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cipher

When the feels start to dull.

9 posts in this topic

This has been fascinating topic for me lately and I thought I would share a couple thoughts.  I remember Erik saying something to the effect of "everyone is a feel player".  I could be misquoting(sorry if I am), but I agree with the statement completely.  We all learn by feeling certain positions or movements in our body as it relates to the club, the ground and our senses.  Some feels seem to stay with us, probably when it is something that is more natural for us or it really clicks for us.  Others maybe you can feel them at first and then they dull over time or maybe we just cannot feel them at all.  It could be that sometimes when something is worked into muscle memory that the feeling becomes the norm and by becoming the norm it looses it's sensation.  I am not sure.

For instance when I first learned about feeling a better wrist position at the top of the swing it worked at first just by feeling one of the wrists, and then feeling the wrists themselves seemed to go away and after a while so did the correct wrist position.  I then was able to relearn and keep a better position by actually felling instead where my hands were holding the club in relation to the club face by simply thinking about where the face was pointing at the top.  That to me translated into getting my wrists into a better position just by sensing where the club face was pointing. Even though that "feel was not real" and it was not pointing exactly how I imagined it.  Regardless, in this case it was looking at what other feel would give the same result and it clicked...so far.

The challenging thing for instructors I think is learning their student and what feels work, and what feels wont work for each person. One of the keys for a player may be to work a feel into muscle memory as soon as possible so that if the feel does start to dull even a little bit you can rely on that memory as long as possible.  I don't know enough about anything really to know if a feel can be found again after it starts to dull.  I have not had experience with that.  And I really do not know enough about kinesthetic learning to know much about this topic, but obviously more advanced kinisthetic learners are more prone to making adjustments when something does not work and finding the feeling that makes them accomplish the task.  But I think even advanced kinesthetic learners have feels dull over time considering even tour pros are always working on finding a feeling that clicks it seems.

To be a stupid monkey we essentially just need to listen to and focus entirely on the feel that we are being told to use, but much this is dependent on the ability to understand and maintain that feel.  I am curious if others have thought much about this?

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I think this is a great conversation to start.  I believe everyone battles with this, having feels (or swing thoughts) suddenly lose their effect. I remember Erik at one point talking about his feels changing or migrating.

FWIW I am experiencing this right now, two days ago I found the perfect feels for coming down beautifully from the inside, my DTL at A6 had NEVER looked better, absolutely gorgeous positions with the shaft laying down to the point where I looked like a PGA pro. Now those feels are not working and I need to work at finding either a) a way back to where I was or b) a new feel that gets me where I want to be.

I think the answer may be akin to tolerance in much the same way as in narcotics, once you become accustom to a feel it starts to lose its potency.

EDIT* this would be a great post for your blog too.

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Great topic, Cipher.

I completely agree. Usually, when something clicks and I start hitting the ball well, I remember a certain feel or muscle sensation when I make the correct swing. For me, the "feel" is the muscle under my left armpit and my right glute that I can feel stretch. Sometimes this feel can last a few days but I can lose that same feeling overnight as if I overstretched it and can't feel it anymore. That's when I start struggling again and you may start trying to find a different feel that works. This habit is something I'm trying to fight and just keep working on what James tells me to do in Evolvr.

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

I think this is a great conversation to start.  I believe everyone battles with this, having feels (or swing thoughts) suddenly lose their effect. I remember Erik at one point talking about his feels changing or migrating.

FWIW I am experiencing this right now, two days ago I found the perfect feels for coming down beautifully from the inside, my DTL at A6 had NEVER looked better, absolutely gorgeous positions with the shaft laying down to the point where I looked like a PGA pro. Now those feels are not working and I need to work at finding either a) a way back to where I was or b) a new feel that gets me where I want to be.

I think the answer may be akin to tolerance in much the same way as in narcotics, once you become accustom to a feel it starts to lose its potency.

EDIT* this would be a great post for your blog too.

Great thoughts, I really do like the tolerance to narcotics analogy.  Golf is a drug for many of us anyway.

Originally Posted by RPMPIRE

Great topic, Cipher.

I completely agree. Usually, when something clicks and I start hitting the ball well, I remember a certain feel or muscle sensation when I make the correct swing. For me, the "feel" is the muscle under my left armpit and my right glute that I can feel stretch. Sometimes this feel can last a few days but I can lose that same feeling overnight as if I overstretched it and can't feel it anymore. That's when I start struggling again and you may start trying to find a different feel that works. This habit is something I'm trying to fight and just keep working on what James tells me to do in Evolvr.

Thanks, I am just going to sit back for a while though and let much smarter people than me dissect it

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Originally Posted by cipher

This has been fascinating topic for me lately and I thought I would share a couple thoughts.  I remember Erik saying something to the effect of "everyone is a feel player".  I could be misquoting(sorry if I am), but I agree with the statement completely.  We all learn by feeling certain positions or movements in our body as it relates to the club, the ground and our senses.  Some feels seem to stay with us, probably when it is something that is more natural for us or it really clicks for us.  Others maybe you can feel them at first and then they dull over time or maybe we just cannot feel them at all.  It could be that sometimes when something is worked into muscle memory that the feeling becomes the norm and by becoming the norm it looses it's sensation.  I am not sure.

For instance when I first learned about feeling a better wrist position at the top of the swing it worked at first just by feeling one of the wrists, and then feeling the wrists themselves seemed to go away and after a while so did the correct wrist position.  I then was able to relearn and keep a better position by actually felling instead where my hands were holding the club in relation to the club face by simply thinking about where the face was pointing at the top.  That to me translated into getting my wrists into a better position just by sensing where the club face was pointing. Even though that "feel was not real" and it was not pointing exactly how I imagined it.  Regardless, in this case it was looking at what other feel would give the same result and it clicked...so far.

The challenging thing for instructors I think is learning their student and what feels work, and what feels wont work for each person. One of the keys for a player may be to work a feel into muscle memory as soon as possible so that if the feel does start to dull even a little bit you can rely on that memory as long as possible.  I don't know enough about anything really to know if a feel can be found again after it starts to dull.  I have not had experience with that.  And I really do not know enough about kinesthetic learning to know much about this topic, but obviously more advanced kinisthetic learners are more prone to making adjustments when something does not work and finding the feeling that makes them accomplish the task.  But I think even advanced kinesthetic learners have feels dull over time considering even tour pros are always working on finding a feeling that clicks it seems.

To be a stupid monkey we essentially just need to listen to and focus entirely on the feel that we are being told to use, but much this is dependent on the ability to understand and maintain that feel.  I am curious if others have thought much about this?

IMO for most golfers, when the feeling dulls, it means they aren't doing it enough.  Changing the picture can be somewhat easy when the instructor is there prompting you to keep exaggerating it.  When golfers practice they need to feel the same exaggeration level.  Connecting the feel to some visual or some other physical activity.  Dave Wedzik would tell me, "More Tim Clark", giving me the visual of Tim Clark at A3-4 (regarding the alignment of the shaft and rotation of the forearms).

For you Cipher, it's different because you have to be a little more in charge of making sure you exaggerate the feels.  I think you've done a really good job of this.  That's why it can be important to use video to check how the feels are translating to the swing.  Some players can overdo it, that's rare, like I said, most don't do it enough.  It's a very humbling game!

Little side note:  This is what divides the good golf instructors from the great ones, the ability to take all the technical information and come up with a simple feel to help the golfer.  Knowledge doesn't automatically make you a great instructor.

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Originally Posted by mvmac

IMO for most golfers, when the feeling dulls, it means they aren't doing it enough.  Changing the picture can be somewhat easy when the instructor is there prompting you to keep exaggerating it.  When golfers practice they need to feel the same exaggeration level.  Connecting the feel to some visual or some other physical activity.  Dave Wedzik would tell me, "More Tim Clark", giving me the visual of Tim Clark at A3-4 (regarding the alignment of the shaft and rotation of the forearms).

For you Cipher, it's different because you have to be a little more in charge of making sure you exaggerate the feels.  I think you've done a really good job of this.  That's why it can be important to use video to check how the feels are translating to the swing.  Some players can overdo it, that's rare, like I said, most don't do it enough.  It's a very humbling game!

Little side note:  This is what divides the good golf instructors from the great ones, the ability to take all the technical information and come up with a simple feel to help the golfer.  Knowledge doesn't automatically make you a great instructor.

Great thoughts Mike.  I think if I were an instructor like you this is what I would enjoy the most.  Finding out how everyone learns and feels differently, how much they can exaggerate and then learning to communicate in their language.

I also find that I sometimes go between extremes.  If I change something I change it way too much the other way.  And then sometimes you get lost in that space in between and cannot find the middle place.

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Originally Posted by mvmac

IMO for most golfers, when the feeling dulls, it means they aren't doing it enough.

The first thought that came to my mind was that it would be one of two things; either what Mike said above, or, if things are going well, perhaps the feel has dulled because it's just become "ingrained."  (I used a period at the end of that sentence, but it's probably more of a question ;))

I think about when I first learned that most people putted with a reverse overlap grip.  I wanted to try it out because I wasn't putting terribly well with my regular interlocking grip, so I gave it a shot.  It FELT really, really weird for awhile but I stuck with it, and fast forward several weeks or months or however long it took, and it was the most natural thing in the world to me.

More recently, I think the same thing is true about my foot flares, or neck tilt, or things like that.  I don't "feel" my feet flared out awkwardly like I did when I first started doing it (about a year ago), it's just natural now.

I guess I just judge it by how I'm playing.  It's been a few lessons since James had me trying to feel "more Dustin Johnson" at A4, so I'm rarely thinking about that or feeling it right now, but if the push-cuts start rearing their ugly head, one of my first thoughts is "I wonder if my cupped left wrist is back" and I'll start trying to feel that again.

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Originally Posted by cipher

I also find that I sometimes go between extremes.  If I change something I change it way too much the other way.

That's what happened to me with slowing down my hip rotation. Two weeks of working on it and my evolvr coach went, "whoa, way too much." LOL.

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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

That's what happened to me with slowing down my hip rotation. Two weeks of working on it and my evolvr coach went, "whoa, way too much." LOL.

LOL, yep I have had that happen as well.

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