May
26

Balance your golf mind and body for better golf – focus on your Hara

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Just a brief post today as it’s half-term and my wife and I are baby-sitting. More specifically, we are just heading off for a day’s adventure with our two lovely granddaughters.

So moving from the balance of my life to the balance of the golf swing, I was intrigued to read recently about how many people view this as a key element of a successful golf swing. Now you know that I never comment on the mechanics of the swing as I’m neither a golf professional nor a swing coach. However, I do believe that balance is a key component of golf psychology and that psychological balance contributes significantly to balance in the golf mind and the golf swing. It also works wonders for your putting stroke.

When I was first studying NLP, Paul McKenna got us to do an exercise that he explained was based to some extent on Aikido. He asked for a volunteer and got her to just stand in an upright, relaxed posture and then to focus her mind on the audience. He then gently pushed her sideways with his hand against the outside of her shoulder. We saw how easily Paul caused her to sway off balance with just a light push.

Paul then asked the volunteer to focus all her attention on a point about two inches below her navel. Paul explained that this is known in Aikido as the ‘hara’ – the location of a person’s spirit and their centre of mass. He then repeated the push on her shoulder, but this time he couldn’t budge her, however hard he pushed. I was particularly surprised that the volunteer remained calm and relaxed despite Paul’s inability to shove her off balance. Paul then split the audience into pairs and I was able to confirm the experience for myself by working with someone much smaller than me. Despite his frailty, I couldn’t easily budge him when he focussed on his hara.

So what’s does all this have to do with golf, I hear you say. Well, just try it the next time you are out practicing. I did and I found that focussing on my hara when hitting a shot seemed to smooth out my swing and massively improve my balance. Let me know what it does for you.

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