Today, I was prowling youtube looking for something I hadn't seen before. I found it! A six minute video of Seve Ballesteros practicing. Here are some things you can take away from this very simple, yet profound video.
* Seve is connected to his target.
On each and every swing, he takes a long look at his target. After hitting the shot, he is once again completely into his target as he faces it and watches his ball flight. So many times when I watch young people practice, they lose track of their target and instead focus on their motion. Remember, golf is about making a motion to send the ball to the target, not simply to perfect your motion.
* Seve has beautiful rhythm, balance and tempo.
He doesn't hurry his transition, but instead sets the top of his swing and lets the arms fall. It seems effortless because of his smooth transition, but his body is quick to the target giving him speed and his balance is superb, giving him consistency. Many young players want to rush their swing to gain power, but the building blocks of greatness are rhythm, balance and tempo.
* Seve has great footwork.
Seve has active legs in his swing. This is directly related to his rhythm. Many players feel their rhythm in their feet and have a little dance in their swing. This is important, because in today's world, there are teachers asking young players to keep their feet quiet or even flat. Remember that methodology in teaching is never the answer and individuality is key. If you are a player who has active feet, you might be the next Seve. Don't make unneeded changes to who you are.
* Seve doesn't mess around.
Seve sets up, looks at his target and swings the club. He doesn't spend a lot of time fidgeting or aiming. He knows what he's doing and he trusts himself. It shows. The best in any pursuit seem simple and easy, but that simplicity is based on hours of honing their craft. Young players should be constantly working toward simplicity, not complexity. A clear mind, a commitment to the shot and a vivid picture of what will happen are all you need when you step into your shot. Your connection to the target will take care of your aim and your picture of the shot will turn into reality if you keep it simple.
*Seve uses his full motion.
Accept for one time when he worked to feel his swing at the top, Seve used a full motion on the practice tee. The important word is motion. He didn't seem worried about positions or in breaking down his move into parts. Instead, he made full swings to his target. He gave each swing pause and analysis and probably made some small adjustment in the next one, but he didn't break down his full motion. If you spend time at a junior event, you see players working on postitions and breaking down their swings even prior to a round. Wholeness is key as Seve shows us. Breaking down leads to break downs.
Thanks to the pro, David Bown, who filmed this for doing so without commentarty and for seeing greatness and capturing it on film for all of us.