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How to Overcome Inertia in Golf

Jan 24, 2008
One great secret of golf is to overcome inertia. Muscles have a mind of their own, and do not like to make any move unless impelled to do so. Once they begin to move, the muscles do not seem to care. We must harness this tendency in ourselves to continue doing what we are doing, and may have to take rather sly means of shifting our actions toward practice. Once shifted, the muscles, like Newton's law of motion, prefer to continue golfing unless acted upon by some outside force. This is what we mean by overcoming inertia.

Some people have trained themselves to do, without procrastination, whatever must be done. These people have no problem with inertia. Most of us have to "use psychology" to get ourselves going.

I rather enjoy practice, but there are occasions when I do not particularly feel like it. This may occur after a lay-off due to unavoidable circumstances. I am able to seduce myself into beginning by saying, "I will practice five minutes and then quit." I have yet to quit after I once get on the practice tee and, in addition, I invariably enjoy the session - even in uninviting weather.

How to Make Time and Place work For You

After inertia has been overcome, attention should be directed toward modifying your environment so that learning is automatically stimulated by your surroundings. The earlier this is done, either by accident or design, the more learning will take place.

It is not an accident that the greatest golfers have developed in areas in which the climate was advantageous, and that many of them lived in close proximity to courses. For several years I deliberately lived close to a driving range, and I feel sure that this accounts for the fact that I am more accurate with woods than with irons. I have always tried to live close to a range or golf course.

In addition to living as closely as possible to golfing facilities, it is wise to make a permanent provision for play or practice time. It has been found that a college student does not have trouble buckling down to work if he has a special time and place for study. At the designated hour, strong habits take over, and almost like a robot, he goes to the "study place."

Once in the "study place," he pulls out a book; then other habits take over and the work is done automatically. One can build up a series of automatic actions so that long and arduous work can be done without straining to stick to the job. Similarly, once you have established a time and a place to practice golf, you are much more likely to practice regularly.

The above are rather commonplace suggestions and are given merely to highlight what can easily be overlooked: that you must place yourself in a situation which will give your wants a definite place and time to find expression. Although we are all handicapped by various unfortunate duties, there is still much that can be done to provide better golfing situations without affecting what the world has come to believe are more important things.

Provide yourself with a convenient time and place to practice golf, and you will no doubt improve immensely.
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