Movement lessons for Golfers: a smooth swing
Golf, the Feldenkrais Method ® and Awareness Through Movement®
When you swing the golf club, the quality of your movement dictates how far and where the ball will travel, and hence the quality of your game.
Practice makes perfect, right, or does it?
If you continue to practice the same movement i.e. golf swing you will continue to have the same result. That is great if the ball lands close to or in the hole but are you able to work out what you were doing when you shanked it? How would you know if you are practising what you saw on the YouTube video, read in the golf magazine, or were taught by the Golf Pro if they are not there with you at practice?
With the Feldenkrais Method ®and attending Awareness Through Movement ® lessons you develop body awareness and can begin to notice the subtle difference when your weight is not well balanced in your golf stance, or if you have a bias to a particular side as you wind-up then release your swing, and so on. As your awareness is refined and you have a clear idea of the internal sensation then the new learning can be retained and used.
In an ATM ® lesson you are guided to attend to the sensation of gentle slow movements. Not all lessons are gentle and slow, though. Sometimes the movements can be novel, challenging and playful. Lessons are mostly done lying on a mat, but may also be done sitting, standing and walking. Exploring many ways to move, and making mistakes are an important part of the experience. Interesting movement constraints challenge the exploration. This helps you discover your movement habits, and find a clearer sense of more coordinated and enjoyable movement.
The great value in these movement lessons is the improving awareness that develops and your ability to learn from this internal sense, rather than being shown or advised on how to move. There is also surprising benefit to be gained by practising the sensation of the movement in your imagination. This allows you to use your imagination to practice how it would feel to perform a great drive off the tee or a successful putt.
A lesson might start in standing sensing what you do as you swing the club and how far you move easily as you go through this motion. Your attention is brought to various components of the swing and with small movement constraints these components are differentiated. You find more efficient and coordinated movement of each component that plays their part for a smooth integrated motion including movement of your eyes, ribs and chest, shoulders, low back and hips and right down to your connection to the ground.
On Saturday 31st August from 2pm to 5.30pm I am running a series of 3 movement lessons for Golfers. Workshops are a really good idea for those of us unable to commit to a regular class. See details here. If you have friends who play Golf and may be interested please feel free to contact me here.