What do you Trust?
Range Swing Cue Challenge.
Have you ever struggled with trying to figure out what "Cue" to focus on while you're swinging the club?
If you're like me you've tried a few thousand different Cues with wildly varying levels of success from day to day and swing to swing.
Takeaway cues... top of the backswing cues... transition cues... impact cues... finish cues... cues to remember which cue to use. ;-)
During my mini tour playing days I sometimes had separate driver cues, full swing cues, pitching cues, chipping cues and putting cues.
It is no wonder my teaching career has been a lot more susseful than my playing career. ☺️
Even during my teaching career... I found that some cues work better for newer golfers, some cues work better for mid-handicap golfers and some cues work better for low handicap golfers.
It was not till I started studying neuroscience and how it affects movement skills and performance that I discovered some keys about cues... that are useful for everyone.
The first step in finding an effective Cue is figuring out whether you are a visual performer or a feel performer.
Every golfer has a higher degree of trust in a specific type of sensory cue.
Here's an analogy:
When you write your signature...
Do you see an image of what your signature looks like and you allow your body to match that image.
Or do you feel a certain rhythm or flow to the signature and you allow your body to match that rhythm or flow.
Now try to write your signature doing the opposite of the one you trust and are comfortable with.
That is what happens if you're using the wrong sensory cue when you swing the golf club.
Most golfers use some visual cues and some feel cues In the pre-shot routine leading up to the swing.
This is not a bad thing.
Before the shot... giving your brain as much information as possible about what you want is a good thing.
However... During the shot it's really important to tune your focus/attention on the sense apparatus that you have the most trust in.
There is no right or wrong... Just what is right or wrong for you.
The key is knowing whether you have more trust in a visual cue or a feel cue.
This is an important piece of self knowledge when you need to hit a good shot under pressure.
One of the reasons we struggle under pressure is because it's more difficult to trust.
Which means finding images and feels that you trust is one of the fastest ways to start playing better when you're under pressure.
Which leads us back to the Range Swing Cue Challenge.
The goal is to figure out whether you have more trust in "picturing a shot" or "feeling a swing" .
The picture can be of the target, the shot shape or even the club and ball interaction in the impact zone.
The feel of the swing can be rhythm, the speed or the effort level.
There are many more but those should get you started.
The reason why it's a challenge is because you need to limit yourself to only focusing on one thing per swing.
When you focus on more than one thing per swing you are creating a multitasking situation.
Multitasking can work great when you're trying to do something in the office or if you're trying to keep track of with what your family is doing.
But multitasking has been research proven to be very ineffective for hitting good golf shots.
How do you figure out which sense you trust the most?
Hit a shot focusing on one sense or the other... and only that one sense.
After the shot... Assess.
Was it easy to just focus on that one sense?
Was it easy to trust that you could hit a good shot just focusing on that one sense... That one cue?
If it felt easy to stay focused on that one sense and your level of trust was also high that you could execute the shot correctly... You have just discovered a valuable piece of self knowledge.
What if you struggled with that sense?
Did your mind want to wander to other things?
Was it hard for you to trust that you could hit the target?
That's time to try the other sense.
I call this a challenge because it can be very difficult to only focus on one thing.
Most of us tend to have multiple things rattling around in our brain when we swing the club.
It is not really a test because no one's grading you.
You're just trying to find out whether you have more trust in visualizing a shot or in feeling a swing.
By the way... This is not a one-time challenge.
Doing the challenge three times or more will help you fine-tune not only which sense you have more trust in but also what specific cue gives you the best results and the highest level of trust.
One last helpful hint for the challenge.
Have fun with it.
Be like a kid and make the challenge a game.
One of the reasons the kids learn faster than adults is because they're not as concerned with the outcome they're more concerned with having fun in the process.