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NYTimes says we should keep our eye on the ball - Captain Obvious?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

But hey, we now have academic scientific proof :-)

 

Quote:
“It seems so obvious,” Dr. Wilson says. “It is almost too simple. People assume that they are doing all of this already. ‘You mean I should look at the ball?’ Duh!”
 
But, he concludes, “the fact is that many people do not look at the right place at the right time.”

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/keeping-your-eye-on-the-ball/

post #2 of 11

Good article, good thread. This was my post on a previous thread called 'Where do you look during the full swing?':

 

Quote:

Not only do I focus on the middle of the ball, I do this wierd thing with my eyes right before pulling the trigger. I picked it up from tennis, where 'seeing' the ball is paramount. I do an extra focus with my eyes where all of a sudden every dimple on the ball becomes crystal clear. It's kind of like baseball hitters - when the ball is about to be delivered you can sometimes see them frown or change the expression on theirs faces as they focus intensely on the ball coming out of the pitchers hand. Same thing in golf even though the ball is not moving - as soon as the ball becomes crystal clear, I pull the club back knowing I will keep my head centered promoting clean contact. It especially helps with the short game. (I actually gave it a name in teaching it to my son - I call it 'Crystal Vision')

 

Nice to see one of my keys validated. I have always felt that visual focus is sooooo important in ball sports. I noticed in tennis that there is seeing the ball, and then there is 'seeing' the ball, where it suddenly looks as though it is huge, and moving in slow motion. Any tennis forum is rife with discussions on this. Well, you can apply this type of 'seeing' in golf as well. Maybe I can package and market my 'Crystal Vision' technique...

post #3 of 11

Yes and no...when I pay too much attention to the ball I end up trying too much to hit the Ball...ok you say "Brett, thats what you want to do!" But When I do this I end up changing my swing path and more often then not hit a very fat shot.  If I look at the ball, but kind of think of it as more of a blur and in my swing path, I end up make much better contact.  Same for me with baseball, trying to follow it the entire way you can try to make slight adjustments right before contact.  Maybe its just me!  don't get me wrong, I am not closing my eyes or looking forward towards my target prior to impact...but I definetly don't keep my eye on it the entire time.

post #4 of 11

I've recently tried to really stare down the ball ... seems weird & I'm not used to it yet, but my ball striking (especially chipping) has improved.    Surprised how un-focused on the ball I used to be ...

post #5 of 11
Not as obvious as it may seem. I don't look directly at the ball. Could be a cause for problems, but I've read about many others that don't do this.
You can look at the ball without looking at the ball. Meaning you look in the direction of the ball, but don't focus on it that hard.

I'm not saying you shouldn't, but that you can manage without having a staring contest with the ball. Some say you should look at the back of the ball, but you might want to look at the front of the ball to encourage a downward hit.
You can even look in front of the ball.
post #6 of 11

I think it will work with putting and chipping and I will try it. Since I know I glance to much between ball and hole. But during a full swing I am afraid it might bring back my dreaded hit reflex. Something I have been working hard to get rid of. 

post #7 of 11
I read this thread a couple months back and just came across this blog/article... Also NYT, but published in 2010:

http://onpar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/the-key-to-improved-putting-could-be-staring-right-at-the-hole/

I think both are saying to stare at the hole to allow the brain to process information. I disagree with this older article - a baseball player doesn't focus on the outfield wall when trying to hit a home run. Same could be said in any racket game.

I had an instrctor once tell me to look at the target, keep that image in my mind and then look back to the ball but with keeping focus on the target in my mind. I think there is some merit in these thoughts and have noticed that pros look at the target after they are already lined up, high handicappers like me tend to stare at the ball once I think I'm aligned. Did anyone have any success following the advice in the OPs link?
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew24 View Post

I read this thread a couple months back and just came across this blog/article... Also NYT, but published in 2010:
http://onpar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/the-key-to-improved-putting-could-be-staring-right-at-the-hole/
I think both are saying to stare at the hole to allow the brain to process information. I disagree with this older article - a baseball player doesn't focus on the outfield wall when trying to hit a home run. Same could be said in any racket game.
I had an instrctor once tell me to look at the target, keep that image in my mind and then look back to the ball but with keeping focus on the target in my mind. I think there is some merit in these thoughts and have noticed that pros look at the target after they are already lined up, high handicappers like me tend to stare at the ball once I think I'm aligned. Did anyone have any success following the advice in the OPs link?

 

Yes, this was my reply from above:

 

 

Quote:

Good article, good thread. This was my post on a previous thread called 'Where do you look during the full swing?':

 

Quote:

Not only do I focus on the middle of the ball, I do this wierd thing with my eyes right before pulling the trigger. I picked it up from tennis, where 'seeing' the ball is paramount. I do an extra focus with my eyes where all of a sudden every dimple on the ball becomes crystal clear. It's kind of like baseball hitters - when the ball is about to be delivered you can sometimes see them frown or change the expression on theirs faces as they focus intensely on the ball coming out of the pitchers hand. Same thing in golf even though the ball is not moving - as soon as the ball becomes crystal clear, I pull the club back knowing I will keep my head centered promoting clean contact. It especially helps with the short game. (I actually gave it a name in teaching it to my son - I call it 'Crystal Vision')

 

Nice to see one of my keys validated. I have always felt that visual focus is sooooo important in ball sports. I noticed in tennis that there is seeing the ball, and then there is 'seeing' the ball, where it suddenly looks as though it is huge, and moving in slow motion. Any tennis forum is rife with discussions on this. Well, you can apply this type of 'seeing' in golf as well. Maybe I can package and market my 'Crystal Vision' technique...

As I said repeatedly, in tennis seeing the ball is paramount (Andre Agassi once replied upon being asked about his technique: "Move your feet, look at the ball"). In tennis, looking where you want the ball to go instead of at the ball is the most common cause of mishits, and is analogous to looking up in the golf swing. In any stick and ball game, seeing the ball (aka keeping your eye on the ball) is crucial, and just because the ball isn't moving that doesn't make it any less important in golf.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
seeing the ball is paramount

 

I agree, but what do you think about the second article that recommends looking at the hole when putting? I think we agree again it's the wrong approach, but even the first articles mentions to "first briefly sight toward the exact spot where they wish to send the ball, and then settle their eyes onto the ball and hold them there."  Better players look at the target after they are already aligned. Are they re-checking alignment or perhaps looking at what they are swinging towards (during which time the face happens to hit the ball). I ask because I tend to hit at the ball which is possibly caused by too much focus on the ball or perhaps the wrong kind of focus at the ball.

 

Agassi had an exact mental picture of the court and where he was situated when his focus shifted to the ball. He could probably close his eyes at impact and say exactly where the ball would go.

post #10 of 11

You are right about the mental pic of the court. When I am approaching a ball and have my seeing focused intesnsely on the ball, and also have a '3rd eye' vision in my head that knows exactly where the baseline, sidelines, and corners are so I know how I want to swing and where I want to put the ball without looking up. This results in quality contact in the center of the racquet face.

 

Same for me with golf. Although my eyes are on the ball, I have a '3rd eye' picture of my target, although obviously a fairway or green is not as symmetrical and geometric as a tennis court, and you don't have the reinforcement of seeing the court lines and net out of your peripheral vision to aid in your aim. I have tried looking at the hole while making my actual putting stroke and it doesn't work for me. I can have a picture of where the hole is while looking at the ball, but I can't seem to picture where the ball is while looking at the hole. I know it is right in front of my putter, but I find myself relying solely on body mechanics to return the putter head to that exact same spot on the forward swing, and when I rely on body mechanics things get ugly...

 

Even with my dependence on sight and ball focus, I easily have the longest most complete follow-through of anyone I play with regularly, and I hit through the ball rather than at it, whether it's putting or the full swing. (Drew - when you take practice swings before each shot, focus on making full and complete follow-throughs, this may offset some of your tendency to hit at the ball)

post #11 of 11

Its not about keeping our eye on the ball, Its about maintaining the correct positions through out your swing. 

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