Trying Too Hard


Roger, a 14 handicap came to me because he knew deep inside that he could play better than hed been playing over the last 18 months. When I asked him what hed been doing during that time he responded, Ive tried everything. Ive read books, looked at tapes and I have a swing coach I work with a couple of times a month. Thats great! I responded. I admire how much youre putting into your game to try and improve. However, what makes you believe you should be playing better than you are now? Roger immediately replied, Because I hit the ball better on the range. There are times on the course when I play just great and I know deep inside that Im getting in my own way and I can score better than this! he said pointing to his last 3 scorecards.
I asked Roger if he didnt mind hitting a few balls on the range and then go out and play a few holes. After just a few moments observing Roger at the range it was clear he was trying really hard to hit good golf shots. I interrupted him and asked, Do you feel pretty relaxed over the ball? Yeah, I guess so. Roger replied as he pulled another ball on to the grass and continued to hit one after the other.
I asked Roger to set up in address position and not do anything. I walked up behind him and poked him in the back of the leg with the grip of one his clubs. His leg didnt budge. It was tight and stiff. Then I asked him to let his arms hang at his side and told him Id just lightly grab his right wrist and pull his arm upward until it was even with his shoulder. I then told him Id release my hold on his wrist at that point. I slowly raised his right arm then released his wrist and his arm stayed right where it was; straight out at shoulder level.
When he looked at his own arm pointing straight out like that Roger gave me a look of surprise and said, Guess Im not as relaxed as I thought I was.
Its important to remember that the mind, body and emotions are connected and constantly impacting each other. Roger was trying so hard to hit a good golf shot that he literally created additional tension and stress in his body. When we try to hit ball we create a ripple affect tension that often tightens these following areas:
  • The hands
  • The forearms
  • The legs
  • The shoulders
  • The mouth/chin
  • The forehead
    Thats how connected everything is. The golf swing relies on a series of fine and gross motor movement. When we try we interfere with this connection and can throw it out of whack. Roger was definitely getting in his own way and his best golf was being locked inside of him because he was trying so hard.
    Be careful that you dont go to the range or course and try hard to play good golf. Your best golf shows up when you reduce the strain and trust yourself!
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone and Resilience Factor programs for athletes of all levels and business professionals to help them adapt and excel in any conditions. His unique approach is designed to affect real change from a root cause perspective helping people break ineffective patterns. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.