Antidote to the Mechanics Trap

Have you ever felt like the more you learn about the golf swing the worse you get? There’s a reason you don’t play better golf more often. There’s also a reason you may struggle with your consistency.

And it’s not your fault.

The current model of golf improvement is upside down, and it’s keeping you from playing your best golf.

Watch the video to see why the focus on technique and the mechanics of the golf swing actually leads to lower performance levels on the golf course.

Then we’ll outline a new approach.

An approach taken by US Olympic athletes more than 25 years ago that dramatically improved athlete performance and the medal count. An approach that can have the average golfer lowering their index and shooting a new career best low round. This year.olympic-medal-count-1996

The big switch the US Olympic athletes made was focusing on performance. Not just technique. It’s time the golf industry adopted these newer training methods and newer approaches that have been proven effective in other sports.

Performance-based golf is the answer, and it will help you play better golf.

Here’s what I mean.

If you think of golf from a performance perspective you recognize that you experience different “levels” of play.

Some good days. Some not so good days.

On the very best of days you might experience being “In the Zone” and playing really well. Golf feels effortless, focused, easy, fluid, timeless, and joyous.

By contrast, the worst days are the opposite: golf feels like a total grind, difficult, exhausting, and a complete battle.

Performance Pyramid Albaugh2What’s interesting is that by thinking in terms of performance levels you can identify a hierarchy of skills associated with the different levels of play. That’s where the idea of the performance pyramid came from: associating higher levels of play with specific skills.

The great news is that we can identify three specific skills that lead to those “in the Zone” moments. These are the three highest level “performance” skills, and if they are not present while you are playing, you have no chance of getting into the Zone state:

  1. Target Focus
  2. Confidence
  3. Being totally absorbed in the moment

These three skills are all performance skills. There is no hint of mechanics or swing technique.

In fact, from a performance perspective swing mechanics are near the bottom of the performance pyramid. At the opposite end of the Zone experience.

And yet we obsess over swing mechanics and the nuances of technique.

Every golf magazine and TV show is filled with mechanics.

Every golfer on the range is working on some aspect of technique.

So it’s no wonder the vast majority of golfers focus on mechanics when they play.

Thinking about swing mechanics is fine when you are on the range.

But swing mechanics is at the bottom end of the pyramid.

Thinking about mechanics when playing will inevitably drag your play down to a lower level of performance.

In the next article we’ll go into some detail on the roles of your three brains – your Thinking, Emotional, and Athletic Brains. We’ll discuss how they can help or interfere with your game. You’ll understand how to compartmentalize your activities when you analyze your shot, develop a strategy, commit to your decision, and execute the shot. You’ll know how to use your three brains to get closer to the Zone state. So keep an eye out for the next newsletter.

performance-golf-skillsIn the mean time what I’d like you to consider is that your best path to a higher level of play will be to use higher level performance skills.

One of the best skills you can develop is the ability to maintain a target focus throughout the swing.

Here’s your take-away: The next time you play, pay attention to what you are focusing on during your swing. Mechanics? Or the Target?

The first step in making any change is awareness. If you are not aware of something, you can’t change it. So start by developing some awareness around your thoughts during the swing. If it is on the Target, you are on the right path to better golf.

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