Drills for Skills: The 10 Step Drill

Drills for Skills: The 10 Step Drill
By Dr. T. J. Tomasi,
Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

Drills for Skills

Playing the game well requires that you have access to your golf database, which is your ability to recall the template of your golf swing each time you play a shot.  If there were no records of your swing, each shot would be even more of an adventure than it normally is. But the question is not ‘is a record of your golf game stored in your neural networks’ – that is a given.  The question is ‘can you change your swing template if you want to’? The answer, is, ‘yes you can.’ The first step in changing the swing traces in your brain is to stop immortalizing the memory of your golf failures and start replacing them with neural networks of success; i.e., Tracks of Excellence.  You do this by emotionalizing your good shots and treating the bad shots with just enough disdain to make your practice useful. Since emotions as markers play such an important role in storing your golf memories, it’s good to know something about them.

Where Do Emotions Come From?

Undoubtedly, the first emotions to emerge in humans were directly related to survival.  Our modern behavior, although softened and more humane, is nevertheless influenced by mechanisms developed to solve two major issues — survival and reproduction.  So, a pre-historic encounter sorted itself out in one of two ways – kill (anger/fear) or mate (desire/love). But in matters less important, like golf, it is possible to become emotional without hurting your performance. Bubba Watson has been known to call himself names and get upset when he hits a bad shot — but he is always near the top in a statistic called “bounce back,” which measures the ability to make birdie or better after you’ve just made bogey or worse on the previous hole.  Good players get mad, but before the next shot, they get over it. Tiger Woods stayed patient for four rounds to win his 15th Masters and as soon as the weather changed on the last day, the advantage swung to the player with the most ‘mental toughness’ – a trait Tiger has always excelled in.

10 Step Drill Rule

The prescription then for the really bad shots is: Get annoyed, but not volcanic; get disappointed, but not crushed; get frustrated, but not furious — then be done with it. Here is an intervention that helps my students do exactly this: When you hit a bad shot, let your emotions play out for 10 steps – as the 11th step hits the grass, switch to planning your next shot. Being overwhelmed by emotion for longer than 10 steps is just a habit that you can break by being attentive to it; so at first, you will have to count your steps. After that, it will become part of your routine.

If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Comments are moderated. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. Required fields are marked with *.