I was talking with a golf pro yesterday. He was talking about the sound the club head made as I hit the ball, when the sound was good and bad. I related that to how the muscles in my body felt. I was trying to feel each muscle move and understand what I should feel to improve my swing.
Your body moves a lot during the golf swing. There are multiple parts of your body moving in opposing directions and it’s all simultaneous. You have to learn to control your body in space.
How do we learn this?
There is a term, proprioception.
Proprioception - from Latin proprius, meaning "one's own", "individual", and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.
We train our proprioception. We learn to understand where each part of our body is relative to the rest of the body. With this comes the understanding of our muscles and how they feel as your body moves.
But Dan, how do you train proprioception?
That’s the big secret to getting more from your training. Control… Control… Control!!! Did I mention control?
Here’s an example. Take the squat. An exercise most people do. Now use no weight, just your own body and slow down. Take a full 5 seconds to go from standing to your full depth. Pause there for a second. Then take 5 seconds on the way back up.
Here’s what you’re getting:
Now imagine if you spent a month doing movements like that only. Your awareness would be increased. You can then start to truly control yourself.
Reintroduce weights after this and see an increase in strength, because you aren’t just using momentum to lift weights anymore. You truly have control of the weight.
And now try swinging a golf club. Focus on the feel of the body as you set up, as you go into your backswing, and as you go into your downswing. You may be surprised at how the swing feels when you really focus. And you may also be surprised at how much better your swing is too!