My second lesson of the Precision Challenge was given by Chris Lowman, one of our senior instructors on staff. Chris primarily teaches out of Bur-Mil Park and I often get to listen in on many of his lessons that are in the Bur-Mil Indoor Studio. His first question to me was “Did you practice any after your last lesson?”. The simple answer would be “yes”. I did hit a few balls one day. Like so many of us, it is often difficult to find time and motivation to continually practice. Realistically, hitting 30 min of balls one day doesn’t really count, but I went with it.
Again, I started the lesson off with asking what most golfers would consider stupid questions. What club are you having me use? what effect does it have on the ball? In tennis, you have only have one racket to hit with, so it is a new experience for me to have to learn all these different club lengths. Chris very nicely dumbed down the language for me to understand.
Chris worked with me for about 30 minutes adding to the base that Kathleen originally helped me build. The goal for the lesson was to improve the key points Kathleen gave me and move forward to creating a better swing. For the first few minutes, he watched me swing and got to know what things are out of balance or can be tweaked. Then, it was video time! Swing View Pro is a video analysis system that allows you to not only see your swing, but it also allows the instructor to compare you to other swings or draw on the screen to visually show you what you can improve. I was excited to use the video system during this lesson. It helps me tremendously to see what I am doing versus what I need to do.
I was consistently doing things correctly (according to Chris) that Kathleen had me focus on. My grip was correct and I was getting the “L” swing without cocking my wrist. I have a tendency to take my tennis habits into the golf swing, so Chris had me concentrate on three things. First, he continually reminded me to keep my right knee bent. For whatever reason, my knee is stiff as a board when I take the club back. Second, I need to work on coiling my body. My back muscles are not used to the position I need to be in, so it actually strains my back to be in the position that both Kathleen and Chris have advised me to get to. I’m hoping the more I do the swing, those muscles will loosen up to help my back in this process. Finally, he gave me the best advice I had received yet…relax! Like most lessons that I teach in tennis, when a person is trying very hard to force a certain motion, it is actually more difficult to accomplish. If you relax your muscles and let the club flow, the result is always better.
I went away from the lesson thinking that I hit the ball more solid. Best of all, the ball was now going straight! The next test is to actually practice.