Remembering The Basics

Photo by Jesse Zheng on

” We need to get back to basics, focus on the fundamentals.” That’s often the lament when things go astray, whether its our golf game or our relationships, our personal health or the health and well-being of the community.

If we don’t have a grasp on what they are though it’s easy to mistake old habits, tactics or strategies that served us in the past for what we like to call the basics. But, as I am constantly reminded, the basics, the fundamentals, are much deeper. We can change tactics and still fail because we aren’t attending to the true fundamentals.

Mike Hebron wrote about golf that it is the angle and speed of the club head as it contacts the ball that determines where it goes. It’s a simple game once you understand that. ( simple and easy being two different things of course) Everything we do is to adjust those two things – variations on the theme.  The basics are not a two count swing or a specific grip. The basics are much simpler: control the speed and angle of the club head as it strikes the ball. Understand that and you can apply it creatively to any situation.

No two situations are exactly the same in sport or in life. Practicing the fundamentals of whatever matters to us refocuses our attention not on old tactics and habits but on the underlying principles of nature at work and challenges us to apply those to new situations, to learn and grow into new possibilities.

Back to the basics may be the wrong way to think about it. The basics don’t take us back. They help us move forward.

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