Remember Goldilocks and The Three Bears? Goldilocks was out for a walk in the forest when she wandered into a house where 3 bears lived but were away. She found 3 bowls of porridge and started eating but one was too hot, one too cold – and then one was just right! Then she found 3 chairs to sit in but one was too big, one too small – and one was just right! Then she felt very tired and went upstairs where she laid down in a bed, but it was too hard. She tried another bed but it was too soft. And then she found the baby bear’s bed and it was just right!
The Balanced Zone
I always loved hearing Jacqui Nicoletti-McSorley, one of my favorite LPGA Teaching Pro colleagues, tell this story to young golfers at the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf site we started together in San Diego. Her point was: always look to be in that balanced zone, that sweet spot, where things are ‘just right.’ Don’t over-swing or under-swing; think too much or think too little; practice and not play or play and not practice; push too hard, or take it too easy; be super-social and never spend time by yourself, or be a loner and not cultivate relationships.
The dictionary defines balance as: “even distribution of weight that enables someone or something to remain upright and steady”; and “a condition in which different elements are equal or in correct proportion.” A good golf swing begins with a solid foundation in the feet and legs, with proper weight distribution and transfer through sequenced lower-to-upper body connection from start to finish. A complete golf game requires balanced practice and performance in all areas from tee to green. Swaying, lifting, deaccelerating, or swinging so hard you come out of your shoes, destroys swing arc and thereby centered ball contact causing loss of crucial distance, accuracy and consistency.
Watch Tour players in competition, live or on TV, and watch amateurs on any driving range or golf course. What I see is that maintaining physical balance is perhaps the most significant difference between professional and amateur golfers / high and low handicappers. Maintaining mental and emotional balance appears as the key element that allows great champions to emerge from all those with great talent but who never quite withstand the pressure to make it to the top.
In business, studies show that consciously establishing personal work-life balance is a hallmark of executives who become both great leaders and happy healthy people. A successful business isn’t top-heavy or under-done in any area, but involves correct proportion and balance in leadership, staffing, budgeting, strategic planning, product and organizational development, sales and marketing, stress and conflict management, etc.
Balance is not a static state but a dynamic endeavor within the many and ongoing challenges of our lives, every moment. I think of driving down the road, where my hands aren’t simply on the steering wheel but are constantly making adjustments to keep the car on course. I think of unforeseen circumstances, emergency situations, deadlines, triggers, accidents … the myriad ways that we can lose control and find ourselves out-of-whack. We know for sure that these will arise as life constantly happens. What each of us needs to know better is how to get re-centered, and restore balance and harmony whenever we ‘lose it’.
Living in balance begins to flow more and more as we appreciate it’s power, and gain greater self-knowledge and in-the-moment awareness of our personal somatic (physical) and mental-emotional signals. We’re each put together differently – uniquely ‘wired’ with our own traits, styles, needs, and stressors. It’s really important to know what it takes to be in our own personal zone. iMap is an outstanding tool for charting a balanced course for both individuals and teams. Identifying passions and strengths, and how to positively meet needs and manage stress reactions, unlocks amazing untapped capacity to be at our best.
To be able to routinely get things ‘just right’ doesn’t have to be just a fairy tale! Find your balance with iMap reports at www.iMapGolf.com.
by Jamie Leno Zimron