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Friday, March 8, 2019

Rafa Cabrera-Bello on Swing Thoughts (Video)

After Rafa's amazing 65 at the API on Thursday, I thought it might be fun to take a look at his swing. But then I found this short video on how he approaches his game mentally, and it was so fascinating that I decided to share it instead. The video is roughly two years old, which is when he began to regain the form he showed earlier in his career.

Rafa's approach is so different from most pros! Players generally talk about searching for 'something' on the range, which is usually a swing thought, that they can take out on the course. But Rafa specifically says his swing thoughts are for the range, not the course.

So what does he think about on the course? He says
  • he thinks about the target and
  • tries to feel comfortable over his shots.
That's it. He thinks about where he wants the ball to go and he tries to set up so he feels that he can make that shot easily.

Isn't that refreshing?

But let's say you need a swing thought. What does Rafa recommend?

He says most of the errors he sees on the course are stance errors. Players line up too far to the left or right, or they have their shoulders aimed in a different direction than their stance is aimed. So he recommends thinking about your stance.

Rafa recommends a comfortable stance, of course.

This really does make sense. If your stance is comfortable, your swing is more likely to be repeatable. If it's repeatable, it's easier to trust it. And if you trust your swing, you're more likely to make good shots.

And what you'll be thinking about when you make those good shots is where you want the ball to go -- in other words, your target.

When he's playing with his mind uncomplicated by mechanical thoughts, merely thinking about where he wants the ball to go, are you really amazed when Rafa shoots a score like he did Thursday?

Sounds like a plan to me.

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