What's Your Target?
Vince is a District Judge in Philadelphia. He came to me for a golf lesson and during the initial interview he said that he wanted to stop the sway in his swing. After asking him how that he knows that he sways he said “his friends tell him that he does”. Vince is fairly typical in that he has very little awareness of anything that happens within the two seconds that it takes to swing a club.
After looking at Vince’s dual sequence captured on SwingProfile, It is pretty obvious that Vince does not sway and in fact he hangs his weight on the forward side going back and on the back side at impact.
Now look at Vince’s natural motion. Pretty amazing! That motion appeared with no instruction. It is his natural motion and it was there all along without trying to do anything. How did that happen?
We know that every motion is correlate to a target. Better players always have the target as the target and most players have the ball as the target either consciously or sub-consciously. The target will always change the motion of the swing. To find a student’s natural motion we turn their head to the target and have them throw a club to the target. It produces an amazing motion that allows the student to experience their swing. This is the swing that your body, in all its wisdom, knows is the most efficient and powerful. This is the swing that you know will always be there. This is the swing that you do when you don’t think about it. Either you have self-interference, or you have this natural golf swing.
We realize that throwing a club while looking at a target does NOT does satisfy two conditions of golf. There is no ball and you are looking at the target but it does however show that is possible to swing with a motion that is efficient and is already there. It is necessary to learn something that you can already do? It is possible to produce the same motion while looking at the ball? Of course it is.
Vince had no idea what his body was doing…..he needs to experience that and then something else, his natural motion. The distinction between the two and his own awareness will produce changes and learning that can happen quickly. Awareness, the ability to be present to something as it is happening, is curative and developmental. The essence of physical learning is developing distinctions, becoming aware of the differences between two actions and recognizing the consequence of each. This is the way we learn all basic activities—walking, running, even riding a bicycle—and the reason that we don’t have to think about them once we learn them.
In future articles, we will explore how Vince can develop his awareness in the critical variables of his golf swing: clubface, swing plane, solid contact, aim and alignment and swinging with freedom.
George McNamara, PGA