The Fast Track to Better Golf- Myelin

What the heck is myelin? That's exactly what I thought when I heard the word. We all know the value of practice in anything and now there is science research to back up this idea.  It all has to do with this process called myelinization which in a nutshell is the way your brain creates vast highway systems to speed up the way you do things. It is like muscle memory.

Myelin insulation wraps neural circuits in the same way electric wires are wrapped by plastic insulation.

Myelin insulation wraps neural circuits in the same way electric wires are wrapped by plastic insulation.

The thicker your insulation the easier it is to repeat that habit or pattern you've trained to do. So if you've trained the correct technique that pathway has a thick sheath of insulation (myelin) so when you fire those commands to the muscles it fires quickly and powerfully (think muscle memory).

Poor habits are created the same way :( and myelin doesn't unweave itself. You will have to create a whole new pathway with new myelin until that pathway becomes stronger than the "bad technique" pathway. That's why old habits are hard to break.

Spoiler alert- Practice your technique slowly

As football coach Tom Martinez likes to say, “It’s not how fast you can do it. It’s how slow you can do it correctly.” New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady's college coach and coaching guru

 While I might be a pretty good golfer and golf coach I’m not much of a guitar player and so my process of learning and struggling to play a couple Beatles songs has a big effort and slow going. My guitar teacher is the one who suggested that I get the book and now I’m beginning to transfer some of this information from the book to help me play better guitar and I’m hoping inspire you to to practice DEEPER in golf.

I'm hoping I can make this analogy help you understand more. We create the electrical impulses that amazingly create movement in our body. So our brain is like a computer sending out all these electrical blasts to make our muscles respond in a desired way but until you’ve had time to practice something you’re going to be clunky like a Frankenstein creature for awhile. So the clunkiness is like your phone trying to operate with just a one bar signal. The signal between you and other phone is spotty at best and for that same reason your muscles respond less than efficiently since their not getting a clear strong signal.

The more you think about how complex new endeavors are for us the more you wonder how we’ve developed as a species. Pats on the back fellow human beings, the other living creatures on our planet don’t have the bandwidth in their brains to do what we have the capability of doing.

Still look how much you’ve accomplished, standing, walking, getting food in your month efficiently. Then there’s reading, writing, running, jumping etc etc. We’ve had to start from literally zero while some animals like horses pop out of their mom and presto they get up and actually walk then trot around! Turns out those little ponies come pre-loaded with that myelin to get up right away to be ready to escape a predator. Makes you wonder how we didn’t get that head start as well.

Struggle is not optional—it’s neurologically required..... in order to get your skill circuit to fire optimally, you must by definition fire the circuit sub-optimally; you must make mistakes and pay attention to those mistakes; you must slowly teach your circuit. You must also keep firing that circuit—i.e., practicing—in order to keep myelin functioning properly.

So we all know we can learn to do things and with decent coaching and the right drills or exercises from that coach you’ll be able to build your own highway system for all of your golf shots. A good foundation of fundamentals are key and the research is telling us that doing them slowly, correctly and with intense focus is the key to growing this free flowing highway system that gets those impulses to the right place super fast so you can have that well timed golf swing.

Give me a call at 707-529-6458 to discuss how my golf program can help you create a better myelin for you golf swing. or