PhysioGolf Article pour la PGA , Aout 2005

17 août, 2005

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 Article sur la mise en place de PhysioGolf auprès de Joel Bernard, Pro de Golf de Bondues et intervenant PGA

I’m a believer
When a French golf professional finally understood how emotions affect a golf swing, he passed it along to his students with great results. By Joel Bernard, Head Golf Professional, Golf of Bondues, France Training young players who want to reach the highest levels of golf ability has been my passion for many years. I have focused most of my attention on body movement techniques adapted to each aspect of play. The more a movement is technically sound, the more it will withstand pressure and competitive stress and thus be effective in most circumstances. I have had excellent results with my students. Today, I still consider movement training valid, but coaching for competition made me aware that even the best technique, as reliable and solid as it may be, will not resist mismanagement of the emotions. The management of emotions is the differentiating factor between a technique and the successful use of a technique. As most golf coaches and golfers know, emotions are put to the test during competition. Unfortunately, when one of my students complained about always missing a key tee shot, or ruining his score with a triple bogey, or missing a two-foot putt, I did not have any really effective solutions to offer. It was in November 2004, and after a discussion on the subject, my student and friend Frederic Lecomte spoke to me about the HeartMath techniques and the Freeze-Framer Emotional Management training software. It did not take long to convince me to take a class on this at PI Conseil, HeartMath’s licensee/distributor in France, in order to understand how the monitor works and the science of emotions behind it. I must say it changed my way of understanding things in my profession as a golf coach and in my private life. I started to use the HeartMath Quick Coherence technique with my best students.
In the first stage of experiments with the technique, the results in terms of ball contact, quality of ball flight, and swing fluidity were edifying! Their first impressions were feelings of well-being and unaccustomed facility. For some, their ball-striking consistency immediately improved. For others it was a gain of distance of more than 10 yards using a 7 iron. Each player felt an unquestionable benefit with the use of the Quick Coherence technique.
The second stage was to create their library of positive images or positive situations in order to reach a high coherence score on the Freeze-Framer physiology monitor quickly. Several practices using the HeartMath techniques with the Freeze-Framer program were followed by meticulous work on the development of a pre-shot routine personalized with phrases like:
1-Set your coherence
2-Take stock
3-Choose and visualize the trajectory
4-Take a practice swing relative to the desired shot
5-Lock onto your reference mark
6-Set your stance
7-Visualize the target
8-Execute the shot

The third stage consists in putting this shot preparation into action on the course in order to refine it and make it still more effective, while adding concepts of “intention for the shot” or of “challenge” for success of the chosen shot.
After a briefing on the positive points to be addressed, followed by some practice of HeartMath techniques, I give a lesson on how to short-circuit negative thoughts (example: I always break down on the last holes, or I play the front nine always well but fall apart on the back nine), transforming them into positive reactions by the use of the HeartMath techniques.

RESULTS: Two of my older students provide their impressions on the benefit of this method to them: “Now, I remain much more serene in delicate situations and take time to analyze the situation instead of throwing away shots and playing the next one too quickly… I am better in accessing new information and I more easily visualize my trajectory before playing… I handle stressful situations much better and I accept more easily my missed strokes.” — Benjamin Regent, 21, 2003 French Junior Champion, silver medalist at the 2001 European Young Masters, and member of victorious 2002 European Junior Ryder Cup team.

“The first time that I used the Quick Coherence technique, I gained one club length with an unaccustomed feeling of facility!… since then, I have had much better results around the greens, thanks in particular to a more positive frame of mind. Moreover, I won a tournament last week by making a successful chip and a decisive putt in the playoff…. on the course, my swing seems more relaxed and easy.” — Sandy Criquelion, 26, 1997 French Junior Champion, 2000 International Belgian Championship, 2000 and 2002 French University champion, and twice selected for the French girls national team for the European Championship.

Having seen these results from using HeartMath techniques and Freeze-Framer, I used the same program with other younger players (13-16 years) with handicaps ranging from 2 to 10, and had the same observations that using HeartMath:
– supports the capacity to remain in the present
– allows golfer to remain lucid and calm even under intense stress (on the first tee, in playoffs, etc.) — allows golfer to obtain better coordination and relaxation in stroke execution
– allows golfer to execute a stroke in an instinctive and less reflective way
– allows golfer to obtain feelings of wellbeing, of ease and the pleasure of playing I also use the HeartMath techniques for accelerating learning a different movement or for correcting a recurring flaw. When in high coherence, the pupil succeeds almost every time in applying the requested instruction. This is surprising and very encouraging for continuing in this direction in the future.
Joel Bernard has been a golf teaching professional since 1993. He has been head-pro At the Golf of Bondues in France since 1998 (First French Men’s club ranking in 2003) and a federal coach since 1998. Joel has coached three French junior champions and one French amateur champion, three professional players, two best club teams playing in the top division and the most promising regional girls and boys teams.
Deborah Rozman is a psychologist and President and co-CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. a technology company that develops products that reduce stress and improve performance and health. Freeze-Framer? for Golf software and sensor measure your coherence levels which show how in sync or in the zone you are, providing precise, immediate feedback on your state. The software then trains you into increasing states of coherence.
Dr. Rozman has authored numerous scientific papers and is co-author with Doc Childre of the books Overcoming Emotional Chaos (2002, Jodere), Transforming Anger (2003, New Harbinger), and Transforming Stress (2004, New Harbinger).