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 Using Your Brain To Ingrain Technical Improvements 
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Post Using Your Brain To Ingrain Technical Improvements
Using Your Brain To Ingrain Technical Improvements
by: Steven Latham



Without a doubt, learning good technique in golf is as important as a marathon runner keeping up fluids.

The question is, how can you get the most out of technical swing instruction? In the golf world today, there are some highly knowledgeable coaches converse in the science of swinging the club. This article will provide you with added support in getting the most from that instruction.

To begin, like almost any endeavour, the success of your learning will depend largely on the attitude you set out with. The best learners in golf are those who are enthusiastic, and take responsibility for their learning! I strongly believe that when the golfer is enthusiastic about their golf, they will find the answers they need to improve their game!

Consider for a moment the difference between the following two golfers:

- The first golfer turns up for their first lesson with a new coach, they have no clear idea as to what they want from their golf, why they play the game, what they are taking lessons for and where they’d like to go with their golf. They get to the lesson tee hoping that the golf coach will somehow magically improve their game to a standard of which they have no clue they can play at, they have not considered how much time they have and are prepared to put into practising improving their swing, and are unconsciously intending for the golf coach to fix their swing, transform their motivation, bring down petrol prices and if they’re lucky, maybe even be told the winning lotto numbers. I know that may be an exaggeration, however, this is an example of how wishy washy and unrealistic some golfers can be with their golf goals.

- The second golfer turns up to his /her lesson in a sponge like learning state, clear about what they want to achieve from their lessons, what they are getting lessons for, clear about how much money they have to invest in lessons and how much time they’ll have for practice. They are aware of other things they've learnt to do well in the past and are confident they can apply those same resources to learning golf! They are on time for their lesson and beyond everything else, they want to enjoy the lesson and their learning. When the coach asks what it is they can do for that student, he/she answers with clarity, precision and enthusiasm.

It’s clear from this example that the second golfer will definitely benefit substantially more from their lesson than the first golfer. It’s almost guaranteed that the golf coach will respond to the student with the same clarity and enthusiasm, setting the scene for optimal and enjoyable learning!

If you’re somebody who needs some extra clarity in preparing for your golf lessons, the exercise below will help you:

 Decide what it is you want to get out of your golf instruction. Do you have a handicap goal, do you have a specific ball flight goal like turning a slice into a draw, or do you want more power or consistency with your swing?

 Ask yourself, what is your intention for that goal? What do you want to achieve that for?

 Next, imagine having achieved that goal in the future following your lessons, and notice what that's like, what are the consequences of achieving that goal? Have you satisfied your intention for achieving the goal? (You want to have your intention, goal and consequences matching) This is something vitally important for continual improvement in any endeavour. The exercise is based on a process called the 'Intention, Outcome, and Consequences' pattern by Dr John Grinder. Dr Grinder has discovered that high achievers in a variety of different areas all display a similar pattern of thinking about their goals.

Now that you are clear about your goals, its time for you to learn an exercise to ingrain your technical improvements. To be actioned following your lessons, the exercise incorporates both internal and external visualisation techniques for speeding up the learning process!

 If you’re hitting golf balls on the range, hit 10 -20 shots maximum before taking a short break, take 2-3 minutes just to sit down and relax, and then spend 2-3 minutes visualising your new swing changes in the following way:

- Imagine watching yourself performing the new swing changes as though you are watching yourself on television: you can actually see yourself swinging the club, do this for about 90 seconds. For the remaining 90 seconds of your visualisation, visualise your new swing changes as though you were actually swinging the club, from this perspective, you are imaging looking out of your own eyes at the ball, you can feel yourself swinging the club and you can hear the sound of impact. Upon completion, rest for another 1-2 minutes, then return to hitting another 10- 20 shots...and so on. For a bucket of 50-60 balls, you should aim to break up your actual hitting into three periods, completing the visualisation exercises in between.

 If you are away from the course or driving range and have 3 minutes to spare, complete the same visualisation exercises above and then simply go back to whatever it is you were doing beforehand.

 Doing the visualisations once or even twice per day in a break at work, will bring worthwhile benefits in making your new swing feel natural!

- Remember, do these exercises in a relaxed state and note that you only need to put minimum effort/energy into the visualisations. You can place a towel over your head so as not to be disturbed or simply find a quiet place to sit.

For more information on how to use your mind to improve your golf, visit http://stevenlathamgolf.com

About The Author
Steven has played golf at a high standard, playing American collegiate golf on scholarship and also winning various junior and open age amateur events.

He has a University degree as a Psychology major, holds the Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and is continuing with over 8 years study so far in applying human performance psychology to golf.

Steven's work has appeared in various media including Smarter Golf Podcasts, The Golfer, FHM, and JNJGF Backspin magazines, and is the current Golf Psychology contributor to Golf Australia magazine.
The author invites you to visit:
http://www.stevenlathamgolf.com



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Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:58 pm
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