"It's A Long Way There"
Indeed it is. To where you're going, that is. There's your first CS 'memo' of the New Year; embrace it, please. Click on the rad image by photographer Aydin Buyuktas just above, and catch the tune that will tell you the story, courtesy of The Little River Band, circa 1975. Then, per the norm, c'mon back to this end of the road, and roll into 2018 with a less rutted view of how to evolve, progress and grow in the games of golf, and life...
"Learning Takes Time"
Mentor, friend and oh-so humble yet brilliant neuroscientist Dr. Christian Marquardt (might be a rendering of him above...) told me that long ago... Everyone's trying to hack this or expedite that - often not helping the hackers in golf move forward. The following story sound familiar, people?
* Take a lesson (hopefully from someone who's competent, experienced and not stuck in the method du jour).
* Try it out for a few weeks (but do you really know how to create new patterns in your body - and mind - most effectively? Probably not...), by pounding balls at full speed 'thinking about' making the new motion, or doing non-context specific drills/exercises ad nauseam.
* Go onto the golf course (where the older, stronger and more ingrained patterns thrive - out of fear, primarily) and expect (that word is equally dangerous in 2018 as it was last year - and the millenia prior...) different/better results.
"People on their own are getting nowhere,
I am on the road to see,"
And I am on the road seeing this, unfortunately. Fascinating: in this day and age when no one has much time for anything, I watch golfer after golfer wasting their precious minutes with fads and fantasies. What about you? Do you have time to waste?
Then there's are marketing 'magicians' - but their doing our man Houdini a real disservice. These are in fact, very grim games they are playing with you...
* "10 extra yards in 10 days!!!" Really? I know marijuana is now legal in many states, but...
* "This is the BEST way to swing - for everyone!!!" From ganja to Cool-aid. Really? How come when you look at the top players in the world they all swing (and grip, and posture, and alignment, and ball-position, and mindset, and, and, and...) incredibly differently?
* "No more stubbing, chunking, skulling or yipping with this fantastic club!!!" OK: there are some tools out there that can help, but those hackers in the infomercials need some technique and coaching guidance, don't you think?
Oops, Part II
Let's Do The Math
"Hey everybody yeah, don't you feel that there's something?"
Shall we? So you don't look like one of the Thanksgiving birds just above in your process - yes, it's a process - of learning new things, I'm gonna use some nice, round, easy numbers, OK?
* You've made 100,000 swings 'one way.' Remember: the mind/body system is very Zen... there is no 'good/bad,' 'right/wrong,' 'hook/slice,' 'thin or fat/flushed.' Your swing just IS, got it? And it IS because that's what you've done the most, so that's what you've learned, and that's what will fire automatically when you make a motion at full speed with a ball - especially if there is consequence, anxiety, or you care a lot (can you say "golf course" for that last part?). Capice?
* Take your lesson (how many NEW swings did you make in that session - a few dozen, maybe?), then proceed towards what you feel is a good deal of practice/reps for a few weeks. However: if during those practice reps you have continued to feed the OLD pattern/swing - you actually just went backwards - or added more to your existing count of 100,000. Clear?
* Let's say you manage (congrats if this is the case!) to make 500 of the NEW (eventually makes your golf ball 'behave' more as you would like...) swings in your few weeks of training. Bravo! Yet, you still lament that when you go hit it on the course - or especially under the gun on the course - that the NEW motion does come out to play.
"And it's a long way there, it's a long way to where I'm going,
And it's a long way there, it's a long way to where I'm going."
* 100,000 (probably many, many more for most of you reading this) the OLD way.
* 500 (if you are practicing properly) or thereabouts the NEW way.
Which swing/motion/pattern will dominate? And oh - it's the same for any behavior, pattern or M.O. in your life? You the petty, leveraging, selfish type? Maybe use your pretty face, faux charm, or reputation (if you only knew...) to get ahead, and get what you want? I'd throw a picture in here of someone I have in mind that fits this description perfectly, but then again, this is a crowded house...
There's hope... believe in, and commit to - it's all I ask of my students - to your new thing. Your new attitude. Your new energy. Your new habit. Your new way. Your new swing. Your new "you." And do just a little of that new, every day. Action, that culminates in wisdom.
CS Escape in So Cal
Time to take some action in securing a spot in this fantabulous getaway at Pauma Valley Country Club, February 22-25, 2018, cause we are filling up... Embrace some 'newness' in a pristine setting. Some new ideas on your golf, golf swing, ideal practice, and how to prep and decompress from your round thanks to yoga teacher Ali Matt (more on Ali - click on her pic below) who will be joining us this year. Click above on the majestic image from the back 9 at Pauma for specifics on this escape.
Also, if you have a partner or spouse that is interested in joining - yet not into the golf piece, Ali & I have a plan... Shoot me a note for details.
"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished,"
-- Dan Gilbert
~ CS ~