When I produced the Single Plane Solution in Aprils of this year (2010), I was designing the cover and wrote ‘The Secrets of the World’s Greatest Ball-striker”. The funny thing is, that I don’t believe that there are any secrets. In one sense, I like the word secret because it tells me that there is something I can discover – something I can learn. On the other hand, the word secret can also make thing sound like the one holding them is unworldly or inhuman. Moe’s secrets in my opinion are not really secrets at all, – they are really the truth. But isn’t the truth sometimes hard to discover? And would discovering some unknown truths – be a secret? So, did Moe know something that no-one else knew. Did Moe “know” a secret?
Personally, I doubt Moe “knew” that what he was doing had any real bio-mechanical advantages other than the results it produced. I believe Moe, through hard work and the way he viewed the world, was able to “discover” an anatomically perfect way to swing the golf club. So, how exactly did he do this?
I can only speculate that there were a number of factors in play. First, he was not a conventional thinker. And because of this, he was able to try things that others may not have tried. Second, I am sure he liked being alone hitting golf balls. His solitude allowed him to spend hours upon hours hitting balls alone. In this time, he was focused on hitting the target. Because of this focus, he was “tuned-in” to the target thus finding the best way to get the club to impact and to the target – simultaneously. He was very intuitive. This means he paid attention to his feelings and what caused what in his practice. These factors allowed Moe to discover feelings of body and club movement that allowed him to perfect swing plane, impact and ball-striking. It is no wonder he called his swing “The Feeling of Greatness” and not “The Swing of Greatness”.
It is Moe’s intuitiveness toward his feelings that intrigued me. As a matter of fact, when I practiced and played with Moe, his feelings are what he used to communicate instruction. There was very little technical information. One time, I asked him about a particular movement, and instead of telling me about it, he grabbed me to physically show me. Moe knew, that he could not tell me what needed to be shown. Now, after over 15 years of teaching, and learning from such books as “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle, I have a much better understanding of the importance of feelings. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that the only way we learn is through feelings. Now, think about this for just a moments. This has very important implications.
Many instructors understanding the learning model to include auditory, visual and kinesthetic components. And while all of these components can be useful as far as communicating I do not believe that they can equally create golf swing learning, the only one that you can physically learn is by doing. Nike has it right, you have to “just do it”.
Many times, students are afraid to train incorrectly. While I always support perfect learning, it is also important to understand and I always tell students that all doing is learning. As a matter of fact, incorrect doing is still learning. It is still useful to some degree. For example, if you have a strong grip and you continue to hook the ball, you are learning that a strong grip causes a hook. The problem with most students, however, is that they don’t know that they have a strong grip. Therefore, they try to stop hooking it without changing their grip position. This is where most problems occur.
What I have found is that a great learning environment is a combination of visual and kinesthetic where you can match perception and reality – ultimately matching feelings with the visual consequences. This is a true shortcut to the learning process. Which will be my discussion for the next webinar and blog. Until then, stay warm and practice so you feel it.