Don’t forget to hit the ball

Friend: I had a lesson the other day and it didn’t go so well.

Me: What happened?

Friend: There was a lot of talking and the Pro got me to do a number of things each time I hit the ball.

Me (interrupting): How did all the instruction make you feel?

Friend: Awkward. My mind was spinning and I was struggling to hit the ball. In fact, I really couldn’t hit the ball.

Me: Sounds like you tried to take in too much info. We don’t learn many other skills the same way.

Friend: I know this and I was aware this was the problem. Each time I tried to simplify my thoughts, the coach would give me something else to think about. By the end of the lesson I couldn’t hit the ball. What should I do?

Me: Keep thoughts to a minimum. The coach may have been correct with some of the info, but you can’t take it all in. You’ve got to let the information work inside your brain – let your subconscious stew on things. Your best bet is to keep hitting the ball…

Friend: But when I do this I still hit the ball badly.

Me: Don’t worry about the odd bad shot. It’s ok to miss hit a few – it’s how we learn. You’re never going to hit every shot perfectly anyway, nobody does, so why worry about it…

Friend: But the coach doesn’t think the same way – he keeps feeding me info.

Me: It’s your game and completely up to you. You’ve got to decide how you want to play and it doesn’t sound like much fun at the moment.

Friend: It isn’t. I don’t feel like playing again. I don’t think I’ll go back for another lesson.

Me: Keep hitting the ball. Your learning system will work out all the minor details and if you keep out of your own way you’ll hit more shots out of the middle. You might even find that you’ve got more talent for striking the ball than you think. Stop thinking so much about each part of the swing – let your swing flow and keep hitting that ball. That’s the best thing you can do.

Friend: That sounds so much more simple. I feel like going to hit some balls now.

I finished the conversation by tossing my car keys to my friend. She wasn’t expecting it but she instinctively moved her hands and caught them.

Friend: I wasn’t expecting you to do that. The keys nearly hit me!!!

Me: But they didn’t and I did this to prove to you that you have all the talent necessary to strike that silly white golf ball. Your learning system is a lot more powerful than your conscious mind and your golf teacher. Go hit the ball and you’ll be fine.

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