Why Muscle Memory Training Lets You Down on the Golf Course

Every day golfers around the world find themselves hitting hundreds (thousands) of balls at the driving range for one reason: they want a consistent golf swing that will work on the golf course.

The process goes something like this…

Your swing isn’t working so you look for answers either by getting instruction or reading or studying videos. It doesn’t matter how, but you get answers.

  1. Next, you go out on the range and practice until you’re sure you have it down cold.
  2. While you are practicing, you are trying to find a consistent feel to have a swing key that brings everything together.
  3. When you go out to play, you go to the range to recapture that feel…
  4. IF you recapture that feel, you go out and play well but…

What if you can’t capture that feel?
What happens if you lose that feel during the round?

Then, you are back to square one. I don’t know about you, but this happened just about every time I played golf!

So why does this happen?  It comes from the way that you’re training.  In most every other sports, except for golf, repetition is used successfully, but there is another element athletes and coaches often overlook.   That element is the situation, which is also repeated in most sports.

A few examples…

  • In-field practice in baseball, infielders have to react to different balls being hit for them, and through constant repetition of similar situations their mind learns to anticipate what will happen.
  • In football, a wide receiver times his play and looks at a certain time to see the ball coming.  His mind has to react to different defenses, and adjust his route to make the timing work, because he knows the quarterback has two to three seconds to throw the ball.
  • How does a professional tennis player return a 100mph serve?  The secret is that he reacts to a picture of the ball and racket just before the racket hits the ball, and has to move on instinct in order to be in place to return the shot.
  • In soccer, a goalie has to get used to watching and anticipating foot-to-ball contact to anticipate where he has to be to stop the ball from going in the net.

We could go on, but if you notice every example incites a reaction to a specific situation.  Professional athletes train by repeating these situations until they recognize them.  The repetition trains both the body and the mind to react.

But in golf, there is no reaction (this ought to get the mental game gurus going).  Golf is a game of planning and action, where the parameters of every shot on the golf course are different.  In other words, the wind, the lie of the ball, where you are in the standings, etc, are factors that must be considered before each shot is decided upon.  Since these factors are not sudden, for the most part, there is no reason to react, and plenty of time to plan the next action.

How does this relate to the reason why Muscle Memory training fails on the golf course?  As we’ve shown in other sports, Muscle Memory training has two parts: a.) the situation that’s being reacted to and b.) the reaction or specific movement.  In golf, when they’re hitting golf balls on a range, one after another, although there may be a target, there is no situation to react to, and therefore, no reaction is present to engage the subconscious to remember the movement.

No matter how well trained your muscles, the subconscious mind STILL MUST load instructions for the body muscles to follow every time you swing a golf club.

If the memory isn’t engaged by reaction to remember the swing movement, the instructions for each swing will be foggy at best. Without clear instructions the body has too much room for error, which is just one reason why professional golfers still hit bad shots despite massive repetitive training of their golf swing.

With the proper focus, the memory can be triggered to very accurately remember the golf swing so that you can get more out of 40 golf balls than the average professional gets from 1000 golf balls hit on the range.

This is just one of the benefits of Bio-Visual Focus Training.

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