Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Human Brain and Golf : Perfect Movement Hampered by the Flexible Nervous System

We knew it all along.
The answer to why we still lag a few golf strokes behind Tiger Woods.
It's the brain.

The January 17, 2007 Stanford Report points to a Stanford study which indicates that our golf swing and golf score will never be perfect, because "movement is not primarily a mechanical phenomenon".

David Orenstein gives us this explanation:

"For athletes, the inability to replicate the perfect movement might seem to be a frustrating problem that needs to be solved. But ....

[as we are told by the authors of the study]
"The nervous system was not designed to do the same thing over and over again.... The nervous system was designed to be flexible...."

The value of practice and training is that they can reduce the variation in the mind's abilities, but they don't change the variable way the mind plans motion. An analogy might be to doing math problems. Someone who has studied will find it easier to solve a new problem than someone who has not prepared."

Now, when they can tell me how to get the mind to keep from guiding that ball out of bounds, i.e. to simply eliminate that as a potential "motion variable", we will have something serious to talk about.

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