Golf and Alexander Technique
Golf for the Alexandrian — by Ian McMichael
Golf by its very nature is psycho physical. The most difficult shot in golf is the six inches between your ears!
You stand over this poor innocent white ball with little to no idea of what is going to happen, despite lessons, myriads of articles, books, and pictures. You have even examined and watched the greatest players in the world and yet…..!
After all how can we hope to hit the ball at the correct speed, time, angle all in total co-ordination mission impossible. And we continue to try!
How come the game is so frustrating?
Golf is truly a mind sport. Of course the physical aspect does play a vital role but….. You have to trust yourself and the swing you have developed over soooooooooo long!
And well, here is the problem. We all want to play the best shot, every time and, of course, we cant.
Here’s a most interesting article by well known and respected golf teacher, #5 golf teacher in the USA, Hank Haney.
“I’ve come to understand that the yips are a motor-sensory disorder. The brain stops processing the motor skill commands for a certain movement. To fix it, you cant try to do the same thing you were doing before. You have to do something different. You have to create a new pathway in your brain for the task. It took a dose of golf reality to make me understand how wrong my approach was after struggling off the tee for 20 years”. Driver Tips ex Golf Digest, August 2004.
So is this the solution?
From this you can see that without stopping and allowing the possibility of new habits to take place, the golfer will automatically revert back to his/her old habit. Even if that person is a world famous golf teacher! Even the axiom “teacher teach thyself” doesn’t apply!
And here’s another article by Jack Nicklaus and Dr. John Tickell from ‘Golf and Life’ pages 118/119.
“There are six hundred or so muscles and one hundred and eighty or more joints in your body and they can all hurt. The spine is the most critical piece in the whole setup if you want longevity on a golf course.
The spine is able to move, flex, extend and rotate because of the discs between the vertebrae. The discs are like rubber sponges between the chunks of bone. A disc comes with two parts a firmer capsule and an internal substance similar to very thick toothpaste. When you prolapse or herniate a disc, the capsule spills and some of the toothpaste oozes out and impinges on the nerves, causing pain and spasm. The spinal nerve column is a bunch of nerves that run down from the brain stem, and nerve branches come out of the spine and supply all the muscles, joints and organs in your system. It is absolutely imperative that you look after your spine and the core muscles and ligaments that hold everything together.”
Need I go any further or are we convinced that golf, by its very nature, deserves a HUGE Alexander Technique dose?
Here the great Ben Hogan is pictured with his beautiful easy swing. Some golfers keep their natural easiness. Ben was one of them.
From my perspective…
My father (Ian’s) gave up his active life including his golf in his sixties. His hands, arms, shoulders; torso wouldn’t work so well anymore! He had aches and pains all over. He gradually became more inflexible.
I studied the Alexander Technique and am now in my seventies (my father was giving up in his sixties). I am enjoying golf and lead an active life that I live to the full thanks to my Alexander Technique learning.
For more information email Jann