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Holding on for dear life part 2


Now what does this mean to a learnt skill, why did I freeze the degrees of freedom when I have been driving for over 20 years? (please click here if you have not read part 1)

Stress or an environment that gives me an uncomfortable feel.

I was overly concerned for my family’s wellbeing and trying to over control my movements (unconsciously).

This is one example of what I see golfers do when on the golf course, when faced with a situation that they don't feel entirely comfortable with.

Indeed a few weeks ago I had a golfer in our indoor area on Trackman.

The golfer in question hit nearly 10 perfect drives in a row, with a little draw and a swing speed around about the 100mph mark.

Then I asked. What holes do you feel comfortable on the golf course driving, he said the 12th hole (reasonably open driving hole with not too much trouble)

And uncomfortable?

Easy the 16th (a tight driving hole with trouble left and right).

So we toddled of to the 12th , with Trackman in hand to measure any changes, great drive right up the middle with a little draw with a swing speed of nearly 100mph.

No change.

Then to the 16th, first drive pull hook left into the pond, swing speed just over 90mph.

Lost ball.

Second drive push slice into the trees, swing speed just over 90mph.

Lost ball.

Therefore from the data, talking to the player(said he felt uncomfortable on the tee) and watching how he moves  we can deduce that he was/is freezing the degrees of freedom on this particular shot.

So the awareness to me is critical, the golfer is now aware that with this particular shot he has a habit of over controlling his movements.

Much like my own self-awareness when strangling the steering wheel.

'The great teacher introduces the student to a concept and allows him to make acquaintance with it. He leads him into the room and allows him to have a look around. Given the appropriate freedom, the student ambles through the room, visiting the corners and the layout. His brain develops a feel for the boundaries of the room and how to move within it without bumping into walls. With time, the student learns to live within the room and breathe its unique fragrance. Eventually, the room becomes home.'

(Gupta cited in Upton 2017,
When driving in Spain with my family the more time I spent in this environment and was aware of my tendencies, the more I became at home in the room.

I stopped holding on for dear life!

Was this absolute, no, when driving back to Barcelona Airport we had a very early start, kids were tired and hungry, traffic was a nightmare due to a crash and we very nearly took a wrong turn!

So the level of chaos I had become accustomed to turned up a notch.

I began to feel uncomfortable and consequently started holding on for dear life again!

Coaching intervention

As a golf coach the main intervention for this player (not potentially the only intervention) was to spend more time in this room.

Spend more time hitting drives that make you feel uncomfortable.

Go play some courses where driving is at a premium, where you have to drive it well.

The more time you spend in the room, the more it will become home.


For part 3 click here

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