You may know about left brain vs right brain theory. Have you ever thought of the ramifications for your golf of trying to play with your Left Brain in control?
The theory says that your Left Brain is better at doing some things and your Right Brain is better at doing other things.
Left Brain is good at math, logic, accounting, engineering, etc.
Right Brain is good at creativity, imagination, art and music.
You may not know that the Left Brain is clumsy and un-athletic while Right Brain is where the “natural athletes” operate best.
Now consider playing golf-
You need good Left Brain ability to gather all the data, figure out what shot to play, what target to hit to, make decisions, etc.
You need good Right Brain ability to actually play the shot, to be athletic over the ball.
You must not mix the two! This is a trap that most golfers fall into. This is one of the biggest reasons for inconsistency. Your Left Brain cannot play golf well, yet most players are doing Left Brain things over the ball and while swinging.
Are you still considering the details of the shot while moving into the shot or over the ball? Do you change the shot or target while over the ball?
Do you step into your stance very carefully, focused on aligning your feet very exactly? Do you check the alignment of your feet, your hips and your shoulders over the ball?
Do you check your grip, your posture over the ball? Do you instruct yourself to keep your head still over the ball?
Do you carefully align the club face or the putter to the line of the shot, trying to get it exactly right?
Do you pay close attention to how you are going to move the club and then on how you are moving the club in the swing? Do you have multiple swing keys you are monitoring and controlling while swinging?
Are you making sure you do your pre-shot routine exactly the same every time, trying hard not to leave anything out?
These are all examples of a player operating in a Left-Brained way.
The Left Brain is a klutz, yet you try to take control with it all the time. You are judging and criticizing what you are doing with it. You are trying so hard to do it right with your Left Brain.
Left Brain Right Brain Exercise
Here is a simple exercise to highlight the difference between Left Brain and Right Brain operating.
Sign Your Name- just like you would sign a check or a letter.
Then draw two horizontal lines one third of an inch apart. This time when you sign, the bottoms of the letters of your name must touch the bottom line but cannot go below it except for the tails that normally go below for lower case letters like g, j, p and y. Every letter must touch the bottom line and no strokes can go above the top line. Letters below the bottom line or not touching it lose a point.
How easy was that? How smooth? Or was it difficult, perhaps even impossible? How many points did you lose?
In the first signature, you were signing without control, without the Left Brain directing your movements and you signed easily. Your normal signature is a trained movement. In the second try, your Left Brain was directing the movements and carefully judging how you were doing, controlling your actions. The outcome was more important because you did not want to lose points. You were challenged to perform. Arousal may even have risen if you are very competitive.
In most other sports, operating in a Right Brain, athletic way is part of playing that sport. You are reacting to a ball or another player and you don’t have time to think about how to do it or to be careful about what you are doing. When you do, it usually screws things up. This is why some basketball players play great shots from the floor but when they have all the time in the world without interference to shoot the foul shot, they can struggle.
When you struggle with your golf, do you try to fix your swing mechanically on the course? Is your Left Brain directing the corrections and then trying to make them work? After the round, do you run off for a lesson or to the practice tee and work some more in a Left-Brained way to perfect your swing, to check your alignment and your fundamentals, to find solutions? After all, this is the model for playing better and learning to play golf isn’t it?
Are you training yourself to play golf with your Left Brain all the time?
An effective Mental Routine will have you using your Left Brain for what it is good at and then using your Right Brain to play the shot.
Always finish your practice on the range with shots to different targets using a full mental routine. Then play golf on the course with a full mental routine for every shot, no Left Brain controlling and swinging allowed!
The Mental Routine is detailed in our Book, “The Eight Traits of Champion Golfers“, first chapter. It is detailed in our video found in our Online Coaching System. It is also discussed and explained in the first part of our reports on your Mental Skills and on your Champion Personality Traits for golf. Call us or one of our GolfPsych Instructors to help you develop your Mental Routine and get your Left Brain and Right Brain playing together well!