Power of Attention: How to Stop Beating Up!

If you have played golf for more than one season, then you have experienced the disappearing swing syndrome. It strikes without warning, regardless of skill level.

To quote the late Bobby Jones in his masterful book, Secrets of The Masters: “someone always feels like it’s running from something, not knowing exactly what or where it is. “

In most sports, solid mechanics and bespoke practice offer some assurance of constant improvement. In golf, however, there are no guarantees.

The first step to consistency is to accept that results are beyond your control. The second step is to learn how to minimize the impact of the disappearing swing syndrome by deliberately controlling your attention.

Based on my experience with over eleven thousand students, most golfers once a week assume the culprit is a faulty memory; you must have forgotten to lock your left elbow or move your weight or your wrist’s cock or …

While beating yourself can provide some satisfaction in presuming the masochistic tendencies (which are universal to all golfers), it only exacerbates the symptom. Attempting to rationalize the collapse usually results in an endless cycle of fault detection and correction of errors that in turn manifest in the proverbial blowhole.

Contrary to popular belief, the culprit is not lacking in memory, but trying to recall all nuances of proper technique. The secret to a speedy recovery is to redirect your attention to the feeling of your best shots.

All golfers have heard that golf is a game of feeling. How you feel is a by-product of your attention. What you pay attention to affects how you feel; the better you feel, the greater the odds of creating your best swing.

At least a third of the time in a round of golf is walking / riding between shots. Use the time to mentally replay past success and recall the ultimate feeling.

Have you ever been stuck behind a student driver? Ever wonder why they go so slow? The student tries to pay attention to everything; oncoming cars, traffic lights, when to apply the brakes, etc. They have not developed the ability to distinguish between attention and awareness.

Regardless of skill level, all golfers can play to the best of their ability by focusing on the desired results instead of replaying past mistakes. The biggest misconception in traditional golf instruction is to ask a student to constantly remember mistakes instead of trusting their natural ability to just hit the damn ball!

Thanks for reading.

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