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Sense The Swing, Don't Describe It

Even though I am not a "mental game" coach and tend to focus more on biomechanics and the technical side of golf, I will still try to pass along a few useful lessons I have gleaned regarding motor-learning and performance, when possible. One trait that I have heard several prominent mental game coaches praise is the ability to place yourself in a feeling or "receiving" state when over the golf ball. If you tend to do the opposite and start thinking words or technical positions, you are moving into a part of the brain that is not as adept at performance, adaptability, and motor control. If you are a player who falls into this category, it may be wise to spend some time working on upping your sense of feel in practice & play. Hopefully, the results will surprise you. 

Tags: Practice Strategies, Mental Game, Concept, Intermediate

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This concept video is since this wing don't describe it.

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So I'm not a mental game coach.

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I'm more of a coach on the biomechanic side or on the physical side.

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But I've played my fair share of high level sports and I like to pass on some of what

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I've experienced to my students.

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So one of the traits that I've heard mental game coaches describe and that I've experienced

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personally is that when you're in the play box or when you're over the golf ball executing

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the swing, it should be very sensory.

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If you are hearing words in your head, then you're more in the language centers of the

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brain and you're in the wrong part.

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That's not where movement happens.

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You're basically talking through a checklist instead of operating.

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And so the goal is to make it very sensory which is more of a feel based approach

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instead of a logic or cognitive based approach.

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So the example that I use quite often with my students is I'll have them run this little

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So okay, what I want each of you to do and I'm going to give you a little pause after

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this so you can actually do it is what I want each of you to do is I want you to think

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about and describe your favorite food.

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So describe or think of your favorite food, whatever that might be, whether it's pizza or

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Chinese food or pasta or whatever, steak.

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Think of your favorite food and now describe why you like it.

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Describe, out loud, what it feels like or what you get when you eat it.

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Okay, so now what I want you to do is I'm going to make a sense of the fact that I'm

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going to do what I want you to do is close your eyes, picture the food that's your favorite

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food and imagine eating it.

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Okay, now what I want you to do is close your eyes and imagine your favorite food and

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just picture yourself eating it and imagine just sense what it would be like.

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While you're imagining yourself eating it, can you experience everything that you tried

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to describe but all it wants.

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In fact, the way I usually phrase it is if you take the description, think about how long

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it took for your brain to come up with that description and how long it took for you to

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express that description.

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That's more of a cognitive checklist but now when you're imagining that you are eating

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it, can you imagine that everything was happening all at once?

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Well, that's a much more sensory approach and you can kind of have much more nuance and

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the precision of the senses will be much better than the precision of your description and details

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and it will be much faster.

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So when you're over the golf ball, I want you to be feeling.

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So let's say I'm working on the motorcycle move.

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I don't want to think to myself in words turn the wrist down.

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I want to think to myself in flavors or in senses turn the wrist down right around here

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when I do it's kind of got this weight feel to it and when it does it's happening

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wall to lower body doing this.

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That's all one feeling.

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Got it.

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Even though I had to describe it because the medium that we're working in, I can feel

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it and sense it.

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Once I have that feeling, I can just press play.

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I don't have to necessarily think about it as far as like, okay, do the motorcycle.

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It's just a feeling of when is that going to happen how it relates to the other movement.

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So it's you're going to get bogged down and you're going to get very analytical whenever

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you're working on a new skill.

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But once you've gone through some of the early stages and kind of played around with

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that new skill, your goal is to build it into a sense that goes into this whole feeling

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that you're going to execute from the very beginning of your swing to the end of your swing.

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Basically, if you can imagine your favorite food, imagine that first bite and then imagine

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the satisfying feeling of the last bite.

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You want to be able to sense that whole thing just like you can sense your whole golf swing.

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When you do, you'll typically have more consistent and repeatable performance because

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you'll be in the right part of the brain, not the language center, but more your movement

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centers deepen your brain.

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