Food For Thought...
Is your eye on the ball and your mind on the Target?
The ability to separate your visual and attentional focus is an essential skill for playing golf. Why? We look away from our target in order to execute an action and during that time many will lose sight of their target and focus on other irrelevances. If you could look at your target, where would you want your attention given a choice?
You may be of the belief that once you have aligned yourself to the target, you can forget about it and focus on your swing. This has 2 poor consequences - you attempt to CONSCIOUSLY control your actions which need to be trusted and your attentional focus and intention are mis-aligned. Golf will be hit and miss and often frustrating.
Why can't I visualize my target?
Golfers who think they can't visualize the target typically allow their eyes to cloud their visualization, especially when fixated on the golf ball in front of them. If you think about the water, bunker or OOB as you look at the ball you ARE visualizing and where does the ball go?! It's not your inability to visualize but WHAT you visualize.
It's important to know your ability to learn how and when to focus your attention on a Target when hitting golf balls IS NOT predicated by your technical ability but playing your best golf IS predicated by your ability to focus. You can have the world's best technique but it can be destroyed in an instant with inappropriate attentional focus.
Do you understand how to focus your attention?
The significant news is that your visual and attentional focus are independent brain functions. Your eyes and attention are not physically bound together within the brain. If you read a book and find yourself day dreaming whilst staring at the page, you'll have experienced this separation. Your eyes go quiet and your mind wanders. What you may perceive at the time as your inability to focus on the text in front of you actually leverages EXACTLY the same mental skill you should use when trying to hit golf balls at a target. The difference being that you must DIRECT your day dream to play a golf shot, not leave it to chance, then you will be focusing your attention.
This elusive skill is NOT a function of your eyes but your BRAIN.
Golf is a challenging game. We have to look away from our target in order to execute a physical action. An Archer, Rifle Shooter, Basketball free-thrower do not. They can focus eyes and attention on the target. What better? Like tigers stalking their prey.
Serving a tennis ball, rugby goal kickers and golfers have to look at the ball but maintain their attention on where to send it. Without systematic training in this skill, for this moment of action, golfers unwittingly switch their focus of attention to the ball, club, body, swing, outcome or potential hazards. The target is nowhere to be seen. There is little to be gained from attempting to visualize your shot before you play it if you then think about many other things, like your swing, whilst executing it.
Why have you never been coached in this essential skill?
It is not co-incidental that ALL golfers complain of inconsistency but have you ever been coached in this essential psychological skill? From your very first golf lesson on grip, alignment, stance and posture your attention is on everything other than the target. As a consequence, many believe their golf technique is permanently flawed, lifetimes are spent trying to fix something which was rarely the problem. The object of your attention during the pre-shot, exection and pre-shot time must be directed.
So WHERE do you choose to focus your attention when hitting a golf ball? HOW do you achieve this focus consistently? Maybe, you think the ball is your target or that it is important to be thinking about your swing? Is this working for you? If you don't have a clear answer to these questions do take the time to learn with me how to focus your attention in the right place, at the right time when learning, practicing and playing.
You will know when you are ready.
We can't offer tips or quick fixes but you will discover why your golf technical skills are not as bad as you believe them to be. When you learn how to lock your Attention Focus on Target, you'll find it can't interfere with your swing or putting stroke. To borrow from the powerful words of Martin Luther King, you'll finally be FREE at last!
There IS a piece missing from your instruction jigsaw puzzle but it is actually located between your ears. Target Oriented Golf will show you HOW to use it but understand there is much more to learning how to focus your attention than meets your eye.
It is important to understand Target Oriented Golf is NOT taught too or coached by PGA coaches primarily because the detail has not been institutionally understood and/or explained so how could it be coached to others? That is what I deliver uniquely through my work - I coach Target Oriented Golf in theory and in your practice.