This isn’t one of my typical posts. It isn’t about digital strategy or corporate culture or anything to do with new media. However, if you are a golfer, or know one, read on.
When I was young, I remember my mother asking my father to remember to do something the next day. It might have been a call he needed to make, a letter he needed to mail or something like that. As a successful businessman, he had plenty on his mind and my mother’s requests were often forgotten until a few reminders later. You see, like me, my father suffers from an ephemeral memory (figuratively of course) and chances that he’d forget my mother’s requests were always pretty good. But, he devised a system. He would switch his wedding ring to his other hand as a reminder. The next day, he’d see the wedding ring on the “wrong” hand and remember “oh, yea, I have to mail that letter (or whatever)….” Simple right? He still does it today and I must admit, so did I until my iPhone took over my life.
Fast forward to me playing golf. I always forget the best gold lesson I ever had. My instructor told me to line up and take a swing. He saw me run through my routine; legs bent, arm straight, line up here, head down…blah blah. You know the drill. After four or five shots, he said “stop”. As I looked at him, all stressed out, he said “you’ve been programmed all wrong; just relax and swing through.” He then made me take about fifty swings with no ball; back and forth, casually, just relaxing. After fifty swings, he put a ball down and said “keep swinging” and I nailed the next ten shots hundreds of yards each – all straight.
It turns out I was too wrapped up in the “what to do” that I forgot to relax and swing through. Golf game fixed, right? No. I think I only remember to relax and swing through half the time. The other time I’m focused on the “straight arm, head down” nonsense or frankly, chatting it up with my buddies and I am a little too loose.
A month or so ago at a neighbor’s house, she told me about her new start-up; SwingThought. Seriously, it’s a colored rubber bracelet you wear when you play golf. Its sole purpose is to remind you of things. It comes in different colors and sizes and they come with different sayings in large white letters; “Swing Smooth,” “Tempo,” “Focus” and others. She dropped a few off at my house for me to try out (yes, for free).
I have to admit, at first, I thought this was silly. I thought to myself “yet another Lance (Armstrong) copycat.”
Then I wore one to my next golf outing. There it was, a bright orange rubber bracelet that read “Swing Smooth.” Every time I got up to the tee, I relaxed and took a breath and remembered my instructor.
I shot a much better game. No, it wasn’t perfect, but I love my bracelet. I wear it each time I play See www.swingthought.com if you want one for yourself.
John – great post! I have a bracelet that I always wear too. My husband gave it to me when our second child was born to remind me of what is really important as a go about my day whether it is in my own back yard or half way around the world. Thanks for the reminder!