And todays article
Ive spoken with many PGA Teaching Professionals over the years and the most common phrase I hear from them when talking about their students is, If I could only get my students to (fill in the blank).
As a former Tennis Pro (over 15 years) I understand the frustration that occurs when watching a student try too hard to get something right. Through trial and error I discovered that my students learned more quickly when their minds, bodies and emotions were in a relaxed state instead of the pressure that comes with trying too hard to be perfect. Now, as a Performance Coach I teach my clients that TENSION is the number 1 cause for poor play because mental, emotional and physical tension reduces power, rhythm and flow.
People take golf lessons because they want to get better (okmost people!) and when you are tense and uptight your improvement rate slows dramatically. Ive witnessed golf swings filled with tension magically improve as students begin to relax their mind, body and emotions before trying to implement what they learn. When they try too hard they usually create more and more tension in their golf swing causing stress for both the student and the teacher!
Here are two suggestions that can help alleviate stress in your golf swing:
1. Focus on relaxation first
I realize when people pay for a lesson they want to hit as many balls as they can. However, Ive discovered that if people will take 3 minutes to slow down their minds from the days concerns and relax their bodies, they can benefit greatly from the rest of the lesson (this goes for the teacher as well). As a Performance Coach, I work with players on the course and at the driving range as well. We always take the first 5 minutes (at least) to bring the mind, body and emotions back into sync before my clients ever put their hands on the golf club and it positively affects everything we/they do from that point forward.
2. The Tension Rater Exercise
This is a real awareness grabber that I use when working with a player at the range. Here is the drill: hit 10 balls and rate only your tension level between 1 (very relaxed) and 10 (uptight) after each shot. Heres how it works: you hit a shot and immediately come up with a number from 1 to 10 without editing or trying to figure out the best answer. Most students will begin rating their results (I liked that shot or I didnt like that shot) but you are only to focus on your tension level. The benefits are twofold. First, you gain awareness of your tension levels and secondly you create a mental reference point. For example, you will begin to recognize what a 3 or 9 feels like and the mind will start to create a reference point with that number and that feeling; making it easier to duplicate in the future.
To Your Best Golf!