Blaise Pascal was right; or was he?
The French child prodigy born in 1623, was a renowned mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. Sharp dude... He is, however, perhaps best known for the following quote (and others to follow - read on...), which seems quite relevant as May 2020 has descended upon us:
"All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone"
Amen. Seems the current era of forced distancing, quarantining, and solo activity has left many a human downright misérable... But why? Are we not 'alone' largely when playing the game of golf? Sure, there are playing partners, kibitzing and trash-talking - but when it's your turn to send the ball on its journey - there YOU are.
Alone with your self (ah... but which self?). Alone with your thoughts (what kind of thoughts?). Alone with your emotions (what's suddenly popped up? Fear? Doubt? Confidence?). What if learning to sit in a quiet in room alone (hiding from the virus, as we are...) helped you better manage your 'nature-of-the-game' solitariness when it's time to take a swipe in the golf park?
Yet another silver lining of present-day circumstances, my friends. Fantastique learning opportunities!! Continue down the path of your blue-lit screen for some CS insight on the blessings of sitting in a quiet room alone. Quoi? You want some music first to arouse the curious learner dwelling within? I understand - bien sûr! Click on the image of the ever-pondering Pascal above for blast from Heart, 'tis only fitting...
My oh my, how the "human doings" of modern-day society have morphed over a few short weeks... Bored? Really? Are those the same peeps getting bored whilst practicing, 'cause they've fallen into the 'more is better' (no it's not - better quality practice is better), 'practice makes perfect' (incorrect again: practice makes permanent and learning is indifferent to correctness), and 'I'm building muscle memory (whoopsie part III - your muscles don't have memory, your brain and central nervous system do)' by hitting the same club to the same target, ad nauseam? I concur: BO-RING... and so very often not the best use of your precious time if you are interested in improved performance on the golf course.
Might very well be better off sitting in a quiet room by yourself than practicing inefficiently... Raise your hand (above the side of your face, por favor) if you'd like for what it is that you're practicing to last and transfer to the golf course? Now bring your hands back down and answer my favorite multiple choice question EVER (thank you, Dr. Guadagnoli) in regards to practice, and immediate results:
A: You can look good on the practice grounds/driving range NOW.
B. You can look good on the golf course LATER.
Sorry, folks, ain't no "C." Your choice. The deep, "what would come up if you did sit alone in a quiet room alone" conclusion? Improvement is a focused process (like the re-opening of our societies) and initial discomfort and struggle are important parts of that process. You thought the magic pixie dust being sprinkled on you from SM was legit? Sorry to burst your bubble...
Would your prefer ideas & concepts based in science and experience to guide your training? Me too. Click below for such offerings.
You ready to burst into Spring golf with some new looks? I hear ya - my brethren at Nike Golf can help. Click on the half-asleep image of Brooks Koepka above for some ideas...
"The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread"
Interesting... Fills me with a sense of freedom & bliss, that eternal silence of infinite spaces. Like the soon to open Sheep Ranch at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (click above for some additional views).
You? What fills you with 'dread' upon the links? And why? Fixated on where you don't want the ball to go? Look all the nasty little nooks, crannies and dicey lies your nugget might find itself on this coolio West coast peninsula... Is it such when you get in your high speed four-wheeled chariot and head out? Focused on what you don't want to run into/collide with? Worried about all the horrific things that could happen? Or, do you have a plan about what you want, where you are going, and how you are going to get there?
Of course you do! And the same must be present in your mind (and spirit) before playing each and every shot. Sure, there are hazards, obstacles and unforeseen situations (you are playing a game after all - its outcome, much like Virusland in which we are now living - is largely unknown), and you may have to take a detour - but isn't that part of the challenge? The fun? The adventure?
You ready and willing? If not, that's OK; best then to just sit in a quiet room alone...
"If the nose of Cleopatra had been shorter, the whole face of the earth would have been changed"
If this. If that. If only. I understand, been there myself. "Ifs" put you on Fantasy Island when in fact you are in the here and now - whether you are able to sit in a quiet room alone, or not. Reflection on (and stats to share) the round afterwards is of huge importance - and having someone to listen, interpret and then guide you appropriately is paramount. That's where I step in (see below).
And the slide you shall see after clicking upon Cleopatra may help next time you are 'worried' on the golf course - or even while out wandering life's daily sidewalks.
DONATING = CARING
Ah - something new, fresh, and curious in the CS missives...
Nearly every week since late in the year of 2014, I’ve devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy, resources, thought and care into the “CS Newsletter” offerings, which remain free. While many in my vocation have chosen other mediums to communicate (and hopefully help golfers, and humans, alike), I continue to opt for the written word, blending pieces of music, pertinent videos and articles – all with the intention of authentically guiding my fellow wanderers of the links, and life’s daily sidewalks, on fruitful paths.
If you find any solace or motivation from my ongoing labor or love - or if on occasion a message has managed to put a smile on your face, a tear in your eye, inspirited you take a step back and reconsider all for a moment - or even irked you into positive action - please do consider supporting it with a donation. Should you already donate, I THANK YOU.
Click on a soon-to-be reading and writing CS, just above, to take contribute.
"Having been a friend and fellow PGA Professional Faculty Associate of Chris’ for many years, I can tell you that EACH and every time his newsletter comes out it makes me smile, reflect, and think about how I view the game as a teacher and how my students my view it better as a player and get more enjoyment. His newsletter literally reaches every sense of the reader - sight sound and (inner) feel…and if there is a “sixth sense” he reaches that too. Can a simple newsletter have a positive effect on your golf game…undoubtedly."
Contact me for a consultation; click on the logos just above for further specifics.
Are you ready to stop sitting in a quiet room alone - or parading around a noisy on-line habitat full of quick fixes and advice from individuals who have never seen you swing, or play - in hopes of improving your golf?
I'm here for you.
Remote and in-person coaching options. The development of an optimal practice regime for you, your needs, and your schedule. Ideas and referrals in the equipment domain - those sticks in your bag, and your physical body. Science and experienced-based help in achieving higher mental acuity on the course. A competent, comprehensive and on-going loop for learning, regardless of where you are on the planet.
"Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much."
- - Blaise Pascal