My past experience as a golfer has introduced me to several great books with concepts that apply to disc golf as well. However, there aren’t a lot of disc golf specific books available. So naturally I was excited when disc golfer and practitioner of Zen, Patrick McCormick, decided to share his thoughts on sports psychology where it relates to disc golf.
The mental side of disc golf isn’t often explored. We search YouTube for technique on throwing long drives or to watch the pros putt. We scour the forums for help on our technique. We analyze flight numbers and charts to find the perfect disc. But how many times do we wonder about the mental game?
What is the mental game? It includes strategy, attitude, and thoughts while you play disc golf – all personal things that reside between your ears. Patrick presents these topics in bite-size morsels that can change your game on the course and even your life outside the game at home or work.
Zen and the Art of Disc Golf is rather easy to read but this isn’t a book to power through and put back on the shelf. I read the book just as the author suggests, one chapter at a time with a decent amount of break between readings. You’ll want to dwell on each concept along the way and put into practice the new knowledge you’ve gained. As with many other mental or zen topics, the material usually sounds so obvious upon first reading or hearing. That is the beauty of a book like this – you won’t have a hard time believing the concepts and the book will serve to remind you of them later.
If you don’t like to read books, I highly recommend the audiobook version inexpensively available on Amazon. The hired voice talent is easy to listen to and presents the same thought-invoking information from the written book. I recently listened to the entire book as a refresher during a bike ride.
The Podcast and More
I learned about this book prior to its release via the author’s active social network account and preordered it out of excitement for the sport in general. Patrick is a great follow on Twitter (@zendiscgolf) for disc golf mental game tips and general Zen related quotes. He constantly gives away discs on Facebook to followers and he also runs a great Instagram account curating “zen-like” disc golf photos from other users. Beyond these social media outlets, Patrick also hosts a regular Zen Disc Golf podcast that is well produced and worth your time.
The Zen Disc Golf community is growing quickly as a result of all these social outlets. Patrick’s commitment to supporting disc golfers, generating conversation, and growing the support is much appreciated. This engagement in the community makes me happy to remind you to have a look at joining the Zen Disc Golf Team via Kickstarter. Check it out quickly, since the opportunity to join is nearing an end.
This is a short review, but I recommend reading (or listening to) Zen and the Art of Disc Golf. The stories and anecdotes are very relatable – I often found my mind imagining people I know in the situations described. You may even get a dose of reality when Patrick calls out some of your bad mental habits.