Lesson 1 – Get Aligned and Stay Aligned (part of a weekly series)
My oldest daughter isn’t quite ready for golf lessons. However, I already decided that when she and her sisters are ready, I intend to be their Miyagi.
Yes, I am currently binge watching Netflix’s Cobra Kai.
And yes, I am motivated by Ralph Macchio’s performance – yet again.
But I always felt that golf had an ability to teach life’s lessons much like Miyagi taught through karate.
So, if you are teaching your children how to play golf or you are working to improve your own golf game, I would be honored to share with you some tips that can help lower your score and improve your life.
90% of golf and life is about how you align yourself with your target.
Before you get set up to swing, you need to know where your target is. Be strategic with where you want to go (this will be it’s own lesson down the road).
Once you have a target, you need to set up so you are properly aligned with it.
In golf, figuring out your target is fairly easy. Getting all of your body parts to be aligned to that target is more complicated.
Challenge #1: Have a target but find something closer to you to get aligned with. The target can be so far away that it can be tough coordinating your body it. You can think your body is properly set up but it’s really way off course.
- TIP: Pick a spot 1-3 feet in front of your ball that is in alignment with the further away target. The imaginary line between your ball and the spot on the ground should be in the same line with your further away target. Here is a great video on alignment.
Challenge #2: Every part of you should be aligned with your target. Your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders all are creating imaginary lines and each of those lines should be in alignment with that imaginary line on the ground (like the yellow dotted line above). Many times, people have their imaginary hip line going one way and their imaginary shoulder line going another way. This will cause your swing to be inconsistent in hitting your target (hooking it, slicing it, or over-correcting).
- TIP: Have somebody stand behind you and tell you where your feet, knees, hips, and shoulder lines are facing. If you are by yourself at the range, take a video of yourself and see for yourself how you line up. Are your imaginary lines parallel with each other? Are they going to your desired target?
Challenge #3: Alignment continues to be important throughout the shot Your club, at the top of the swing, should be generally pointed toward your target as well.
Tip: It’s really tough to control your body and know how all these parts of your set up and your swing are lining up. Keep testing your set up and your swing to see how everything aligns. Do this repeatedly so you can develop an accurate muscle memory.
Having a life dream is critical to our well-being. Each of us needs something that we feel like we are aiming at (even if what we are aiming at is just a better version of our self).
To consistently move toward our life dream, we need to set up little goals right in front of us that are in alignment to that larger vision (that’s the spot on the ground).
We also need to get our virtues, interests, strengths, personality, environment, mission and those we surround ourselves with in alignment with that larger dream of ours. If any one of those are off, life can get out of control in a hurry – just like a golf shot. Sometimes we think we are aiming in the right direction and we are actually way off. Sometimes we think we are in alignment but really, something is off – creating a whole lot of over-correcting, inconsistency, and headache.
Developing a consistent swing just like developing a joyful and engaged life demands discipline!
It never hurts to do a little reflection or work with a partner to assess what you are aiming at in life and how well you are aligned with that vision. Without reflection or a thought partner, it’s easy to feel like we are aiming at something but really going way off course.
If you are interested in learning more about building your life dream – visit my website or our Facebook group at “Dream Trust.” I am sharing a free course here in the Dream Trust Facebook Group where I help people gain the insight to creating and moving toward their personal life dream.
Personal request – over the course of these blog entries, let me know if you see anything wrong in my own swing. I need all the help I can get too.
Stay tuned for next week’s tips on balance.