Trying too hard

Trying too hard

Joined: August 16th, 2005, 10:50 am

May 4th, 2012, 12:51 am #1

I hit my driver and woods pretty nicely. When I hit my driver, this is my swing thought: "Swing, swing". As in "1,2" or "back, through". That's it! That's all there is to it. If I hit a bad spell, I usually find a setup flaw, fix it, and then pretty soon I am just swinging again.

My irons are another story altogether. I'm always working on my iron swing, and always striving to fix something. As Fred Shoemaker wrote in Extraordinary Golf, the culture of golfers is, "there is something wrong with my golf swing, and I must fix it". I do that with my irons. Constantly. I don't with my woods. Now, I'm sure there is something wrong with my iron swing. (De plane, Boss! De plane!) But I played better and had more fun before I started trying (and failing) to improve it. I'm done trying. At least on the overt technical analysis level. I'll let the ball flight guide my setup as needed, but I'm done with trying to match the swing moves to the pattern. Because I can't go on like this. I feel like a fool for falling into the trap. The perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

Swing, swing!

Anyone feel the same? How do we get sucked into it? Perfectionist personalities? (Raising my hand: Guilty.)
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Joined: August 5th, 2002, 5:38 pm

May 4th, 2012, 6:49 pm #2

"The more I tinker with my swing the worse I play."

That could have been said by Tiger Woods,who is likely to miss the cut this week at the Wells Fargo Championship,


Cheers,Bob
KLEX - USA


Regards,
Bob
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

May 5th, 2012, 1:02 am #3

I hit my driver and woods pretty nicely. When I hit my driver, this is my swing thought: "Swing, swing". As in "1,2" or "back, through". That's it! That's all there is to it. If I hit a bad spell, I usually find a setup flaw, fix it, and then pretty soon I am just swinging again.

My irons are another story altogether. I'm always working on my iron swing, and always striving to fix something. As Fred Shoemaker wrote in Extraordinary Golf, the culture of golfers is, "there is something wrong with my golf swing, and I must fix it". I do that with my irons. Constantly. I don't with my woods. Now, I'm sure there is something wrong with my iron swing. (De plane, Boss! De plane!) But I played better and had more fun before I started trying (and failing) to improve it. I'm done trying. At least on the overt technical analysis level. I'll let the ball flight guide my setup as needed, but I'm done with trying to match the swing moves to the pattern. Because I can't go on like this. I feel like a fool for falling into the trap. The perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

Swing, swing!

Anyone feel the same? How do we get sucked into it? Perfectionist personalities? (Raising my hand: Guilty.)
I have a lot of thoughts on this issue as you know. I think anytime we try were playing a golf shot during a round of golf, that is a bad thing. When playing a shot our only thing should be to play the shot. We should never be thinking about mechanics.

Your idea on your driver, to just swing swing is very close, but it doesn't get the prize. For the best results, you want to program yourself with the swing swing thought, then execute your swing with unthinking involvement.

In other words, try to find a way to swing without thinking about your swing in all. The easiest way to do this is to sing a song, repeat a favorite phrase or poem, or even just say a sprinkling of words, anything that occupies your conscious mind while playing the shot. If you can do this then you will free your subconscious to be able to execute the shot. If you have hit good shots then you have the ability to execute them on course.

We know from science outside of golf that any attempt to consciously direct physical activity results in diminished performance. The place for "trying" is in learning new tasks and developing skills and habits. Once these tasks are learned there is no longer need to think about them we just do them.

So when we play the ideal is to not try at all, but to let those habits we have worked so hard for, to bubble to the surface of our playing consciousness and let them happen instead of making them.

Kevin
The Authentic Golfer
A Blueprint For Golf Excellence
The MGS Approach
The MGS Forum


Never quit til you have a swing you'll never forget!
Last edited by mcirishman57 on May 5th, 2012, 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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gsw
Joined: July 27th, 2000, 11:22 pm

May 5th, 2012, 8:04 pm #4

I hit my driver and woods pretty nicely. When I hit my driver, this is my swing thought: "Swing, swing". As in "1,2" or "back, through". That's it! That's all there is to it. If I hit a bad spell, I usually find a setup flaw, fix it, and then pretty soon I am just swinging again.

My irons are another story altogether. I'm always working on my iron swing, and always striving to fix something. As Fred Shoemaker wrote in Extraordinary Golf, the culture of golfers is, "there is something wrong with my golf swing, and I must fix it". I do that with my irons. Constantly. I don't with my woods. Now, I'm sure there is something wrong with my iron swing. (De plane, Boss! De plane!) But I played better and had more fun before I started trying (and failing) to improve it. I'm done trying. At least on the overt technical analysis level. I'll let the ball flight guide my setup as needed, but I'm done with trying to match the swing moves to the pattern. Because I can't go on like this. I feel like a fool for falling into the trap. The perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

Swing, swing!

Anyone feel the same? How do we get sucked into it? Perfectionist personalities? (Raising my hand: Guilty.)
I play golf fairly well as long as I stay humble and manage my golf game around my abilities. I am not a long hitter but I do hit the ball solid and not very high, think of a frozen-rope line drive in baseball, that is how my ball flight is. The low straight ball flight has been working pretty well around here lately because it has been very dry and the ground is very hard without much Bermuda grass growing yet so I am getting a lot of roll on my drives. The problem I have is that I forget that I am really not as good as the conditions are making it seem right now and I start trying to play golf as if I can routinely hit the ball 275 yards off the tee when in reality I am hitting 200 yard air carry drives and getting 80 yards run out due to the dry conditions. However if I simply concentrate on playing my game and simply taking advantage of the fast conditions on the course then I can score very well.


Stan












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Joined: August 16th, 2005, 10:50 am

May 7th, 2012, 11:24 pm #5

I hit my driver and woods pretty nicely. When I hit my driver, this is my swing thought: "Swing, swing". As in "1,2" or "back, through". That's it! That's all there is to it. If I hit a bad spell, I usually find a setup flaw, fix it, and then pretty soon I am just swinging again.

My irons are another story altogether. I'm always working on my iron swing, and always striving to fix something. As Fred Shoemaker wrote in Extraordinary Golf, the culture of golfers is, "there is something wrong with my golf swing, and I must fix it". I do that with my irons. Constantly. I don't with my woods. Now, I'm sure there is something wrong with my iron swing. (De plane, Boss! De plane!) But I played better and had more fun before I started trying (and failing) to improve it. I'm done trying. At least on the overt technical analysis level. I'll let the ball flight guide my setup as needed, but I'm done with trying to match the swing moves to the pattern. Because I can't go on like this. I feel like a fool for falling into the trap. The perfect is the enemy of the good enough.

Swing, swing!

Anyone feel the same? How do we get sucked into it? Perfectionist personalities? (Raising my hand: Guilty.)
This came in an email from them. I tried to find it on their sites so I could simply link to it, but maybe it has not yet been put up. This article might as well have been describing me when I made the original post.

QUOTE:

Re-Creation Is The Name of The Game!

By Dr. Ron Cruickshank, Golf Mind Coach, Certified Master Instructor and Director of GGA Canada

Got an email recently marked "URGENT". It was in bold and in RED. It was from a student of mine telling me he needed immediate help with his game. He had gone out to hit some balls and was hitting it all over the place and he was " terribly frustrated and wanted to get it fixed right away." After some conversation to identify what was going on, we set up a lesson the next day. Before we hung up though, I asked him to consider something and come prepared to talk about it the next day. What I asked him to consider was the following. If this is a game that you love and you are playing for recreation, why are you so frustrated and upset because you had a practice session that didn't go very well? The silence from the other end of the phone was deafening.

We all want to perform better and achieve mastery of something that is meaningful to us; this drive is a hard-wired, biologically driven imperative common to all people and cultures. However, in my experience, when it comes to golf I see far too many people overly frustrated and not enjoying the journey to getting better at this grand game.

Certainly part of the reason for folk's frustration is the lack of understanding about the golf swing and what they need to do differently to get better. I'd like to think we at Graves Golf have appreciably alleviated this information gap by providing you high quality information, which if followed, will result in you getting better. As in all things, mastery will be in direct proportion to the amount of practice (perfect reps) as you build new skill circuits in our brain.

However, this article is more about the subjective experience of personal satisfaction. As a general behavior tenet, if your expectations are not aligned with the reality of your experience, then the gap will be represented by an increased degree of frustration. Thus, if your primary experience of the game is frustration, then I would suggest you re-think your reasons for participating in the sport, given that it is a game.

I propose to you a dramatically different purpose for pursuing mastery of golf. That is, that the game is meant to be a recreation for you. Given that it is a game, then by definition it is meant to provide a diversion and amusement to you, not be the source of frustration and anger. The game is meant to recreate, renew and refresh your psyche and is only successful if you have a net ADD to your energy and life.

Let's reflect on the etymology of the various terms we are throwing around. The root word in recreate is CREA, which comes from the Latin creare, which means to create. When you engage in re-creation, it is an act that by definition is meant to re-fresh and re-vive the person engaging in the activity. Doesn't seem like the experience we see out on the golf course so often does it?

Another key distinction is to keep in mind that razors edge between fun and seriousness. When we are playing the game for fun, then by definition that comes with a sense of playfulness. The MacMillan Dictionary defines fun as enjoyment, especially from an activity that is not important or serious. If you've ever watched one of your buds helicopter a putter in to the nearest tree line after a missed three footer it is hard to imagine he is activating the magical and care free inner child; probably more like accessing one of Dante's inner beasts from Upper Hell (anger and avarice).

I believe that self-awareness and self-consciousness is required to fully experience life's joys. When we generalize the drive for mastery into a habituated blind need to achieve at everything and at all costs, it is easy to let this degenerate into a bad emotional resonance when we don't achieve according to our desires.

An antidote for submerging into frustration, anger and eventually apathy is to develop a new appreciation for why you are playing the game and what you want out of it. When I ask this "why" question of people, the most oft quoted response is "I just want to have fun" (enjoyment, pleasure, gratification, or a good time). It all translates into the same thing, they want to play the game and be recreated.


TRY THESE STEPS TO HAVING MORE FUN ON THE GOLF COURSE

1. Set aside five minutes to ponder on what you really want from the game. Even if it is for business, in the end I bet you wind up still wanting the game to be fun for you and your associates. Become aware of your expectations. The game is easy to be enjoyed when playing for fun, it can be hard to enjoy if your point of comparison is Phil or Tiger. Remind yourself of these reasons on the way to the golf course or when warming up.

2. Be committed to having an attitude of FUN. Enjoy the risks of trying to get over the water or avoiding a hazard. If you fail it is no different than losing a hand of poker, and you weren't ALL IN! If you win your risky shot, then celebrate in playfulness. It is a game of skill that is mastered by few, so enjoy doing the best you can TODAY.

3. BE GOOD COMPANY. Remember what YOU like in a great playing partner and then act like that. In a month no one will remember your 82 or 92, but they will remember that you were fun, playful, complimented them on a good shot, kept up, knew the rules, and had a good joke to tell over your iced tea or beer at the 19th hole.

4. For those of you that can't give up being overly serious and intensely focused in your approach to golf try taking that attitude to the practice tee. Then, leave it there when you go to the course to PLAY. The difference will pay big dividends.

So how about my over wrought student? He came in the next day laughing and told me that as he reflected on my question over night he realized that his poor performance at his practice session was directly related to the tension and pressure he was putting on himself to perform. He had correctly diagnosed that he was caught up in malicious cycle of deteriorating performance, triggered by his own tension. The more upset he got, the poorer he hit the ball; the poorer he hit the ball the more he got upset. The downward spiral was pretty obvious. His solution? Lighten up!

About the Author: Ron Cruickshank recreates by teaching the single plane golf swing at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Whitby, Ontario. He urges you to come have fun and renewal by using golf as the vehicle. Write at drron@moenormangolf.com.
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