Building Solid Mechanics

Sun, Apr 26th, 2020
Building Solid Mechanics Building Solid Mechanics

Solid mechanics are a principle of technical competence. We are not searching for perfection or to build a mistake free technical machine, but the objective is to build technical competence in 4 technical areas – Swing, Pitching, Short Game and Putting. Competence is very different to perfection which is a trap many players fall info – competence defined means ‘the ability to complete a task successfully’.

In the 1/3 rule we highlight the concept of the first third of practice focusing on technique, and this is the time you can spend resetting feels and getting your technical ‘ducks in a row’. During a tournament week, this time maybe less than 1/3rd or even not at all, but in the off-season, this may rise to 50% of your practice time – but never go beyond this ratio.



Feedback and Workstations

It’s important to develop some ‘workstations’ in each area. For example, the level of putting has improved immeasurably on the PGA and European Tours over the last 20 years due to the fact that almost every player has some sort of training aid or system that assists them with aim and path. In essence, this is a ‘Feedback or Workstation’. These are extremely valuable at it provides feedback and the constraint aspect of the drill automatically assists you develop good fundamentals.

I recommend that you look to develop work, or feedback stations, in each of these 4 areas. Simon Dyson, a long time client of Tour Coach Pete Cowen, used to hit 20 shots every practice sessions with his right arm only with a 9 iron. He did that for all of his 20 year career. Justin Rose works with a plane line, Tommy Fleetwood as well. Martin Kaymer throughout his whole career has used a small ball hanging from a tie around his neck to promote good synchronisation.

Martin KaymerFor Coaches reading this article, your ability to create and design task and constraint orientated workstations will be a critical key to your success as a coach. You will be able to build new technical patterns within your students quickly and easily, free of heavy amounts of conscious thought.

Technical Maps

Look to have a plan in each of these 4 areas – understand what your positive patterns are, and then what the negative patterns are. Then look to build a map or a plan so you understand with the clarity the ‘move-toward’ pattern. Recruiting an experienced Coach is a critical piece of this jigsaw but be wary of Instructors who preach a one size fits all method. A good Coach will understand that every swing has its own unique moves, and just like a signature uses the same alphabet, each signature does not look exactly the same. You want a Coach who understands the letters of the alphabet, not one that asks you to copy the signature of his perceived superior model swing. You want a Coach that clarifies the ‘macro picture’ – the critical concepts, but then gives you space and engage your natural learning ability to acquire the kinaesthetic feels unique to you.

3D not 2D in your ‘minds-eye’

I think we’re in a great age now as for 20 years analysis was primarily by camera and 2D pictures. But now with the prevalence of 3D we are able to get much more accurate feedback. But the critical point I want to make is: look to see your swing, or putting stroke etc, in your minds-eye in 3D not 2D. Be very way of 2D video, 2D stills as these can never give a pure picture only an approximate one, and sometimes a distorted one. It can help, but always look to visualise your swing or movement in your minds-eye in 3D, because that is what it is.

In the next section of the workbook, we are going to look through each of the 4 areas – Swing, Pitching, Short Game and Putting and look in more detail at the technical fundamentals in order to build technical competence.


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