I was thinking about the idea of practice while watching football this weekend. There was an interesting commercial from Under Armour that was airing during the game. The ad shows Tom Brady going through passing drills. During the ad, they replicate him hundreds of times, moving in the exact same pattern over and over again, looking down field with perfect footwork, throwing a complete pass. These ads feature the tag line of You Are the Sum of All your Training. I thought about it for a while and I realized that they were both right and wrong. They were right because we really are the sum of ALL our training. All of it. They are wrong because they limit what we “are” to our sports training.
Every single thing we do gets incorporated into who we are, and how we walk the world. Everything we do in practice not only gets incorporated into the game, it gets incorporated into how we live our lives as well. But, it’s not just what we do that effects everything else. It’s also how we do it!
If we do it wrong, we can train or practice every day and still not improve in our craft. If we practice with flow and grace, building a sense of presence into everything we do; it will follow us onto the course as easily as it will into our living rooms or office. Conversely, if we train with intensity, chaos and a lack of presence, that too will follow us wherever we go. There is no separating the results when it comes to crunch time. We will act as we have trained.
How we live has an equal impact on how we play. If our lives are filled with drama and chaos, that will follow us into practice and onto the playing field. There is no escaping it. We really are the sum of ALL our training.
So we’re going to train better. We’re going to be more present, and train ourselves to live and practice with balance and grace. When all is said and done, not only will we be better golfers– we will be better people.
In my next post I will talk about golf specific practice. Between now and then, here is a simple exercise to prepare.
Sit-up and put your feet flat on the floor.
Have your feet under you so your knees are at 90 degrees.
Slightly raise your rib cage.
Take 3 slow breathes.
Do this 10-15 times per day.