Using Lockdown to Improve Your Golf
Let me start by saying that I hope you are well and to send my sincere sympathies to anyone who’s health has been affected by the current crisis.
During this very unusual period of downtime due to the coronavirus lockdown, it seems that we all have a lot more free time on our hands than usual. There are some great videos on golf swing tips and practice drills that will help your technical skills for golf during this time away from the golf course. I wonder if you have considered using this time to also develop your mental abilities? Since we all pretty much agree that the mental side of the game makes a huge difference, I thought I would throw out a suggestion for your consideration.
When it comes to making changes to our golf swing or improving our performance in any way, we must first do our best to understand our current reality as deeply as we can. Developing more awareness of what is happening in our golf swing right now, is essential if we are to make changes going forward.
Developing our “Awareness” muscle is something that would benefit all of us, golfers or not. When we are using our awareness we have no choice but to be in the present moment. Paying attention requires us to leave all ideas about what we would like to be happening behind and pay full attention to what is actually happening right now.
When the scientists are looking at and trying to understand the corona virus, they must use a microscope with intense power. If the lens of the microscope is not clear or if the lens is not sharply focused enough, then some of the vital information about it’s nature will be missing.
Likewise, when it comes to paying attention to our own golf swing we might be wise to develop a clear and sharply focused mind through which to make these observations.
We have become very used to running on autopilot for most of the day, with our bodies in the present acting unconsciously and our minds somewhere in thought about the future or what’s already past.
This enforced break from our daily routines due to lockdown brings us all an opportunity to connect with life more fully.
The more that we pay attention fully, in the present moment, to anything that we do, the sharper our own lens will become. Try being fully present to a task that you have given over to unconscious processes. Every action and inaction is an opportunity to sharpen our lens. From brushing our teeth to making a cup of tea, if we bring our awareness fully to the process we might experience something that could eventually help us with our golf.
That something is being able to be fully present without judgment. This ability underpins learning and peak performance in my opinion.
What has this got to do with me developing a draw or a better putting stroke, I hear you say?
Well, we have all grown into the habit of constantly being dissatisfied with parts of our golf game and always wanting or waiting for it to get better. This takes up a lot of time and energy. “One day I’ll get it or make it”, is a train of thought that puts our happiness in the future and creates dissatisfaction with the present. So we spend less time engaging with it and more time striving to get what we want.
This can unbalance our mind and cause our lens to become blurred and to lose the sharpness of its focus.
There is nothing wrong with working to improve your golf swing but giving too much importance to what you want will rob you of fully experiencing what you have in this moment and this moment is the access point to making any kind of change or improvement.
It’s like an architect who pays no attention to the foundation of a building but spends a lot of time working on the superstructure.
If we can use this time of lockdown wisely and have our awareness in the present a little more than usual, then it could turn out to be really good for us and for our game.