Swing Focus and Brain Speed


One of the good things that happened to my teaching acumen after studying with Phil Kenyon in 2010 and 2012 was I got hooked on study and research. That mind-set was directly responsible for my goal to attain PGA of America Certification in Teaching and Coaching. So those of you that have studied with me as students and friends know I’m into how we learn with the brain in mind (Michael Hebron’s book title). One of my go to mind numbers is computer style bit rate. Conscious thinking on focus point was thought to operate at 50 bits per second until May 2017 when I found out it was slower at 40 bits per second. The unconscious mind is up in the air from 2,000,000 bits per second to over 20,000,000 bits per second depending on which publication you’re reading. That being written, the conscious mind then operates at 150 milliseconds for a single thought for a world-class athlete and between 250-350 for the rest or us. The quote Shakespeare, “there’s the rub.” A normal swing takes 250 milliseconds so when do we have time to think? “There’s the rub,” if you try to purposefully focus on impacting the ball you’re at least 150 milliseconds late (Pause 60 seconds and think about that), and you don’t have time to consciously finish your swing. How many teaching and coaching sessions have we done with a goal of swing focus on the balanced finish; yet we find our pelvis stops rotating giving us a pull hook or push. What happened? Where was our swing focus?

So examine the pictures of this world-class golfer, and pay close attention to the yellow arrows. Some think his swing is as close to perfect as anyone can get (me too). I bet he was thinking about the finish, or any other normal thing after impact. What do you think?

The players time from start to finish is 150 milliseconds. If he only focused on hitting the ball he would probably stop some body movement at impact. However, he moves through impact to a balanced finish as though the ball were just in the way of his finish. So swing focus should be on movement after impact possibly 200 milliseconds after impact so the sub-conscious mind can strike the ball.

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