I Can’t? Really!!
Now I must admit I have mustered these words before but rarely to anyone else when it comes to me being able to learn something or physically do something. There are things I would say I cannot do only because I do not have the tools, knowledge and skills to do them; an example would be that I would defer on doing a brain operation or flying a fighter jet (well at least for real, for sure a simulator!) You get the drift.
Maybe I am the optimist that believes anything is possible with time, knowledge and a lot of failure, but I would also tell you that there is more research in the field of neuroscience that may align with this too. Here is why I believe it, I have seen it!
What am I getting at? Here it is. I am tired of hearing golfers say, “I can’t get it!” when they are making changes to their swing or golf game and not producing the consistency or scores they are looking for. Then when faced with the work that is necessary for improvements, they scream and pout that they “can’t” get it. Well, I call BS! Maybe you are not willing to put the right work in, maybe you are not willing to look in the mirror at the real problem/s, and truthfully you may not know where to begin. “Can’t” will not get anything done! As a matter of fact, “can’t” is confusing to the brain. The brain doesn’t understand, (talk about getting frustrated!), and this may be why you may feel like throwing out your golf clubs at times!
The neuroscience behind doing something is favorably on your side. You see, if you can conceive an idea and allow your brain to enable the body’s system to do the things it needs to do to carry out the actions, like produce a quality golf swing or play golf, it will do it to its best ability. Are there limitations? Yes, and no. It depends on how you define limitations because regardless of what we may think is a limitation we can ultimately overcome them with enough time. You see, I know someone who had a traumatic experience that disabled them, or what doctors regarded as crippling them. Doctors sentenced her to life without movement, auditory function, executive functions, and basically told her she would be bound to a bed or wheelchair with little to no ability to communicate. Talk about wanting to give up! Well, that is half the story. When you give yourself the message “I can,” it changes things. If you give yourself the message, “I will do something” it changes things. When you demand more from yourself than others think possible, it changes things! I saw this person go from a high functioning adult to a drooling, “crippled” vegetable (according to doctors) to someone who learned the alphabet, to read, to speak, to crawl, to walk, to jog, to drive, to do art, who lived another forty years when given a death sentence of a year or two! So, when you say you “can’t” learn how to play better golf or improve your golf swing because you thought learning is easy! BS! Change your messaging to yourself. Here are a couple great messages to yourself that may help in the times of despair: I am better than I was, I am not where I want to be, but I am improving daily or I didn’t play as well as I would like but I learned some good lessons today.
What neuroscientists are learning is our neurological and physiological systems will learn to adapt to survive and even thrive in many cases. So, the next time you are struggling in your practice session, or on the course making improvements, saying “I can’t get this” is not the way to get it done. Instead, give yourself the message that learning is supposed to be a struggle, if it isn’t, I am probably not pushing myself to learn or to become better. Easy is a red flag for no progress!
I Can’t! REALLY!!!
ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY!Read More
Empty Your Cup
Succeeding with the Mental Game requires embracing attitudes that support self-awareness and a healthy ability to self-regulate. Our Juniors had the opportunity to dive a little deeper into one of these attitudes this month. The attitude of a Beginner’s Mind.
A beginner’s mind can be thought of as a state of wonder, curiosity, and openness. It’s akin to the state of mind a very young child has as they experience their world and everything in it for the first time. The idea is that we learn to apply this attitude here and now- even though we are no longer young children and (we likely believe) much of the world is not new to us anymore. Application of this attitude means we willfully choose to experience our moments, relationships, experiences, and the world as if we were seeing it all for the first time.
Imagine you’re holding a cup in your hand. In this cup you have placed all your understanding of the world and yourself. All of your to-do’s, your past experiences, your future dreams, goals, and aspirations are in this cup. Also in the cup are all of your beliefs, thoughts, emotions…all of your relationships, including the relationship you have with yourself. All of your knowledge, your language, your material possessions- in the cup. See the cup full in your hand and imagine that (just for this moment) you turn it over and dump it all out. Now see yourself standing there with an empty cup and notice, how do you feel?
If you’re able to imagine the above and actually empty the cup, you’ll likely come to a close realization of the feeling state that is a beginner’s mind. We experience a quiet mind, calm heart, sense of ease and joy, and a relaxed body in this attitudinal state. Due to the cup being empty, we have space to be listening and open to receive with an interesting readiness and willingness to learn.
For a golfer to continuously improve, they must be open-minded, willing and ready to receive new information. They must be able to experience their body as if for the first time when they are working on any technique so they can be aware of subtle shifts and changes to be applied, while also open to the potential of experiencing something new in their body. They must be willing to look at every hole as if for the first time, as each day brings new conditions to the course. A golfer must be able to keep his cup (mind) empty on demand for it to be of any use for most all the skills they’re looking to accomplish.
A full mind, like a full cup, has no usefulness. That’s why we practice a beginner’s mind.
The usefulness of a cup is its emptiness.Read More
The Effects of Dynamic Posture
Many people spend countless hours trying to correct an open clubface at the top without the proper understanding of what may be the underlying cause. To set the club properly with a grip that is within the range of neutral, the trail shoulder must externally rotate which means that it rotates in the same way that it does when winding up to throw a ball. Let’s look at what can affect this motion.
A very common swing flaw is to turn back with a shoulder plane that is too steep. The steeper the shoulders turn the more external rotation is required to set the wrists in a way that maintains a square clubface. Many people have limited external rotation of the shoulders so the steep turn means it is almost impossible to set the club square. With a clubface that is wide open at the top a player is forced to compensate in the downswing many times with excessive supination and pronation of the wrists to square the club up by impact. This excessive clubface rotation is very hard to time making ball control very difficult.
This is just one example of how dynamic posture affects clubpath and clubface control throughout the swing. If you cannot control clubpath and clubface then you will surely have a hard time controlling the golf ball. Take the time to find out if you are maintaining posture in the golf swing, and, if not, how you can go about changing it.
PRACTICE SMART!Read More
Spring Outlook for Students
Recently, I was talking with a colleague and we both opined that this winter has been particularly difficult for both the students and faculty to be their best selves. We couldn’t put our finger on exactly why but felt that, despite the mildness, this winter has not encouraged physical activity, engagement with others or time outdoors. Most winters we have snow thus providing the chance to sled, ski, shovel… and most importantly, a snow day or two! Daylight, physical activity and a couple of unpredictable days off are usually a winter staple.
We came to the conclusion, that during these long months we all need to be more intentional about getting outside, interacting with others, and taking care of our bodies because we function at a higher level when we do these things. I share this as a way of reminding ourselves to be proactive as we head into the long winter months next year. The good news is that spring is around the corner and the days are getting longer. Perhaps as the flowers blossom, our productivity and spirits will as well.Read More
TITLEIST THURSDAYS ARE BACK –
STARTING APRIL 16th!
Once again we will be hosting Titleist Thursdays at GPC. Join us for a high quality club fitting or guided trial experience with a Titleist Product Specialist. Featuring a full selection of Titleist metals, irons, and wedges – as well as the latest in club fitting technology – you’ll come away with the right equipment specifications for your game and the confidence to shoot your lowest scores. Register here and be sure to check out these tips from our partners at Titleist:
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A TITLEIST THURSDAYS FITTING
Plan to arrive 15-20 minutes before your appointment to warm up. Don’t forget to bring your current clubs! You’ll meet your Product Specialist to discuss your goals, your current clubs, and your shot tendencies. After that … the moment of truth.
GET FIT FOR HOW YOU PLAY
To help you simulate on course conditions, our Product Specialists conduct appointments outdoors, on grass hitting grounds, and with Titleist Pro V1® and Pro V1x™ golf balls.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
The proof is in the numbers, which is why our Product Specialists are equipped with TrackMan ball flight monitor technology to help you find the best performing clubs for your game.
FINE TUNE YOUR SET
Our Product Specialists will take you through Titleist’s industry-leading SureFit technology and custom shaft and grip options to optimize your club performance and fine-tune your set compositionRead More
Do you have GRIT?
Understanding that it takes more than hard work to be successful is key in making your journey a successful one. I don’t mean success as in reaching a specific goal. It’s more meaningful than that. Success is determined by what we want it to be. We are successful based on our own standards and purpose. Finding your purpose takes a lot of self-discovery.
Having success doesn’t mean winning a tournament or two. It means that you feel really satisfied about the effort. People who put full effort into being their best come away with better outcomes. They tend to come away from these situations with more resolve about their journey or purpose! By encountering setbacks or failures the greats learn that they have GRIT. So to all of you I ask the question — do you have GRIT? To answer that question, I suggest you review this list of 15 Signs You Have the Grit You Need To Succeed by Lolly Daskal…
1. You’re comfortable being uncomfortable.
Grit means regularly sacrificing comfort by stepping out of your box. It means you don’t have to accept your limits or settle for what you are; you have the ability to create who you want to become.
2. You stay on course until you succeed.
If you have grit, you have tremendous focus. You know how to stay on course until you get to where you want to go. If you can keep focused on what you want and keep moving toward it, that’s the way to succeed.
3. You maintain your commitment even when you’re knocked down.
Having grit means you’re fully committed to the cause. You bring together good ideas and hard work, ambition and dedication, and your commitment stands the test through time and troubles.
4. You use your intuition when most would use their rational mind.
You trust your gut when you have grit. Most people think they have to think smarter to be better, but to have grit is to trust your instinct over logic. If you feel in your heart that something needs to be done, you do it.
5. You put up a brave front even though you’re scared.
When you have true grit, you’re courageous despite your fear. You put up a brave front because you know that everything you want is on the other side of your fear. Grit is finding the courage to do something that terrifies you.
6. You keep going even when you’re not sure you will win.
Grit tells you it’s important to succeed but it’s not all about winning — the journey is as important as the destination. When you keep going and rely on your grit, it will carry you to places they never knew you could reach.
7. You don’t allow anything to get in your way.
Having grit means you know it’s not enough to hope your success will all work out — you have to do whatever it takes to make it happen. You’re determined and prepared for any obstacles that may lie ahead.
8. You’re strong-minded and mentally tough.
No thought can take you off course; no challenge will throw you off track. When you have grit, you’re strong-minded and mentally tough enough to see possibilities where others cannot.
9.You don’t take embarrassment to heart.
When you have grit, you don’t get humiliated or mortified by mistakes you’ve made or failures you’ve encountered. You refuse to give up, give in or get out — when you know what you want you let nothing get in your way.
10. You accept support but you don’t rely on it.
Grit means you can use help and accept it when it’s available, but if not, you get it done on your own. It’s great to have help, but it’s not the deciding factor when you’re deciding whether to proceed with a plan.
11. You learn as you go and stay flexible in your thinking.
Grit makes you a constant learner, seeker, explorer. Learning is something you do with every new experience and encounter, and your mind is open to new discoveries.
12. You forego perfection for high standards
You don’t get bogged down trying to be perfect. Instead, you strive for something that’s actually attainable: quality, being the best, giving with excellence and maintaining high standards.
13. You stay positive even when the situation is negative.
Grit means you may experience negative circumstances and attitudes, but you don’t allow the negativity to keep you down. Grit leads you to a conscious choice to stay positive when things are negative.
14. You care about your return on investment.
You’re all about putting your heart and soul into something and getting something out as a result of your efforts, but that return isn’t always financial. It may be in the form of new knowledge or experiences. Your payoffs are measured in meaning.
15.You will do anything, but not everything.
Grit means that you know what’s most important, you understand the difference between being busy and being successful, and you align your actions to your priorities because that’s the approach that best moves you toward your goals.
ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY!Read More
Speed kills. It’s a phrase used in every sport. If an athlete is faster than their competition, more often than not, they have a significant advantage at whatever athletic challenge is put in front of them. A quick first step as a basketball player drives down the lane, explosive acceleration through the hole and into the secondary for a running back in football, or the ability to generate so much power in a tennis serve it leaves your opponent frozen on the other side of the court. All of these are examples of how much of an advantage speed is to an athlete. The same holds true in golf. With the fastest players on the PGA Tour reaching club head speeds of 120-130 mph consistently, speed is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
The third fundamental we coach at GPC is speed. Once you have shown the ability to use the ground, maintain good static and dynamic posture, and have developed the ability to rotate, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to be able to generate speed. Speed is created most efficiently through the proper sequencing of your body segments and the subconscious execution of each of the initial Primary Fundamentals mentioned above.
The SuperSpeed Golf Training System has become wildly popular on Tour with over 600 touring professionals now using it! Most notably, Phil Mickelson has adopted the training in the past few years as he has demonstrated the ability to not only maintain, but increase his driving distance to keep up with the younger competition. SuperSpeed is a tool we use with our athletes (juniors and adults) on a regular basis to help them train their nervous system to create more speed in their golf swing. You may be saying ‘wait a minute, the nervous system?’ Yes, the nervous system is the driver that allows the muscles to fire at the rate and in the pattern that they do for any particular movement. Once the nervous system has accepted the new found speed, there are ways to hit the “save” button, if you will, to transfer that speed into your sport.
SuperSpeed has done the research to determine what weight each club should be to maximize the principle of overload or “overspeed” training. They also have appropriate sets for juniors of all ages to be able to take advantage of the speed windows that occur throughout development and we will be ramping up our SuperSpeed protocols in the coming weeks as we head into the next phase of training with our Junior Academy.
Adult Members! Keep an eye out for our Power and Speed small-group classes coming soon. SuperSpeed training will be an integral part of that program to help you turn the strength you’ve gained this winter into longer drives this coming season!
See you in the Zone!Read More
Launch Your Putts
When most golfers work on putting, they focus on face and path. Most don’t give much thought to the loft and rise angle of the putter and how that is affecting the launch conditions of the golf ball. With the advent of launch monitors, club fittings have become geared towards optimizing launch angle and spin rate based on the speed of the golf ball. Putting should be no different.
When launch conditions are optimized in ball striking, whether it be with driver, irons, or wedges, the golf ball is less affected by the wind as the ball flight is more piercing and distance is optimized. When launch conditions are optimized in putting, the golf ball is much less susceptible to bouncing offline due to imperfections in the green.
So, what are the ideal launch conditions of the golf ball? According to Science and Motions Sports, creators of SAM Puttlab, the ideal launch for a golf ball being putted on fast greens (10 on the stimpmeter and higher) is 2 degrees of launch with topspin. The variables that influence the launch condition of a putt are the loft delivered at impact and the angle of attack of the putter head.These factors can be changed by changing ball position, the putting stroke motion, or the loft of the putter.
Taking the time to have your putting stroke assessed on SAM Puttlab is a great way to see how the putter is being delivered to the golf ball and to see what changes, if any, need to be made. It really can make all the difference in how you putt.
PRACTICE SMART!Read More
What Makes A Golfer – GREAT?!
On February 4th we explored what makes a golfer (or a person) ‘GREAT’ in our Mental Coaching Class at GPC. Juniors were asked to get up in front of their peers and talk about what makes them great, as a golfer and as a person. The exercise itself proved to be a struggle for most all of us.
Last week in our Mental Game update we learned that trusting the struggle can make all the difference. It supports us in enjoying the journey and helps us maintain an open mind that’s ready to learn, grow, and adapt. Trusting the struggle keeps us in a mental and emotional state that’s optimal for peak performance and tapping into a state of flow. So, what did our Juniors learn when they had the opportunity to face struggle and observe others struggling in our latest Mental Game exercise?
In their words, “When you’re struggling, it’s important to know others are struggling too.” Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in a self-centered point of view and beat ourselves up mentally when we’re struggling, but if we look around, we can easily see we’re not alone. Every player out there on the course is facing their own struggles too. Regardless that golf may be an individual sport, our competitors are out there facing their own respective battles. Knowing that we all must be resilient enough to stick with it and overcome our challenges helps us to embrace the struggle. It helps us to know that we’re part of something greater than ourselves when we get to play beside others who are embracing their struggles and overcoming too.
Getting up in front of our peers and sharing what makes us great led our Juniors to share all sorts of accolades, virtues, and things about themselves that they thought made them special. Yet, in the end, we learned it’s not about the titles or the wins, it’s not about how many friends we have or the attributes that make us a good person. Being great as a golfer is more about who you are. Your willingness to stay in the game and to see others not just as your competitors, but as people who are doing their best to get better at their game…just like you! It’s about the willingness to embrace your own struggle, just as much as it is the willingness to embrace the fact that others are struggling also.
Embracing our own struggles helps us to support others who are struggling and together we rise!Read More