Have you ever had the thought that you have lost your swing? This thought is not conducive to feeling confident about your game and we all know that good golf requires confidence by the truck load. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing. You might say that when your swing is right you then have confidence. Others may think about this in reverse; when they feel confident their swing is right.
When you think about it, to even contemplate the idea that you have lost your swing, is not a good way in which to promote the playing of good golf. How many people have you met who decided to go through a “swing change” and completely lost their confidence for the next six months to a year? And then ask yourself whether they came out of that long and frustrating year to produce significantly better results in their golf game.
Some people do gain from that process of swing change. The majority of those who I have met do not; all of that effort and work produced a rather mediocre result as they were left with diminished confidence. Sometimes a swing change is a must, because of physical restrictions. But unless this is the case for you, I would suggest you think very carefully indeed before you take such a drastic step.
In reality, every golfer has multiple swings; you swing the club differently depending upon the shot which you have committed to. Now if you said that you had lost your rhythm or tempo, I would say that this observation is far more accurate as to what most often happens to a golf game; it is also far less threatening to your confidence and relatively simple to fix. All you have to do is work on getting your feel back.
When you work on the technical mechanics of your game, you tend to find your mind assessing such things as where your hands or elbows are, how straight your back is, where your hands stopped at the top of your back swing, and so forth. If your focus is applied to these things, it is simultaneously distracted from the basic necessities of golf – taking a specific aim and feeling your stroke.
Inevitably there is a time to practice and to focus on certain mechanical elements of your game, and then there is a time to play golf with what you have already got and have confidence in. When you start to work on the mechanics of your game the key is to find a way in which to do this which does not pose a threat to your confidence.
I am a very firm follower of the school of professional golfers who assert that “task leads technique”. I came to this conclusion through a rather painful experience. A few years ago, I started to shank the ball; not just once or twice but every time I applied an iron to the ball. I mean EVERY time. It was scary for the casual observer, let alone for me! Despite weeks and weeks of traditional golf lessons, I still shanked the ball.
It took Kendal McWade (www.InstinctiveGolf.co.uk) about five minutes of explanation and the asking of two or three questions to fix that issue for me forever. He explained which part of the club face was being applied to the ball when this happened. Surprisingly enough no other professional had thought to check that I knew the relevance of this rather important factor, or to impress upon me the primary significance of this. Instead they had been directing my focus to my hands, swing plane, tempo and goodness only knows what else.
Kendal then asked me what I thought I could do to fix that. Just to ensure I had fully understood and metabolized what he had said, he asked me to hit the ball with the toe of the club, then the other end of the club face and then to intentionally top the ball. I was asked to hit the ball as high as I could and as low as I could. The tasks he asked gave me immediate club head awareness and led me to change my technique unconsciously as I sought to achieve these shots. In this way task leads technique and BUILDS your confidence instead of destroying it.
Roseanna Leaton, avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the golferwithin golf mind training system.
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