(This is the eighth of a nine-part series inspired by Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras)
Plateauing (Sanskrit: alabdha bhūmikatva): We make great strides to lower our handicap and then suddenly we get stuck at a number and can’t budge. Or we are missing the point of a technical swing change and find ourselves bogged down in swing mechanics and not able to access the finer, subtler states of the swing. We also continue to make the same mistakes over and over. This is the obstacle of plateauing, alabdha bhūmikatva.
Ungrounded and unable to progress along the path, we get frustrated with our game. The rut of negative self-talk fuels the feeling of disappointment. Believing we have made progress, and then suddenly noticing there is inexhaustible work still to be done.
The technical aspects of the swing require endless maintenance. We think we’ve improved our set-up, but then our swing-plane gets off. After we’ve fixed our alignment, the angle-of-attack needs attention. Because we have spent so much time on our swing, our short game suffers. Unceasing, this sport is high maintenance simply to remain at our current level.
Plateauing is also experienced in our attitude. We perceive that we’ve mentally reached a dead end. Lack of hope sets in and we proclaim, “No more for me, I give up. I thought I had it, but I feel even more stupid than before. I can’t hit another shot. I quit!” At this point, the obstacle of plateauing has officially become an interruption.
Obstacles are going to occur in golf. Are we going to let them become interruptions? Rather than throwing in the towel when we hit a plateau, we re-double our efforts and catapult our games to the next level.
Dodie Mazzuca is the author of “Golf Sutras: Lessons for Transforming the Mental Game with Yoga’s Inner Wisdom” and founder of Golf PROformance. She teaches golf lessons, golf yoga workshops, and Mindfulness for Golf programs in Santa Cruz, CA