Can you remember when you were first learning to tie shoe laces? When you had to really think about it and try to actively control your fingers, hand, wrist and arm movements in order to get those pesky strings wound up and twisted in the correct fashion.
Let me ask you a question based on that memory. When you were first learning was it efficient free flowing movement which produced precise and repetitive results?
Now that you have learned how to do it automatically (your unconscious mind has taken over the task and does it all for you) is it efficient free flowing movement that produces precise repetitive results?
All movement of new tasks we desire to learn as human beings we are attempting to learn to the unconscious level and we either keep on trying until they are instinctive, unconscious moves, or we give up and accept that we are not cut out to perform that particular task (which is mostly untrue!). Golf moves are no different to any other move. It needs to be learned to the unconscious and then left alone to perform.
What this means is that when you are trying to learn the new move to the unconscious it is going to be very rough and inefficient, producing many mistakes. So let me now ask you if you can score best when you are trying to master a new move?
Have you ever had a lesson and then gone onto the course with all those swing thoughts in your head and had a complete disaster on your card?
Now think back to a time when you played your best. A time when everything seemed easy and you felt happy and confident around the course. This was a time when you were not concerned about the movements your body makes and had the confidence to allow you mind to get the ball going where it needed to go.
Most golfers I know would like to improve but they would also like to be playing well while doing it. Knowing that swing mechanics and scoring don't mix is the only way you can get consistently close to improvement while still scoring and do this on an ongoing basis. You must know when it is time to work your mechanics and when it is time to give up those thoughts, hand over control of your body/swing to your unconscious mind (the part that does things automatically for you) and just have fun playing golf, one shot at a time, fully in the present moment on each shot.
Make a conscious decision on the first T whether you are going to score or practice and think about your swing mechanics while playing. If you decide to practice and allow swing thoughts then throw the score card away and do not judge yourself by that round, because it's not fair to judge your performance when you are actively choosing to “handicap” yourself.
If you decide to score then work on focus on every shot, pre-shot routine, course management, self management, staying in the present and playing one shot at a time. Feedback results of poor shots to yourself in a matter-of-fact fashion without self criticism and seriously enjoy and congratulate yourself on good shots.
Above all, have fun on your journey to improvement. You are never going to crack this game so you must enjoy it's challenges.
Wishing you FIR's, GIR's & Blue Skies.
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