This post is a simple plea to all golfers, professionals and novices alike to become more aware of your body and it’s functions.
Proprioception meaning “one’s own” and perception, is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement. It is quite often referred to as our ‘sixth sense’.
Kinesthetic awareness encompasses the body’s abilities to coordinate motion and the body’s awareness of where it is in time and space.
So….what have these got to do with golf and why are they so important?
The golf swing is initiated from the ground up. Stability is introduced by driving body weight through the ankles, slightly favoring the instep of the foot, the calf muscles, hip adductors and abductors, thigh muscles and glutes are all activated in sequence. Then the core muscles of the abdominals and obliques kick in to action etc etc etc.
I’m not saying that during this process, the kinematic sequencing, that golfers must be aware of each and every move. It would be impossible to perform such a dynamic motion with all these thoughts and would be very detrimental. I am, however, saying that a greater awareness of these movements is required for most golfers to better understand their movement patterns and progress faster and more efficiently.
When learning to drive we do not learn at high speed, we learn at a very slow pace gradually increasing the speed over time. This is to ensure that we can handle the basic mechanics and fundamentals that are required. The golf swing reaches speeds in excess of 100 mph and many golfers expect to see results by performing this motion at high speed. With so many moving parts it is not possible to master the golf swing using this approach.
Next time you go to the practice tee work on some slow paced drills, if not static, to really feel muscle engagement at each stage of the golf swing.