My flesh-n-blood guitar teacher has tried to get me to count beats (verbally or at minimum in my mind), and I think that I've tried reasonably hard in doing so for few months now. However I've come to suspect that at 44years my mind isn't able to multitask as well, as I just can't keep repeating "1 2 3 4" or even harder "1 & 2 & 3 & 4" while remembering to hit the notes correctly on-beat. It becomes harder when remembering to strum (up or down-strokes on beat). When I reach "1 e & a 2 e & a...", I simply drown. On the other hand, I've realized and my teacher agrees that, when I'm not consciously trying to count beats in my mind (or verbalizing them), I seem to be able to play reasonably correctly on beat, naturally -- although, it is not perfect, as I do sway over a longer period of time (say over 8-10 bars). I'm wondering if there is any hopes at all of my being continuing this journey of learning to play the guitar and getting better at it, or I'd be somewhat stuck until I can get around to actually counting beats.
BTW, I think I can play and sing simultaneously, although I think I keep my better time with my vocals, than with my strumming hand. Is this normal ? Or it's just a messed up brain ?
Are there some exercises that help develop beat counting (in mind or verbalized) accuracy, while strumming or finger-picking ?