Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How to Practice with Lucas Wald

My friend Lucas Wald has made a great series of videos on the golf swing and instructional concepts on his YouTube channel.  Here's one of my favorites...discussing the slow motion swing training.

I use slow motion training with my golf swing practice and I find it vital when it comes to ingraining new movement patterns.

I feel the greatest benefits of the slow motion training is that it allows me to develop my own feel for the movement I am working on.  I'm not a big fan of teachers that teach golfers a feel to start out with.  I think that it's better to utilize slow motion training and allow the golfer to be aware of what they are feeling in order to execute the motion.  If the golfer struggles to develop that feel, then recommending a feel so the golfer can grasp the concept is applicable.

Once I have established the feel, I use that feel simply as a guideline for my upcoming practice sessions.  I then use slow motion practice and the feel(s) I have established to execute the motion consistently.  However, as I continue to use slow motion practice, that conscious thinking of the 'feel' should go away.

I'm always working towards an 'Unconscious Competency' concept in my golf swing.  By consciously thinking about a swing feel, I'm essentially creating a swing thought and all I have done is use 'conscious competency' and I am 'playing golf swing instead of playing golf.'

Years ago I was reading an article where they were discussing how Fred Couples hits a draw or fade on purpose.  According to the article, Couples said that when he was going into his pre-shot routine, he would visualize himself hitting the shot and then he would go up and hit the shot.

I used to think that was completely nonsensical.  I wanted to know if he addressed the ball differently, did he swing more out to the right or to the left, etc. and I chalked it up to 'Freddie being Freddie.'

But after using slow motion practice I started to see what Couples was saying.  It's not about a swing thought or a visual as much as it is sensing the motion you have to make to get the ball to do what you want.

I think this video with Bubba Watson is great.  While it goes into the science of the shot, Bubba explains how he *sensed* what he had to do in order to hit a roundhouse hook with a wedge:

And that's what slow motion training can do if the golfer does it correctly and is diligent practicing it.  It can get the golfer to sense their swing rather than think about a swing feel or a visual.  And they can not only start to ingraining the new movement patterns more quickly, but they can start playing golf instead of playing golf swing and shoot better scores and derive more enjoyment from the game.


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