By: Charles W. Boatright
ASPEN A Self-Coaching Techniques Training Pyramid
The ESPY APP (Apperception) forum consists of self coaching techniques that allow the golfer to analyze their golf swing in real-time. The ESPY APP can even be used on the golf course to make it seamless between how the golfer trains and how he plays. The golfer, using the ASPEN Training Pyramid, self coaching techniques, slows down their perception of the game and steps through their sequential process. The ASPEN Training System develops an intense focus for the golfer to operate within their ZONE. The key of operating within The ZONE is that the golfer can’t distinguish between their mental and physical performance.
The sports psychologist Dr. Nick Molinaro was featured on GolfFix with Michael Breed on Monday night, April 25, 2016, to discuss how the golfer can retain their focus during the round. Dr. Molinaro used the phrase, Shift attention by being aware, not distracted. What Dr. Molinaro was referring to was where the golfer shifts their attention from WHAT, or the conscious, to HOW, the subconscious, during the round and being aware of their muscle memory.
Wristbands, The Missing Links in the Golfer’s Game
WHAT involves swing thoughts, which are never a good thing to have right before you make your golf shot. Instead, the golfer wants to feel and focus on HOW the handle of the club feels in their hands. Feel how the waggle, or presetting the wrists into the Lock position, interacts with the hands and forearms. The wristbands are the missing links in the golfer’s swing. This feeling gets the golfer to focus on muscle memory, or what is referred to as Neuromuscular Performance. This is where the golfer reaches the highest level of performance at the top of the pyramid. Muscle memory also shifts the golfer’s attention from the conscious process (WHAT) into the subconscious process (HOW). These self coaching techniques provide the golfer with the feel, where there is no difference between how the golfer performs on the course and how the golfer trains.
No golf coach can swing the club for you, cause you to understand your golf swing, or develop your golf game better than you can. The golfer is ultimately responsible for comprehending the fundamentals, techniques, sequence, and the feel for their golf game.
There are three relatively new coaching terms that can significantly improve the golfer’s game from the practice range to the golf course. The first coaching term is Apperception, and this the basis of the ASPEN Training Pyramid. The second coaching term is Evocative. The third term is a self coaching process called Neuromuscular Performance. These three terms are a part of the five-tier system of applying the self coaching techniques called the ASPEN Training Pyramid. Below are the list of the five-tiers, with a brief description of each and how they can be applied to one’s golf game.
The Five-Tier Self Coaching System
Tier ONE is Apperception– This is a fundamental part of sports psychology of creating images to take advantage of a previous experience and technique. The golfer can draw from a well-established motor-skill developed at a young age in baseball. The golfer can take their baseball-type swing from the batter’s box to the tee box, with little difficulty. The only designation the golfer needs to make is in the golf club itself. By using the baseball bat model, the shaft of the club is just the extension of the golfer’s arms. The actual baseball bat is the head of the club, as noted in the figure of the baseball bat. This process was substantiated in the Golf Channel interview with David Leadbetter, back in the spring of 2015.
Tier TWO is Sequence– The golfer wants to shift their attention from the conscious to the subconscious mind. Sequence is the key in the golfer’s swing. The ESPY Golf Swing consists of three (S–P–Y) elements. The reason for defining elements is that the subconscious mind works off two components– elements and a well-defined sequence. If the golfer can designate each sequence with a name and in an orderly process during training, the golfer will find it easier to execute more readily on the course. Sequence is the fastest method to allow the golfer to get into their cadence and routine. Routine eliminates the distractions that Dr. Molinaro was referring to in his statement- Shift attention by being aware, not distracted.
Tier THREE is Performance Training- The golfer is replicating similar conditions during training that will exist on the course. One of the best methods to demonstrate this is a football-type scrimmage game. This gives the golfer realistic conditions on how to deal with adrenaline, moving in between shots, and making a variety of golf shots in a short span of time. In my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, I use the condition called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Syndrome to describe this disconnect. If your recall, Dr. Jekyll developed an elixir in his laboratory that changed his personality. In golf, the golfer has an elixir to deal with called adrenaline. There is a scrimmage-type training in The ESPY Golf Swing Coach called the 405 Training Drill that deals with the golfer’s adrenaline.
Tier FOUR is Evocative- This is probably the biggest advantage the golfer has in applying the self coaching techniques in the ESPY Golf Swing. This allows the golfer to shift their subconscious mind by using strong mental images for the target, flight path, and golf swing sequence. The golfer, for instance, can use the EVERLAST label on the wristbands of a pair of boxing gloves. The mental image of the EVERLAST label establishes 80 percent of the golfer’s swing with two simple Sync (CAM) and Preset (CAM-OVER) maneuvers. There is a mental image for every step in the golfer’s swing. In an interview I did with a Vietnam P.O.W., he depended on his mental imagery to maintain his handicap of four (4) at the Hanoi Hilton. His name was Colonel George Robert Hall.
Tier FIVE is Neuromuscular Performance- The golfer uses virtual and actual training techniques to establish and reinforce three (Sync, Preset, and Yaw) elements. This sequence develops neuromuscular dexterity (muscle memory) that the golfer can work on throughout the day. Neuromuscular Training is not limited to conditions or situations. This was proven by Colonel Hall’s case of being held for seven-and-a-half years as a P.O.W. at the Hanoi Hilton. After his release, he was still able to shoot his handicap of four (4) at the Greater New Orleans P.O.W. Pro-Am.
These five self coaching techniques and other procedures cover the golfer’s game from tee-to-green and are explained in The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. This book covers the mental and physical aspects of the golfer’s game and how to integrate golf into work, family, a homeschool setting, and introduces new golfers to the great game of golf. This also allows parents to be a golf coach to their kids and enjoy quality time together that will last a lifetime. Purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the following links:
My book can also be purchased at Edwin Watts Golf Store in Jackson, Mississippi. Phone No. 601-956-8784
820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157