Many of my golf clients spend a lot of time and money developing solid swing mechanics. As a result, they work hard on their swings and constantly focus on trying to make it better and better. While hard work and effort toward any goal is extremely important it is not the most efficient way to hit a golf ball. The problem so many golfers have is a conflict with one of the most common paradoxes in golf (and in life for that matter). The paradox is:
Less Is More!
While many people understand this paradox from an intellectual perspective they often “violate” the paradox by doing just the opposite; they do more to get more. Have you ever tried to really “crush” a shot? What happened? Tom, a 7 handicap tells me, “I’m a pretty good golfer and there are times I really want to get more out of a shot and when I try to do that I rarely get what I want. In fact, I wind up hitting a pretty ineffective golf shot.”
Has this ever happened to you? This is a perfect example of what I call “The Try Factor”. We are taught to “try, try and try some more” to get what we want in life. For many, this becomes a condition of OVERtrying and we over try we create more problems. When we play golf we are told things like, “just hit the ball” or “let it go”. This confuses our internal wiring system because there is a conflict between that message and the one we keep telling ourselves. One message is, “I’ve got to focus on trying to hit a good golf shot” and the other is, “just let it go and swing the golf club!”
It doesn’t matter what level player you are; this conflict is not good for your game!
Think about it this way. Do you try to drive your car? Do you try to eat your meals? Do you try to ride a bike? Can you see how awkward and inefficient it would be to try and do these things? Trying to hit the golf ball interferes with a smooth golf swing and you will lose rhythm, power and flow.
Here are some suggestions to move from “trying” to just “doing”:
Trust Your Swing There is no getting around this one. If you don’t trust your golf swing you will try to control it. Not trusting your golf swing is also a reflection of not trusting yourself enough to make a smooth and powerful swing. Many amateur clients are also people in business who are used to “trying hard” in their personal and professional lives to get what they want. Unfortunately, this does not translate well on the golf course. In fact, just the opposite is needed. The effortless swing is the consistent and more powerful swing. This is a major shift in philosophy for a lot of people.
Remind Yourself That Trying Too Hard Doesn’t Work!
Recall the times when you “tried hard” to hit a shot. What happened? If you’re like most people the result was less than stellar. Your best golf shots have probably come when you weren’t trying so hard to hit it. Trying causes mental, physical and emotional tension-just the opposite of what you really want! You already have the proof that this approach does not work for you. If it doesn’t work, why keep doing it?
Reinforce the feeling of Letting Go
It’s been my experience with clients at all levels of golf from pro to amateur that most people do not breathe very effectively. Their version of breathing is a short inhale and a short exhale. Proper breathing is much more than that and can positively impact you and your game on many different levels. Like anything else, learning the proper techniques and then practicing them is the key. There are also other mind/body practices such as Tai’Chi, Yoga or the Martial Arts. Here is a simple but effective breathing routine:
A. Inhale through the nose for a rhythmical count of 3 B. Hold for 1 count C. Exhale through the mouth for a rhythmical count of 5 (as if blowing out a candle 5 feet away from you) D. Repeat this 15 times-twice a day E. Practice this “3/5” breath in between shots and as part of your pre-shot routine
Breathing properly can help you gain rhythm, flow and power in your golf swing.
Stop trying to hit the golf ball and you may like what you see!
To Your Best Golf!