Coach Blauer found this blurb on ‘muscle memory’, a term we as coaches run into all the time in the martial arts training world. Even though it relates to golf the principle is the same in our world. Besides, it is often desirable to relate to people through examples from other activities they connect with. Commit the gist of this to memory and keep it handy for review and reference. Thanks Coach!
Muscle Memory Does Not Exist – Contrary to popular belief, muscle memory does not exist. Muscle memory as people commonly refer to it is a myth. The brain has capacity to remember. Muscles do not. Technically speaking, the physiologists tell us that muscles do indeed have intelligence of sorts, but not in the way in which that people generally think. Despite what you may hear people say (fellow golfers, instructors, and infomercial emcees) muscles have no capacity to memorize or recall your golf swing. The muscles do only as they are told by the brain. Many golfers practice diligently endeavoring to groove their swings in their muscle memory. This is well intentioned and understandable; however, it is a futile approach. A golf swing begins when the mind commands the body to move. In golf, there is no reaction or anticipation as is the case with most other sports. We begin from a static starting position. We only swing when we command ourselves to do so. The muscles are dumb . They do as directed by the mind without fail. Thus, it is critical for us to formulate vivid conceptual pictures in our mind s eye of the desired motion and flight of the ball before we swing. Being aware of the mind s role in golf and learning effective mental skills is critical in order to perform optimally. We must learn how to effectively cue ourselves and send the right messages from our mind s to our muscles in order to perform well. Muscle memory does not exist. The mind has capacity to remember. The mind controls the body. Control your mind and your body will follow. Give yourself your best chance to play your best golf. Don t let bad lies impede your learning or take away from your enjoyment of the game.