CLEAR YOUR MIND & KEEP IT SIMPLE

Sports - March 5th, 2004

Building a great swing: we look at what’s going on above your shoulders and how it affects the way you hit the ball.

by Paul Jones

SWING THOUGHTS: SIMPLE & CONSISTENT

When playing golf, you may often find yourself thinking about too many things. Work, relationships, money or even where you are going to have din­ner. Ultimately, the goal is to clear your head and have a swing that is consistent and will repeat itself even under pressure.

The best way to achieve this is to have a thought process that repeats itself and is consistent as well. If you think the same thoughts before and during the golf swing, you are more likely to hit the ball solidly each time.

Like a basketball player at the free throw line, find a rou­tine that works for you and do it over and over until you, literally, don’t have to think about it.

ESTABLISH A TARGET & A TARGET LINE BEFORE YOU APPROACH THE BALL

Once you’ve found your rhythm, walk up to the ball and begin your set-up process. When you address the ball, your legs, hips and shoulders should be parallel to the target line. Your body’s posture should be flexed and balanced. You can think about anything you want in between shots, but once you’re ready, keep your thought process clean throughout the swing.

YOUR BACKSWING BEGINS WITH ONE SIMPLE THOUGHT

During your backswing, you should try to focus on something that will produce a smooth take­away and fluid swing. The back-swing is only there to get you into position to hit the ball on the downswing, therefore a clear “swing thought” is the key here.

There are various parts of the swing you may want to consider, such as “the take away,” “the exten­sion,” the shoulder turn” and “the swing plane and position.” It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to combine all of these “swing thoughts” and find yourself con­fused and tense from trying to do too much. Clear your mind. Focus on a simple backswing thought, and the rest will fall into place.