Archive for Analysis Paralysis

I’ve been thinking about the application of golf psychology to the issue of the swing thought. In other words, what do you and should you be thinking about when you actually swing the club. It seems that every time I watch someone play they seem to be taking an inordinate amount of time fidgeting with their grip, their stance or their play. The more time they take to get round to swinging the club, the more likely they are to hit a bad shot. One golfer I met recently admitted to almost running between shots so that he has adequate time available to fidget over the ball.

The average golfer is often preoccupied with his current set of – sometimes conflicting – technical swing thoughts, from coaches, books, websites and golf magazines and TV programmes. And even if he isn’t, someone may have given him a set of the tee pegs I saw recently that had different swing thoughts printed on each one!

Now to be absolutely clear, I do believe that you should take adequate time to consciously plan your shots before stepping up to the ball and taking your stance. And this should include time to fully visualise and rehearse the shot or putt that you are about to make. I’ve written before about Jack Nicklaus describing how he’s never hit a shot without first seeing himself playing it …
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It’s good to be back in the writing saddle and staring into my computer screen once more after a week’s break. Seriously though, I’m glad to be back talking about analysis paralysis and unconscious golf – two of my favourite golf psychology topics.

Concentrating on how you swing will often prevent you from playing your best and most natural game of golf. You probably recall similar messages from me before and it ties into the concept that there’s a place for thinking consciously on the golf course, about where you want the ball to go and how you want it to get there, and a place for trusting your unconscious to put your best swing on the ball without any interference from the conscious mind.

I’ve heard over the years and read in some of the older golf books in my library about Ralph Guldahl a really great golfer from the 1930s. After a relatively slow start as a professional golfer he ended up winning 16 PGA Tour events in a nine-year period. He peaked with three Major wins towards the end of this period, but never won again after 1940 …
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I wrote back in March about how analysis paralysis can result from thinking too much consciously about your swing, as you are actually hitting the ball. Now if you regularly read my blog, you’ll know that I actively promote the idea using golf hypnosis build trust in your unconscious golf mind when actually hitting the ball.

So you can imagine my amusement when I came across this short video on YouTube with JC Anderson demonstrating just what I was talking about.

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You do not improve your swing and achieve golf success through analysis paralysis. People who teach complex swing thoughts just clutter the conscious mind and block out the unconscious mental processes that just know how to swing the club to the best of a player’s ability.

Now don’t get me wrong about the general standard of teaching from PGA golf professionals, it’s truly magnificent and in nearly always cases their swing coaching advice is well thought out, simple, elegant and tailored to the golfer in front of them.

So what am I griping about, you may ask? …
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