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Trash Talk Swings

This is a great drill for golfers who tend to get hung up on positions. As we all know, when working on technical drills or concepts, it is easy for our swing to feel more like a check-list of "to-dos" and less like a fluid & athletic motion. If you are a player who falls into this category, you should try talking or telling a story to your playing partners while swinging. This may sound like a strange concept, but it is actually backed by some strong golf science and several respected mental game coaches. As Dr. Debbie Crews often says, we want to "program" the motion into our subconscious and simply allow for it to occur once we are over the ball. Hopefully, this technique will help you move from an over-active left-brain and recruit a more balanced (and even right-brain biased) approach when over the ball. Remember, under pressure, we must allow for the subconscious to rule and in turn, focus more on "being" and less on "doing". 

Tags: Practice Strategies, Mental Game, Drill, Intermediate

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This drill is trash talk swings.

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So this is a little bit of a kind of a controversial practice that I'll have some of my

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players do.

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And I've used this after watching a sports psychologist work with some players on the

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range, and it reminded me a whole lot of how I played every other sport that I ever

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So basketball, tennis, volleyball, disc golf.

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I was very comfortable in the heat of the game while performing the skill to talk to my opponents

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or talk to the playing partners.

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And that's because the motion itself was at that point more or less automatic.

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So I could occupy my conscious brain with what I was going to say to them and just

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feel and kind of kind of it was more of an experience to actually perform the shot or

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perform the ground stroke.

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I didn't have to think through every single piece.

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So if I have players who I feel are standing over the wall for too long and running a checklist

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in their mind, or if I think that they're close to being able to go automatic where

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they could go with no swing thoughts, then I'll give them this challenge.

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Basically what I'll have them do, I call it trash talking but really any story will work.

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So the most common one is if it's coming up on a holiday, I'll ask them to tell me about

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where they're going to travel and just tell me all about the trip or if they just went

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on one, I'll say, tell me about your last vacation.

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So where did you go?

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Where did you sit on the plane?

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Where did you stay?

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Whatever you want, you're not allowed to break strides, you're not allowed to stop the story.

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If you haven't been traveling much, then I'll usually ask, okay, tell me about the last

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meal that you cooked or tell me about what you had for breakfast.

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So simple little things like that but I will ask details while they're going through

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trying to execute the swing.

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It's a good way for you to test if you can be aware of the feeling without hyper-focused

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on the feeling.

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So one of the traits of a swing that will hold up under pressure is that the swing has

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a bit of unity to it.

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Basically you have the same level of focus as Debbie Cruz calls it.

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You have the same level of focus all the way from the start of the swing until the end

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of the motion.

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So one of the advantages that I get when I'm filming these videos is that I often have

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to talk through the shot while I'm swinging.

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You could hear a little bit of pause through there just because I was replaying in my mind

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very quickly what did I feel, what didn't I like.

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But a sign that you're getting closer and closer to being more automated is that you could

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talk to someone, you can talk to yourself and you don't necessarily have to stop yourself

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and run through the logical checklist in order to perform the motion.

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Now there's a great chance that some of your technique will break down when you're

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experimenting with this drill.

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But that's also incredibly valuable information because what is breaking down is typically

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the parts that you then have to train a little bit more so that it can become unconscious

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or more of a simple sense.

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So when I'm demonstrating this and I'm talking through while I'm hitting these shots,

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maybe before I pull the trigger, I'm feeling what the swing is going to feel like and

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I'm feeling the swing in its entirety.

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Unfortunately on that one, I took it back at the end of a sentence.

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So that pause was not me shifting into thinking checklist but it was a pause because I wasn't

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quite sure what the next line was going to be.

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It's better when you're doing this if you look at the first two that I did that you're

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going to execute the swing and start the swing mid-sentence.

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It'll be a whole lot easier.

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So if you feel like you're getting two bogged down with details, you're getting two analytical,

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try to get yourself feeling more like athlete and you can do so by talking while you're

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