Playing Against the Wind
One of the core messages of the sacred Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita is to focus on the efforts as opposed to the results. It can be hard to understand the true meaning behind such profound wisdom, and just as hard to actually implement it.
The other day I was at the driving range, going through my usual routine and hitting my bucket of balls. I’ve spent a lifetime working to define and tweak my swing, and recently felt that I’ve come to a good place where I have a smooth, reliable and consistent swing. Yet that day, when I was a quarter of the way through my bucket of balls, I began to notice that I started slicing the ball, and my hitting got progressively worse and worse. I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening. Towards the end of the bucket, I tossed some grass into the air to check the direction of the wind. I found that the wind was coming straight at me.
It was then I realized what happened: when I started with my bucket of balls, I didn’t account for the wind. I just expected I would be hitting the same distance with my 7 iron and other clubs. And when I didn’t do that, I started to hit the ball harder, in essence getting out of my well-defined swing. Golf swinging isn’t about sheer power, but rather the delicate balance between finesse and power. This could very easily get out of synch if you try to overpower your swing.
Here, the lesson learned is that if I would have focused on staying with my practice routine and perfecting my swing, as opposed to taking the length of my ball distance as a feedback or queue, I would have been out of sync. Wind isn’t something I could control, and it’s a factor that will affect Tiger Woods just as much as it would a novice golfer.
Many of us go through making adjustments for the wrong reasons, and keep getting a well-balanced situation out of sync purely because they were using the wrong feedback mechanism.