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The 5 steps of a swing change

The 5 steps of a swing change and also why you struggle to bring your range game to the course.

Step 1️⃣ - Why are you making the change?

You've got to have a good reason for making a swing change.

A lot of us (myself included) tend to not have great reasons for making a change.

We THINK we've got a great reason, but be honest with yourself: do you KNOW it's a good reason.

Step 2️⃣ - Look better

At first you've got to get your swing to at least look better, whether it's on film, in a mirror, or the numbers on a launch monitor.

You won't be able to make it any further if the movement doesn't at least LOOK like it's changing.

Step 3️⃣ - Feel better

But for a while it's going to feel awkward.

This means you're making real changes, which is great!

So you've got to drill it in, groove those neural pathways to where your new pattern is habit, and it doesn't FEEL foreign.

Step 4️⃣ - Put pressure on it

Then you've got to take it to the course and test it until it can hold up to some pressure.

This is probably the longest phase in my experience, and why we all struggle to bring our range game to the course.

Naturally your swing change will NOT hold up under pressure.

The brain defaults to its most ingrained habits under pressure as a survival mechanism.

When your brain perceives a threat, it will recruit the functions of the limbic system to rescue you from the perceived threat.

This means what you've ingrained the strongest will come out.

And for most of us this is bad habits, aka the habits we're trying to get rid of with our swing change.

So you will oscillate back and forth from feeling uncomfortable (not habit yet) to withstanding pressure (habit).

Step 5️⃣ - Play competitively with it

Eventually, you will have committed the change to habit.

The change will ONLY THEN be able to come out under competitive pressure.

Remember: competitive pressure brings out our most ingrained habits

So your change must be thoroughly ingrained to the level of unconscious habit to expect it to come out in competition

Jayson Nickol and I discussed this topic on The Mental Golf Show


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