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On Task

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  • On Task

    So my biggest challenge is staying focused on the task at hand. This leads to consistency problems that will have me shooting a 77 one week and a 99 the next causing me to question all kinds of stuff and getting frustrated with the game. What I am coming to realize is that there are 3 keys that I have to be aware of for success.

    1. The Task - Skipping the stone, throwing into a picture. Without this you default to the ball and say "OOO! Hit that!" or to positions or whatever. As I address the ball I have to remind myself of what I am actually intending to do.

    2. Trigger Finger - This is key to the feel of skipping the stone. Without having the trigger finger where it needs to be on the grip then your CNS doesn't get the feedback it needs to perform the intended task.

    3. Tempo - I find that what feels slow actually keeps me on task. Too fast and it's overload. Slowing down allows me to remain focused on the task at hand and give my CNS the feedback it needs to do what I intend to do. It seems at times the slower I go through the swing the more and more focused on the task I am.

  • #2
    Originally posted by JMS546 View Post
    So my biggest challenge is staying focused on the task at hand. This leads to consistency problems that will have me shooting a 77 one week and a 99 the next
    Hi guys,

    I too, believe that this is our biggest challenge...

    However....I find myself asking...."WHY"?
    Why IS it that we have such difficulty remaining FOCUSED on the task at hand?

    Do we also have difficulty focusing on putting the bread in the toaster? tying our shoes? pouring our coffee?

    The actual time it takes to swing a golf club is a mere couple of seconds?
    You mean to tell me that we can't stay focused on something for a couple of seconds?

    To me it comes down to a matter of COMMITMENT.

    We don't really WANT to "skip the stone"? What we WANT to do is "mash the bejeezus out of the ball!"

    Down deep, that is what our REAL "mental intention" is...
    We've been CONDITIONED to BELIEVE that our JOB is to HIT the BALL?
    (please refer to our Chairman's brilliant videos "Hitting the Ball is NOT your job...part I & II)

    So, I guess I believe that it is NOT so much that we can't seem to stay focused on the task at hand?
    It is that the REALITY of it is that we'd rather be doing something ELSE.

    Can we make a good, smooth, effortless PRACTICE SWING?
    Of course we can.

    Can we honestly say that we make that SAME smooth, effortless swing when we step up to the BALL?
    Why NOT?

    If we aren't going to USE that smooth, effortless practice swing when we are set up to the ball, WHY are we PRACTICING that SWING?

    So, I guess I believe that it is not so much that we CAN'T stay focused on the task at hand....
    Rather it is that we CHOOSE to do something ELSE.

    Let me put up my well-worn drum and I'll go away quietly now....

    Love this place and you guys

    dude abides
    "OLD" Forum Participation

    Entry Date: 18-JAN-2011
    Posts: 1813
    Thank You: 1048

    "Be water, my friends"


    • #3
      Costa, absolutely.
      but I like to add the topic of short circuit.
      My son is a good example, he also like to default to the ball much, like his father.
      His anchor is to throw the club. He made so brillant looking golf shots, like a copy of Shawn, also distance wise, to follow with a bloody amateur swing and respective outcome.
      To remind him to stay on task, is not enough. Yet.
      He definetely needs some good starting point to avoid the short circuits and then staying on task is easy.
      He needs the repeats of good backswing to get it more automatically correct, if this basis fails, he will never stay on task, even if he desperately wants it.
      The comparison with the normal life moves is, there is already a history of good and successful moves, the thought grab it, triggers then the appropriate body action in a way it works.
      But if you have no clue for such kind of move yet, or even worse, inside is already a wrong move, then, simply wanting the new righ task will often fail, the inner battle is strong, sometimes the new desired moves wins, sometimes the old bad habit.
      So, we must be patient, to change the program inside needs some time.
      Working on conscious basic moves to avoid short circuit is needed, yes I am talking internal thinking.
      Like the training series from Shawn last year, when he went step by step with mile Markes to the final correct full swing.


      • #4
        So I think the reason we short circuit ourselves on task is an obvious but overlooked one:

        In golf we do not face or keep visual contact with the actual target.

        Throwing a baseball --> looking at the target
        Kicking a soccer/football --> looking at the target
        Shooting a hockey puck --> looking at the target

        Because we have to have our eyes down on the ball in order to allow the head to act as the anchor for balance it is easy to lock in on the ball and forget the original task. Perfect example of this is the practice swing as Costa pointed out. How many of those smooth, easy, perfect practice swings do you take looking at your intended target? I know the overwhelming majority of them that I take I am eyes-on-target.


        • #5
          Actually the visual anchor if you will is not a mandatory requirement for success in golf. There are many golfers like Annika Sorensteen (SP) that do not look at the ball during impact. Blind golfers are another example. One of the staples for many years in learning to play basketball was to wear glasses that would not allow you to see the ball as you were dribbling. You simply looked over the top of the blocked out vision area. If you do a search for the old C-no- evil video that Shawn advocated for a while it uses a similar concept of not seeing the ball (as it was hidden from view) but allowed you to swing under the vision blocker just like a practice swing but making normal ball contact.

          We always had a saying when shooting archery if the balance of your score was on how well you shot the arrow form wise (say 75% of your total one arrow score) where would you place most of your concentration??? The golf swing should be the same thought process. We do not try to be a form robot (if you will) when playing golf but we do want to try and perfect the swing that was pre-selected to go with our picture. So if you perform a total sell out on the pictured swing the ball is just going to get in the way and go along for the ride.


          • COSTA103
            COSTA103 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi guys,

            I NEVER "look" AT the ball when I'm performing a shot?
            MY "visual anchor" is to look at the point (3D in Space) at which my intended swing-arc is predicted to "bottom out".
            When you look down at the ball, your visual focal point ends up being the TOP of the ball.
            The only time I look at the ball is when I'm INTENDING to "top" the ball during demonstration?

            dude abides

        • #6
          JM, let's redefine The Task. The task is to hit the ball where you visualized the target to be. Everything in your routine has to satisfy your feeling that you can get the ball to the visualized target. And during your swing you have the feeling you are swinging to the target.

          This means that the focus time is longer than a few seconds. IMHO this means the visualized target has to be the focus.


          • #7
            You might not "look" at the ball but that is where your eyes tend to go regardless because of the requirement of your head to be in a position to anchor your balance. I know when I am on task because while the ball is in my visual field it is not what I am seeing. I acknowledge it's there but it is very indistinct because my focus is on checking if I am on task that my visual input because a conglomeration of the ball, intermediate target and a "steadiness rating" so to speak. This is where an intermediate target becomes so important for me because I'm not the type of person that can hold that visualization in 3D space. My brain just doesn't work that way. I need a spot that is just in the periphery of my visual field to provide a directional reference during the swing that I can check myself against. So when I set up I need to ask what I need "down here" to make what I want happen "out there".


            • #8
              I agree JM that your eyes will be looking at the ball. BTW The set up stance is such that the head is down and tilted in the direction we want the ball to go. This helps us see the IT (Intermediate target) also. The best way to describe this look at the ball is a far away look that you at looking at something but thinking about something else. And that something else you are thinking about is the target.

              Any activity (darts, free throw shooting, rifle shooting )that has a target involves target focus. It also involves having the feeling the result of your actions will allow you to hit the target.

              Hope this helps
              Last edited by Ron I; 06-04-2018, 07:02 AM.