Golf Is Holistic, Stop Separating Mental And Physical Aspects
Holistic Golf Is Your Natural State
Golfers are constantly asking me what percentage of golf is mental (thought process and emotional control) and what percentage is physical as in swing mechanics (bio-mechanics). Some coaches will say that golf is virtually all mental game (80% is common) as the mind controls the body and swing technique coaches say it is a physical game by virtue of the fact that a physical swing has to be made in order to play golf.
Well I have got news for you and all those coaches; you are not partly physical and partly mental. Humans like any living systems are holistic creatures and that’s the way you function every second of the day. When you sleep the physical body functions continue to perform perfectly and your mind is not asleep either. Your conscious awareness shuts down allowing rest, system healing and maintenance but your unconscious is fully operational thank goodness or you would be dead pretty much straight away.
The game of golf requires you to be a human and think at both a conscious and unconscious level so you can evaluate circumstances, make plans, regulate your emotions (hopefully) control your thoughts and then make a physical move called a golf swing in order to put your plan into action. What does all that mean in a nutshell? It means that you need every aspect of your being both mental and physical to be working together at all times in order to play this game to the highest standard you are capable of.
Getting your unconscious mind to make your golf swing so you are not consciously trying to manipulate your body is actually a great idea, however even handing the job to your unconscious first requires you to consciously think about it and then consciously take steps to “not think” at a conscious level about the swing. WHOA! Exactly.
You need to think consciously to activate a routine which puts your unconscious largely in charge of the physical operation of your swing. Consciously you have to occupy yourself with non-swing interfering thought, or restrict it to no more than one conscious thought, to allow your unconscious to do its job unhindered.
Human beings are living systems comprising approximately 37 trillion cells and attempting to separate your mind and body is just not possible and certainly not wise. You are the combination of every cell in your body regardless whether they are brain, skin, blood or any other cell type. You may also be interested to learn that cells responsible for brain function are not confined to your head but are found in other areas of the body including your digestive system and heart. Ever wondered why you get actual emotional responses felt in the stomach and heart?
You must think of yourself as one and you should think about your golf as a holistic activity, bringing that harmony between your mind and body to every swing. Start thinking in terms of whole system practice, whole system learning, whole system application and you will begin to get better and better results. Resist the temptation by common golf society beliefs to make you think there is two different and opposing forces which both need independent attention.
Resist the temptation to have coaching from a swing coach who does not acknowledge your mind as equally important in the task of learning new moves and then applying them confidently on the course while in a competition environment. Resist equally any mental game coach, psychologist, who wants you to believe that golf is mainly a mental game and is not working with a technical coach to bring you holistic learning.
You are one system, beautifully intricate and this mind-set will start to take you to new levels of thinking and performing.
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