Eliminate Early Extension in Golf Swing

The REAL causes of early extension in the golf swing and the only TRUE way to fix it.

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Matthew
So, I'm trying to add the right hand. I'm pretty sure my left arm only swings are solid. But when I add the right, it activates my right Lat, which in turn makes me wanna fire my right obliques from the top. So my torso is getting kinked aft. I'm pretty sure I'm not pushing much from my right foot. Maybe I just need more reps, but do you have any advice for relaxing those trail side obliques?
February 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. The core is still going to be engaged, but it sounds like push and excessive secondary axis tilt. Take a look at Level Shoulders Drill.
February 2, 2021
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Matthew
Yea, definitely secondary axis tilt. I probably just can't feel the pushing but it's there I guess. Do you mean "Level Shoulders at Impact" video?
February 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. Yes. You are correct. Sorry about the video title.
February 2, 2021
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Matthew
Cool, thanks. Yea, I've been experimenting with that drill a bit. I'll get a swing review here shortly
February 2, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. Also, take a look at Learn Perfect Weight Shift in Your Socks (5:25) time stamp.
February 3, 2021
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Matthew
Thanks Craig. It's funny, I had actually noted roughly that point in that video once before. But I just watched it again. It's a good one. Thanks again
February 3, 2021
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Richard
Hi, i think i have a different problem with extension....i don’t think i have any. I’ve noticed at contact my right arm is fully extended but my left (lead arm) is still bending at the elbow. The dreaded chicken wing. I think its because at contact i am still to hunched over the ball. Any suggestions or drill(s) to focus on?
August 1, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. Cure Chicken Wing and Perfecting Your Impact Series. Both will help you understand the cause and how to work out of said postion.
August 1, 2020
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Joel
Hey Craig, I have a similar problem as Richard. I get jammed up at impact, resulting in a bending of the left arm and a left wrist breakdown after impact but I have shaft lean. I know my left hip does not move back enough so I’ve been studying the clamshell video as well as the throw the ball video. I’ve been chasing this issue forever. Any advice? (I’ll be sending in a swing review when I get back in town next week)
August 26, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joel. A review will work best. Work on the Perfecting Your Golf Impact Series. Try to get the clean movements with release dialed into a 9 to 3. Focusing on proper release with adding clean body motion in smaller terms will help.
August 26, 2020
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Richard
Thanks!
August 1, 2020
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Justin
Craig, great video. I've always moved into the ball like this so helpful to key in on this point for me. But here is where I am bit confused: on the one hand the pivotal part of the back swing is to properly load the back right leg as the DEAD drill encourages and from that we get the "automatic" action back to the ball. But that would seem like energy pushing from the right side, but chuck is saying that we need to pull with the left side to avoid early extension. It would seem that the loading into the right would result in pushing down from the right or do I just need to retrain my muscles and mind to then pull back to ball with my left side (or inside)?
June 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Justin. Pull from the lead side. You are engaging the trail glute for load and stability. The glutes will stabilize your hip motion. You don't lose all that healthy recruit right off the bat in the transition. If you need a way to not push off of it when loaded. Take a look at the Same Snead Squat Video.
June 5, 2020
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Kevin
Craig - the squat move and post up are helping me maintain the rush line but it looks like my head is moving in toward the ball too much from setup? Is this much movement ok?
March 23, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. If your head was originally against, or slightly behind that line at address. I am afraid it is diving towards the ball too much.
March 24, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig...My head seems to be moving all over the place (toward the ball and laterally)...I think this may be an over correction from not maintaining my right hip line and posture originally
March 24, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Could be, or all the make up to get stacked between transition and post up the upper half drives forward.
March 24, 2020
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Kevin
Release position with tush line maintained
October 5, 2020
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Kevin
Hi Craig - I’ve made some strides on my tush line I think but my head is diving down as I load into my right glute on the backswing - if I’m maintaining the tush line is this an issue?
October 5, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The head will lower some when there is a tendency to have some lead shoulder push. Slight is okay. But, it looks like a little was added.
October 6, 2020
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Kevin
Thanks Craig - I knew the push could flatten the shoulder plane but did not know that. Ill work on more pull. I've found I really have to focus on keeping the right arm connected to my chest going back to maintain some awareness and prevent the right arm from getting deep. I know you dont typically recommend putting a glove under the right armpit but I may need to do more of that work and focus on pulling the right shoulder blade back
October 6, 2020
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Paul
Hi I have been working with Chris Tyler and he suggested I do the chair drill to eliminate early extension but it is winter here now and no place to get 3000 reps in so I have done chucks video on that wondering if is as effective.also on my backswing getting to the top I can’t seem to get as much elevation when compared to chucks appreciate any feedbacks
November 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. The video above is perfectly fine to help with early extension. The chair just helps provide more feedback. Elevation is variable in the golf swing. The goal is base of pectorals. If you can get that high it isn't an issue. But, I would check for tension. Proper Muscle Activation Video and 4 Square Drill.
December 2, 2019
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CJ
I really feel like I am struggling to keep my tush line. My right heel does stay down, not the case when I first started this drill. If my right heel is down is it safe to say that I am maintaining my tush line?
November 27, 2019
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CJ
Here is a pic at post up.
November 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello CJ. The trail foot staying down will certainly help with not having early extension. However, doesn't necessarily mean you won't have any. Looking at the picture tush line isn't bad at all. The shoulders may be getting open a few degrees nevertheless.
December 2, 2019
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CJ
Thanks Craig, understood. I thought the same thing on the shoulders but is way better then when I first started. Keep working...
December 2, 2019
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Paul
I find that if I really concentrate on my weight shifting back into my left heal it helps keeping my tush back .does this sound reasonable
November 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Paul. Makes sense to me. If you are focused on using the left side to go left it will be hard for the right side to push.
November 4, 2019
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James
For the 6 swing reviews in the RST system, should I submit a video for step 3, adding the lead arm, without the club and without the trail arm? Or should I submit video of my full swing including club and trail arm, but while fixings on the lead arm for this step?
July 4, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. You can either submit full normal swing and let the instructor guide you to the specific plan you need for your faults. Or, Step 3 Lead Arm Only doing the drill to check your progress. I think it is always good to get a baseline stock swing so the instructor know yours tendencies and what movement patterns are already there. Then, follow up with a drill fixing those faults based on the review.
July 5, 2019
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Jared
I am still struggling with pushing from the right side in downswing. In other videos you say to load the muscles in back swing that you want to fire first. I am doing this however it is my right leg. I’m having trouble keeping it relaxed and pulling from left side when it is my right leg loaded and ready to fire.
June 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jared. The trail glute needs to get loaded and be engaged to help stabilize the hips on the way down. I can understand the urge to want to fire early. Try pulling with the inner thigh adductors when shifting weight back to the lead side. Fixing Your Weight Transfer Video and Preventing Hip Pain Video.
June 12, 2019
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Anthony
I definitely suffer from this early extension. According to Chuck, he moves from closed hips to open hips keeping his tush against an imaginary wall. Basically a pivot closed to a pivot open if we are talking about the hips. What I don't see or hear him mention is the squaring of the hips on shift left/downswing. Is the squaring of the hips incidental with this action?
April 28, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. Take a look at Closed Hip Slide and Squat to Square. As you shift into the lead glute the hips will begin to square..
April 29, 2019
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JOEL
Chuck, I've been doing your weight shift, then weight shift plus shoulder rotation exercises with my butt against a wall, making sure my butt stays against the wall throughout the entire shift. I'm also practicing slowly with the orange whip, and building up speed. I just ordered a rotary connect, and I'm hoping it stops me from pushing my hip through from the right foot.
October 25, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Joel. If you are performing proper reps. Your movement patterns will definitely change. I would suggest uploading your drill for a swing review. To make sure all your ducks are in a row.
October 26, 2017
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david
I have a problem with extending (i.e. standing up) on my backswing but can regain my spine angle on the downswing. Can't seem to understand why.
September 4, 2017
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
Lifting your arms in the backswing instead of rotating your body
September 5, 2017
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Ryan
Craig--You recommended this video for me today. How do you make sure you don't hip spin when you are pulling up and out with my left side. Just want to make sure I am ingraining the right movement patterns. Thanks
July 7, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Proper transition and post up. The two keys for you will be 1) Not rushing the transition. Nice and smooth shift. 2) While posting. You are trying to clear the hip. You don't need to be Tiger or Norman. The post may be as aggressive as it needs be. For example - Step 2 - Core Rotation. Shift and post. Create your own pace to feel the proper motion.
July 8, 2017
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Lane
I am still struggle a little on some understanding. I get the pull with the left to prevent early extension for consistency and length. I also get axis tilt. What i cannot understand and seem to make any positive steps is how this shallows my plane to look like Chucks swing. It seems like there is something or I am missing something.
June 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lane. You can see in the Proper Tee Height Video how more secondary tilt will shallow the plane. It's all about starting from the ground. The upper half has to be reactionary and not the first place of movement.
June 13, 2017
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Carver
The bain of my existence is losing spine angle and I work on it constantly. I have linked staying in my posture to correct weight shift..both lateral ( left to right) and front to back ( toe to heel). I was looking tat the SAM website and surprised at the top of the swing, an optimal measure is 46 % left foot, 54% right foot, and on the right foot 45% on the toes and 55% heel. I would have thought more on the heel. Could you please discuss the correct dispersion of weight ON the foot from the top, to delivery, to impact?
June 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Carver. It would be hard to diagnose using the SAM numbers. We really don't know who they are basing the numbers off of and don't pay a lot of attention to it. Chuck will get his weight 80% to the trail side, but be closer to those numbers you referenced at the top due to starting the downswing slightly earlier before completing the backswing. But, that is only after he has shifted and is starting to transition. The key goal is to make sure the weight is balanced more over the ankle joints than toes. The toes and other muscles are helping with stability, but not the primary focus. As you reach impact the dispersion should be 80-90% on the lead side.
June 13, 2017
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Carver
Excellent reply. Thank you Craig.
June 14, 2017
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Tom
This is for Quinton This teaching on the lower back and preventing injury led my to notice that you are becoming much more muscular You are gifted in breaking the Golf Swing incrementally with prevention of injury Please consider ADDING to your Golf teaching how to improve our physical status without injuring ourselves Thank You Tom Lawson Columbus Ohio thomaswlawson@gmail.com Please consider ADDING to your Golf Instruction TEACHING getting in shape that does NOT cause injury
June 4, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. I will be happy to pass along the note. Chuck is more muscular not necessarily for golf. He is using his new fitness/build more for his racing career. But, happy to relay if there would be a possibility of adding new content.
June 4, 2017
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Seth
"Early" extension implies that extension should occur, just at the correct time. When is the correct time to extend? And what exactly is the correct way to do so?
June 4, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Seth. The vast majority of players don't need to train the "extension." More of a byproduct of a proper release and use of the body. It won't happen until you release the club and finish the swing.
June 4, 2017
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stephen
Craigs what to you mean waste of time? The video that hit my email was titled"no more early extension". the other videos that accompany it are titled: introduction to core rotation, starting downswing before completing backing, understanding shoulder blade glide, and you hit the ball with your legs. This makes no sense or is at least very confusing. Are these emails just promo advertising I should ignore since I am a paid subscriber?
June 3, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stpehen. I believe those added videos were apart of a promotion. I would advise you to use the videos I listed below for Craig to help with the issue. Step 2 - Core Rotation, You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs and the Chair Drill. I sincerely apologize for the confusion.
June 3, 2017
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craig
Only a few seconds is actually pursuant to early extension and the rest of the time addressing the failure to complete the move. Sorry, but this was a waste of time.
June 2, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Craig. I'm sorry you found the video to be a waste of time. Some of our members don't understand truly the causes or what is actual early extension. It is great for clarification of what is going on. If you are struggling with early extension. Focus on a few videos: Step 2 - Core Rotation, You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs and the Chair Drill. All will accomplish the goal Chuck is referring to by not pushing with the trail side.
June 3, 2017
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stephen
Are the 4 videos that accompany this one that came in my email the one needed to work out early extension? The email said those related to back pain were forthcoming.
June 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. I don't receive the same emails you do. Would you mind listing them? So, I can approve if they are the ones you should focus on for this particular issue.
June 1, 2017
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Kevin
I'm still a bit confused on the pulling from the left side. My left heel comes off the ground slightly when I've made my full rotation in the backswing. I then shift my weight left, which plants the foot. To then pull, would I want to feel like the inside of my left foot is dragging to the right, like in the Eliminating Hip Pain video? It seems tough to transition to this move. Or is it more like, I squat down into my left heel with all my weight, then I push out with my left heel (feeling like I'm pushing out in the direction of my toes/in front of me) which seems to pull my left hip around.
June 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Take a look at Fixing Your Weight Transfer. The first move will be to externally rotate the lead knee into a stacked position. Then, pull the weight over with lead hip adduction (as described in the Preventing Hip Pain) and settle into the glutes. The Squat to Square Video may help in your journey as well.
June 1, 2017
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Alan
I can't answer the question from a golf expert position, but do keep in mind that you have adductor muscle capabilities (ability to squeeze legs together). That seems to be missing from your description. However I can't say how you should use your adductors in that, I agree, somewhat vague "pull" instruction. I'm certain that you very much should use adduction in that, but how to learn that and to what degree incorporate it in your swing, I can't say.
June 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alan. You are pretty spot on with what we are trying to achieve with adduction. Thanks for the help with Kevin. I like it when members try to help one another.
June 1, 2017
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John
I love this new video. It is really well explained and very helpful. It can be way too​ easy getting caught up in hitting the ball so it is nice to get a reminder on the proper way to practice these movements.
May 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. Thanks for the compliments and glad you found the instruction simple as well as helpful.
May 19, 2017

So many golfers struggle with early extension and it's one of the easiest things to fix, but yet seems like nobody understands what causes it and how to fix it. It's simple. I'm going to show you exactly how to fix it right now so that you never have to struggle with this again. Let's first understand what early extension is. Nearly every golfer on the planet struggles with this and all it is is as the golfer starts to come down, they lose their tush line and hence their spine angle as their pelvis moves into the ball. So they look like they're standing straight up at impact like this.

                Why is that bad? Well one, it causes some stress on your spine and two, it changes the swing plane and shifts it so the club wants to work more into out. Now, if you're someone coming over the top, you can still have early extension and still be coming over the top so you may not struggle with coming into out. It doesn't matter, it's still causing a ton of issues with the swing plane in your swing. You just happen to be throwing the club too hard from the top versus a better golfer who gets early extension and drops the club from the inside, hits a big old hook.

                So, how do we fix this? Well, let's first understand what causes it. Everything in the golf swing has a cause and effect relationship. What I want to do is I want to look in the mirror and see what it looks like when I stand up like that. I turn down the line and show you what I'm seeing down the mirror is that my pelvis is moving in. Now what would it take for me to move my body, what parts of my body? What muscles would I use to do this move?

                Just forget golf for a second. What would cause me to do this? Well, I can feel that I'm pushing off my right ball of my foot, that I'm using my glute and my hamstring to kind of push everything forward. My left side isn't really doing much of anything, so I know that in causing this motion the only way that I can create this is to push off my right leg. Well guess what? You shouldn't be pushing off your right leg. If you want to get rid of early extension and fix your swing plane, maintain your spine angle, maintain your tush line, all these things that you know you must do to be a good ball striker, then you must pull from the left side.

                So I can look at myself in the mirror and see that I'm actually moving my hip back out of the way and now watch what happens to my spine angle. Note that I've maintained my spine angle and my hip hasn't moved in towards the ball. If anything it stayed where it was and even moved slightly back because I'm moving from the left side. As soon as I do this, early extension completely goes away. You can't stand up out of your posture unless you push from the right leg.

                So how do you fix this? The number one key as I try to keep emphasizing is to see what you're doing in front of a mirror and a video camera. If you watch this video and you go out to the range, start trying to pound balls at full speed and say, "Oh yeah, just don't push off your right leg," I guarantee you you're not going to change it. You're still going to be pushing off your right leg. You can't feel it yet, you've been doing this tens of thousands of times, doing it in correctly so to do it correctly, to learn to use your nondominant side of your body for most of us, you have to slow it down so that you can feel what's happening.

                If you just go full speed you're going to keep doing the same stuff so stop it. Don't go out and pound balls. If this is all you're concerned with is hitting this stupid little white devil out there you're never going to make any change in your swing. You're going to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. So slow down, throw the club down and start practicing the way the RSD shows you and everything. You take everything and you dumb it down to it's simplest movements.

                I'm going to go back really slow and now I'm only going to focus on keeping this relaxed and using my left leg. Oh, I felt myself want to push. Oh, I want to use my left side to get me out of the way and then I watch myself do this is front of a mirror. As I get more competent at doing it I'm going to start adding more challenges. I may start to extend my arms out. I may eventually grab a golf club. I start to add speed to it and I keep going faster and faster until I screw up.

                Once I find a pace or a stack that I can do it correctly, I keep practicing at that level and I don't go and challenge myself by adding more things if it keeps breaking down. So if you go out and you start practicing this and you can do it great with your arms across your body, but as soon as you stick your arms out there in front of you and it falls, all falls apart, you start pushing off your right leg again, which you'll know by looking at yourself in front of the mirror, then you've got to stop.

                You can't keep stacking things, which is what everybody makes the mistake of watching the video and going out and pounding balls. It does not work like that. Nothing in life you've learned like that. No motor movements. Everything's got to be progressive. You slowly stack one piece on top of the other. If you try to go from zero miles an hour to 1,000 miles an hour you're just going to crash into a wall, so slow down and start feeling what you're doing. It's all about developing that kinesthetic awareness so that you can feel when the correct muscles are working. Otherwise you should never expect to get any better.

                So, slow dow, dumb the drills down so you do it in your least common denominator, the basic minimum movements. Do it in front of a mirror. Do it with a video camera if you're outside and you don't have a mirror and keep practicing. Keep practicing, slowly but surely you'll continue to make these improvements, but if you just go out and go full speed, don't expect to get any better. 

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