Everyone who begins the process of improving their golf swing has certain expectations and always wants to come out of the other side a better player. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is understanding and accepting the process of improvement. I know everyone wants to walk into each lesson with one swing, then magically walk out of the lesson with the perfect golf swing, but reality tells us that’s not going to happen. One of my goals for each one of you is to get you to understand what the process is and to enjoy the journey we are taking to achieve better golf. For most of you, we are going to transition from set up work and get into the mechanical changes in your golf swing. Here are a few things I would recommend you to take into consideration while going through this process:
Expectations: Leave them in your car before you walk into each lesson. Many swing changes are very subtle, but feel entirely different than what you’re doing. You don’t walk into a gym and expect to lose 30 pounds after the first work out. The same goes for golf.
Accept poor shots and bad swings: When we are working on new positions and swing moves, rarely do I pay attention to the strike of the golf ball, but rather to how your body parts are taking to the changes we are trying to make. We have the luxury of a net nine feet in front of us and a mulligan on every shot. Let’s get all the poor swings out of the way now and so we can hit great shots when they count.
Check your emotions: I would encourage all of you to do a google search on “how emotional response affects muscle memory.” If we have a negative emotional response to anything, our muscles are less likely to make that move again, if we have positive emotional response, we are more likely to retain that movement as positive. How does that pertain to us? Well, when we are making a change and it feels awkward, we are more likely to hit a poor shot, and when we hit poor shots, we have negative reactions. Those negative reactions will resonate into our muscles and nerves making it harder for them to repeat the move consistently. Bottom-line, leave your emotions out of it.
Set goals: One thing we do before each session is set the goals for the next 45 minutes. Sometimes we get there, other times we don’t but we have set goals that we want to achieve. Stick to them and don’t get ahead of yourself.
Slow Down: Slow down, literally. When doing drills, or exercises, GO SLOW! We have to walk before we run, learn the alphabet before we speak a new language, and start at the basics when doing anything new. Slow precise movements will teach the muscles better than quick and inaccurate.
Listen and Trust: Making people better at golf is what I’ve dedicated my life to. I’ve spent countless hours over the past 18 years of my life studying the in’s and out’s of the swing, how different body types function with certain types of swings and have even gone through the process of changing my own swing. What you see is me barking orders, putting you in uncomfortable swing positions, and talking about “the process”. What you don’t see are the hours I spend at home, studying each of your swings, making sure that your progressions are going accordingly and making adjustments as I feel needed. Remember, my job is to find swing thoughts that make multiple parts of your swing better, your job is to focus on the one thought I’m giving you. Trying new things on your own, “tinkering” or debating me on the golf swing just makes my job harder.
Have fun and Believe: Have fun with the process. Enjoy advancing your education in golf and making changes. Hitting poor shots and feeling uncomfortable is part of the deal, so the quicker we accept and enjoy that, the sweeter the results will be.
Coming up very soon, the 45 minute lessons will be the only chance you have to touch a golf club for the next few months. More efficient practice and lesson sessions will help to en-grain the swing changes we are making and help to get you to your goals of better golf in the spring.