Rhythm and Tempo: Learning to Trust Your Swing!
Even after you’ve made it through the learning process with an effective swing, developed a fail-safe pre-shot routine, and consistently applied clear thinking to each shot or stroke, there still are times when getting your club-face squarely back to the ball is very challenging. The swing which worked beautifully last time out, looked tour level on video, yielded positive feedback on the Trackman, just doesn’t seem to work. According to David Leadbetter, somehow, there’s a block or disconnect in the system, interrupting the free flowing movement, which is apparent, when things are going well. Your swing hasn’t disappeared. And by locking-into the Rhythm and Tempo of your swing you can re-connect your system, and miraculously, that flow and trust will return.
When they’re on their game, I’ve heard top golfers say, “I’ve got this one.” You’ve probably had that feeling yourself many times. It is almost inevitably followed by a good, if not great, golf shot. Most players haven’t given much thought to the process that produces this wonderful feeling – they think it just happens. Golfers in my workshops get pretty excited when they realize that they have it within their power to make it happen. In order to allow this speedy integration of psycho-physiological data to merge, your must practice the blending of internal feedback. Our inner-game drills do just that.
A good practice session for golfers should be as much about these internal process as about technique. Successful players will tell you they practice more on feel, rhythm and tempo than on specific swing techniques.
During the inner-game drills, internal feedback can occur in variety of
forms. It comes as a matter of feel, as a clear image of the ball flight, and/or through the sound and feel at impact.
With every swing each player generates a wealth of information through this intrinsic, sensory-information bank. The more coherent the sensory response, the more synchronized the swing will become.
It is critical that golfers practice accessing their intrinsic information so that it will become automatic during competitive rounds. External feedback can be a motivating tactic of a good coach, and it can lead to important improvements. But, it is internal feedback that provides the self-sustaining lifeblood for all athletes during performance. The wisdom to hit good golf shots resides within each golfer and not in the heads of their instructors.
The better your sense of feel for the rhythm, tempo and motion of the club head, the more effective your swing will be.
Inner Game Drills: Developing Trust
If you’re overly concerned with adhering to the structure of what a good swing should look like, you’ll rob yourself of the freedom and creativity that allow you to make a free-flowing, rhythmic swing.
This is not to say that proper technique and coaching
are not important, rather there must be balanced attention towards practicing accessing your internal network.
Through the inner-game drills you’ll learn to trust your swing, play more fully in your imaginative mind, and swing automatically. You will feel your inner game strengthening almost immediately.
For you to hit your best shots, the club head must flow smoothly, nonstop, from the start of the forward swing to the top of the finish, without the slightest hesitation, interruption, surge, jerk, or pull.
By focusing on swinging this way you eliminate the mechanical-swing thoughts that rob players of rhythm and tempo.
You’ll get to know, kinesthetically, where the club head is at all times, and you’ll become more accustomed to the feel of the shot.
Inner game drills are designed to develop deeply seated trust when play is automatic, internal confidence is high, and you’re firmly centered in the present.