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Just curious; if caveman wanted a drink of water out of cupped hands, do you think his brain was smart enough to control his hands to remain cupped and palm pointing up at the sky so the water would stay in his hand and not get spilled before getting to his mouth?,

Or, would they roll over thinking food was being put in the mouth?
 

Desmond

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Just curious; if caveman wanted a drink of water out of cupped hands, do you think his brain was smart enough to control his hands to remain cupped and palm pointing up at the sky so the water would stay in his hand and not get spilled before getting to his mouth?,

Or, would they roll over thinking food was being put in the mouth?
Depends on whether he was reading from Facebook or twitter. :ROFLMAO:
 

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WILDTHING

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Lane ,

From what I've read so far I can appreciate that the hands have a large part to play in helping a golfer to apply the correct forces/torques at the right time and orientation , but obviously other parts of the body also provides some sensory input on how the body should respond too. For example your feet and their interaction with the ground provides a fair amount of sensory perception, your eyes , nose , face , lips may also provide sensory input on how your body responds. How about the fluid in your ear canals, don't they also provide sensory output to the brain to decide an intended movement?

Maybe its worth you creating another thread to state how you would instruct a golfer to perform the necessary biomechanics for an efficient golf swing. Knowledge that the hands are a major sensory input to the brain is nice to know but I'm interested in how it can be put to practical use?

The hands are the only body parts in contact with the club , but other body movements can also transmit forces to the club via the hands (ie. in this case the hands could just be viewed as conduits). To date no-one has been able to determine what forces/torques are being applied by each hand in the golf swing because of something called the 'Closed Loop' and it would require high tech sensors that might cost many hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars.

The only research that has come close to identifying the torques/forces applied by each hand was Koike and Choi but there are major doubts concerning their results and conclusions (see the critical analysis by Dave Tutelman below). Without that information how each hand (dominant or non-dominant) might actively/passively do 'work' on the club (from a physics perspective) is qualitative.

Opening the loop -- instrumented grips (tutelman.com)

So for example , what forces/torques 'feel' would you advise a golfer try and recreate 'in their hands' during different phases in a full driver downswing?

Going back to the OP's 'swing thought' question , I still think an external focus and making your 'setup' and 'dynamic' practice swings match your intended task (as best as possible dependent on your past experiences) is as good a way as any other. Obviously during their dynamic practice swings they might feel what they intend to do via the sensory perceptions in the palms/fingers of the hands but also other body parts too.




Here's the education part that I found regarding how our body parts sense/feel things and communicate to the brain .

 
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Lane

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R,
The answer to your first question is - yes. Almost 50 % of the human brain is dedicated to it’s head where our five senses are housed and all are connected to and controlled by the brain.
As to your second question- I’ll pass on it .
As always , Thanks for your reply !
 

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Razaar,
We can all have our different thoughts and opinions and you have yours. I will stick with research by our famous Neurologist and brain Surgeons who have actually gone into human brains and made these discoveries ( Cortical Homunculus if you care to research ) and who’s papers have been written in medical and received accolades from our most intelligent Surgeons .
Great to hear from an Aussies . I have a friend from Australia who comes here to play with me . I am a big fan of Australia. Great culture there.
Good luck!
 

Duffer Seamus

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Relevant parts of the Original Post...

I don't know how we got to a thesis (it's a virus called "continual threadjack").
More like "thread drift," since it's still marginally on-topic, but, yeah.

My current instructor tells me that I should not have swing thoughts during competition, but if I try to eliminate the swing thoughts, all of the bad swing characteristics come back. Any suggestions?
@PhatJohnny, let us start (or re-start) by asking: What do you mean by "swing thoughts?" I know what they used to be to me, but I'm wondering what you mean by them?

One reason I ask is this: As was noted just a bit up-thread: The time it takes from the beginning of the down-swing (P4) to ball impact (P7) is roughly 0.2 to 0.25 seconds. It has been established, in testing, that it's a neurological and physical impossibility for a thought to occur, be transmitted to your muscles, and your muscles to effect a change in that short a time. Thus for any swing thoughts to have an effect on your swing, they are those occurring during address and back-swing. IOW: At the moment you begin your down-swing, the ball's fate is already decided.

This is not to say there can't be variance in your down-swing, but any such variances are due to decisions made before the downswing is begun, poor or inconsistent grip, inconsistent form, etc.

The "swing thoughts" I used to have I would describe more as "swing anxiety thoughts," back when I was still having them. I no longer have swing thoughts, per se. I now have what I wish to accomplish, setup/address, and back-swing thoughts--and as regards that last: I'm not even so sure I'd describe them as "thoughts" so much as I would attention to form.

By the time I've begun my back-swing (moving from P1 to P2), I already know what I plan (or perhaps hope would be closer to the mark ;)) to accomplish and how I plan to swing to accomplish it, so I'm not really thinking about any of that anymore. At that point I know, without a question, that, if I chose my club well, got my address right, execute my back-swing well, and get my down-swing right, the ball is going to go more-or-less where I want it to go.

Sometimes it even does :ROFLMAO:

Here's another thought: In planning what you wish to achieve: Never think about what you wish to avoid. What you wish not to do. The mind is a funny thing. If somebody tells you "Don't think about purple elephants," you will inevitably think about purple elephants. I distinctly recall the time when that effect finally came home to me. I was riding my bike. For years I'd been having a terrible time avoiding things in my path. I'd see a thing I wanted to avoid and, only by sheer force of conscious effort, just barely manage to miss it. Sometimes not even then. Then one day it occurred to me the reason I was having that problem was because I was focusing on the thing I wanted to dodge. I learned to focus on where I wanted to go, instead of where I didn't, and the problem magically went away. I've had police officers tell me they purposely leave their lights off, if they're well out of traffic, because they've found those lights attract drivers' attention and cause them to swerve toward them, rather than away from them.
 

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Duffer Seamus is spot on . For example , my last thought over a 5 iron over a pond was 'don't go in the water' but the water was the last image in my head and hey presto 'splash' . Same happens when I'm hitting a little pitch/chip over a bunker and it takes mental stamina to continually create external focus cues during the round.
 

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Wildthing/PhatJohnny,
Thanks for your excellent graph and assessment. It indicates to me that you both are thinkers and intelligent people. I will attach a pic of a fairly good player you might recognize and ask some questions .
If TW is approx. 6 ft- 1 in. tall could we assume his hands at the top of his swing are ,at least , 6 feet vertically from the ground ? Could we also assume that his HANDS had to travel on an inclined arc some 5-6 feet to his position in this pic? Could we assume that his club face has also traveled on an inclined arc maybe more distance from the top of his swing than his HANDS ?
OK - no need to assume anymore . The approx. 90 degree angle he formed at the top / end of his BS hasn’t changed when he brought the lever down . His HANDS have not rolled over or turned down .
Since is is factual that the DS only consumes 2/10 seconds ( 200 milliseconds ) and knowing that it takes 100 milliseconds for the brain to send and receive messages to it’s HANDS could TW ( or any human for that matter ) have decided at that point that - it’s time for me to release and hit - or did TW preprogram his intent knowing that his HANDS ONLY CONTROL the swing and must not be allowed to throw, hit or release - or that centrifugal force would cause his free swinging wrist ( hinges ) to eventually unhinge and strIke it ?
Just my thought !
 

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Wild thing,
If the human was hard-wired for the golf swing, then why are our greatest athletes in Tennis, Basketball, Baseball, Football , etc ; not playing on tv at the 3M today and leading it ? Does that mean I am hardwired to be a brain Surgeon or to be a NFL quarterback who can throw a football 70- 80 yards ? Why did someone have to teach me how to tie my shoes and a necktie? Was I hard wired to drive a car ? Is a mechanic hard wired to build and repair a race car engine ?
The absolute insanity and lack of thought process made by someone who says such ludicrous statements!
Wildthing did indeed misquote him.

What Shawn means is the ability of our brains to control our bodies and engage our kinetic chain to perform a wide variety of movements to accomplish a task is hardwired. If I tell you to cut the grass with the club, you're not going to need thousands of hours of practice to do so. You may have never swung an axe before, but watch one demonstration swing and you'll be able to execute one yourself without hiring a master woodsman to teach you for 5 years.

That doesn't mean we execute the action perfectly the first time and it doesn't mean we don't get better at the action with more repetition. But it does mean, the more we can focus on the task (external focus) and let our amazing brain and central nervous system control things, the quicker we're likely to make progress.
 

wadesworld

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FWIW, my instructors at TMG claim a motion has to be repeated thousands of times (15k sticks in my mind) before it becomes "muscle memory."
One has to be really careful with the term "muscle memory." Muscle memory implies you reach a level where the action can be repeated perfectly.

The proof against muscle memory is on TV every Thursday - Sunday in the form of the PGA Tour. If muscle memory were a thing, those guys would have it. They have hit over a million balls. They get instruction from the most acclaimed instructors in the game. They use all the top technology. They have clubs personally made. They do workouts expressly designed for them by physiology experts. They have sports psychologists training their brain.

And yet every week, you can see them pointing left and right. You can see them short-siding themselves and knocking it in the water. You can see them miss putts they shouldn't miss. That would be impossible if true muscle memory is a thing. They'd never miss a shot.

However, what is true is the more we repeat things, the more neural pathways are formed. Thus, the more we repeat a task, the better we get at it and the less conscious thought we have to devote to it. This imperfect, but better, state would be "muscle memory."

The point of teachers such as Shawn Clement, Fred Shoemaker, Manuel de La Torre and others is that you give yourself maximum chance of success by focusing on an external task. The more you get out of your brain's way, the better off you are.

That said, one must have feedback to ensure the task they think they're doing is what they're actually doing. And because true muscle memory does not exist, we sometimes end up adding strange contortions to our tasks which should not be there and we need the trained eye of an instructor to identify those things.
 

Duffer Seamus

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One has to be really careful with the term "muscle memory."
...
However, what is true is the more we repeat things, the more neural pathways are formed. Thus, the more we repeat a task, the better we get at it and the less conscious thought we have to devote to it. This imperfect, but better, state would be "muscle memory."
I guess I just assumed readers would know muscles don't have actual memory, and the term "muscle memory" was shorthand for the ability to repeatedly execute physical actions in more-or-less the same fashion with little conscious thought. I.e.: The way an accomplished basketball player dribbles the ball while moving across the court.

My bad, I suppose.
 

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I guess I just assumed readers would know muscles don't have actual memory, and the term "muscle memory" was shorthand for the ability to repeatedly execute physical actions in more-or-less the same fashion with little conscious thought. I.e.: The way an accomplished basketball player dribbles the ball while moving across the court.

My bad, I suppose.
It is strange what happens to a chicken when its head is cut off . It does seem to run around a bit even without a brain so is there muscle memory somewhere?
 

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Wildthing/PhatJohnny,
Thanks for your excellent graph and assessment. It indicates to me that you both are thinkers and intelligent people. I will attach a pic of a fairly good player you might recognize and ask some questions .
If TW is approx. 6 ft- 1 in. tall could we assume his hands at the top of his swing are ,at least , 6 feet vertically from the ground ? Could we also assume that his HANDS had to travel on an inclined arc some 5-6 feet to his position in this pic? Could we assume that his club face has also traveled on an inclined arc maybe more distance from the top of his swing than his HANDS ?
OK - no need to assume anymore . The approx. 90 degree angle he formed at the top / end of his BS hasn’t changed when he brought the lever down . His HANDS have not rolled over or turned down .
Since is is factual that the DS only consumes 2/10 seconds ( 200 milliseconds ) and knowing that it takes 100 milliseconds for the brain to send and receive messages to it’s HANDS could TW ( or any human for that matter ) have decided at that point that - it’s time for me to release and hit - or did TW preprogram his intent knowing that his HANDS ONLY CONTROL the swing and must not be allowed to throw, hit or release - or that centrifugal force would cause his free swinging wrist ( hinges ) to eventually unhinge and strIke it ?
Just my thought !
The first thing we need to define is what a 'thought' is and that seems to be blurry , so its worth checking out this article below and advise whether there is anything you disagree with.

It feels instantaneous, but how long does it really take to think a thought? (theconversation.com)

Also note that the golf downswing takes about 0.23- 0.25 secs = 230- 250 milliseconds and I imagine TW already has some type of pre-programming stored away to retrieve for his intended strike. How would one know for certain that his 'program' was 'Hands' biased?

Also , please note that 'Centrifugal' force is not a real force but a 'pseudo force' . Many golf instructors and even some golf scientists use 'Centrifugal' as a pragmatic way to explain the 'Release' but it's incorrect . The 'Release' is caused by eccentric forces applied via the hands across the grip that creates a 'Moment Of Force' which increases the angular velocity of the club . There are some theorists who say that it is the ground forces and the extension of the lead leg that help pull the lead shoulder up and back that helps create that 'eccentric ' force . Others theorise that it's the body pivot torque (with the help of horizontal ground forces ) that causes the lead shoulder to rotate up and back to assist in the creation of the eccentric force , but I suspect it's a mix of both .

How would you define a throw , hit or release?

PS. In one of those SC videos he mentioned the 'Premotor Cortex' which prepares the golfer for a specific intended task .

Definition: The premotor cortex is located just in front of the primary motor cortex in the brain. Its job is to prepare the body's muscles for the exact movements it will make. In other words, it helps you control your movements.

Found this really good website which sort of simplified what's going on .

Motor Cortex (Section 3, Chapter 3) Neuroscience Online: An Electronic Textbook for the Neurosciences | Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy - The University of Texas Medical School at Houston (tmc.edu)

The primary motor cortex homunculus does not represent the activity of individual muscles. Rather, it apparently represents the movements of individual body parts, which often require the coordinated activity of large groups of muscles throughout the body.

The supplementary motor area (SMA) is involved in programming complex sequences of movements and coordinating bilateral movements. Whereas the premotor cortex appears to be involved in selecting motor programs based on visual stimuli or on abstract associations, the supplementary motor area appears to be involved in selecting movements based on remembered sequences of movements.

Maybe I shouldn't have used the word simplified but I don't know how one can categorically confirm that the hands control the golf swing (it seems far more complicated).

Also note what was stated in that article in my first url link and I quote: "the time it takes for the movement commands to travel from the brain to the arm muscles (which is on the order of 16-25 ms) "

Therefore the speed of thought (with a start time point as they define it) to movement of the arm can actually happen in the golf swing which is approx 230-250 ms.
 
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Lane

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Wild thing,
Excellent info - based of FACTS and TRUTHS coming from an intelligent person- not theory and opinion. More than enough of that available. Your post is in line with what I consider most important in learning an efficient golf swing, but you obviously have a higher knowledge than me . I can learn from yours .
What is your profession ?
Here is my answer to your question about TW‘s DS -the HANDS , as wonderful as they are , have NO power to propel any object very far . If you lay your forearm stationary on a flat surface and throw a golf using ONLY your wrist you can easily prove this to yourself.
Our hands can’t go anywhere by themselves without the arms taking them and our arms can’t go very far without the hands taking them . Gerry Hogan says the arms are slaves to our hands.
I have asked this question dozens of times and I have never gotten an answer - not even a reply————
If research has shown us that our HANDS are the dominant parts of our body and almost half of the brain is dedicated to them and they are the ONLY CONNECTION/ CONNECTION to the human then - if they don’t ** CONTROL** the lever —- WHAT DOES ?
Great to discuss with you !
 

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Wild thing,
Excellent info - based of FACTS and TRUTHS coming from an intelligent person- not theory and opinion. More than enough of that available. Your post is in line with what I consider most important in learning an efficient golf swing, but you obviously have a higher knowledge than me . I can learn from yours .
What is your profession ?
Here is my answer to your question about TW‘s DS -the HANDS , as wonderful as they are , have NO power to propel any object very far . If you lay your forearm stationary on a flat surface and throw a golf using ONLY your wrist you can easily prove this to yourself.
Our hands can’t go anywhere by themselves without the arms taking them and our arms can’t go very far without the hands taking them . Gerry Hogan says the arms are slaves to our hands.
I have asked this question dozens of times and I have never gotten an answer - not even a reply————
If research has shown us that our HANDS are the dominant parts of our body and almost half of the brain is dedicated to them and they are the ONLY CONNECTION/ CONNECTION to the human then - if they don’t ** CONTROL** the lever —- WHAT DOES ?
Great to discuss with you !
I'm retired but its a hobby of mine to study the biomechanics of the golf swing. I do have a background in physics but I've forgotten most of it (trying to learn it all again).
 

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Following up to myself, with a correction...

You'll notice I put "muscle memory" in double-quotes. I'm not even certain the instructor (who has a degree in biomechanics) used that term at any point. The point is: It takes repetition, a lot of it, in order for a movement to become truly automatic.
As luck would have it, in resuming my training and reviewing the instruction, I just ran across the bit I'd badly mis-remembered. What he actually said was (mildly edited): "It takes between 3,500 and 5,000 repetitions before your brain is on what we call 'auto-pilot.' 3,500 and 5,000 repetitions before your brain produces enough myelin to learn this. It's called 'myelination.' Once you get that, then it's auto-pilot."

Guess what happens when you search on "myelination" and "muscle memory"? ;)
 

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Yep- I figured you had some physics training bc I recognize a * thinker * she I see one. Not many of those around. What are your thoughts on this example ( It is below your level of knowledge,but is a subject for discussion)——-
What if I put a mark on a tree and asked you to cut it down at that mark with an axe ? Obviously, you would first make a cut from an upward angle and a cut from a downward angle at that mark . Then you would try to direct the axe blade approximately into the exact same wedged area which would be the shortest , fastest and most efficient way to complete the task.
Question- what specific part of your body would be responsible for directing that blade into that same area however many times it took to cut through?
 

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Duffer,
I looked up Myelination , but I didn’t read where it related to muscles any reference to muscle memory. Maybe I need to study it more.
Just my opinion , but my knowledge and training leads me to believe that the humans HANDS are genetically designed to come to the center of our chest palms together, thumbs facing skyward . IMO , the most important task of our HANDS are to bring food to our mouths and we would not have survived as a human species if not so.
Again - IMO , our HANDS WILL ALWAYS REVERT TO THEIR GENETICALLY DESIGN and roll over, turn down and ruin our shot if left unattended .I understand they are going to perform that way every swing I make - on the range or the course and must not be allowed to perform as normal. I have taught my Hands to perform exactly opposite their genetics design - which is no easy task overcoming ones overpowering embedded engineering/ structure . You might notice some your players swinging * NATURALLY* going “ left to left” , especially under pressure coming down the stretch with a chance to win.
Just my thoughts !
 

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Yep- I figured you had some physics training bc I recognize a * thinker * she I see one. Not many of those around. What are your thoughts on this example ( It is below your level of knowledge,but is a subject for discussion)——-
What if I put a mark on a tree and asked you to cut it down at that mark with an axe ? Obviously, you would first make a cut from an upward angle and a cut from a downward angle at that mark . Then you would try to direct the axe blade approximately into the exact same wedged area which would be the shortest , fastest and most efficient way to complete the task.
Question- what specific part of your body would be responsible for directing that blade into that same area however many times it took to cut through?

I wouldn't have a clue to be honest but I do suspect that the hands play a big part in sensing the dynamic weight and position of the axe to pinpoint the cut.

If you look at a typical Kinematic sequence graph for the downswing for pga pros , it normally happens from ground up , 'pelvis /torso/arms/club'. I wouldn't know whether there is some activity happening in the brain due to sensations communicated to it from the hands that says :

"There is an intent by my hands to do this , so I must move my pelvis this way first , then the torso this way, and then the arms this way"

But lets assume it did work that way , how would you advise a novice golfer to create the correct sensations in his hands so that he could perform the swing in some optimal way for a successful golf stroke? Would you use the Sir Henry Cotton method as per below video (educated hands)?



PS. Here's an article from Dr Phil Cheetham regarding the Kinematic sequence.

Article-KinematicSequenceTransitionDownswing.pdf (sgpl.ch)

Check out page 3/4 and 'Transition Phase' .
 
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When I was trying to make sense of a fundamentally sound golf swing, I struck on an idea of why it was so complicated. The idea was about how the club needs to move in space around the golfer. A similar but more complex concept to the process we went through when learning to eat our cereal with a spoon. After much trial and error with cereal and milk up our noses, in our lap and every where but our mouth, we finally got the message that the spoon is the boss.

If we don't know how the golf club needs to move in space around us, then it is a big ask to learn the body movements to make this happen.

Can you see the reason why golf is so damn difficult for those who come to the game as adults?
 
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Since this madness is still happening, I'll share a hands and brains moment (swing thought?) I had out there today. Might have been brains and hands actually. Or brains and then hands and then brains and then mess.

Par 3, front pin, over water.

Brain: Here's the plan.
Hands: Yeah? Okay. Yeah, I've got that
Brain: Let's do it.
Hands: Hell yeah. Ready?
Brains: Get some.
Hands: Here we go!! (and goes)
Brains: Are we sure that's gonna be enough??
Hands: (halfway home) More?!!?!OKAYMOREAND...!

*STRIKE*

Hands: 😕
Brains: 😕
Hands: 🙄
Brains: That's my bad.. My bad... You had that. 😬
....

..


Hands: Hey brains.
Brains: Yeah?
Hands: How about next time I start doing my thing, you have a coke and smile and just stfu!?
Brains: 🤐


This is the danger of swing thoughts.
 

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