High School Golfers Experience the Putting Exercise
The Mounds View High School golf team was in our studio a few days ago. When they were here, all of the team members participated in our “Five Ways of Putting” exercise. Despite being highly skilled golfers, they found that they putted better using methods they had never tried before. Only two out of sixteen golfers putted better using their own “right way.” Some putted better with their eyes closed, some putted better looking at the hole instead of the ball, but most putted significantly better when putting to a club head, rather than the hole.
Most of the time, the reason why people putt better to the club head is because they stop thinking about the outcome as being good or bad. When trying to putt the ball to a hole, we consider it a good outcome if the ball goes in (and a bad outcome if it does not go in). If we miss the putt, we begin to over-think the situation and try to determine what exactly went wrong. On the other hand, when putting to a club head, it doesn’t matter if we hit it or not. We never putt to a club head on an actual course, so if we fail to hit it in the putting exercise, who cares? This mindset keeps us relaxed and makes it easier to focus on the target, rather than the outcome.
At the same time, this exercise also shows us that changes in our thinking can lead to visible results. It is one thing to be taught how to improve, but being coached is something completely different. Coaches take the abilities of individuals, and help them use these abilities to achieve their true potential.
We also showed the team how having defined images of what they want to achieve can help them reach their goals. Kyle, one of the team captains, is a longtime client of Performance In Motion and one of the top high school golfers in Minnesota. He has made several vision boards over the years, and he has been able to achieve what he sets out do to – goals that range from the classroom to the golf course, to other sports, such as basketball. In this image, Kyle presents his most recent vision board to his teammates.
As with all of our clients, our goal for the Mounds View golf team was to help them discover possibilities for improving performance that they had never considered before. We also strived to help them develop a clearer focus on their goals. As we have mentioned, focusing on the target, rather than the results, leads to immediate improvement in performance for almost everyone.