A pink taxi

A pink taxi

September 17, 2011

Overthinking the Inner Game of Golf

My pilates instructor handed me the Inner Game of Tennis at a time when I was questioning every movement in the studio, and worse asking him the questions. Reading the classic by W.T. Gallwey did curb my enthusiasm, so to speak, because it quieted the inner voice that remarked my every movement.

I therefore thought it wise to acquire the book "Inner Game of Golf" by the same author, in order to fix my mental game at golf. I also chose to read it at the beginning of golf season, in September.  I am halfway through, reading it more carefully than I did The Inner Game of Tennis because I haven't touched a racket in decades and the point was to get the gist of it and apply it to pilates. In this case, ITS ABOUT GOLF, and if I continue to read it, I will only obsess more about a sport that runs in the family, from my father's generation down to my children.

However, the whole principle of the book is to quiet the mental game and play like the Nike logo: Just do it. That is at the essence of it. Paradoxically, the author gives us many tips about how not to play the mental game. I therefore take those tips and attempt their application during the game. For example, he suggests we keep our eye on the ball and the small amount of grass between the ball and the club face: I find myself staring at the grass till it hurts!

He tells us to hum when we drive, so we don't clench the club and he advises to empty our heads of any technical corrections. He also recommends we never give in to self doubt or listen to self-criticism.

I T- off and I remind myself to hum, I reject self doubt and get cross at myself for having an opinion about my game. That in itself are three mental activities that distract me! Perhaps the only advise I do heed is to relax between holes in order to concentrate when playing. That method I call savasnah in reference to the short moment of relaxation between poses in yoga. I also, and perhaps again in distraction, think of Roger Federer when he sits between sets, eating a banana, or drinking water, and empties his mind. I can tell from his body language that he is relaxed. But can that inspire me at golf?

It is therefore safe to say that I am Overthinking the Inner Game of Golf. I pray I will integrate his tips, as I have those more technical tips from coaches, kind competitors, friends and my favorite dispenser of tips: my son. He always starts with: "Mama, imagine you are....." And my mind games start again.....

1 comment:

  1. Poor Tiger he is lost in the Woods after his divorce.He certainly lost his determination and concentration ever since.Now the blogger while reading about Golf,quotes and puts pictures of RF her and my favorite athlete,and ignores the experience of the best player Golf has ever seen.