Ritual Practice Part 4

Practice. Practice. Practice. I’m not sure how many times Ben and I have written about the importance of practice. It really doesn’t matter if you’re talking about golf, tennis, or life. If you want to improve, you have to commit to practicing.

Recently, I was discussing the improvements that I have made in my golf game since beginning the TTW project with a client/friend that I have golfed often with over the years. She smiled and said “That’s great, Jer, but you’re bound to get better by practicing so much.” I smiled as it dawned on her what she had just said to me. You see, we have talked about our golf games for years. She always talks about how a long time ago she took a series of lessons and committed to hitting a bucket of balls every day, saw tremendous improvement in her game, and routinely broke 90. Now, she plays 3-4 times per week, but never practices. In fact, she doesn’t even like to practice.

When discussing her game, the theme seems to be how she has lost distance, has a higher handicap, and generally isn’t as good as she used to be. The primary culprit to the diminishing skills, in her opinion, is getting older. I agree that aging can diminish a golf game, but I think the true culprit is the unwillingness to practice.

Having been a client of mine for years, she knows about the value of centering and using the breath to create flow. Occasionally, she even tries to center on the golf course, but she experiences mixed results. When we discuss the TTW principles, she’s always excited about the potential improvement that the program offers, but she approaches it as if centering is a magic wand that, once waved, will create immediate improvement in her game.

Unfortunately, as both Ben and I can confirm, that is never the case. Centering and using the breath to create flow is a tool, a means to an end. It’s not a panacea. It will help improve your game, your attitude, and eventually your life-- if you practice.

This week, keep practicing centering. Practice at home, at the gym, on the driving range, and on the course. Practice being in the moment. Practice. Practice. Practice.

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