Edition 1492
15 September 2018
Edition: 1492

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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Urges old and new

by Advertiser, in Sport · 11-01-2018 14:48:00 · 0 Comments

Happy New Year to all of you reading this. We hope from the Golf Integrated Academy that you have a healthy and competitive 2018 ahead of you. Traditionally this time of year calls for a fresh slate ahead of you with a desire to correct some habits which have a negative effect on your body or being.

Urges old and new

It’s a time when the gyms are full of good intentions, with the treadmills being pounded, wanting to get rid of the Christmas overload.
The commitment is high, the memory of that second mince pie after breakfast still clear in your mind, leading you onto that extra mile on the bike or the rowing machine. By February the gyms will be quiet again and old habits will have become the same habits you have always had.
Not wanting to put a downer on things here, it’s just the circle of life, and why the fitness trade loves this time of year. It’s a time where good intentions mix with optimism and commitment. The perfect storm for short term development.
The one issue here is when the commitment starts to wane the old habits and comfort start to take over and gradually yet inevitably, you are back to square one.
Commitment is the key because changing habits is really, really tough. After all, you only do the things you want to do. There is generally a reason for everything you do, it has been consciously thought about.
It sits within your comfort zone and you do it. It could be to make you feel better, to make someone else feel better, it could be for safety’s sake, it could be for danger’s sake. Everything is done for a reason.
Habits take a long time to become embedded. Anywhere between 18 to 254 days to be precise. So, if you have a habit, which you have been doing for a long period of time, you are predisposed to return to that course of behaviour.
Think of a habit which you do, say making a cup of coffee with your breakfast. It will take over two months of drinking water with breakfast to take away the urge for that cup of coffee.
The trouble is that the moment your commitment falters, within that two month stretch, you are back to the old routine of a coffee ‘to get you going’.
Commitment is key, every time you feel that you have conquered the urge, you have seen the results, you ease off and allow the fledgling habit to be smothered by the old ‘destructive’ behaviour.
I was once in a brilliant seminar where the lecturer, said that only when the desire to change is stronger than the urge to be same are you going to exact positive development. Sometimes the very fear of continuing a habit knowing that it will lead to a life-threatening situation is enough to change. For example, how many people have struggled for years with weight loss, then been through the horror of a heart attack and found the motivation to shed the pounds because they don’t want their lives to be cut short. That imminent danger is enough to kick in the commitment to change.
This of course isn’t even touching on the addiction urge towards sugar, nicotine or alcohol.
In this case you feel as if you need the substance and yet this substance is bad for you. In these circumstances the commitment has to be so strong, the resolve so deep, because the brain knows how good it feels to have the rush of sugar, the hit of nicotine or the buzz of booze.
All of these drive you back to the habit, because you remember the satisfaction of the feeling after you have taken them.
With all of this habit and commitment talk, you can now probably imagine how difficult it is to change your golf swing.
Let me put it this way, there are some habits which are easy to change for example alignment, a tweak of the grip, where the initial pain of withdrawal from the old habit is small and painless. Compare this to the chronic slicer whose whole move is ingrained, over years. This is a problem for the coach because as soon as the player loses a few balls, loses confidence in the game they will almost always return to the slice.
Even if they know it’s the wrong thing to do it still feels better (more familiar) than the new option.

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Edition 1492
15 September 2018
Edition: 1492

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

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