It’s written from the perspective of an Alexander Technique teacher who has worked with many athletes who participate in many different sports including, of course, golf. Just read our last article, Golf and the Alexander Technique to learn more.
It’s been helping my game immensely. Again, I won’t re-iterate everything but the Alexander Technique is about doing less. The conundrum is that you have had these swing/thought habits for so long that you are not even aware you doing them – and the more you try the harder it gets – sound familiar?
The AT (Alexander Technique) aims to get at the space between thought and action and if you think this is a marginal thing all I have to say is that it’s not. I guarantee you’ll find some gems that will directly help your game. I’m saying help to be somewhat neutral – conceivably you could radically improve your game.
I love that the book is very conversational. It’s like me and the author sitting down having a nice fireside chat. The book weighs in at 151 pages and it’s all good, no filler or fluff as is sometimes the case.
You may think that Alexander Techniques might be complicated and it’s one more thing to “add” to the growing plethora of tips already in your head. But remember, The AT is about dropping stuff you don’t need. For example, dropping tension that does not serve you.
Tension is such killer in sports (and everyday life, too!) So it’s important to begin to become aware of this. If you’re like me, you may not even know (or think) you’re tense until you begin to bring your new-founded awareness to it. The AT will bring this to light.
None of the information will overwhelm you, it’s all within your grasp. There’s nothing pompous or stated in such an intellectual way that you won’t “get it”. You will. I promise.
The book focuses quite a bit on helping us “get in the zone” while being in the present moment. Yeah, yeah we’ve all heard that before, right? But actually giving us ways to do it consistently is something else.
Sometimes it can feel like a slippery slope because you want to try to do something without trying but there are ways to access this state more consistently as almost anyone knows you hit your best shots and they always seem to be just “effortless.” This books shows how.
I loved Chapter 6 called “A Moving Experience” It’s all about getting to know what Mr. Palmer calls your “Body Basics” which contain a number of simple experiments that you will thoroughly enjoy. I’ll just share one.
Now, I’ve spoken before about the importance about neck strength in my post, Neck Strength and the Golf Swing but this is even better and it’s shared wonderfully in this passage:
If you ask one hundred people to point to where their head sits on their spine at least ninety-five will point to somewhere on the back of and half way down the neck. The actual joint, known as the atlanto-occipital joint, is higher than most people appreciate and it located towards the center of the skull. Try it. Ask your friends this question and see where they think it is.
So why does this matter? How will it help your golf?
The muscles attached at the base of the skull are connected at the other end to the top vertebrae, and these are the most sensitive muscles, by some distance, in your body. These tiny muscles help coordinate muscle activity in conjunction with the other senses.
It matters to your golf because, if these highly sensitive muscles spanning this joint aren’t active due to tension in the outer layer of muscles, they’re unable to feed vital information about movement and orientation to your nervous system.
If your guess at it’s position was someway off the true location, it’s probably because you’re not letting your head move from this point. You could be preventing your reflexes from coordinating your movement.
In addition to reflexes, the weight of your head sitting in the wrong place will place undue stresses on the rest of your body
The book has many self “experiments” and most are done without a club. There are really quite eye-opening. There is even a chapter called “Seven Experiments to Transform Your Golf.” The 1st of these (since I have been practicing it) has (and I’m not sure why) I believe, transformed my game. Try it yourself and see.
One thing that has made a big difference for me personally has been trying to drop the “hit impulse” Somehow trying to “hit it harder” has been messing with my swing. I knew it but as it was a habit, it was “invisible” to me.
I have had a few nice Twitter exchanges with Roy and, well, you can see what he said below:
It seems so obvious but I have been been thinking about this one thing quite a lot, “That is, what are we doing in our golf swings that cause us to hamper our natural coordination?” Drop those things that are an impediment to your coordination. Golf should have a sense of ease about it NOT struggle.
All in all, a terrific book that will give you much to think about and hopefully not much to think about at all!
Get the paperback or Kindle edition at Amazon here: Golf Sense: Practical Tips On How To Play Golf In The Zone
PS: The only thing I wish I could change is the cover. It somehow does not professionally represent the quality of information in it. But don’t let that stop you from buying it!