Daniel broke his collarbone last week, so it looks like he’s going to focus on the mental preparation for golf over the next three weeks or so.
The injury itself could have been worse. The doctor at the emergency room initially thought he had fractured his shoulder, too. If so, he would have been out for several months.
As it is, the bone doctor initially said four to six weeks. At a follow-up appointment this week, he said it will probably be closer to four.
That is good news for Daniel who remains committed to learning how to get better at golf because he should be ready when practice starts in late February.
Meanwhile, Daniel cannot pick up a golf club while wearing a brace and a sling. No drivers. No three-woods. No hybrids. No irons.
In the video below, Daniel mentions perhaps practicing some one-arm putts or one-arm chips, but we decided that would likely do more harm than good, so he is taking it easy.
I have suggested to Daniel that he focus on his mental preparation for golf. That is not easy, of course, because it is a lot more fun to play golf than it is to think about playing golf.
One of the things that Daniel can do is concentrate on visualizing golf shots. Most great golfers visualize golf shots before they hit the ball.
If Daniel can learn how to visualize his shots while he is hurt, he’ll improve much faster once he gets back out on the golf course. The good thing is that he can do this most any time. He just needs a few seconds to imagine hitting a shot in his mind.
I believe this will be a very important mental preparation for golf while he is recovering.
But I want Daniel to take visualization even farther. I want him to spend time playing an entire round of golf in his mind. He should imagine the entire process, from walking into the clubhouse before the round to putting out on the last green.
This is similar to a story I’ve heard several times, which Snopes identifies as a legend, about a prisoner of war who imagines playing golf every day while in captivity and plays better after his release than he did before.
I think that this exercise will especially help Daniel focus on improving areas of his golf game that need work. For example, if he wants to hit better drives, he can imagine every tee shot going long and straight.
Moreover, Daniel can use the exercise to help him get over some mental blocks about holes he doesn’t like. Once he imagines himself playing those holes better, he stands a better chance of playing them better when he returns from his injury.
Finally, I want Daniel to practice mental preparation for golf by thinking about being in pressure situations.
I would like for him to focus on what it would be like to stand over a 10-foot putt with a chance to win an important tournament.
I want him to feel the stress of needing to get up and down to help his high school golf team win the conference championship.
He needs to feel what it is like to hit tee shots, iron shots and putts when the tension is high.
So far Daniel has handled his injury well. He’s done what the doctor has told him to do, because he wants to be able to play when the golf season starts.
I expect that the mental preparation for golf will have him ready to play when the time comes. For those who are used to a little comic relief from this site, the following video is an outtake of Daniel describing his injury. Enjoy.