Golf Psychology - The Mind Body Connection
The next step in our golf psychology journey and in navigating through golf’s mental game is gaining an understanding of the Mind Body Connection. To put it bluntly, the mind moves the body, the body moves the club and the club moves the ball.
Thanks for the Mind Body Connection definition, GLT, but what’s it all actually mean?
Think of this as another hack to the mental game of golf. Step by step, the Mind Body Connection can be summarized as follows.
The mind moves the body; therefore, what we think, we feel.
The body moves the club. Anything we think, and thus, feel, has a direct effect on how the golf club moves across the body.
The club moves the ball. Any movements made by the club directly impact ball flight.
The best coaches in the world will often to look cognitive processes a player is going through because they know the brain has an impact on the body, which impacts the club, which impacts the ball. By asking golfers to provide their own feedback, coaches gain insight to the thoughts of the golfer that lead to the body, club and call behaving in a given manner.
For example, think of a golfer knocking a tee-shot 30 yards out of bounds to the left. Many coaches would look at this, see the position of the club head at impact, and attempt to correct ball flight by correcting club position. However, what is likely happening is the golfer is cognitive of the OB area to the left. Because his thoughts are on not hitting the ball out of bounds, his body, club and ball are suffering the repercussions.
Too often, we skip the cognitive to focus on what the club is doing. We attempt to correct issues with the club without addressing what is causing the club to react in such a way. We treat the symptoms rather than the condition.
To summarize, too often as golf coaches, we look at the club or the ball and what they do rather than the cognitive processes that lead to those movements. We forget the Mind Body Connection. Remember, the mind moves the body, the body moves the club and the club moves the ball.
Next in the series, we’ll examine the Mind Body Connection in connection with the training of Tiger Woods.