On Instruction, Part 3

I had an interesting conversation about a month ago. A woman from my neighborhood was watching me practice my golf swing in the park, and she struck up a conversation. She introduced herself and told me a bit about herself and her family and their relationship to golf: her husband had played professionally and now ran a local golf course; both of her daughters had played at the collegiate level; one of them was now a teaching pro at another local course; she herself had been a pretty good golfer at one point. She asked about my practice, and I told her what I was doing. She clearly enjoyed hearing about it. And she replied, quite casually, "It's a tough sport to figure out on your own."

I have been thinking about that comment for a few weeks now. I think it's really interesting. It seems pretty obvious on the face of it, but the more I examine it, the more I see.

First of all, as I try to improve my game, I'm not trying to figure it out on my own--I have Jerry and all his knowledge of centering and kinesiology to help me. I have my own eyes. I have all the video I could ever want of the best players in the world. And I have my own practice of centering and the body-focus it engenders to teach me the "rightness" or "truth" of my swing.

Furthermore, right now I'm actually operating in a pretty specific problem space: I am trying to unlock my power. A powerful shot arises from a swing that flows from core. That's the only way it can work. So the answer will be found in feeling my way to unrestricted movement in the core. Which is to say that right now I know what I need to be practicing.

And finally, as I've been practicing, I've discovered a very important piece that most outside instructors just aren't equipped to deal with: a major block to flow doesn't manifest in sport alone. The way I restrict my power is not limited to just my golf swing. The problem runs far, far deeper than that. Somewhere, a long time ago, I learned that letting my power flow in my life didn't feel safe, and so I put the brakes on. And it's affected me in all aspects of my life ever since. This is a sensitive space.

There will come times in this process when I won't know what I don't know, and the technical knowledge of an expert will serve me well. But there are also times, as now, when I know both what to practice and the energetic repercussions of that practice. I'm not stuck or confused. I'm not saying that no one out there is equipped to help me, but when things are flowing on their own, why risk muddying the waters?

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