Are you Reactive or Proactive?

Let’s start 2022 with a slightly different view and ask yourself the following question …

Are you reactive or proactive? 

(Take a moment to think what that might mean to you) 

To clarify, the dictionary states:- 

Proactive – “(of a person or action) creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened”.

Reactive – “ showing a response to a stimulus. or acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it”. 

For many golfers they are reactive to their performances/games with lessons/practice. They only really take action when they reach a certain point (this is normally a low point) and is often score related or task related (example – the inability to get out of a bunker). 

The gradual regressions are not noticed until we reach a certain point that is personal to us. Often this golfer can become very irrational with their thoughts/emotions and turning their game round can take huge effort both mentally and sometimes technically. 

A Proactive golfer understands this and plans to avoid such circumstances as much as possible. This is usually achieved with periodised lessons and committing to regular play/practice. (A quick side note, regular  practice can conjure images of having to practice hours a week or hitting hundreds of balls – this is not the case in reality!)

A Proactive golfer sets about achieving their goals in a more rational, structured way. Such planning allows them to address any elements before they slip too far, it allows them to move beyond just technical lessons/practice and enjoy other facets such as developing other skills or refining current skills. 

Another way of looking at it could be to think why do we have our boilers or cars serviced … to hopefully avoid any unwanted surprises or significant costs. 

If we refer to the image I’ve included at the top of this blog, you can see how day-to-day we might not notice ourselves slipping into old habits or regressing until we hit a certain trigger point (note how far this trigger point maybe away from where you were). 

If we then look at the notion of ‘marginal gains’ and aim to improve ourselves by 1% each week we might not notice any gains for several weeks but there is a tipping point where this commitment pays off and we see the rewards for this commitment. 

Current life encourages instant gratification, think of emails, messages etc or how we ‘google’ problems. We often get an immediate reply and if we don’t, we think something must be up or lose interest. 

Learning is often better suited to delayed gratification, the willingness to apply ourselves over time – the true test of any learning is retention. 

We might be given a solution to a problem (think in a lesson)  but that doesn’t necessarily mean we we recall this solution at a later date (think monthly medal a few weeks after your lesson or a few months later). Guided learning is far more effective than being given answers but in reality some golfers don’t want this form of learning. 

So why not apply yourself to being Proactive, this doesn’t mean you have to have a lesson every week and practice every day but why not schedule your lessons instead of waiting until you reach breaking point and then booking a lesson. 

Final note, 2021 was a really enjoyable year seeing so many of you reach your goals and go beyond them. (Yes, I would say these golfers have been proactive). I received a great message from a client last week and I feel it’s relevant as is the off this blog …. 

“For the first time ever lessons are about learning not fixing. I understand much more about what’s going on in my swing physically and mentally. Cheers Mark” 

Keep an eye out for my next blog where I will offer some thoughts on how to achieve marginal gains