"C'mon Frank, you need to look much deeper than the sports psychology spawned in the 70's. It's just plain wrong. There is no muscle memory, there is no "mental game". You have one body and one brain; now deal with it." - Geoff Mangum
Mechanics of Instinct
Everything must be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- Albert Einstein
"I term this enterprise "The Mechanics of Instinct" meaning not that golfers require a full blown education in neuroscience, but that golfers need to know in simple terms how to use their innate processes accurately and effectively."
"The instincts are formed by trial and error, just as a child learns to walk with no one telling them how. The body leads the way while the brain catalogs what hurts and what works. Conscious techniques use inappropriate processes of the brain for perception-movement action and using these processes instead of the instinctive and non-conscious processes both causes harm and depletes available resources for effective action."
My fourty year experience while coaching first tennis and then golf, has been a relentless journey towards understanding body-brain synergy (aka "the zone"). This forty year study of the mysterious "zone" during individual competition experienced a paradigm shift nine years ago thanks to Geoff Magnum. Geoff is the prototypical genius (in every regard) that you only get to meet once or twice in your lifetime. Ask him a question and after you brain stops hurting; the answer usually sends you exploring for months. Nine years ago, while watching Geoff work with my daughter, I witnessed "the zone" for the first time in 30 years without it being some magical, mystical, random event. Geoff understands how to tap into the innate processes on command. He has cracked the code as only an Einstein type character can. Expanding his "what works and why in cooperation with the instincts" far beyond the putting green has been my life's work ever since that magical morning. What I have discovered along the way is how to help athletes discover their personal instinctive foundation for precise, finesseful, body friendly motion that allows the body and brain to stay on the same page, and never allow "mental" game issues to evolve.
Thanks always Geoff, for allowing me to use your term "The Mechanics of Instinct." It truly is the only appropriate description of the overall big picture of my teaching philosophy. Thanks for your non compromising attitude while persistently encouraging me to dig deeper, into the new brain science, and far beyond the incomplete, reactive sports psychology born in the '70's, for deeper understanding. Finally, two years ago, I discovered why you always challenged me to look beyond Gallwey, Rotella, and the entire "mental game" industry that followed. Proactive is the new strategy and "paradigm shift" doesn't seem like a strong enough term.
I know better than to be complacent, but for now my search is over and it feels GREAT! Viewing human motion with this very unique lens is proving itself 100% successful and I can't seem to get this stupid smile off my face, knowing I can help anyone on the planet. Thanks Geoff Magnum, my friend.