Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

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Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby mark12b » Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:33 pm

Interesting, will have to try this at dubs tomorrow!

Study: Athletes Perform Better Under Pressure When They Make a Fist With Their Left Hand

Lead researcher Juergen Beckmann, PhD, put it pretty profoundly: "Consciously trying to keep one's balance is likely to produce imbalance." Simple (brain-hemisphere-dependent) tasks that activate motor portions of the brain while drawing activity away from the ruminating portions can help experienced athletes perform (in terms of accuracy and complex body movements done from muscle memory) without being messed up by nerves. "Just let it happen; be the ball."
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Re: Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby thrembo » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:29 pm

Sounds legit. I might try it in a round tomorrow. I am certain it won't make me any worse! :lol:
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Re: Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:45 pm

So the best strategy under pressure is to distract yourself? Really?

My experience is the opposite. I do better under pressure because I concentrate more and try harder. Avoiding pressure is not my answer. Embracing pressure and using it as motivation is.

Make a fist? Why not get drunk and wipe out all worry?

What if this study tested successful Pros? Would the advice be the same?
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Re: Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby iacas » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:27 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:So the best strategy under pressure is to distract yourself? Really?


I too consider myself to be good under pressure. I have a bit of an "I'll show THEM!" and a "watch THIS!" approach to pressure. I love it. I perform well.

But I'm not sure that such a study can be dismissed as "distract yourself." For instance, the amount of tension one holds in his jaw - and in fact even HOW ONE ALIGNS HIS JAW - can have measurable changes in the golf swing. Sounds odd, but it's true, and it's something that "matters" to some (not the guy who can't break 90, but someone like me who or those better than me).
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Re: Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby Agricolae » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:44 pm

"...activate motor portions of the brain while drawing activity away from the ruminating portions..."

I believe it. I've demonstrated to myself over and over (and over and over ...) that I have to quiet the "thinking" part of my brain and allow control to the "unconscious (motor?)" part of my brain to successfully execute complex motor skills. Putting a disc in a basket from 33 ft is not hard, physically. If I'm *thinking*, it can get hard really quick. Bob Rotella writes about this in his books on stick golf.

Another example, trying playing guitar while consciously thinking about the next notes, finger positions, up-and-down strokes of the pick, etc. Most (all?) musicians know you have to turn off the "ruminating" portion of the brain to execute.

On the other hand, I think me consciously trying to make a fist with my left hand wouldn't help me with disc golf. I KNOW it wouldn't help with guitar playing! :D
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Re: Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby turso » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:43 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:So the best strategy under pressure is to distract yourself? Really?

My experience is the opposite. I do better under pressure because I concentrate more and try harder. Avoiding pressure is not my answer. Embracing pressure and using it as motivation is.

Make a fist? Why not get drunk and wipe out all worry?

What if this study tested successful Pros? Would the advice be the same?


Successful pros tend to be successful pros because they excel under pressure, and are able to concentrate better than most people be it with a physical or mental gimmick or not. I, being quite ADHD and not being able to follow a 1 on 1 conversation most of the time, will try every trick to improve my concentration.

"Why not get drunk?" Well, you should read stories of old golf pros, they DID get drunk and it helped quite a bit at least some of them. Now alcohol and beta blockers and such are banned because they're considered cheating.

As people are quite varied, it's bound to not work, or be needed, for everyone.

Now to grow a second left hand which I can make into a fist whilst playing computer games...
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Re: Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby dgolfing » Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:22 pm

On the course I like to count from 9 for every 9 holes played. It is stupid but it helps me view the game aggressively rather than trying to keep from screwing up. So if you par the first hole then you get to tell yourself you have a score of 8 and so on











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Re: Making a fist with the left hand can lower scores?

Postby mark12b » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:27 pm

Update on this. I kinda tried it the last couple of times at weekly random dubs -- not always making a fist, but maybe holding an extra disc behind my back while putting, talking while putting, etc.. Just something to distract my brain a bit after lining up the shot. Can't say for sure that it helped, but finished in a tie for 2nd both weeks so far.. :-)
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