Sloppy? Perfect? Forgiving?
Your vs. You're
Yikes... grammar error extraordinaire in the title of my last missive (thank you to caring & competent reader Doug C. - and probably others). Blasphemous to our bros at U2 as well. So it goes...
What about you at times on the golf course? Sloppy swings. Sloppy decisions and choices. Sloppy holes. How come? Attention & focus 'disorder' more than likely, oft-attributed to being distracted (guilty as charged), scared, or even fatigued.
How best to combat? Keep in mind that you are only required to 'turn up' the concentration & "pay attention" meter for a few short moments (not the entire round): pre-shot ritual, less-than-two-second swing, and post-shot act. Before and after, you must 'turn it down,' so as not to overload the system.
The Opti System is a great way for you (or a loved one this Christmas-time...) to train these habits. Fantabulous feedback on how your mind is operating (stressed/scattered - or in synchrony/harmony?) Click on our "messy maestro" above for details, and to procure.
Perfection - and more CS Sloppiness
A few moons back, I inadvertently (sloppy, part II) referenced El Capitan, site of Alex Honnold's beyond remarkable climb, as being in Yellowstone National Park. Whoopsie... kinda like whiffing a tap in putt, blading that basic pitch shot, or popping up a drive where it looks like you had 75* of dynamic loft at impact.
Avid peruser Brad K. (you'll learn more about, and from him, soon!) thankfully brought this to my attention. Aforementioned 3,000 foot vertical cliff is in Yosemite National Park - konechno (that's Russian for "of course." Whaa... don't speak Russian? Better start... The Russians aren't coming - they are already here).
And Mr. Honnold was in TEDville not long ago to speak about his Herculean feat. Much ado about the notion of perfection in his words - something, with all due respect to this man - will do far more harm to your golf game than good. Why so? Read on; but first, click on the closest thing to Spiderman we've ever witnessed just above, and give a listen. Yes: you can spare 11 measly minutes out of your late Monday eve - so many lessons within for us on the links, and beyond...
-Free Soloing. Hmm... ain't that a little like what happens when you play a round of golf? No teacher telling you what you did, or didn't do (isn't it time you learned to self-coach?). No trendy tech spitting out #'s, data and averages at you (BTW, your tech's accuracy falls harder than Alex would have, when you add consequence & less than perfect lies to the golfing equation).
- Comfort and Fear. 'Tis the season of Comfort and Joy - but that isn't always the case on the golf course is it now, boys and girls? Lots of repetition prior to his epic ascension yes - but context specific repetition. That means making things - whatever the task may be - as much like the actual activity as possible. Now: think about how you normally practice the game of golf... look, taste & smell like what happens when it's time to tee it for keeps? Probably not. Time to change your practice game.
- "Staying calm and performing at your best when you know that any mistake can mean death requires a certain kind of mindset. I worked to cultivate that mindset through visualization, which basically just means imagining the entire experience of soloing the wall." You? Do you visualize/see/imagine what it is that you want your golf ball (or club & body in training) to do? Or, does your mind go to all the bad things that could happen, all the bad places your ball could end up? Maybe you just 'hit it and hope,' in belief that faith-healing is alive and well on the golf course.
Instead: See it first. When Alex visualizes he can feel the texture of each hold in his hand, and imagine the sensation of his leg reaching out and placing his foot in a specific spot. For you, once you've seen what you want - then start the motion. Thought always precedes motion. This is a crucial part of the programming and planning that must be done in the before-swing portion of your routine (when your attention and focus meter is turned 'on' or 'up').
- "Doubt is the precursor to fear, and I know that I couldn't experience my perfect moment if I was afraid. El Cap meant enough to me that I would put in the work and find out."
Amen, Spiderman. Doubt is the precursor to poorly struck putts, steery golf swings, and faulty decision-making on the links. It's brought down entire civilizations, let alone swinging motions with a stick in hand. Solution: make a choice and go. Decisiveness is more critical than 'being right,' and packs a serious punch.
'Perfect moment?' Hmm... maybe in Mr. Honnold's endeavor he needed perfection. Yet my guess is he made 'mini errors' throughout his climb - and like in a round of golf - the quality of his miscues was far superior to that of other mortals. YOU must strive for the same re the quality of your golf shots, 'cause perfection resides only in the domain of Gods & Goddesses.
And that final comment: does getting better at golf (and in that other game - life) mean enough to you to put the work in and find out how good you can be? Or are you looking for some potion or short-cut to help you improve?
Not on this planet, despite what the slimy wanna-be swing gurus sling your way, or what marketers of most golf training aids will tell you. However... you want some righteous potion for mind, body & spirit? Click on our colorful beings above for some offerings from my peeps at Laird Superfood (major stocking stuffer potential).
One of my fav authors, fo'sho. Kurt Vonnegut's solution for those non-mediators to quiet their busy drunken monkey-minds and be here now? Read short stories. Words of wisdom above (I told you there were gift ideas abound within these missives...), and of the power of, and necessity for, forgiveness just below.
"I am so smart I know what is wrong with the world. Everybody asks during and after our wars, and the continuing terrorist attacks all over the globe, 'What’s gone wrong?' What has gone wrong is that too many people, including high school kids and heads of state, are obeying the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylonia who lived nearly four thousand years ago. And you can find his code echoed in the Old Testament, too. Are you ready for this?
Remember that story next time you do your very best, on or off the golf course, with pure intent and focus - and things turn out rotten. Rather than berating, belittling and badgering your own precious "I did my best" self, try on forgiveness, instead. And remember that story next time you see a down-trodden fellow denizen, or creature, of the planet Earth we all share and ride on, who has not chosen to be in such a state. Curse, castigate and condemn? Try on forgiveness, instead.
Coaching & Guidance
'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
A categorical imperative for all who live in obedience to the Code of Hammurabi, which includes heroes of every cowboy show and gangster show you ever saw, is this: Every injury, real or imagined, shall be avenged. Somebody’s going to be really sorry."
Though Vonnegut described himself as a Humanist — a secular set of beliefs as an alternative to religion — and even called himself an atheist in another commencement address, he points to the story of Jesus Christ not as a religious teaching but as a cultural narrative that bequeaths a valuable moral disposition:
"When Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross, he said, 'Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.' What kind of a man was that? Any real man, obeying the Code of Hammurabi, would have said, 'Kill them, Dad, and all their friends and relatives, and make their deaths slow and painful.'
His greatest legacy to us, in my humble opinion, consists of those few words. They are the antidote to the poison of the Code of Hammurabi, a formula almost as compact as Albert Einstein’s “E = mc2.”
In search of some guidance and coaching in 2019? I'll be offering some rockin' lesson packages before the end of the year. Details before New Year's Eve...
In the mean time, how 'bout this: Proper (no time for sloppiness) pre-round warm-up, 9-hole playing eval/lesson at Eugene Country Club, 90 minute post-round technique-oriented instruction, & game plan/road map for your golfing future.
$575 for non ECC members
$500 for ECC members
"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it"
-- Mark Twain
~ CS ~