Author: adminGPC

The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
01 July
2022
  • July 1, 2022

Birdies and Bogeys

Golf as in life has its birdies and bogeys, it is a continuous adaptation of our environment good and bad, in other words, not perfect.   As the saying goes, a good attitude can be as equally effective as aptitude.  If you are willing to pick up a club and play the game, you can expect to fail a few times before announcing your great shot.  Same goes in life right, if you are willing to live a great life you must not be afraid to put yourself out there in the arena.  The game of golf is so often referred to as the game much like life, we have to being willing to except failure of hitting bad shots or making a mistake at work equally.  

For some reason, we judge ourselves based on the things we think we are supposed to do, not for who we are.  We attach a certain amount of shame or embarrassment to failing at something that we are striving to be better at or tell ourselves that it didn’t matter, I wasn’t really trying or I don’t care anyway.  How often have you found yourself saying that after something went wrong?  It is funny how golf can be the game unlike any other sport, we associate trying our best and failing as being a loser; yet in basketball, baseball or most other sports when your failure is 50% or greater we talk about how great those players are.  Putting in perspective a baseball player that fails 70% is enshrined in the baseball Hall of Fame!  Talk about failing forward!  The greats of the game in golf realize that they are not going to hit every shot perfect and do not wrap themselves with a cloak of shame after each failed shot or missed 4 footer, instead they accept it and equally a good break may happen based on the fact their effort will create good breaks.  Attitude is powerful.  

As we approach the bulk of our “playing” season of golf in the northeast, don’t allow shame or embarrassment to get in your way of improvement and enjoyment of something you love.  As you put your time into preparation to play your best put some enjoyment of the process in there too.  As it has been said, “joy is in the struggle, embrace it”.  Remember golf is a continuous adaptation of the environment good or bad, it is not a reflection on you as a person but more a validation of your courage to put yourself out there to be better, enjoy it!

Enjoy your Journey!

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01 July
2022
  • July 1, 2022

The Greatest Snack of All Time!

I’m sure a lot of things come to mind when I say “the greatest snack of all time”! You’re probably thinking of fruits, nuts, and protein bars. While these are all great snacks, the greatest one of all is beef jerky! The reasons why are  in the Macronutrient profile! Most beef jerkys have lots of protein in them but come from a not so great source and have fillers in them! So I was after the best beef jerky I could find. Chef’s Cut Beef Jerky is made from quality sources and one bag provides 25 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates and 6.25 grams of fat. The perfect on course snack keeping you energized through the whole round through the carbohydrates and protein, while keeping you fuller for longer with the high protein and moderate fat. Chef’s Cut Beef Jerky also comes in a to-go stick providing you with 8 grams of protein, 4 carbohydrates and 1 gram of fat. Pair a bag of Chef’s cut Beef Jerky or a few Sticks with a few fruits during your next round and watch your energy levels stay consistent throughout the whole round, pivotal in being able to perform and make birdies! Pick up a bag or a few sticks for your next round and try it out! 

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01 July
2022
  • July 1, 2022

The Heat is On: How the rising
temperatures affect our mental game

Few years back, I had the opportunity to play a local Connecticut Open qualifier with Ivan Lendl. For those of you who don’t know Lendl, he is considered by many (including myself) to be one of the best men’s tennis players of all time. He was ranked world No. 1 for 270 weeks at the peak of his career, and won 94 singles titles including 8 grand slams. I loved watching tennis growing up and I can tell you from first hand experience, in his prime, Lendl was unbeatable. 

On the day we played, Lendl’s technical skills were obviously not at the level of his tennis abilities, but I can assure you his mindset was. To this day, I have never played with someone who was more prepared. In every facet of the game, his preparation was extraordinary and I could go on for pages about how impressive he was, however, what impressed me the most was how he managed the weather conditions. 

When Lendl and I teed off, it was hot! I can’t remember exactly what the temperature was, but it was definitely triple digits. We started walking down the fairway and Lendl made a beeline to the trees to find shade. This blew me away. From the opening moments of the round, Lendl was fully committed to minimizing the impact that the heat could have on his performance. His pace was slow and deliberate. He did his best to stay out of the direct sunlight as often as possible. He drank water at every opportunity. He wore a sun hat and sunglasses. He had a water-soaked cooling towel wrapped around his neck. He changed his shirt and socks at-the-turn. It was amazing to see how much thought he put into preparing himself for every contingency.

When I asked him about his preparation for the heat, he told me about his experience at the Australian Open, where on center court, the temperature could get up to an unthinkable 156°! (A retractable roof has since been put in place to better protect the players from the heat) Before the roof was put in, Lendl told me when the players were on the side of the court where the sun was shining, you felt like you were literally being roasted alive – not good for playing your best and the better prepared players definitely had an advantage. Lendl was certainly one of those players.

It’s pretty obvious what the physical consequences of playing in the heat are (exhaustion, dehydration, cramping, etc.), but what about the psychological? Research in this area suggests the following potential consequences that playing in the heat can have on performance:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Difficulty problem solving
  • Disorientation/Confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Increases irritability
  • Increases anxiety
  • Decreased drive and initiative
  • Difficulty with concentration and focus

Here in the Northeast, hazy, hot, and humid become part of the daily vernacular. It’s hard enough to be outside for more than a few minutes on those days, let alone playing a four and a half hour round of golf. Unless you’re prepared, playing in heat can be both physically dangerous and most definitely have an impact on your mental game. Take a lesson from one of the best athletes of all time and prepare for the heat. Your body, mind, and scorecard will thank you!

As an aside, here is a gear list that we recommend to our students and members to prepare for and play in the heat.

Awareness is the key to change!

Dr. Brant

Clinical Psychologist

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30 June
2022
  • June 30, 2022

Fitzpatrick’s Winning Recipe

We saw a young star emerge on one of the games biggest stages delivering a ball striking symphony for the ages during the final round of the US Open.  Matthew Fitzpatrick captured his first professional win on US soil, at the same site he captured his US Amatuer title back in 2013, The Country Club in MA.  On Sunday, Fitzpatrick hit 17/18 greens in regulation in a dazzling final round showing.  He managed to win his first major picking up nearly zero strokes gained on the field with 0.25 strokes gained for the week but led the field in GIR (Greens In Regulation) hitting 72.2% of greens for the week.  Additionally, he recently has also increased his length off the tee averaging 309 at The Country Club which is good enough for top 20 in driving distance.  He has prioritized distance gain in his training program and uses an extra long driver that he seemed to be gripping down on last week.  This combination landed him in the winners circle on Sunday, fending off some of the games biggest names.  He picked up a combined 10 shots on field with SG driving and SG approach alone.  It has been amazing to see Fitzpatrick’s gain in distance over the past 2 years and see how it impacts his scoring average and thus his world ranking as he has gone from 27th in the world back in June 2020 to now 10th in the world.  Speed, one of our primary fundamentals here at GPC, has “major” implications for development. 

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27 June
2022
  • June 27, 2022

Pick a Target for Golf Mental Game
Practice

When it comes to golf focus, your target may not always be what you think, but whatever you are thinking is always your target. 

You might be wondering, what on earth does that mean? Golf psychology can be a tough nut to crack, but when you take the time to get to know how our minds work, you can have a better understanding of training your brain to focus better and improve your overall golf mental game

One of the first places to focus on is just that: your golf focus. The inability to control one’s attention is a common problem that plagues golfers at every level from professional to amateurs. We think we are focused on one thing when in fact our attention is fixed on something else, and unless we know that that’s happening, that “something else” will become our new target.

Here is a classic example: you’re standing on the tee box ready to tee off, when out of the corner of your eye you see a pond that hugs the right side of the fairway. Immediately, your attention shifts from “strike it down the middle of the fairway” to “don’t go right.” You take the club back, swing and sure enough the ball goes right, splashing into the middle of the pond. 

At the root of this problem is the simple lack of awareness as to what our target is at the moment when we choose to execute a shot. If you’re worrying about a pond, the pond will become your target. If you’re thinking about your grip, your grip will become your target. If you’re anxious about being embarrassed, embarrassment will become your target.

That is why we recommend the tactic of target-oriented golf to refocus your mind and improve your golf mental game. If you take the time to do some golf mental game practice, you can train yourself to focus and tune out other thoughts that try to take your attention away from the task at hand.

Train Yourself to Play Target-Oriented Golf

One of the biggest questions golfers wonder is what to focus on during a golf swing. Our answer is simple: focus on your target.

In its most quintessential form, golf is a game of targets. From your first shot to your last, you strategically plot your way along the course aiming at the targets you deem most likely to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. Depending on skill level, some golfers are more successful than others at hitting their targets and thus are more likely to shoot lower scores. 

 

From a mental perspective, one of the key psychological skills necessary to play successful target-oriented golf is, not surprisingly, target focus. Target focus has two key features and can be defined as:

  1. The conscious awareness of a chosen external target (e.g. a distant tree branch, a section of a fairway or a spot on a green)
  2. The ability to stay attentive to that target throughout the golf swing undistracted by external or internal stimuli. 

The first part of target-oriented golf – choosing a target — is easy. Staying focused on your target during a golf swing, however, is not. 

Focusing Golf Swing Thoughts

The key to succeeding in the second part of target-oriented golf – focusing on your target – is learning to quiet external and internal stimuli.

External stimuli refers to any possible distractions outside the mind of the golfer (e.g., weather, noise, course conditions, hazards, other people, etc.). Internal stimuli is any possible distractions inside the mind of the golfer (e.g., performance anxiety, fear, elation, negative self-talk, thoughts about swing mechanics, etc.).

The ability to stay attentive to that target throughout the golf swing, is something that even professional golfers find challenging.

Golf swing thoughts can often lead to attention slipping away from the chosen target to something else, which students often report as something internal. They start thinking about their swing, their setup or their grip. Negative thoughts creep in. They worry about whether or not the ball will go where they intend it to, or about what other people are going to think if they don’t perform well. 

All the while, their chosen external target slips farther away from their awareness. Only the most vigilant golfers can bring their attention back to the original external target. 

In psychology, this switching of attention, back and forth from one stimuli to another, is known as “toggling,” and it is thought to be one of the reasons why we can’t pay attention to two things at the same time. As our attention shifts, we lose sight of, or ignore, the thing we were previously paying attention to unless we turn our attention back to it. 

Regaining Your Golf Focus

The bottom line is that whatever your attention is focused on will become your target, and as such, you will physically react accordingly. The first step to learning how to improve your mental golf game is to recognize the problem so you can correct it.

The more successful target-focused golfers are not distracted by external or internal interference. They stay fully committed to their original targets throughout their golf swing, and when they do get distracted, they are able to refocus undeterred. 

Target-oriented golf is one of the many golf psychology skills we teach the players we work with, and it might be one of the most important. 

Golf Mental Game Practice Exercises

Learning how to improve your mental golf game is the first step in overcoming “toggling” and committing to target-oriented golf. Through golf mental game practice, you can train yourself to focus on just one target without letting anything else cloud your mind.

Give these golf mental game exercises a try during your next practice.

Track Your Target Focus

Like greens in regulation, fairways hit, driving distance and scoring average, target focus can be tracked as well. Before your next competitive tournament, commit to keeping track of your target focus. 

Either during or after your round (preferably during), make note, with a “Y” for yes and an “N” for no, of whether or not you stayed fully committed to each shot. If you weren’t, take note of what took your attention away. This can be done on your scorecard or a separate piece of paper. Like all other golf stats, you should start to see themes or patterns emerging that you can then more concretely address.

Staying With the Afterimage

Take a golf ball and place it on a putting green. Soften your gaze and simply stare at the ball for about 15 seconds or so. While continuing to stare, move the ball out of the way, fixing your gaze on the spot where the ball was. You should see an afterimage of the ball; a dark spot where the ball used to be. 

See how long you can stay with the afterimage before it disappears. You will notice that if you blink or get distracted the image will fade quickly, but if you are able to stay focused, the afterimage will linger. 

Putt Looking at the Hole 

Putting while looking at the hole is a tactic that has been around for a long time and is a great way to practice target focus. Next time you are on the putting green, try hitting putts looking at the hole versus the ball. 

The way it works is to set up the ball the way you normally would after you’ve lined up a putt. Before you take the club back, look at the hole instead of looking at the ball. As you are looking at the hole, make your stroke. 

A common stumbling block to this exercise is worrying about mechanics. When we putt, we often become so caught up in the mechanics of our putting stroke that we forget about the real target, which is the hole. If this is you, stick with it. Let go of your concern about mechanics and just keep looking at the hole. 

Focus on Your Landing Spot

When chipping or pitching the ball, practice hitting a specific landing spot. Imagine where the ball would need to land to get to the hole. It can sometimes be helpful to first take a ball or two and toss it underhand on the green to mimic the shot you want to hit. 

Once you find the landing spot practice, hit shots to that spot to the best of your ability. Sometimes placing a golf towel flat on the landing spot can serve as a stronger visual target. Regardless, set up to the ball and connect to your targeted landing spot, taking a good mental picture.

When you turn back to the ball to hit the shot, do your best to keep that mental picture of your landing spot in your mind’s eye (similar to the afterimage exercise) and try to hold it there throughout the shot. This exercise can be done looking at the target in the same way as the putting exercise, but it becomes more difficult the further you move away from your target given the physical limitations of the body. 

Small Distant Target

If we want to practice target focus, especially the further we get away from the green, choosing small distant targets will help. Our brains like certainty, and by choosing specific distant targets, we create a much clearer and more precise plan for our brains to follow. 

An additional benefit is that by being so precise with our targets, it can act as a barrier to outside interference as our attention becomes so focused we lose awareness of external distractions. So, when you practice or play, choose small, distant targets, and the more specific the better.

At The Golf Performance Center, we believe learning how to improve your mental golf game is one of the 5 Elements of Success to improve your game overall, and becoming aware of target-oriented golf is a great way to improve your golf mental game.

 

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27 June
2022
  • June 27, 2022

More Than Just Golf Lessons At The
Golf Performance Center

Whether you’re an adult golfer who has recently come back to the game of golf or you’re a parent looking to share your love of the game with your children through golf instruction for kids, The Golf Performance Center has coaching and instruction for players at every age and level. 

When we say “golf lessons,” we don’t mean a one-time session that serves as a bandaid. Our coaching philosophy is that commitment to improvement goes a long way in creating a sustainable golf game. When you work with The GPC’s staff of PGA Professionals, you’re choosing to truly invest in your game.

Any player who wants to improve their golf game can approach it in a variety of ways. Golf lessons for beginners or junior golfers might focus on golf fundamentals, teaching players the rules of the game and basic skills. 

Advanced players who want to learn how to improve their handicap or fine-tune their golf swing can benefit from expert instruction and insight through evaluations and analysis. At The GPC, our golf instructors can help players who have been golfing for years identify areas of improvement or aspects of their lifestyle or fitness to help their overall performance.

Adults and juniors golfers alike have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the game of golf and develop their skills while doing so. Choose a golf coach at The GPC and you’ll have a qualified support system for however far you want to take your game.

The Benefits of Working With a Golf Coach

With the GPC’s state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technology, highly-qualified club fitters, and expert golf and performance coaching, you will get so much more than you would from practicing on your own without the guidance of a golf coach.

Our programs are designed to take your play to the next level and help you improve your stats, not only through golf fundamentals but through each step of our 5 Elements of Success program: desire to improve, golf coaching, physical performance and nutrition, mental approach and equipment.

We believe that all five of these areas must be accounted for and in alignment in order for you to play at your best. You may be able to improve one or two of these areas on your own, but with the valuable insights of our coaching staff, you can achieve the perfect balance of all five elements and see your skills improve exponentially. 

At the beginning of your journey at the GPC, a golf coach will evaluate your current skill level, listen to your goals and develop a personalized program with tangible steps. 

Adult Golf Camps for Every Skill Level

At The Golf Performance Center there are golf lessons for every player at every level. Whether you’re looking for weekly training or are interested in golf clinics for adults that only last a few weeks, we have programming to meet your time and schedule. 

All adult golf programs begin with the 5 Elements of Success Evaluation so your golf instructor can develop a roadmap for your program, which might include individual or group golf lessons. From there, adults have the choice of two performance programs: Adult Academy and the Facility Program. 

Through the Facility Program you can enjoy year-round access to all of the GPC facilities and practice areas, including the King-Collins designed short course GPC National, fitness center and putting studio. With four hours of weekly physical performance and golf coaching plus personalized feedback from popular and advanced biomechanical technology, you’ll be able to identify areas of improvement alongside our expert staff.

The Adult Academy, on the other hand, includes unlimited access to golf coaching and physical performance training. Enjoy custom club fitting in our pro shop plus a personal locker and GPC golf bag in addition to year-round access to all facilities and technology. 

If you aren’t sure which type of performance program or golfing lessons are right for you, we’re happy to help you understand your priorities and preferences and recommend the right program for you. 

The Best Youth Golf Camps for Fun and Skill Development

Golf is an excellent sport for kids to learn. It’s a lifelong sport they’ll be able to enjoy and it’s a great way to foster community and make friends. It teaches patience and perseverance as well as physical and mental stamina. At the GPC, we make golf fun and rewarding for junior golfers. 

The GPC boasts some of the best junior golf camps and kids golf lessons in the northeast. From lessons for kids during the school year to golf summer camps, there is a range of options for players ages 7 all the way through high school. 

Kids golf lessons for players ages 7 to 14 offer weekly instruction on golf fundamentals, fitness and an introduction to golf-specific skills. For programs outside of the school year, there are junior summer golf camps for these age ranges that give kids plenty of coaching time and summer fun.

Players in middle school and high school can take advantage of golf instruction during three weekly sessions where they learn advanced golf skills and tournament preparation, all while having access to the GPC’s advanced technology and biomechanical testing. They can also attend some of the best golf camps for juniors during the summer to hone their skills during summer break. 

No matter the age or experience of your children, junior golf camps and kids golf lessons teach young players valuable life skills and help them learn a lifelong sport while developing important fitness and nutrition routines.

 

ACHIEVE Golf Academy for Junior Golfers

If your child is passionate enough about golf with hopes of playing in college or even professionally, the GPC is home to one of the best golf boarding schools in the northeast – ACHIEVE Golf Academy.

During their time at ACHIEVE Golf Academy, students live and study together on campus while receiving expert coaching and fitness instruction from our golf instructors. The curriculum is specifically tailored to student-athletes and allows them to receive a top-notch education while rigorously training for junior golf tournaments and preparing for the college recruiting process.

If your child is approaching high school age and has shown a true passion or proclivity for golf, ACHIEVE could be the best opportunity for them to hone their skills before college and lay the foundational work for a professional career in golf – more so than your typical weekly golf lessons. Find out more about academics, golf training and admissions

Golf Lessons at The Golf Performance Center

Find out how much you can improve your skills with golf lessons at The Golf Performance Center. With world-class golf coaching staff and fitness instructors, get an in-depth look at your current skills and get evaluated for areas of improvement. 

Our golf clinics for adults, group golf lessons, individual instruction as well as our array of kids golf lessons and golf camps guarantee a perfect fit for your goals. Our golf teachers will be there for you every step of the way.

Reach out to us today to see what you can achieve with the right golf instructors at your side. 

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  • June 24, 2022

The Difference Between Static and
Dynamic Stretching

Static stretching is lengthening a muscle and holding it in that position or stretch to improve flexibility.  Dynamic stretching is when the muscles become lengthened through an active movement to prepare the body for exercise.  

Knowing the difference between the two as well as when and how to utilize them is of utmost importance when improving performance.  Dynamic warm ups or stretching is vital before working out, playing sports or exerting the body.  The body and muscles must be warm before placing them under stress where they will be stretched.  Warming up with myofascial release and dynamic stretching lubricates muscles and promotes blood flow to the activation sites of muscular contraction. If this is skipped or not properly done before exerting the body, injury and decreased performance is most likely to occur.  

Static stretching on the other hand, is never done before the body is properly warmed up and rarely done at all to improve performance.  Static stretching is done to improve flexibility or range of motion. 

As ballistic as the golf swing is, dynamic warm ups should be done before even picking up a club! Ensuring your body is prepared to be placed under the stress of golf, not only improves the overall performance of your swing, but allows you to prevent injury and play seamlessly through all 18 holes!:)

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  • June 24, 2022

Anger

 

Anger is considered one of the six universal emotions expressed throughout the world (surprise, disgust, enjoyment, fear, and sadness being the others). Anger most often boils to the surface when we are either prevented from getting something we want, or when we perceive that we are being treated unfairly. Anger can be dangerous leading to violence and aggression, and it can be physiologically harmful to the individual experiencing the anger. Anger, hostility, and grumpiness increases your risk of heart disease by threefold. (Kawachi et al., 1996). Anger can have a negative effect on performance as well. When we get angry, our heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rates increase. Our muscles tense, blood recedes from our extremities, and we lose our sense of “feel”. Our visual field narrows and we are unable to fully take in the world around us. We get defensive, impulsive, and irrational. Our thinking becomes rigid, negative, and pessimistic. We expect the worst, lose confidence, and close ourselves off from others. All of these effects make it extremely difficult to perform at our best and if the anger is not dealt with, your chances of achieving your goals will greatly diminish. Importantly, anger in itself is not a problem. Anger is an incredibly useful emotion that has helped us survive for thousands of years. When it comes to sports performance, it’s not necessarily the anger we are trying to get rid of, it’s the negative effects of the anger that interfere with our performance we don’t want. If you are someone who is familiar with anger, here are some ways to alter your relationship with anger to help you play your best:

#1 BREATHE! What yogis and Buddhists have known for thousands of years, we can now validate with science. Slow, smooth, and rhythmic breathing will counter the negative effects of anger. When you experience anger, take a moment and breathe slowly, at an interval of a 5 second inhale and a 5 second exhale. This type of breathing, also called coherent, or resonant, breathing, will bring your nervous system back in alignment, reduce your anger and put you back in a better mindset to perform. 

#2 Reframe it! Instead of accepting your anger as truth, question it, and come up with an alternate and more positive explanation. For example, if you’re angry that an important putt lipped out, and as you cock back your arm to heave your putter into the woods exclaiming, “I am the worst putter on the planet!” consider a different interpretation. A more rational, accurate, and positive reframing of that thought would be, “It makes sense that I’m angry that putt meant a lot to me. I don’t suck and I hit a good putt. I can’t control what happens after I hit the putt, but what I can control is my mind. I will work hard and compete on every shot and whatever happens, happens.” This is called “cognitive reframing” and it can not only reduce anger but provide genuine relief as well. 

#3 Express it!  When all else fails, it’s okay to express your anger. In fact, research has shown expressing anger, or any emotion for that matter, helps us to process it rather than allowing it to fester inside us.  Expressing your anger is a great way to release yourself from its grasp—this especially true for anger. However, how you express anger is important. Make sure that your expression of your anger is appropriate for the situation. Yelling, screaming, swearing, and throwing things might be okay in some circumstances, but generally speaking, those methods aren’t appropriate on the golf course. Walk by yourself to “cool down”, yell into your towel, or try progressive muscle relaxation, where you intentionally tense your muscles and then relax them. 

#4 The Ten Yard Fence: The ten yard fence is one of my favorite ways to deal with anger on the golf course. It comes from the work Earl Woods did with Tiger. Supposedly, Earl told Tiger that any time he got angry on the golf course to imagine there was a fence surrounding him. The radius of the fenced circle was 10 yards and Tiger had ten steps in any direction to feel, express, and deal with his anger. However, when Tiger reached the edge of the imaginary fence on his tenth step, Tiger had to let go of the anger and not let it interfere with the next shot. I love this idea and strongly encourage you to give it a try.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with anger. Anger is a normal evolutionary reaction. What we chose to do with the anger is more important. By learning how to more effectively manage your anger you will put both your mind and your body into a more optimal state to perform. 

 

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The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
24 June
2022
  • June 24, 2022

Closed Skill vs Open Skill, why is
it harder?

Closed skill you say, what is closed skill?  It is an activity that requires you to start from a standstill or initiate the action cognitively, you have time to think about it, perhaps creating unwanted emotions about what “might” happen.  Golf is a good example of a closed skill, putting or hitting off a tee is a typical environment in which research shows as the most difficult.  You may see this show up also on the basketball court on the free throw line.  Have you heard of the “yips”?  Open skill is mostly reactionary sports, like hitting baseball, skating on ice in hockey, most aspects of basketball or situations where the flow of the game can cause unpredictability.  

Due to the environment of golf, it lends itself to the utmost vulnerability of emotions based on the time it takes to make one shot to the next shot.  If the pace of the game was less predictable you may find that your scores would go down.  That’s right, this is how much our operating system gets in the way of performance!  Because we can think and create emotional connectivity to activities we can sabotage or help ourselves tremendously.  If you want better performances, learn techniques on breathing, emotional control and self-talk.  Seriously, would you berate a friend who just hit a ball out of bounds? NO, you would feel bad and say, don’t worry about it, you can still make a bogey or something that make him or her and you feel better about the situation.  Instead, you tell yourself how bad you are with a few expletives!    

So, how can you get past the emotions?  Have a growth mindset going into a practice or round of golf.  What are you doing?  You want to improve, the only way to improve is to do the hard work of accepting that you will not hit every shot perfectly.  There is a good likelihood you may not hit many shots well if you’re working to improve, it should not be easy working on your game.  I believe this is where a lot of people get it wrong, you think it should not come with some mental pain (hopefully no physical pain). You “gotta love it!”, all of it, the good and the bad stuff! Once you have practiced your closed skills of hitting the golf ball or putting, it is now time to put them into play. Playing is where it can get tougher and it should get tougher, rare will you hit the same shot, if ever!  Perhaps only from the tee box when the ball is on a tee, even then the holes are shaped differently, and your emotions attached are most related to past experiences versus this is a new adventure, you just need to let it go and let it flow!  Accept the challenge of your shot one at a time and before you know it, you are completing your round and wanting for more.  Even though it is the practice of closed skills, keep an open mind, enjoy the process and you will find it more enjoyable and in time, you will be playing the game more like it is an open skill game, in flow!

Enjoy Your Journey!

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