Anxiety/Overthinking while over the ball

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  • Anxiety/Overthinking while over the ball
  • #1128522

    Hi guys – just completed day 9 of chapter 1, so still in the early stages of the program. I am a 43 year old 11 index in CA who has been back playing golf the last 3 years, stuck in a rut, and willing to try ANYTHING to improve. I’ve found many of the drills/methodologies/concepts to be EXTREMELY helpful in Tathata, and have been feeling increasingly optimistic about my ability to get better (FINALLY). However, I have not yet managed to manifest tangible improvement on the course (but occasionally on the range, naturally!). In particular, I have tried to grind on the “hips back / ribs up” and “surf to motion” feels, as my downswing is where things go awry (my big miss are fat hooks with early extension the primary culprit). While practicing, I’ve noticed that my divots will be in FRONT of the ball on the practice swing, the swing flows, etc — then when I get over the ball, I rush my back-swing/don’t take a full turn, and my old tendencies re-appear… and then the frustration builds. I have tried to “visualize/imagine” the shot shape, breathed, expect something great, etc – but inevitably the monkey mind dominates.
    Part of being a good driver/iron player is (I think!), not focusing on the ball but utilizing your pivot/turn to hit through — the ball just gets in the way. But when I stand over the ball while playing, my hyper-analytical mind kicks in, and I cannot get out of my own way to save my life. Today, for that matter, I shot my worst round (95) in several years.
    I realize one needs to be patient when learning new concepts (and un-learning the old!), but I am concerned that my biggest enemy is right between my ears – and it shows no signs of changing! Would be greatly appreciative for any thoughts / ideas as I continue my way through Tathata (books to read, techniques to try, etc). Thank you very much! Sincerely, a very frustrated Scott


    Are you working with the mental training exercises as well? I found as I worked through the chapters that getting my focus out in front helps get rid of ball-bound thinking.

    It is natural early in a swing change to have lots of thoughts as you haven’t developed the confidence in the new swing yet. I found it valuable to “let go” of swing thoughts and think target. I invlove as many of my senses as possible to develop an image of what shot I want to take as I do my pre-shot routine. Not just the sequence of the muscles firing, but also how the feeling of the ball off the club, the sound of club hitting ball, then ground. Even the sound of the ball hitting the green and what it will do once it hits the green. I want to make an internal database of as many feelings I can for each shot so that for the next shot I can refer to the ones that worked and disregard those feelings for shots that didn’t work.

    So, grind away on the range. Then, when you get to the course, leave those swing thoughts at the range and think target and sense your shots during the round.


    Scott – At day 9, you’ve already experienced improved ball striking on the driving range, which is excellent. Many have swings that are so far off the mark that it takes much longer. I suspect that the chapter on pressure (Ch. 3 I think) will benefit you a great deal. Keeping everything together while surfing to level is essential. As you know, Tathata takes a martial arts approach to learning so be patient in knowing that one doesn’t become a black belt over night. Keep training the body and it WILl show up at the course.

    Keep us posted. I can’t wait to hear about your success!!!


    Hi Scott – If you haven’t already, I highly recommend switching over to the new program. It moves forward the dicusssion about pressure and adds several new movements to the first part of the program. I think the modifications will rapidly accelerate learning for Tathata students. Keep us posted on your training and success. While there is no forum on the new site, you can always post back here.


    I am the same stage as you and also overthink when I’m over the ball. I’d be interested to know whether you’ve improved?

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