Mental Secrets

I have long believed that there is some as-yet-unknown mental secret that will unlock the vast hidden resources of athletes and allow even an aging jock like me to beat players much younger and stronger. My belief comes from the way my own athletic performance varies so wildly depending on my state of mind. Unfortunately, I’ve never clearly identified what state of mind leads to increased performance. All efforts to control my mind have been erratic and often frustrating.

When I finally got document Dr. Amberry on the phone, I said, “Anyone who can sink 2,750 free throws in a row can tell me how to sink a 4-foot putt every single time.”

He laughed politely and said he had given up the game of golf years ago. “But,” he added, “I can tell you how to focus and concentrate.”

Bells went off in my head. I had heard each of those words — focus and concentrate — many times separately. But I have never heard them together and spoken by someone who’s back them up with such a remarkable level of performance.

I arranged to meet Dr. Amberry and watch him shoot.