For a while there, despite what we were hearing about El Niño, it was looking like Jerry and I were going to be able to practice golf all winter long, like we'd have no hiatus at all. But now it's finally gotten cold and the snow has arrived and winter has come.
Assuming the White Walkers don't make it all the way to Boulder, what are we intending to do with Training Tiger Woods during what will be the golf off-season?
Well, first of all, every year that I've lived in Boulder, there has been a mid-winter warming in which the snow melts, things dry out, and it's possible to go out and hit balls, perhaps even play. I'd be surprised if that's not the case this year as well. When it rolls around, doubtless we'll take advantage of it and get outside to practice.
But our focus will mostly be elsewhere. As Jerry said on Monday, in the gym we're going to focus on foundational conditioning, as well as applied meditation and visualization. And I'm hoping to take a little time to let/help my body return to full health. I've had pain in my elbow from overextension during tennis serves since back in the summer, and I still have a lot of tightness in my body from when I separated my shoulder, because the muscles tightened to protect the injured area. I'm hoping some regular yoga practice and body work will help open up the stuck energy in and around each of those parts of my body.
Also, I'll be on the slopes a lot this winter. I'm working as a ski instructor this year, and while I'm in the high country I intend to work on TTW-related skills quite a bit.
With respect to my own skiing and riding, I've already been practicing and playing with the sorts of techniques we've talked about here on TTW, and I've seen them apply successfully to skiing and snowboarding. Back in 2013, poor early season snow had me spending most of January and February skiing cruisers and working on my technique. I subsequently had the best late-season of skiing I'd ever experienced. Though the snow is much better this season, I've taken that same focus and coupled it with centering, breathing, and the kind of practice techniques we've talked about here. So far the results have been quite positive.
I'll also be exploring teaching TTW techniques to my students. Instructors are given a pretty thorough training by the resort before we first work with students--the ski school's trainers have been doing this a long time, and they have the teaching of skiing progression pretty substantially down at this point. But I've already found that there's a gap in the training. Already I've seen the necessity of teaching core activation and breath focus. I've also seen that those areas are really unfamiliar terrain for most people, far more unfamiliar than skiing itself.
Getting to work directly with students throughout the winter will doubtless teach me a huge amount about how to teach and apply these techniques effectively. When golf season rolls around again, I expect to have a lot more in my bag, as it were, and I'll be very excited to get to apply it.