Muscle memory... and other golf myths that lead to endless driving range practice but less than expected results.
Modern golf instruction teaches golfers to use muscle memory during golf lessons to make the golf swing consistent......but there are a few problems with the process....
The Biggest Drawback of Muscle Memory.....
This excerpt is a reprint from CEgolf.com, Golf Instruction & Golf Schools, Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW), Texas
"It takes a certain amount of time for the body to learn a simple motion—much longer than most of you would imagine. For this reason, I recommend for my clients, and for you as well, to practice a new motion for three to four weeks (if practicing regularly) before moving on to another fundamental. Unfortunately, most golfers work on something for a few days and then they're off to work on something else. You can't improve with this kind of practice!"
Here's why this "old school" thinking actually slows your improvement progress.
On any golf driving range, most golfers hit more bad shots than good shots. Muscle memory remembers the majority of shots, good OR bad that you hit during practice. If those shots are not proper, you are memorizing a bad golf swing!
I don't want to be charged with piling on, but here goes...
The reason this method takes so long, is that to remember any repeated move, the brain has to have the same feedback every time you make the move. Since the golf swing is such a complicated move, it has to be repeated exactly the same way every time, which even Tiger Woods can't do.
Since the muscles feel a little different as they get tired or stiff when you practice, your muscles are always sending a different message to the brain and the brain doesn't know which to remember. Your only hope using Muscle Memory is that the right swing seeps into your memory but the odds are stacked against you.
What's worse, since your muscles feel different every day, if you happen to remember your best swing one day, it probably won't feel the same the next day. If you overwork your muscles, or do anything requiring the golf muscles to do something other than golf, they feel different so the swing feels different. Without the same feel being sent to the brain for every swing, there isn't much chance of making the same pass at the ball every time.
There is one reality you must deal with for a consistent golf swing, and this is the reason for most of the golf swing errors that "come out of nowhere."
No matter how well your golf swing has been committed to memory, the subconscious MUST STILL load that information and send it to the muscles every time you swing the golf club.
The reason communication glitches happen stems from the whole premise that muscle memory happens passively. Golfers somehow believe that the golf swing once passively loaded into memory, will work automatically. Unfortunately, the enemies of subconscious communication between the mind and body are conscious thoughts. So, any conscious thought during the communication of movement instructions from the mind to the body will alter or cut off the communication, leaving your muscles with an incomplete set of instructions to guide the golf swing.
If the information doesn't make it completely to the muscles because of a communication glitch, your golf swing will not do what you want it to do.
What I'm saying is that the COMMUNICATION between the mind and the muscles is the reason for most of the bad shots on the golf course.
This is why golf psychologists have been trying to find ways for golfers to "not think consciously" during the golf swing. But that still doesn't always work. The answer is to become involved in a non-conscious manner in the communication to guarantee accurate information gets to the body.
HOW? Through awareness, which is somewhere between conscious and unconscious, but allows you to see subconscious communication without conscious interruption. It sounds complicated, but you do it on a lesser scale every day.
Golf Swing Control uses awareness training as the first step to making sure your golf swing doesn't fail due to communication errors between the mind and body. You get more from every practice with fewer "reps" and you find more consistency and accuracy on the golf course.
Article written by Tracy Reed
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