Blaming, Shaming and Condoning… OH MY!

For nearly 25 years, I played golf competitively. I loved (and still do) all aspects of the game. The discipline, the smell of the grass, the camaraderie, the competition, the friendships, the beauty of each course.

Watching golf was a family affair. The US Open, The Masters and The Open Championship were tournaments that we watched ALL the coverage… and then the analysis of the coverage.

I had my favorite players over the years; Fred Couples, John Cook, Sergio Garcia, Bob Tway, Seve and Ben. I pulled for the “old guards” and the up and coming rookies.

I watched amateur golf, too. I watched, in complete amazement, the domination of Tiger Woods. My Dad would say “you may not see another player win like Tiger wins in your lifetime. He is really special.” I agreed.

Tiger brought an excitement and fevered pitch to a game that can be slow…and perceived as boring and for the wealthy. He made it an accessible and tangible sport for many. He developed foundations and made golf exciting with each and every tournament he entered.

I remember the TIGER WOODS fallout and drama in 2009. I was newly sober and uncovering and discovering things about me; my behavior, my desires, my fears, my relationship to alcohol and drugs. I remember feeling pained for him. I hoped that he would find something that would restore him, give him peace, find solution for himself. Over the last 8 years, I have found solution and peace and recovery. Apparently, that has not been the case for Tiger.

This morning, I was flipping through my social media news feeds and saw that Tiger was arrested for DUI. What prompted this writing were the responses to some of those posts:

“How does someone THAT rich NOT have a driver?”

“He should be thrown in jail!”

“Atta boy, Tiger! Booze, women, DUI… I can feel a Major Championship right around the corner!”

“We have all done it, don’t be so hard on him.”

“It says DUI, he could have been just taking his prescription drugs for backpain.”

These types of comments went on FOREVER. The level of ignorance and normalization that our country has embraced regarding addiction and substance abuse is astounding. And I suppose, that unless it affects you directly, you may not take the time to learn anything. I totally get it. I used to say/think those types of things regarding professional athletes/celebrities and their DUI’s.

Here are 9 things you may want to read and consider:

1. Alcohol and your brain:

2. 70% of people who have mental illness (depression, for instance) and abuse substance have experienced some level of trauma. Trauma is a type of damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience.

3. Alcohol is an addictive substance.

4. Abuse of alcohol and drugs is NOT a moral / lack of self-will issue.

5. One modality of treatment does NOT fit all people.

6. Blaming, shaming OR condoning the destructive behavior is NOT going to help.

7. People do NOT have to hit “rock bottom” to change their relationship with alcohol and drugs. (When it comes to the idea of rock bottom, no other chronic *disease* (see point #8) is handled this way. A person with diabetes does not need to experience a foot amputation to understand the gravity of their disease.)

8. Addiction and your brain:

9. You CAN recover. and

Educate yourself. Be kind to others rather than sit in judgement. Tiger’s DUI is a teachable moment. Talk to your kids, your students, the team that you coach. Ask questions. LISTEN to the answers. Provide space for an open conversation WITHOUT fear of consequence. Addiction does not care about your race, gender, education or social class. We are all at risk if we don’t educate ourselves, so let’s stop the blaming, shaming and condoning and get to work on listening, supporting and finding solution.

This article was originally posted on Medium:

Why *YOU* need Yoga Fusion

What do YOU think when you hear the word YOGA?

Do you think chanting, burning incense and people doing really contorted things with their bodies??? Well, those things MAY be true in some yoga studios but not at a Yoga Fusion class!

Yoga For Golfers utilizes the force of gravity against your own body weight, creating weight bearing, strength building exercises as well as flexibility. This process assists the body to move easily through a full range of motion. In addition to gravity, breathing awareness and use of the breath are the fundamental practices of yoga as well as any fitness activity. Proper breathing improves the quality of the poses by increasing the blood flow to the muscles, body temperature and improving endurance.

Rotational sports, at their foundation, are the same (baseball, tennis, golf, etc.); the intentional and dynamic movement of the body in three planes of motion the frontal plane (side to side), the sagittal plane (flexion & extension front to back), and the transverse plane (rotation). At Alexandrite (as a Level II certified Yoga For Golfers instructor) I am teaching a unique and proprietary methodology developed by Katherine Roberts. This cutting edge methodology is a blend of yoga, dynamic exercise using body weight and Versa Bands as well as powerful functional motion. The goal is to drive improvement, in performance, from the first tee to the last putt. YFG focuses on achieving body symmetry, balance and alignment throughout the swing to increase power as well as enhancing flexibility and core development to improve mobility, strength, power and endurance.
Did you know that for every 1mph you gain in your golf swing, you will achieve approximately 2.3 yards? In addition to more yardage, you will also get more out of your game. How many rounds do you take 3 holes to warm up and then collapse on the last three holes? This is a common occurrence. YFG will prepare your body to play from the first tee and facilitate endurance so that you can finish your round without being exhausted or hurt.
There is NO yoga experience necessary. Class starts with a rotational assessment, dynamic warm up, standing exercises, balance exercises, core work and then rest! Safety is always first and foremost in my class. There are ALWAYS modifications so that each person has their own successes in class.
Jen Yockey is a Class A member of the LPGA T&CP Division, 200RYT, Yoga Alliance, Yoga For Golfers, Level II Certified Instructor, C.H.E.K. Golf Biomechanic, Mother of 1 rambunctious boy and 2 rescued pups. She teaches Yoga Fusion at Alexandrite on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00am. | 760.219.7953 |

Use the Think Box and the Play Box

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott are perhaps two of the most successful teachers in the game today.

I say that because they coached Annika Sorenstam when she was dominating the LPGA Tour, and they also give advice to Yani Tseng, who is currently dominating the women’s game. But make no mistake, Nilsson and Marriott, founders of the Golf54 academy and Vision54 Coaching for the Future, also work with plenty of male golfers, including PGA Tour stalwart Kevin Streelman.

Nilsson and Marriott have written three books on golf with Golf World’s Ron Sirak. The latest, Play Your Best Golf Now, crystallizes the concept of the Think Box and the Play Box. Their first book, Every Shot Must Have a Purpose, however, introduces the concept. I think their approach will help you shoot lower scores almost immediately. Hey, if it works for Annika and Yani, why not give it a try.

Basically, Pia and Lynn contend that every shot has a decision line. That’s an imaginary line that divides the area where you do all your thinking and strategizing (the Think Box) from the area where you simply hit the shot (the Play Box). Annika was superb at this, says Sirak. Once she entered the Play Box, she never hesitated or became distracted. She simply went through her routine, trusted her technique and pulled the trigger. She left all of her thinking behind–in the Think Box.

Here is a short excerpt of the first book. Try their approach this weekend, and I bet you’ll play better golf.

As you stand in the THINK BOX you should consider all the variables for the shot: wind direction and strength, the lie of the ball (is it below your feet and will it thus fade away from your body?), the hazards you need to factor in, and, if you are in competition, the point at which you stand in the match. VERBALIZE your intentions for the shot. “I am going to hit a 6-iron at the tree behind the left corner of the green and the ball will fade toward the pin in the back right corner of the green. It is a good, firm 6-iron for me.” Imagine the shot you are going to hit.

The only time there is any indecision should be when you are in the THINK BOX. When you cross the DECISION LINE to hit the shot, there must be total commitment to the shot. If you get over the ball and are not comfortable with the decision you have made, back off, retreat to the THINK BOX, and come up with a plan in which you have trust. If you are going to be slow in any part of the game, it must be in the THINK BOX and not in the PLAY BOX. The DECISION LINE is the doorway from one room to another.

When you cross the line into the PLAY BOX, leave doubt behind, make your grip, aim the clubface, align the body, connect to the target, and hit your shot. The longer you wait to hit the shot the more opportunity there is for doubt–and tension–to creep into your mind and body. And remember what we said about tension being the most effective saboteur of the golf swing. Decide, commit, swing. It’s as simple as that.

Jen Yockey is a Class A member of the LPGA T&CP Division, Yoga For Golfers Certified Instructor, C.H.E.K. Golf Biomechanic, Mother of 1 rambunctious boy and 3 rescued pups. She teaches Yoga Fusion at Alexandrite on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00am. | 760.219.7953 |