Act vs. Apprehension: “M” vs. “E”, Part 1

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

For golfers, the performance of the Stroke Pattern is truly a key moment of truth.  While no one can deny that the impact event is the most integral point of attention for the golfer, the golfer must “act” to generate motion to direct a moving golf club toward and through a stationary golf ball. The golf club was relatively inert until the golfer moved the golf club.  Hence, the “at rest” and inert golf ball responds to the application of force colliding into it from the moving golf club.
The golf club responded to the act of the golfer’s motions and directional navigation in a manner analogous to watching a symphony orchestra conductor operate a baton. The baton is moved in a very specific, navigated, manner by the actions of the conductor, expressing a specific pattern of motion, to communicate vital information relating to the composed music’s organizational sequencing which is to be performed by the entire ensemble of musicians. As with the golf club, the musical instruments are relatively inert until each musician applies specific types of forces to “play” their instrument. The “response” emanations by each musical instrument are tailored to both the sheet music’s code as well as the displayed signals provided by the conductor’s baton. Thus, the conductor’s biomechanical system imparts a pattern of motion into the baton, through a precise performance execution, with the intent of expressing a desired procedural technical blueprint to the orchestra.    

The golfer, like the symphony maestro, must conduct an orchestration of motion using the biomechanical system to produce specific operational responses by the golf club.  Ideally, the golfer began this process in Golf Baseline Position™ (GBP™), with an engaged biomechanical system, displaying a lively, oscillating, docking state (a specific type of grounding relationship with the base of support) prior to execution of the Stroke Pattern.  Hence, the golfer acts and everything else responds and reacts, including the golf ball. 
The golfer solely acts while the golf club and the golf ball react.

The act of “making a motion” is a motor function.  This is a facet of performance.  Any thoughts about the impending performance (act) including perceived evaluations and judgments which produce states of negative arousal, fear, or deter concentration regarding the outcome of the performance of the Stroke Pattern, prior to the actual implementation of the Stroke Pattern, are in essence creating distraction through the emotional production of apprehension.  Simply put, apprehension adversely impairs motor performance expression.

Apprehension in this context is the conjuring by the mind of an adverse based outcome (a manufactured emotional supposition) relating to an as-yet-to-occur-event, because in the present moment, no outcome of any kind exists.

A state of apprehension in this regard (as it relates the performance execution competency of the golfer) tends to evoke distractive, counterproductive, speculation based on subjective and adverse judgments about a perceived negative "certainty" of outcome (of an event that has yet to take place). Thus, in terms of serviceable usage for the aspiring student golfer, there is no extractable benefit to any recognition or evaluation of its "message". The emotional turbulence created by apprehension prior to the actual execution of a procedure is both adversely subjective AND disruptively speculative.

Motion and E-motion (emotion) are very distinct human behaviors with a specific neurophysiology of function that incorporates separate and distinct anatomical regions of the brain.

The only information in this context (for the aspiring student golfer) that should be subject to evaluation, feedback, and diagnostic scrutiny is the data collection obtained from a clinical-like observation of an execution of a procedure that has been conducted.  In this regard, the outcome review and evaluation is objective and of great benefit in helping to improve the performance execution of the aspiring student golfer.

To act is a motor function, which is motion-based.   Motion is a process-oriented dominant function that is based in the “now” of the present moment of its expression.  To engage in any pre-performance execution thoughts, speculations, and/or evaluations which evoke states of apprehension, fear, and negative states of mind are in essence conjuring or manufacturing subjective adverse judgments.  Apprehension in this context is unwarranted and counterproductive because its outcome-oriented derived assumptive based “conclusions” may have no basis in fact as the event has yet to take place. Again, apprehension, in this context, is an adverse biased predication regarding a “future” outcome which may or may not have any basis in fact or credibility.  Hence, the comparison of the terms “motion” vs. “emotion”, which is reflected in the terms act vs. apprehension.

Mr. Kelley discusses the concept of “Ball Response.”  The golf ball acting like a “computer” responds to the information, instructions, and energy transfusion it receives during the entire impact event and its “behavior” is reflected in its “display” of distance, direction, trajectory, and so, on.

The Stroke Pattern or the “act” is a process-driven function and the “response” of the golf ball is the actual “outcome”.  

In 9-0, Mr. Kelley states:

“Law is cause.  Ball behavior—intended or unintended—is effect.  Procedures, Swings and Strokes are ‘Means’ only.  That is, the player’s choice of Means for applying law so that it will produce a desired effect.”

The act should be as lawful as is possible where the G.O.L.F. procedural blueprint is adhered to by the biomechanical system’s performance execution motion display.  This requires that the motor system functions as programmed, through proper expert instruction, without the emotion of apprehension, about a subjective speculation, of a possible adverse based outcome, of the execution of the procedure, impairing the capacity to act as programmed occurring right before the initiation of the execution.   

Emotion of this kind adversely impairs motion.

How does the aspiring student golfer incorporate an “act” overapprehension” approach? In Part 2, the discussion will continue as this question is addressed.

Please address any questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Thank you.