Why “Throwing a Ball” Analogy Doesn’t Work for Golf
The biggest argument I get into with mental trainers is the question of whether the target is in the present or future.
This is important for your mental golf game because present thoughts are subconscious and future thoughts are conscious. Conscious thoughts hurt your mind’s ability to accurately guide your body through the golf swing.
So, to restate the questions as the mental trainers see it: Are mental trainers advising their clients to focus on a conscious thought that will actually hurt their game?
What I’m talking about is the advise you see almost universally from mental trainers to see a picture of the target and then keep that picture in mind as you hit a shot. If the picture of the target is a future thought, a conscious thought, then the mental trainers are setting their players up for failure because any conscious thought during physical movement, such as the golf swing, is a distraction that can hurt the accuracy of that movement.
Their argument states that when throwing a ball to a target, the target is in the present. Therefore since it works for throwing a ball, it must work for hitting a golf ball toward a target. They do not offer any proof or scientific evidence of this theory.
In the first aspect they are correct. When you throw a ball toward a target, the target IS in the present.
When hitting a golf ball they are INCORRECT. Here’s why…
First, the reason the target is in the present for the throw: the subconscious is trying to figure out how much effort to use to get the ball to the target. To accomplish the task the subconscious uses both the visual feedback AND bio-feedback to accomplish this task. The visual feedback gives the brain the information on the distance while the bio-feedback is weighing the ball in your hand to figure the effort needed.
The two forms of feedback work as a check and balance for each other until the calculation is made to throw the ball.
When hitting a golf ball, you don’t have the golf ball in your hand. Instead you have a golf club and its job is to strike a golf ball. Just as it does when holding a ball, your biofeedback is weighing the object you are holding – golf club, and the visual feedback wants to focus on the target of the object you are holding – the golf ball.
Therefore, when hitting a golf ball, the target is in the future and the golf ball is in the present.
Now to prove my point, try a little experiment. Do both parts of the theory with your eyes closed.
First throw a ball at a target, but before you throw the ball, close your eyes and try to see the picture your mind is trying to see. if you’re not sure try it a few times to make sure. If you want to add a twist, close your eyes, turn 360 degrees around and, keeping your eyes closed, try to throw the ball and hit the target. You should find your mind trying to calculate how far you turned and trying to figure out where the target is located.
Next do the same with a golf ball. Go to the range, setup to the ball and before you start your swing, close your eyes. Keep trying until you see what your mind is trying to focus on. When you see the ball in your mind, you’ll hit it.
Both closed eyes exercises will prove conclusively which target is in the present for each situation.
But being right in this debate doesn’t solve the problem that started the whole argument in the first place…
The dilemma in golf is how to get the golf ball to the target if you must focus only on the golf ball. That is the very puzzle that Bio-Visual Focus solves with a step by step process that creates a routine to bring the target to the ball while engaging both your bio-feedback and visual feedback to focus in the present in a way that the conscious does not disturb them during the shot
The result is the elimination of doubt for every shot you hit on a golf course plus the distance and accuracy to back it up.