Tiger had an outstanding season last year winning five times. This is a career for most PGA professionals. But in the tournaments that counted most for him, the Majors, he did not play very consistently. Why?
To understand why, you have to understand how fluid motion is produced in the body and why it breaks down. In order to generate a motion, any motion, whether it is walking across the street or hitting a golf ball, a signal, an intention is generated in the mind. If that signal bypasses the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) and goes straight to the motor system, then a fluid motion is produced. The PFC is also known as the CEO of the brain and is considered the discriminating intellect. If the signal is delayed by the PFC in traveling to the motor system, then the bulkier, core muscles will dominate the motion and the swing will not be sequenced correctly. This is why just about all golfers say they played their best when they were not thinking.
In the Majors, Tiger’s PFC delayed those signals in moving to the motor system. The question is why did it happen in the tournaments he wanted to win so badly? Here is the answer.[subscribelocker]
There are surface, active levels of the mind and there are softer, quieter levels of the mind. Everyone experiences the movement of going through these levels numerous times during the day. You can be thinking very intently on a subject and then you just relax and start chilling inside. There are also surface levels of the body; the core, bulkier muscles and then there are deeper levels of the intelligence of the body; the fast twitch muscles and the ability of the body to self-correct during a motion.
When an intention to produce a swing is generated from the surface level of the mind, only the bulkier core muscles can be activated. But when an intention is generated from a quieter, softer level of the mind, the deeper levels of the body’s intelligence is accessed and the swing becomes more consistent and effective. The cerebellum controls the sequencing of a motion and can only be fully accessed when an intention is generated from a quieter level of the mind.
In the five tournaments Tiger won last year, he was generating intentions from a deeper, quieter level of the mind. In the four Majors in which he did not play that well, he was generating intentions from a surface, louder level of the mind. Because he wanted to catch and surpass Jack’s record of 18 Majors, he thought he had to have more focus, determination and concentration when he played in the Majors. Mistake. Ultimately, a golf swing is a by-product of the processes in the mind that generate the swing. Though Tiger’s swing broke down during the Majors last year, the reason it broke down can be traced to where his intentions were generated from in the mind. Give me two hours with Tiger to explain this and almost guaranteed, he will have better results in the Majors this year.[/subscribelocker] Photo courtesy of Keith Allison