' World Championship.
It's there, available, to every human being, to be what he or she
wants it to be.
Certainly for a happier, more contented, fulfilling life.
Oh yes, and for one other thing; a better round of golf.
© David Hegarty.
Hegarty is an established teacher in
Well-Being,and Health practices, for over 30 years.
He is the author of the practical and successful book, 'Dynamic
Health', and of three published novels. He is currently working
on a fourth.
Presently involved in further studies in psychology in relation
to human and personal performance, he is building research which
will make for three new chapters in the next edition of his book.
He is a well respected teacher of individuals and groups in the
area of self-development and life skills.
For more information have a look at his website:
With David Hegarty