Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hit the ball as hard as you can...

“How do we bring beginners up to speed faster? But if you get performance faster, does that stimulate motivation? The book “Talent is Overrated” suggests that with kids, one of the most powerful motivators is early success or prowess with a particular sport or activity. So how do we get success faster? Which motivates motivation—having it, or faster progress? From my experience by allowing begnners to play without fear of consequences; fearless golf. Play like the score doesn’t matter and learn to hit the ball hard. I always liked Jack Niclaus’ theory of learn to hit it hard, then learn to hit it straight. It might be painful hitting the ball across two fairways initially but that can be fixed. I think a lot of beginners however find it too frustrating and are told by the other golfers and maybe even their PGA pro to back off in order to hit it straighter. That works to a point as they work on their technique and their swing looks better but quite often there is no real pop in the swing. Without that pop when they get down toward mid teen handicap they are behind the 8 ball on the Par4s and each time they go for extra effort their technique breaks down so they back off and the cycle continues. Most beginners I have seen that improved quickly started with the advantage of at least some power and either built more through better technique and/or didn’t sacrifice that power in the learning process. ...and yeah they have the time to hit lots and lots of golf balls and play lots of practice rounds : ) Nine out of ten people believe that out of ten people, one person will always disagree with the other nine!” The reason for me posting this is that after reading it struck a chord with future plans for my game development. I have always concentrated on accuracy over distance/power to compensate for injury restrictions on my body. As my golf ability improved from coaching and practise one of the benefits has been more power in the swing delivered to the ball and longer distance with shots. This has not been given any major attention, just noticed as a development in my game and appreciated. Yesterday I went and hit thirty balls on the range with a six hybrid. All was good, the distance was exceptional. I was going for a target 10 metres beyond my established distance for this club and reaching it within a ten metre radius of the target. At the minute while still recuperating from the past nine months of golf and pushing my body too hard again it is a good time to review the golf attributes in my game. This has been circumventing the 'improved distance' topic up until reading the above quote. I have been wrestling with what was I going to do about the need for more distance now I am in reach of a 10 handicap. Playing against single digit handicappers in A grade so far the change in equipment has been assisting to a limited extent. Mentally though my golf is not attuned to playing to hit the green outside 150-160metres. This had been noted and is in my list of improvements needed. I have a reasonable accuracy level that varies from average to excellent. Swinging easy and well within my limits is the accepted game style used in competition. To change what has been set in place to protect myself and not encourage further damage for so long is not going to be easy. In fact there is a quotient of fear in committing to this new path. Especially as at this time all has been directed at recovery. The time has come to now change this approach to golfing and simply start hitting the ball with all I have to the relevant targets. It was during this past week of recuperation and hitting balls in the practise net firstly and then on the range yesterday that it has became time to change. This is going to be a particularly difficult challenge but nothing ventured nothing gained. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all” Geoff

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