Welcome back to the Flow Golf podcast and more insights into golf mental performance tips. We’re super excited for a special episode today with a special guest. Ryan, thank you so much for joining us. I know we’re going to dove into some very interesting topics.
This is kind of the exact kind of person we love bringing onto this podcast to talk about concepts that a lot of people might not have even heard of before, but something that’s so important in those puzzle pieces that create high performance.
So, Ryan, rather than myself doing a better job of it, I want to allow you to kind of introduce yourself, your story, your journey, and also what your expertise is.
Well, thanks. I want to thank you and Rick for having me on. You know, I’ve been listening to you on your podcast for a while now. Some awesome information for golfers as well as some great guests. So I’m just hoping to be one of those that can bring an extra layer to the golf game, maybe a layer that people maybe haven’t even thought of to consider.
So, yeah, over the last 22 years, I’ve been studying and I’ve been studying the vision or perceptual side of expertise. So it kind of all started when I was a kid. I was really lucky. I would say as a kid I got to play many sports growing up, so I played football, I played baseball, I played basketball, I played tennis.
Of course, I played golf, played a lot of golf. But I also like to see growing up in the Northeast. And then I also did some competitive sailing with a really close friend of mine. And so, you know, no matter what the sport was, I just love the competition. I loved how all the different sports kind of challenged me in different ways.
And as I started to get older, I really started to focus on tennis and golf. Those were my real two main loves. My dad was a pro tennis player, tennis pro at clubs for years, played in college, and so, you know, I know my dad always had that love for tennis. And even though I had won a junior golf tournament when I was playing, golf was kind of my relaxation.
Tennis was my frustration. I think it’s good for everybody else. Everybody else goes to play tennis to relax. That golf is what frustrates them. Right. So, you know, it was one of those things that as I was growing up, for me, I always had that dream of being a pro athlete.
Right. I never had dreams of getting a Ph.D. and being a doctor or doing any kind of research that kind of wasn’t in my sights.
But, you know, as I got older, as I of course, couldn’t make my life as a professional athlete, which many of us haven’t been able to do, I started to get really interested in studying this aspect. I was so intrigued by how we develop different levels of expertise?
How come I got so far? But I didn’t get as far as others in the sport, and especially when it came to the vision side, because like for me, there were days on the basketball court, we experienced it with that hoop.
It’s almost as big as a hula hoop. Every shot just seems to go right in. There were times, of course, when I was playing golf where I could just see that putt so easily. Right back in the day, I had those old blotters, right, those titles, but they had no alignment aids on the right, there was only a 90 or 100 stamped on them.
And God forbid you ever caught one a little right. And caught half on a tee shot. Right. Because it shreds the face of the cover of that ball pretty quickly. So yeah, I mean, for me, I always just kind of had those days where I could see the line really clearly, kind of like that Bagger Vance kind of experience.
And why was it easier to find those days and especially in tennis, as I started to focus more on tennis? That really became my main sport that I loved the most and wanted to really try to pursue that as a professional athlete. I trained here in the state of Florida with the best tennis players in the world, the top junior players in the world.
Actually, my roommate was the number one junior tennis player in the world, so I was constantly surrounded by different levels of expertise and again was so intrigued to see how some were getting further in the sport and winning more tournaments than others.
And of course, I was back in that era of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, and I would just hear Agassi all the time talk about how when he was playing his best, he would always say that he could see the ball really early.
You know, he was one of the best returners in the game, and it always intrigued me. Like, what was it about Agassi’s ability to see the ball earlier than that for me? I mean, I was looking maybe right at the tennis ball, so I didn’t know why he was seeing it earlier than I was seeing it.
My return game was definitely the weakest part of my game, so I was very intrigued to try to figure out a way to make that better and so this kind of brought me down that road as I got into grad school to really start studying this, because out of the five areas of expertise that we need to train, it is that fifth and final area of perceptual skills that’s largely left to just untrained people.
Many people don’t employ some deliberate practice to make that better, and so that’s kind of how I decided to really develop these skills and help athletes across different sports to be able to get that wonderful.
Yeah. So, I’ve had the pleasure to have a few Zoom calls with Ryan too, to learn more about his background and, and I love how you start off with talking about expertise and then having kind of these five factors and of course the last one being more of a visual perception. Can you just summarize maybe those first four?
And then of course, we’re going to jump into number five here in a moment.
Yeah, absolutely. So I think these are really important for golfers and all athletes, because if you can really start to see which of these areas you need to improve, you can get gains in your performance immediately. Right. So the first area would be your physical skills.
That’s going to encompass things like strength, power, mobility, speed, agility, stability. So, you know, in golf, right, there’s a lot of very sports specific training that’s been going on to improve golfers performance.
And really, you need to understand what’s best for you. You laugh to see me not able to bend down and touch my toes. Right. I have very tight hamstrings. Right. So unlike someone like I’ve heard Sam Snead who could bend down and actually take the ball out of the hole without even bending his knees, you know, that’s going to be a different body type physically.
And so what my strength and conditioning coach might need to give me versus you really needs to be customized. And that’s something that I think all golfers should really start to look into because again, it leads to the next skill and you’re going to start to see how all of these start to actually build on each other. And they can become limiting factors of each other.
So the next one are technical skills, right? And so golf for me, I think it’s the most technically demanding sport of all sports, right? I’m a wide receiver and football really needs to be good at catching passes and running routes.
Yes, they need to block. But let’s face it, NFL wide receivers are not great at blocking anybody. But they’re not really required to be as good as blockers like offensive linemen have to.
So but in golf, you know, you need to be able to do all those things well, right? You can’t have a teammate hit that fairway bunker shot, you know, from 140 yards out. You’ve got to be able to hit that shot. So being able to really look at intricately with people like you, Rick and Harlan, what are those technical areas that need to keep growing in your golf game to make sure they don’t limit you?
But you can automatically start to see if I have a physical limitation within my body for flexibility. No matter how much your swing coach might be telling you will. You need to get in this position at the top of your backswing. Your physical limitations can limit those technical skill growth, and that’s where you need to be getting those improvements on the physical side, not just on the technical side.
The third area are tactical skills. And for many golfers, I would say you can gain a ton of strokes by looking at how you employ better strategy and course management. Right. A lot of golfers maybe don’t consider how to best play the courses that they’re on.
And if you’re a little bit smarter out there with your choices, you can shoot a better score without even hitting the ball, you know, 50 yards further off the tee.
So that technical side is really important. And one of the things I would say for golfers to be really careful of over the last 22 plus years, I’ve seen that this area people overestimate their tactical strategies. Right. So the lying off the tee that maybe DeChambeau sees it’s not the line that I see and I would say all three of us would probably agree.
You don’t see that line either. So, you know, it’s one of those things where when I’m on the tee, when I’m hitting a tee shot, to not overestimate what I’m trying to achieve is that fairway bunker is kind of within the range of maybe hitting a driver. Is it better for me to hit a three wood and be in the fairway to have a better chance of hitting a green than trying to hit the perfect tee shot that I maybe hit one out of 100 times to carry that bunker and be in a good spot.
So really it’s as you develop the technical skills and your physical skills, right? You see how they’re all starting to tie together now. Those tactical skills will change and adjust because you’ll start to be able to employ better strategies as your technical and physical skills grow under.
The fourth area is emotional skills. And I know you guys have talked a lot about these so many cool podcasts.
If you haven’t gone back to listen to some of them, you got to go back and start listening to many of the ones that talk about the emotional side. So I won’t get in depth about that topic because you guys do a great job of kind of covering down on those, but they cover two areas. One is going to be essentially the emotional regulation side, right.
And the best athletes in the world. The science clearly shows how experts can handle not only the stress that they’re experiencing, but how they see failure. I think experts see failure in a very different way than many non-experts. Okay.
So and it’s that, you know, almost a growth mindset of kind of seeing the challenge and the excitement over learning from the failures.
And one of the best examples I’ve ever heard is when you go to the gym to work out, your goal is always to work out to failure rate. You can easily kind of curl £5 for ten reps. You’re probably not getting stronger, right? But when you’re getting to that 10th rep, if you can’t get it all the way up and your muscle fails, that’s success.
But oftentimes when we’re working in the game of golf, we want to run away from it, pushing to the point of failure, right? So I think those things can be beneficial. On the emotional side or the other aspect or just general psychological skills training. So all those other areas encompassing motivation and confidence and imagery, goal setting, you know, those all can help to kind of bolster your emotional skills.
And if you’re training those, those can be really beneficial. So those are the first four and then of course the last one. My area, I feel like that is the one that I’ve always named as, like the final frontier of expertise, right? Because if we’ve left this area untrained, I mean, think about this. Out of those five, the simple math would be you’ve left 20% of your potential.
All of that expertise you have inside, 20% of it is just left to chance. And why would we want to leave it to chance? Right. If we could train that in a deliberate way and you can take that 20% and as you can see, we all affect each other. You could then have the others even that much better because they do cross and interrelate in that way.
Well, thank you for the summary on those because you said what? You said several things there and I don’t want to go on different roads, but when you now go to that fifth one, right. I think a lot of golfers out there listening have started to get maybe their physical fitness in order a little bit. They understand the limitations, structure governs, function.
They may take some golf lessons to technically improve some of the skills. Totally agree with you. Strategy and the tactical side of people tend to overvalue their skill sets, which now gets them sometimes in an anxious position anyways, which now leads to the emotional side because they’re, they’re trying to be perfect. So I love what you just said there.
And then the emotional regulation, which is something I think people undervalue until it’s too late, until they say afterwards, yeah, I got frustrated and angry, but I didn’t do anything about it. To me, it is again a great skill. Love, love, love, love. You talked about train failure, right? We do it in physical fitness all the time.
But can we shift that mindset to to play to failure, train to failure, to push ourselves over and over again? I love, love, love, love that. So most of us, including myself, would have said, that’s it. Those are the four things. Ryan. What? Come on, I got it.
We mastered those things, right? So and you mentioned that especially with tennis as far as and I don’t I please if I’m misunderstanding this, it’s not about reaction time as much as like you said, sometimes it’s a there’s a there’s actually how do you train that visual part in golf?
Because the ball is static in the target. Really, the only variable that can change at any moment would be the wind. Tell me a little bit about this visual perception for golf and how that is a part of the expertise.
Okay. So it’s really crucial to understand how important your eyes are, not only to your mind, but then like you said, to the performance of golf. So a couple of things that I just to touch on from the science, I have to kind of let people kind of understand that. So first of all, your eyes are responsible for nearly 90% of all cognitive processing.
And the reason why this is is because attention is the building blocks that everything your brain does. So the way it works is like this attention is the building blocks to your working memory. And then working memory is the building blocks that everything else. So reasoning, language, executive function, long term memory, the whole gamut of everything else that’s going on.
So as you can see, if you’re not really training those perceptual skills and your vision, you’re really putting a huge impact on all aspects of what’s going on through cognitive function and processing in your brain. The other thing that’s very interesting is out of all the five senses, a vision actually reaches every region of the brain. And that’s not true for all your senses.
So as everybody now is listening to the podcast, when you’re hearing what I’m telling you, that information that goes through your ears to your brain goes to a very specific region of the brain that’s unlike vision. Visual information goes first to the back of the brain in that visual cortex. They people understand that that’s kind of where the digital light turns into a picture.
And then that information actually travels through the dorsal and ventral streams, the side and tops of your head to the front of your brain. It’s in that frontal cortex that your brain’s kind of making those decisions like, Hey, what’s going on? And What do I need to do right now?
And from that point, the information that is sent through into the middle of the brain is that the motor cortex, the pre motor cortex, to drive down through the spinal cord to your body, through your body to make an action.
So when you think of how much visual information is responsible for kind of activating all of that, it is so important to organize that information correctly. And while golf is not a dynamic sport, right, you don’t have to hit a 100 mile per hour fastball or maybe even worse, like a 90 mile per hour slider. That might even be more difficult to hit, right?
You’re not having to be maybe a linebacker trying to figure out that this is not a run, it’s a pass. And I need to cover someone that’s coming out of the backfield on a pass route. Golf, again, like you said, that ball is just going to sit there until we decide to hit it. So you think so much would be easier about it?
But I would actually say that this extra amount of time and because golf and the course designers and everything about golf is so visually demanding, it can start to actually overwhelm our mind with more information. And I will tell you, more information is not always better. Right.
But we need to be careful with our eyes and golf specifically not to overuse all the cognitive processing where it ramps up so much that it’s actually then kind of hurting those motor patterns that are built into the muscle memory that you’ve been training and working so hard on.
So that’s a really key thing when it comes to training and building that out.
So you’re just, oh, I’m sorry, how you said you said organized information. So I love that. Right. Organize the information. It’s there. Right. And that that visual is filtering, at least my understanding of what we think is important to us. So when you use the word organized, what does that mean?
So yeah, when what? When I’m actually working with a golfer, one of the first things that I’ll do with them is put them on eye tracking technology. So just for those who don’t know, eye tracking technology has been around since 1908. Actually, the first eye tracker was first created way back when it was very intrusive and they didn’t have mobile capability.
Over the years as it’s kind of transitioned, most eye tracking technology was first on where you had to be in a room, chin resting on a chin rest where you could not move your head. Only your eyes could be moving. To look at a computer screen. But as we evolved over the years, we’ve gotten to mobile technology.
The technology that I had during my doctoral research years at the University of Florida was built on a hockey helmet. It had a big visor that reflected the LED light. It had a small computer you had to wear in a backpack. So that was the first real attempt at Mobile Eye Tracking. It wasn’t that easy to use and kind of cumbersome athletes were somewhat restricted to doing what they normally do now.
Literally, it’s just a pair of glasses. And what’s the size of your cell phone? Wireless. You just kind of put it in your pocket and you can pretty much go and play nine holes of golf as the battery will last that long and it’ll track everything. Excuse me. So, yeah, you’ll be able to first get something on eye tracking where then they can start to see what their eyes are doing in the process of playing.
What they start to realize is there are times in their routine where they’re probably taking in a lot of information that actually won’t help them. And this gets their brain in a high kind of processing state. And then when it’s time to actually execute, what is your brain doing with that information? How is that affecting the motor pattern or the performance?
And really here are the things that are key are visual cues if they’re not organized and especially not only the visual cues, but your proprioceptive cues. So those would be like kind of where you feel your body in space.
So those two actually map directly to the same neuron in the pre motor cortex. And that key motor cortex is really what’s responsible for kind of charting out the path and the kinematics of your arm movements and then the proprioception kind of turns all that into action.
So again, if you don’t have that organized where you’re controlling what your eyes are doing to only take in what information is relevant, then you’re sending a ton of extra information directly to the part of the brain that you don’t want it to be bogged down with things that are not useful. So this is why, as we start to understand how we control specific AI skills at the right time, when are a good time to use?
When is a bad time to use others? Then you start to be able to control that skill of the AI in a way that it then really translates to huge performance gains and the reason why you get so excited about this is because I was an athlete and I always wanted things that helped me to win immediately. Right.
Even though I’m much older, I’m showing my age. I never had the technology that we have now. But even back then, I didn’t want to have to wait. I would say right now in our society, people have a hard time putting in the extended amount of hours to finally get to success. They want immediate return on their investment.
So the one thing that I love about training this aspect is not only did I find something that could get that kind of immediate return, which I love, but it then ties directly to immediate benefit and performance because our body really is designed to follow signals.
Right. So if I ask both of you right now to hop off the podcast, take two laps running around your house, and then come back on to the podcast, everybody would hear you probably breathing a lot faster and heavier, maybe through your nose.
It was a great podcast, by the way. You guys had a brief, you have it. This is about what you have with a lot of breathing through the nose that you’ll be hearing and your heart rate will be higher right? You can’t physiologically keep your heart rate at the same rate at that rate now, which is probably a resting heart rate.
So your body will follow those signals even if you didn’t get good sleep last night, your heart’s not going to decide. I don’t feel like beating faster. Right? So the same thing is true with vision. If your vision is taking a lot of information, that’s the wrong information. Unfortunately, it’s not organized. Unfortunately, your brain has to follow those signals.
It has to do something with it. Once you train to get to an expert level of perception, your brain has no choice but to follow that news signal. So then all of a sudden, the things that you used to do became maybe somewhat difficult.
Those things from the technical aspect and the physical aspects can improve really quickly because then you’re not bogged down with all that extra information.
When we mentioned all the areas of expertise, and I know Rick speaks so much about the difference between people, of course, training off the golf course on the driving range. But then Rick and I know that’s something that Rick as a coach has always done, taking these players out on to the golf course a lot. And we speak so much about that from the standpoint of putting yourself in the right environment.
Now, I know and I’ve listened to some of your stuff before, Ryan. I know it also has an impact on this perceptual side as well on the visual side, because I know you’ve mentioned I love you to dove into more detail on this, but if you’re practicing on a map constantly on a perfectly square map, which is what a lot of us do, okay, you may be practicing the technical side.
Okay. You may be practicing potentially the physical side. Right. But then as we get into the emotional side, as we get into the perceptual side, as we get into a lot of these other areas, we’re really not training those components. And as you mentioned, if we think about the last three attacks inside as well, but 60% of your game, you’re not training when you sit on a map on a driving range.
So can you explain a little bit more detail why and I guess this is relevant for plotting as well as long game, but why if you’re on a perfectly square map, you’re potentially actually doing more damage to the training of your perceptual and your vision than actually the good that you could be doing. You can get out into the golf course and into the real world environment.
Yeah, brilliant. Just a great question. And it brings up a really important point about deliberate practice. And I’ve heard you talk about this on other podcasts as well. That deliberate practice is truly the greatest predictor of developing all of this expertise in those five areas. How deliberate are you at going out and doing what you’re doing? It’s not simply about being on the driving range for 3 hours pounding balls.
You could be on the driving range for only 45 minutes. But if that time is very deliberate to improve a very specific aspect of your game that is how you will get better. And so you bring up a very important point. And for you too, as a coach you are great at this to keep structuring that deliberate practice to know when it’s time to push that person to the next level.
And that’s something that most athletes, if they’re not with a coach and they’re doing it on their own, they can miss out. I mean, that feedback loop is so vital to getting you progressing forward.
So as you brought up with putting specifically or a square, Matt, even with your long game, which is true when you’re on the golf course, there are very, very few times that you’re ever on something that is a perfect square.
Now your tee shot is going to be that opportunity. The tee almost tees not all of them, but many of them will be either a rectangle or a square, depending on how big they are. Sometimes your peripheral vision will be able to take in that information to help you. But here’s one thing that we’ve all experienced. It can also really hurt you, because guess what?
Course designers who are often really good at doing so will often set a tee box up that’s aimed in one direction, but maybe the line you want to take is not in the same line of the tee markers and the square of the tee box you’re on. And we’ve all experienced that where you’ve changed your ball up and then you’re turning to a kind of angle on a different line.
And that line is contradictory to the lines you’re seeing in your periphery, and it can start to get tough to know, Hey, I really aimed correctly. And so if you become reliant on just hitting off of a mat that’s square, you’re not putting in, I would say, deliberate practice that would translate to the course to make sure your alignments will stay correct.
Because I promise you, when you’re in the middle of the fairway, you will have no indicator to know if your alignments are correct. And a lot of times I talk to golfers when I work with the putting, they say, hey, can I practice this at home? I bought this putting. That is not a good putting that and I don’t want to name any specific ones and I try to disparage the purchase of putting that out there.
But there are some that are really not going to translate to success or gains on the course as well as others. Right. If you’re on a putting map that you’re using just for technical practice, yes, it can help you if the focus is there. But putting that is like a strict mat that’s just kind of very narrow and has lines for you to put on.
Again, you can use that to check if the ball is rolling on the line that you want and how good is it rolling? Are your alignments okay? But too much dependance on putting on a mat like that. Again, you don’t get those parallel lines from seeing the edges of the mat that are squared off to make sure that your setup is where you’re wanting it and your aim is where you’re wanting it.
So then you go to play on the course and deal with your golf mental game. Maybe you hit the first fairway, you hit it on the green, you’ve got a 15 footer, and now you’re standing in the middle of this shape that is circular, but kind of got wavy edges and you can’t see anything to aid you. And then is your aim as accurate in that environment as it was just when you’re training on the squared off mat by personal mat, I will give it a little plug out.
I went through a big moss. I know they’re used with a lot of the big facilities and one of the great things that I do, they were the right place for me was when I talked to the owner. He said it was the golf industry that drove me to make a squared off mat. I didn’t ever create that because no squared greens are all green to have those wavy edge lines.
And I said I actually need you to send me a mat with those wavy edge lines. I don’t want that. That would actually destroy all the tracking that I collect because we’re not getting true information at that point in time. So for all the people who own a square off putting that, it’s okay. You can keep using it.
Maybe use that to focus solely on practicing some technical skills and let that be the deliberate part of that. But then I would definitely tell people to try to get out in other environments. Like you say on the course or on a larger driving range where there is no squared off mat to hit off of. Also getting on to the putting green where you don’t have those squared edges to truly make sure that all those alignments are still correct.
That’s great. So I mean, I get up a whole lot, a lot of lists of questions here. So I am not an expert in eye tracking whatsoever. I have dabbled a little bit in something called Quiet. You and I have discussed this briefly. Something that I have read from the research standpoint is that quiet.
I and you can describe it a heck of a lot better than I can and have a positive influence on putting in positive influence on golf. Can you describe a little bit of what a quiet eye is and how that would show up, let’s say, in a putting stroke?
Absolutely. So there are different eyes, skills that are going to cause different things that happen in your mind. The quiet I develop through Dr. Vickers and her research is so grateful for the work she did. Many of the research that was there before I came into my graduate research helped me to develop out the training that I created.
So the quiet eye is one of many skills that have to be trained to really get those performance gains on the course. But the quiet eye is tied specifically to the six Asian parts of the eye. So if you think of that eye skill, most people would understand what a fixation is. It’s when the eye actually locks on a target and then remains on that target with no movement.
A fixation actually has a timing to it as well. So a fixation duration would be the time that your eye locks on a target all the way until your eye then moves away from that target. And it would be moving away within another eye skill called the second. A second is a French term. It means to jump. That’s a skill that you use very often in life and in sport.
And it’s that jumping of the eye that you use to take in information to the brain. So this is like what I told you. If you have too many seconds every time your eye is psychotic, it’s sending information to the brain for the brain to process. The more information, the more thinking, the more thinking, the worse your golf game is probably going to get.
As you know, we’re trying to get away from that side of what we’re doing, right? So the quiet eye becomes and that fixation and fixation duration specifically is what is critical and has been shown in the science to help quiet the analytical sides of our brain. So when you get your eyes fixated and fixated for the right amount of time, that’s correct for you.
And it varies for so many golfers. It will actually trigger that analytical side of the brain to quiet down. The one thing that it does that’s amazing and it’s really why I’ve been so excited to be introduced to you, Rick and Holman, the flow stuff. You guys have been working on it because it really takes you into the all of that flow state that you guys talk about.
So the right side of the brain where the picture is more of that creative side, I’m being very general here. So anybody who’s really into the neuroscience side is getting on the radio or on their phone. I’m being very general and just describing those areas. So the right side where you’re seeing the picture and for most of us, I would say that’s what we use, right?
When you’re going to hit a golf shot, you’re seeing it probably as a picture in your mind. You’re not seeing it as a degree of angle that the ball with sand descends and spin rate and it’s probably not numbers on track that are in your head when you’re standing over a shot. So, you know, the putt you hit maybe is a left edge putt.
You’re probably seeing maybe the path, the picture of that other where you’re trying to aim along the line to get it to roll on that line. So when you can actually, as you’re putting quiet the analytical side, all that’s left is that picture side.
And that is where it’s easier then to get that feeling like you’re putting to the picture because you don’t have the analytical side still firing that can send information to your to your muscles for like your muscles can get confused at that point in time, almost wondering, hey, should I be changing what I’m doing right now?
Should I be doing what I’ve always done? And so this kind of eliminates all that extra thinking. And the good part is we’ve seen in science, when we do EEG analysis, there’s a cross hemisphere harmonization happening, and that’s really where you’re starting to get into that flow. Now, I don’t know anything that I can tell you puts you right in the flow, like, I don’t know how to do this.
You are in the flow, the first shot and you’ll stay there. All right. But what you guys know even better than I do from the flow side is that I did not study as much as you have. I was in the eye tracking side of visual perception. We all know that all of these aspects, as you’re training them, there are these keys that get you right in front of the door of flow.
And wouldn’t you rather know that it’s behind that door, right? You don’t have to guess from 100 doors, you know, it’s behind door number two. And all you need to do is keep doing those things and end around.
All of a sudden you kind of walk through and then you’re in that place. And I would rather be in front of that opportunity and have it come more often that way, then kind of be searching randomly.
You’re probably not going to find the door that often if you’re going with it. Not a deliberate route.
Sure, no. And again, we at FlowCode feel like there’s a framework. Everybody is an individual of what are some triggers, what are some cues, what are some ways to get somebody in more of a flow state and meeting you again, another door that I had not thought about, this detail of exactly what you said.
I mean, if I’m now using proper fixation, the duration over a ball or what I’m looking at, and that can be now another cue, another tool to me, it’s like, wow, you know, it’s kind of like this mind blowing thing.
Like there there’s and I’m not saying this stuff is simple because I know you train it with PGA Tour players. And I was fortunate. I went through your online platform, which I learned so much that it’s a skill like everything else. Like we’re talking about expertise is a trainable skill yet what you just talked about is quiet eye and fixation and duration, that’s something every golfer can do.
And I want to say it’s simple because I don’t think it’s simple. I think the concept is but it’s trainable. And that’s what excites us here at FlowCode. What are the trainable things to do? You mentioned about duration a little bit and and again, I like that you said everybody’s maybe a little bit different on how long their eyes are going to stay on a target or in this case, maybe with putting fixating on a ball.
Right. And that’s what I learned so much for your online. I was like, Oh, wow, that’s interesting that how long my eyes stay over the ball will have an effect on my performance. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Yeah, absolutely. And I want to give credit to what you said there. Simple actually is the best word. I even credit my wife because when we met I was finishing my Ph.D. Of course, I realized that she could make it through the last year of my dissertation and my Ph.D. We could pretty much make it through anything in a marriage.
So yeah, she was definitely a keeper after that. So, you know, she always said to me, she goes, I don’t think what you’re doing is easy. Easy would imply that you don’t have to work at it. But she was. I think what you’re doing is simply what I’m asking for. I’ve even trained in very young, young athletes. It’s not something that’s difficult to do, but it’s the mastery of how consistent you can do it.
And that really is, I think, what we’re getting after in all of golf, right? If you can get that mastery of trusting the process and being consistent with the physical side, with the technical side of the swing, I’m asking you to be the same consistent with your eyes. So it’s not hard to do it, but it requires a demand to be committed to that consistency.
So yeah, you bring up a really important thing about the timing so you know, the timing aspect from the science has always said anywhere from 2 to 3 seconds for golf, it’s very different for all sports work that’s done in our military with snipers or shooters in the Olympics, their timing for how long their fixation duration is will be different to get the accuracy that they’re needing.
However, in golf specifically, we’ll use it for putting, for example, as your eyes are locking in and staying fixated, that window between 2 to 3 seconds is really key. Now, I will tell you, after 22 years working with tour players on every major tour throughout the whole world PGA, LPGA, European Tour, juniors, I have a huge sample size of eye tracking and data points.
And what I found is that the window is actually slightly larger. It’s a little bit bigger window, not much, but slightly bigger between 1.7 seconds and 3 seconds is really where I’ve seen the elite players perform their best in all aspects of golf. And this is something that’s so key. Like I told you, I don’t think there’s one size fits all when it comes to anything in golf.
But specifically the AIS, there’s absolutely not one size fits all. It was really hard for me to be able to say, Hey, I’ll write a book and then you can just follow these rules and it’ll fit everyone. I think the online program was the best use of my pandemic time, where I had more time at home to organize all these data points and eye tracking videos to help people find what’s right for them.
But just to give you a great example, and it’s one that I love to share with people, if you look at two of maybe the best putters in golf, I would say the two best pressure putters, specifically Tiger and Jack Nicklaus. Right. So Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, they are the absolute opposite ends of the perceptual spectrum. So there’s multiple aspects of perception that I’m training and they are so opposite on all of them.
It’s not even funny. But the thing with the timing is Tiger is going to be all the way on the faster side of that timing window as he comes back and locks in and hits his putt. Jack, if you can kind of picture him in your mind when Jack would come back and settle in, kind of crouched over the ball, kind of looking down at it with that slightly open stance.
He would stare in on that ball for a whole lot longer than someone like Tiger. He is all the way to the farthest side of that window. And you know what’s so interesting is if I actually forced Tiger to putt at the pace of Jack, he probably wouldn’t putt that well. And if I forced Jack to be as fast as Tiger, he’d be like, Dude, why are you making me rush?
You know? Well, I would have said, dude, but he probably would have felt like, Wow, I feel really rushed. You know? I feel like, man, I feel like I have no time to settle in, right? So I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him. So a lot of times athletes will this window. golfers will have to be like, hey, hunting feels really good today, but then the next day it does.
Well, why did it change? You’ll see some of this in the eye tracking videos we may start to share with people if they kick over into the YouTube side. But I’ll tell you, it’s so interesting. You know, it’s often when we’re on a date that you’re bad people start to then say, oh, my technique was bad, I got to work on technique or my setup was off and we’ll start.
All my reading was bad. I was reading putts bad and didn’t really have anything to do with that. But it had this variation in your eyes, all these different perceptual skills, maybe the timing that was so consistent in that previous round. Now all of a sudden the timing is different on every single putt, and you didn’t know that that’s what it was.
So that’s the difficult thing. You can’t fix it if you don’t know it. And a lot of times just fixing the perception part first is what can get you back putting great. It really wasn’t a bad stroke. It wasn’t a bad read. A lot of those mistakes can come from your eyes. So I always tell people fixing those first is the best thing to do.
Yeah. One other quick story I want to give you that’s really amazing is I was over the years able to get access to a lot of the great players in golf and be able to see video of entire rounds of golf, which is difficult to see online. Sometimes you just get snippets and snapshots, especially the players, the old time greats.
I mean, they didn’t have all the video footage that we do have now on tour. So I was able to get footage and it’s one of the ones I think is truly amazing. The Final Round for Jack at the Masters in 86. So you know that last win he had at the Masters, really a spectacular moment in golf, his final round.
I can tell you every single putt he made in that final round, not only was he in what I deemed as the most important, like 3/10 of a second window, where Jack is truly optimized, he was not only in that 3/10 of a second window every single time he made a pop, but he was within a 10th of a second.
The same on every part he made in that final round was so mind blowing. If that doesn’t blow your mind enough, is that every putt he missed, he was not only outside of that 3/10 of a second zone, but he was upwards of, I would say, an additional 3/10 to a half seconds slower.
So these are the things where as a golfer, if I were to have walked into Jack’s life in that kind of summer of 86 and explain what I found from his round, and he knew his tendency maybe was to get too slow.
Do you think you could have won another major if he knew what the timing was? Do you think he knew what his window was? Right, and he knew that if anything, he would just stand over it a little too long, that he wouldn’t put in the practice to get it right every time. I would argue he would have probably won a few more majors after that because he still is playing pretty good golf, even though was at that later age of his life.
And so these again, like I said, these little things that people maybe never considered as a part of their game have massive impacts, as we’ve talked about on this call, on your mind and on your performance, it really if they’re not trained in a very specific way, you’re just leaving so much potential and strokes on the table.
That’s wonderful. I had a question about, you know, visualization. Visualization, you would say, is a visual skill. Yet sometimes we practice that with our eyes closed. Sometimes we practice at home. Sometimes I believe it’s just a very powerful tool and technique. Some of the things that when I’ve seen your course online and gone through it, yes, it’s where we place our eyes.
But I’m more. What’s your take on visualization and how is that part of a routine?
Great question. So I would say visualization and imagery training is some of the best stuff we’ve had that has come out of sports psychology in the early years as a as a as the centuries of I’m sorry, as the decades have gone by in sports psychology and over to yeah, we’re almost getting close to surgery, but you start to see imagery and visualization as a key part of experts work right before they play games, kind of visualizing what they want to see happen and the more realistic, as you know, as your viewers probably know, the more realistic those visualizations can be, the more they can help you translate to success.
So when you perform, one of the things that I have found and how it ties to your eyes, though, is if while you’re doing that skill, you have a lot of eye movement, then you’re not going to benefit from that skill as much. So if your eyes are open or your eyes are closed, you still need to control the cards.
So we talked about that. The jumping of the eye, those Socratic movements, again, are going to start sending information to the brain. And it may not be conscious information. Your thoughts may be somewhere else. You may be focused on something that you’re really concentrating on, but your eyes are looking at different information. It’s still sending that information to the brain, to your brain to do something with it.
And I can tell you, one of the first PGA Tour golfers that I ever worked with, he was from a young, young age, trained for visualization. And he always said that he could do it better with his eyes closed. You couldn’t do it well with his eyes open. He had the opportunity leading the U.S. Open paired with Tiger Woods to win his first major.
And I was watching him on TV. This is before I had a chance to ever work with him. And while he was standing behind his first tee shot, he closed his eyes to visualize. And I think Miller was in the booth commenting, hey, you know, you’re going to see the closing of those eyes to visualize the shot. He’s been doing this all week.
And one of the things that I clearly saw, I noticed was that even though his eyes were closed, you could see his eyes were kind of shifting underneath his eyelids. Like we’ve seen in science, there’s evidence that points to not only do these eye movement patterns draw from your conscious memories of the past, but what can be more damaging is it can pull from the unconscious memories of the past.
So when I did get an opportunity to meet him and we had a chance to talk before working together, I had talked to him about this experience because he had hit that first tee shot. He kind of blocked it into the right rough. And the U.S. Open rough is pretty deadly. And I asked him, I said, you know, did you visualize that on the first tee shot?
Probably not. Right. And he said, yeah, no, that’s not where I was trying to hit that shot. And I said, well, on your second shot, when you went to close your eyes to visualize that one, did you notice that your eyes didn’t want to stay shut? Your eyes actually fluttered and then quickly opened. So they didn’t stay closed as long as they did on the tee shot.
And he said, Yeah, no, I didn’t feel any of that. And then of course, the second shot out of it came up a little short right behind a bunker to get up out of the rough, out of over a bunker. He ended up hitting it over to the back of the green. I ended up getting a triple bogey on the first hole.
It kind of shot himself out of the U.S. Open to win after that first hole. So not a great experience to go through. But again, someone who’s an elite champion wants to know how to learn from those failures and immediately as I started to explain these things to him, it’s not that you can’t visualize, but when you close your eyes, keeping those eyes still is going to help for that picture.
To be clearer, and you’re not going to be pulling some of those unconscious memories. So if any of us have played golf where you like, you hit every fairway somewhere in the back nine, you get one of those errant shots and you’re kind of like, where did that come from?
You know, like I miss the fairway all day and like all of a sudden I cyclical Oakland left why and then into the round ends up falling apart at that point in time and then you think your swing is bad so you work on trying to fix your hook.
Well, I would argue that if in that moment on that whole, even if you didn’t have a thought or a worry about missing it right or missing it left, depending on the shot that you hit, if you in that moment, the movement patterns were in a pattern that weren’t controlled. Those moments in times where you’re bringing up those memories and your muscles are getting those signals, it’s easy for your muscles to go, Hey, cool.
I remember that golf shot. I can hit that right now if that’s the one you want and that’s not the one you want, right? So it’s really important to be able to use those visualization skills. But with those perceptual skills layered on top to get the full benefit from training and the benefits from most of it.
And I’m conscious of the time and I will have one more question, if that’s okay with you. What about just kind of moving on from what we’ve just talked about and holding your eyes in one spot rather than kind of having these cicadas that you mentioned?
One of the questions I have is, you mention the word fixated or fixation to me that kind of in my head when I think about fixing my eyes on something, it’s quite an intense kind of action.
It’s quite an intense thing. And I wanted to ask you that question because low code and I guess is for a different purpose to some extent. But we talk a lot about soft focus. Okay. So we talk about obviously kind of softening at the back of the eyes and having a much less intense focus with the stuff that you’re talking about.
When we talk about fixation or being fixated on that one thing, is that an intense action or is that actually the same thing? Is what we do we want to almost have almost like a calm, relaxed fixation? If that’s not oxymoronic?
No, it’s a perfect question. And with every golfer that I’ve worked with when they’ve won, I have always asked the questions, how did your eyes feel? Because I’m always trying to help the next golfer, if I can give them a feeling, a description in words.
What is that feeling? And I will tell you, never once was a word that was intense or tight or feeling like they were straining to stay focused.
So what is the focus? Right. It’s easy. The basketball coaches, you hear on the side of the court, come on, you guys got to focus out there screaming at the basketball players. Well, then what do we do to focus? Right. How do we do that? Through the visual system to be able to kind of organize what’s going on in our minds.
And it’s been interesting because typically what I hear is what you said if they felt very soft is what I hear. Or once one got hurt, remember, it’s after he won his second PGA Tour event in 15 years. He had won early in his career and then had not won. He kept going to Q school to keep his card. It was a very stressful life.
That was back when you could go straight back to the PGA Tour if you went through school. So yeah, and when I had worked with and after he had won the second time in 50 months, I asked again, what did it feel like this week? And he said to me, he goes, You know, those are the dogs with the droopy eyes.
You know, that’s what it kind of felt like. It felt like it was almost like really soft and, like, droopy and like they were not in a state where it was very tense. And you have to understand, I mean, your eye is not a muscle, but your eye has muscles that are surrounding it on each side to help to control its movement.
You can imagine if you’re tense with those muscles, they will be pretty big and things will get worse. Just like if I asked you to hold a £20 weight out to the side, parallel to the ground, you could probably keep your arm still. Maybe for the first 10 minutes, 10 seconds, 10 minutes, maybe if you’re a real big, strong man.
So for those 10 seconds, maybe your shoulder and your arm, you can hold that 20 pound dumbbell up pretty still. After those 10 seconds, your arms are probably starting to shake a little bit, your shoulders are going to start to fatigue. And after a while, all that’s going to start to be where your arm starts to fall and you can’t maintain that being parallel to the ground.
So I always tried to promote exactly what you just described, that feeling of that feeling that the eyes are soft, you can keep your eyes still. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to have tension to do that. And again, the more you practice those skills and of course, over the 22 years I’ve helped people with those things with how you mark your golf ball, you know what you put on your golf ball, help your eyes keep that softness versus tension or movement.
And I would argue you got to be careful nowadays. You got a lot of alignment that we didn’t have before. And while those alignment AIDS on board can be helpful, you got to be careful. There’s a lot of information there to get your eyes doing a lot of things that you don’t want them to do. It can actually make you worse when you’re out there.
So yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a great way to think of it and the softness in the eyes. I would definitely recommend for people to try to feel and continue to feel as they play. No, absolutely.
I think at some point because I could just imagine people listening to this going away and thinking, I’ve got to fixate my eyes on something and have this real kind of attention that comes along with it. So I just wanted to confirm that with you, and that’s fantastic to hear that it’s this softening of the eyes. Think about that droopy dog accent.
Now, that’s a really good one to remember.
So I love it. Oh, yeah. The steely eyed killer, right? You hear that? I can tell you are snipers or steely eyed killers, but I’ll tell you the softness in that fixation and the duration of it and the timing with the breath pattern to be able to pull between heartbeats is what makes them so deadly accurate. So yeah, definitely important to understand how to put those into your game in the correct way.
Well, we’ve talked a lot about timing in this episode, Brian, and I have to admit that all timing hasn’t been so good. So I went as intended, but it’s been a fantastic episode. I’ve really enjoyed diving into this world and it’s something that I haven’t really I’ve barely scratched the surface with. So to be able to have this conversation, I’m so grateful and I’ve learned a lot on this podcast and that’s what it’s all about as well.
Of course, the listeners and we know they will do a lot for us. That’s why I love doing this so much as well, because I’ve learned so much. So I just wanted to say thank you.
Well, thank you. I appreciate it.
And so I think what we’re going to try to do now is for those that are going to watch on YouTube and stuff, is we’re going to do an extra bonus here of some of those eye tracking videos that Dr. Ryan Caserta has done for a long, long, long, long time. And it’s really cool to be able to see it in real time.
All right. Let’s talk about some of the eye tracking videos. I think seeing eye tracking really helps people to understand what we get from eye tracking. So this first one, I’ll kind of pause it to kind of show you a little bit about what you’re seeing. So if we just go back real quick right there, you can see when someone’s wearing the eye tracker.
Again, this is a coral corneal reflection system, so it’s tracking the pupil and cornea of your eye. And once the system has been calibrated to your eye, it builds a 3D model of your vision to be able to get the highest accuracy on where you’re looking. So the red circle there that you see on the screen will show you where this person is looking.
The other exciting thing about the technology that I use and the software that circle you’ll see may start off small and then begin to grow. If you see it small and growing, that shows you it’s in a state of fixation. So the eye is fixated on that point and the growing of the circle gives you the duration of time that it’s staying fixated on that mark.
And we talked about that on the call today. The other thing that the software provides you is when the eye moves, it’ll show you a red line. And that kind of gives you a path of where the eye was moving from point to point, as it’s the chords and moves to you to see the of your putt of the hole and then coming back to hit your putt.
So when I play this one, you can see this golfer as they turn to look, looking pretty much right at the center of the hole. Do a good job of keeping their eyes still. And as you can see, this part is right there in the center of the cup. And I give them that part again a second time.
And then you wonder how golfers have experienced this, where you hit one putt, it feels great rolls dead in the center, then you hit another one and it misses and you don’t understand why or it feels the same. And where do you make the fix? So now this is the same exact putt. If you watch this one, you can see as he turns to look at the hole, his eyes are now going to the right of the cup.
You can see that the path is now biased a little bit to the right. And when he comes back to then hit the putt again, a good job of keeping his eye still at the hole. But you can see that the ball is rolling dead on the same exact line that he was looking at. Right. So everything from a setup to a technical prospect, this feels very similar for this golfer, but the myth is he doesn’t quite understand where they come from.
He told me a mistake like this, maybe he feels it’s a little bit of a pull. I mean, a push. So if that feels like a push to him, he may be trying to work on technique to fix that. But as you can see, it’s not so much that it’s started from the technique. It started off from the visual side.
That visual image that he put in his mind was a path that was right of the cup. And the good news, like I explained to this golfer, you hit it where you were looking, that’s a good thing. Now we’ve just got to make sure that where you’re looking is always in the correct location. Right. And that’s key. So here’s another one of those examples that I can show you so many times.
You’ll hear people say putt for the picture. And I even talked about that on the call. The problem is, if you don’t have things correct in your set up, then it will cause this perceptual effect that will bias where you’re actually looking. So you can see here as this golfer turns to look because of his set up and his left or right eye dominance, that is a huge part of what needs to be trained.
You can see he’s got a little bit of a bias that is left of the hole. So if you just tell this golfer you need just parts of the picture, then his picture is actually not in the correct place. The other thing you could start to see was do you start to see those psychotic movements? Right. So his eyes are now jumping around and moving when they’re at the hole.
So that’s now even ramping up more information once he comes back to the ball, checks his set up, that’s pretty normal. But you can see while he’s actually trying to hit the player, you’re going to start to see a little bit more movement off of the ball. Right. So his eyes are shifting away from the ball during the stroke.
And you can start to see that that putt now misses again on the exact same location headed toward the hole where he was looking for that first look. So what I’ve started to learn over these years is that, first of all, that first look is critical. If you don’t have perceptual skills trained deliberately with your setup, if you’re not in the correct setup, when you turn to look, any perceptual bias is going to put a picture in your mind.
That’s not right. And it takes a lot to keep overcoming that. It’s not that you can’t still make putts, but there’s always going to be this slight adjustment to try to have to make them once the setup is correct, then the picture in your mind and where your eyes are actually looking. Those will be exactly the same. And then that’s where it’s very easy to keep finding the hole and making good putts.
So interestingly, one of his buddies was there to watch and you can see he was watching real time on the computer and he was describing how, yeah, your eyes keep moving and shifting. You can see his eyes move with his hands. He goes, That’s what happens. Your eyes keep moving in that direction. So as I discussed the importance of this first look, I mean, it’s so critical because that is what’s setting the picture.
Here’s another example of an LPGA tour player that came to see me. She told me her process was to have three looks. The first look, she said, was on the hole. Her second look was on a spot that was in front of the hole on the line. She was rolling the putt and then kind of then again on that same where it was going into the hole.
So you can see the first one. Again, this one is very far biased to the left. What’s so interesting is and this is why I keep driving home the importance of the first look, that one is right on the bottom of the cup and the third one is in right on line where she’s trying to roll the ball over on the correct calf.
But when you watch her actually hit her putt, you can see what takes over. Is that from the first putt right? It’s going left of the hole. So even if you make corrections for it and golfers will tell me this now, sometimes when I set up, I put the line down from behind. It looks perfect. Then I set up next to it and it doesn’t look quite right.
So I might just bend down and kind of adjust it really quickly, or I just leave the line and I just kind of adjust my putter to aim it slightly differently and I might take an extra look just to feel better.
Well, you can clearly see now taking those extra looks, I have to take a third look just because you normally take two, but a third one to feel comfortable is not going to increase those chances of making it, because that first look will often be driving that first picture in your brain.
From that point on, you’re moving more towards speed and the path of getting it in the hole on speed. So this has been great to learn with the new tracking system. My old system didn’t show me this information, so this is really helpful.
Now you can see after the actress is trained up now you can see her eyes are dead on the hole when she looks and again right on the path where she wants it to go and she doesn’t need an extra look any longer.
Eyes really locked in and fixated over the ball and then dead in the center of the cup. So that’s great. So here’s something that I like to talk to people about with an eyeline bias. And it happens when people set up the ball. So you can see here where the putter is aiming to roll. This is on that green line, right?
That’s the aim. And the line of the putter. But you can see the eyeline is really biased to the right of the cup if you have this kind of bias with your eyeline. Again, it’s going to drive your brain to pick up a lot of information, to process, to make up for the delta in this angle. Right.
Because, you know, you’re not trying to roll it on where your eyeline is. So you kind of have to figure out like, hey, where is the real line and how do I keep it on that line again? If we could start to train your set up with the correct perceptual skills where this bias doesn’t occur, it’s like getting the easy button.
I mean, now your eye is on the line and it’s really easy to keep rolling it on the line. And even if that’s not the perfect line, because maybe you didn’t read the putt correctly, you’re still rolling very pure putts on your intended line.
And I would argue that actually helps you to get more putts made as the round goes on because you know, you’re rolling it where you want, then you have true information on, well, is that really more break or less break and how to adjust appropriately for it?
So you can see here with that eyeline bias, that information can be very dominant and people will follow that information and the spot and miss on that line there. So this next one I love because often people will blame technique. I don’t know if you’ll be able to hear this if the volume is up, but this golfer, when she hits this putt, oh, that was a pull.
You’ll hear her say, oh, that was a pull. Well, you can see from this information is it really a pull? Is that really what the problem is? Well, once I show you all of the things that are going on perceptually, you’re going to see it has nothing to do with a technical mistake. So you can see here again, an extreme eyeline, perceptual bias that’s right over the hole.
Then when she looks at the hole, you can see her gaze. Location is right over the cup and she actually has a biased path that’s coming left. So that’s actually hurting her as well and causing her to have to do a ton of extra work to find the line. What’s so interesting is if you remember, her bias in the beginning was to look right at where she is when it’s time to hit the putt.
Now her eyeline perceptual bias is now left of the hole. So this golfer, she was dealing with a ton of visual information. And we talked about how do you organize that to keep it correct? This is a whole lot of wrong information that makes it really hard for her to find the line. And then if it’s blamed on, oh, that’s a pull, and she’s going to be working on technique and techniques, never going to fix this problem.
Right. So you can see that when she actually hits it, she’s following that line that’s left. I mean, there’s so much information to begin with. It is almost impossible at that point in time to follow anything that’s less than what she was given in that last final moment.
I’m happy to say again when changes were made for her, because she had a lot going on very quickly, within the first 30 minutes of that first lesson, she was like making every single page she looked at and just felt so easy to her because she had a great putting stroke.
She got a full scholarship to the University of South Florida to play college golf. Very good junior golfer. So it’s not that she doesn’t have great technique. It’s just these visual perceptual issues that are really holding her back. So it’s just great to see again, people make those changes and have the benefit come that quickly. That’s always the plus of that.
So like I saw, the mistakes can start to compound with each other, right? So as you see a little left of the hole, a whole lot of eye movements, a lot of jumping around. And then once this golfer comes back to hit the putt, you’re also going to see even more information going on. Again, a slight bias to the right, a whole lot of eye movement looking down at the ball.
So these mistakes start to compound on themselves. Exactly left. And you know what’s so interesting, if you heard him there, he said, you know, oh, at least I’m consistently missing the left well again, if where you’re looking is left, if that’s where your setup is, that is where you’re putting to the picture consistently. And we’ve got to get that picture fixed.
Unfortunately, golf doesn’t happen where you’re looking straight forward with both eyes. You have to stand to the side of the ball and look down and then look from that side angle. So again, depending on if your left or right eye is dominant and depending on where all of that is in your setup, it can really cause this picture to get skewed.
So really it’s a fun thing to go through with people because like I told you, the results come really fast. Once you start to get fixed, it is easy for them to start hitting really good putts as long as they have a good technique and they’re good at reading greens. All right. So this one is one that I did of myself outside on my putting that just to kind of show you what it looks like when it’s correct.
You’re going to see with my eyes, they’re very directed dirt brought into a pattern like we discussed on the call when it’s organized and correct, I’m only using the information that I need. Everything else is simplified and this is what really helps to get a lot of putts made right on that right edge. I was looking at my pool deck. Does my pool deck do a great job of giving the right left.
But because of the drainage, if I flip them out the other way, it’ll give me the other break. Going to the right. So yeah, it’s really nice to kind of be able to see those and practice those. And that’s, you know, one of those deals that I think for most golfers, if they start or control those skills, again, as you can see, how directed is your eye?
Are you really looking in the correct spot? I’m a dying speed putter. It shows up in my eye tracking, as you can see right there. Right. I’m not looking in a spot that’s going to get me speed that’s not directed to what I’m doing.
And really, the eyes are so responsible for speed, control. And for me, that’s why I kind of try to get people to understand it’s not simply about just maybe using the alignment AIDS, right, or the alignment AIDS on your ball can help you maybe align it.
But speed is the most important thing. So what you’re doing with your eyes will be largely responsible for speed. And you know, if you never get back to focusing on speed because you’re so consumed with the alignment on your ball and the alignment on your putter and trying to get all of these alignments correct, then you may not get the speed control you need.
Be able to make that putt even if your line is perfect. So it is a combination of many perceptual skills that come together to really get that mind optimized and to get your body performing in that state of automated automaticity or in that state of flow. And this is how we also improve our golf mental game.