I am going to write a series of posts based on a sermon I preached recently that has been bouncing around my noggin lately. I don’t know how many I will write or over how long. We’ll just take it one at a time. I’m sure I will sprinkle other things in the middle and bounce around a bit as that is just me. Anyway, just wanted to warn you. 🙂
I have played several sports in my life (not all of them well). One of the things I find true in most of them is the importance of follow-through. How one ends is as important, if not more, as how one begins.
The examples are immense. In bowling (yes I do know something about it), once you let go of the ball, the finish motion of your hand has a lot to do with where that ball is going to end up going down the lane. In baseball, proper follow-through is what gives accuracy and power to the one throwing the ball, whether it is an outfielder or the pitcher. In basketball, follow-through is extremely important to the “touch” on the ball and it’s flight to the basket and is often the difference between a made shot and a missed one. The list goes on through tennis, volleyball, football, soccer, and on and on.
The one example that rings most for me right now is of course golf. I have used Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry as examples before in this. However, I have a new appreciation for it now. Yesterday, I spent the day at Muirfield Village watching the pros practice in preparation for the Memorial Tournament. A good part of that time was spent just a couple dozen yards from Jim Furyk and Kenny Perry side-by-side at the driving range. (In the photo above, Jim is in the light blue and Kenny is in yellow.) These two men are near the top of the golfing world; both are ranked in the top 15. They are multiple winners on tour. Yet, they both have… um… unconventional swings.
It was wild watching them practice: Jim with his multiple plane, meandering take away back swing, and Kenny with the double hitch in his. Right next to them was another player also practicing. I have no idea who he is. I do know he is not one of the elite golfers in the world. It was obvious from his equipment and the number of people concerned with his equipment and practice (I should say lack of number of people) that he is not on the same level as the other two. Yet, his swing was picture perfect. Absolute classic, fluid, poetry in motion. What all three had in common was follow-through. Three different approaches in set-up, grip, equipment, style, backswing, tempo, everything. From impact to finish, all three had great follow-through. It looked different for each, but they finished strong and they fully finished their swings. As such, that little white orb sailed off all three clubs.