Act vs. Apprehension: “M” vs. “E”, Part 3

By Dr. Matthew M. Rosman, GSEE
Director of Biomechanics and Sports Science, The Golfing Machine, LLC

In Part 3, the discussion will focus upon practical application of a strategic thought management approach introduced in Part 2 of this series.  

To review:

•    A Strategic thought management approach enables the aspiring student golfer to apply a conscious selective recognition filtering process as it relates the attentional focus prioritization of objective data over random, counterproductive, subjective based thoughts.  

•    Such types of subjective based thoughts often serve to undermine the desired capacity to engage in a competent performance execution act due to the distractive disturbance to concentration created by the influx of apprehensive based thoughts.

•    The aspiring student golfer is instructed to purposely and selectively “pay attention” to objective data review relating to the application of the selected TGM technical procedural schematic, as it relates the biomechanics of the performance execution act’s pattern of pose choreography, with its resultant Ball Response Display.

•    This application of a selective recognition filtering process is a key aspect of a comprehensive Competency Appraisal Review (C.A.R.™) approach.  (Please review Part 2 of this series for further information pertaining to a C.A.R.).

•    In addition, the aspiring student golfer must endeavor to learn to consciously ignore or dismiss any streams of subjective chatter which serves to undermine states of calm, disturbing focus, leading to states of apprehension.  

•    The goal is to filter attentional focus to review and analysis of objective data collection while passively dismissing subjective based apprehension inducing eruptions of chatter.  

•    Part 2 of this series provided various approaches and examples of such a filtering process.

In fact, the basic mechanisms already being employed for a motor skill act by the biomechanical system may be harnessed to help educate the aspiring student golfer in applying a strategic thought management approach.

For a motor skill act to be performed with increasing expressions of desired congruent, redundant, automated-like proficiency, the aspiring student golfer must utilize both the sensory and motor functions of the nervous system in a more attenuated manner.  This means, for example, that attention to feedback provided by “feel” or “touch” must be heightened to create attentional focus that is sharply fixated upon all that is important (relative to performance goals) in the present moment or the here and now.  

Sensory-motor concentration with the purpose of gathering data feedback, enabling more precision in kinesthetic spatial relationships, and all associated  biomechanical orientations fixates the focus on objective data collection while facilitating the muting of apprehensive based chatter.

Kinesthetic sense focuses on the ability to be able to accurately discriminate the spatial location, position, and/or direction of motion of components of the biomechanical system without having to exclusively utilize or rely on the visual system for clarification or confirmation. Hence the “feeling of motion* and all of the nuances associated with the static and dynamic aspects of position “awareness” are facets relating to kinesthetic sense. Therefore, the intensification, of the clarity of focus upon, the development and utilization of the specific skills associated with kinesthetic sense (both awareness recognition and application), will facilitate the aspiring student golfer to selectively choose which streams of thoughts to pay attention to.

This is a key: shifting all energy to the present moment or the here and now, and programming the biomechanical system in a priority based strategic thought management process of directing attentional focus recognition to what is required for the present moment fixates the attention away from apprehensive based streams of distractive chatter.
This can be compared to choosing which of two faucets to place an empty bucket to collect fluid to put out a fire: one faucet is streaming water (objective based data) and the other is streaming kerosene (subjective based apprehensive thoughts). The type of fluid used to fill the bucket with, to put out the fire, will produce two completely different results.  Hence, process produces outcome.  

•    Specific features and aspects regarding touch, temperature, pressure, position sense and so on, which are distinct classifications of sensations, with specific characteristics, can be gathered by diverse and specialized types of nerve data collection receptors.

•    The feel of the hands, the sense of the weight of the clubhead, motions and minute variations in pose orientation, the state of docking of the feet in ground, the releasing of tension in the jaw, of slowing the breathing, and so forth, will commence this present minded attentional focus toward objective data gathering.
Objective data gathering and the attentional focus upon all the processes associated with objective data gathering create a firm cause-effect foundation for the aspiring student golfer.  A cause-effect approach is the foundation for performance enhancement.
The aspiring student golfer is navigated away from speculation, non-factual judgment, guessing, and any type of reliance on “trial and error” so that the ability to separate myth from fact is developed to the highest possible level of competency as is possible.

Furthermore, as attentional focus is directed, with every increasing accuracy, to the inventory of the status of the biomechanical system, such as adjusting tension in the body, or relaxing the toes from a “clutched” or “clawed state”, and so, on, the aspiring student golfer will fully embrace the comprehensive performance empowerment benefits of sensory-motor control over the biomechanical system.  This navigational control will further facilitate the concentration of focus into the present moment of the here and now. (For more information pertaining to the subject of lock-downs, please consult the BIA P.A.R.-formance™ manual).
A quote from the Buddha is appropriate in this context:

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

The present moment of the here and now, a main aspect of this performance based type of strategic thought management, permits the aspiring student golfer to develop, harness, and optimize, the sensory-motor functions of the nervous system, that the biomechanical system utilizes, for lawful participation in the performance exection act, leading to the goal of developing an uncompensated Stroke Pattern. The aspiring student golfer must be educated in the methodology of how to direct or navigate attention toward selective harvesting of key objective data from the streams of thoughts with-in the mind.  

Filtering the objective data from the subjective chatter is what a strategic thought management approach provides.
The physics employed in The Golfing Machine, which is a process of harnessing and applying very specific forces through executions conducted by the biomechanical system, produces very distinct “feels” and sensations.

The aspiring student golfer should maximize the very reality of this basic tenet by engaging the sensory system to focus attention, quite intently, and specifically, to the present state of:

•    Gathering comprehensive sensory information, pertinent to lawful application of forces

•    Complying with a procedural technique blueprint through the active, mindful, navigation of the execution of a pattern of poses conducted by the biomechanical system.  

Mr. Kelley is very clear in this mechanism of present minded sensory awareness as a means to evolve an act despite the presence of apprehension approach through the method of Monitoring.  In The Golfing Machine, 7th Edition, 5-0, Mr. Kelley states:

“’Monitoring’ is awareness—through ‘Feel’, ‘Feedback’, sensation—of the location, condition, direction, etc., of any element for any purpose.  When you watch as you reach for your cup, you are unaware of your hands.  But with your eyes closed, you are acutely dependent on them.”

When a golfer engages in Monitoring (a critical aspect of developing educated hands) there is a narrowing of the focus to informational gathering from various types of “data collection” sensory receptors for analysis and appropriate motor based feedback regulation control.  This is a present-minded procedure, employing a strategic thought management approach, of objective data gathering, which channels the attentional focus of the aspiring student golfer away from permitting the intrusion of any apprehensive based subjective, distractive thoughts.  

Mr. Kelley’s concept of Monitoring, an “in the present moment” experience, is a method that permits the aspiring student golfer to follow the recommendations of the Buddha:

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

Awareness, through the gathering of objective data, to evolve the present moment state of attentional focus, may be further expanded upon in an act over apprehension manner to include:

•    The examples provided at the end of the Part 2 article in this series. To review: a  Competency Appraisal Review of the aforementioned execution gathers objective based data as it relates all specified intrinsic and extrinsic skill acquisition goals. This review includes process and outcome based appraisals which dismisses subjective based judgments and focuses attention upon data collection pertaining to the performance execution act by the biomechanical system.

•    Enhanced activities where the aspiring student golfer is guided through a process of assessing various sensory aspects of kinesthetic states (eyes open and eyes closed) pertaining to the specific elements of biomechanical poses, texture of the materials of construction of the golf club, the sensation of lively docking by the feet with the materials of the socks, golf shoes, and connection with the ground.  

•    Other enhanced activities may include aspects pertaining to regulating extensor action tension (through specific action(s) by the glenohumeral and elbow joints of the trailing arm), pressure point changes through alterations in alignment, etc.

•    Monitoring a steady head about a moving Pivot System through various Chapter 8 (The Golfing Machine) locations.

•    Using the section 7-17 (Foot Action) passage as a drill: “Halting the Backstroke motion with the Feet and letting this same tension pull the Downstroke through Impact…..

•    Using sections 10-20-B (Right Arm Throw) and 10-20-C (Shoulder Turn Throw) as drills.

•    Using the The Golfing Machine’s Extensor Strap and monitoring the changes in Number 3 Pressure Point sensations through the designated Stroke Pattern. This can include an eyes open and then eyes closed approach.

•    Monitoring Axis Tilt during Start Down by detected pressure changes in the feet.

•    Using section 10-19 (Downstroke or Float Loading) as a drill and detecting in isolation the specific properties of participation of each of the TGM Chapter 9 Zones.

The sensory-motor system provides excellent resources for the optimization of both Monitoring and active piloted navigated motion so that the aspiring student golfer may learn how to shift attentional focus to the present moment thereby inducing an “act” over “apprehension” performance enhancement capacity.

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