Virtual reality based thinking vs. the rest of the world

Philosophers for centuries have been attempting to understand time, what it is, how does an object live within time, whether the past of future really exists etc. As an example, all animals except humans live in a continuous state of the now with no terrestrial distinction of the past or present. Even within human movement we refer to motion capture and some exercise paradigms as 3D, i.e. movements can be defined as tri plane movements and multi directional however the time it takes to complete the movement is of equal importance to the position and orientation joints and segments move in, therefore the reality is every movement we make is a 4D movement as time is the 4th dimension. Consequently time as a philosophy presents an almost infinite amount of questions that for century’s scientists, philosophers and spiritualists have been attempting to answer.

When we look at the current time we are living in which for many is the online generation, our present place and space in time is presenting an interesting question as to where online interaction (or lack of if you think about it) sits within golf coaching. Where does social media virtual reality based thinking fit alongside more historical declarative and procedural based knowledge thinking fall in the coaching continuum and which one of these is providing both the basis of education for coaches as well as our global reference system that everything we do is related and validated against.

Social media has achieved much and allowed some truly wonderful advancements in both our society and human education, I for one have had much value added to my life as it has allowed me to connect and interact with friends globally as well as speak to my friends and family at home more easily whilst we currently reside overseas. However, there is a dark side attached to social media that is possibly making education and balanced, objective thinking not obsolete but at times a little more problematic. Perhaps social media is little like practice, invariably when we practice all we do is reinforce poor movement, embed deeper unhelpful belief systems and code further into our system movement representations. Therefore the concept of myelin as being seen as a good physiological response to learning (which is true if we are improving how we move and think) also comes with a dark side attached to it as when we continue to both move and think poorly we further myelinate our neural sheaths to make breaking these movements and thoughts even more challenging. Although more accurately, one could say social media is not the issue, it’s some of the people that use it. Similar to any measurement device, it’s not the device which is the problem it’s sometimes how the user chose’s to use it as I often hear people say “Trackman said...” although I wasn’t aware Trackman could speak...

Historically, when involved in any discussion or work based practice, such tasks have typically been referenced against research and often accepted principles within areas such as science, medicine, communications etc. The very use of science alone is there to essentially prove we are not wrong (never right) and from this evidence based, peer reviewed approach world values and beliefs are formed based on balanced education and exposure (or at least we hope they are...). From such approaches Nobel prize winners are produced, global figures such as Churchill and Mandela inspire changes in world events and highly acclaimed academics become professors due to their contribution to their chosen field. When we think of the online generation there could be a theme developing here that the last true life changing invention we currently know is the design of the internet/www by Englishman Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Since he invented this global networking web very few other great discoveries have been made when we compare this to the non-internet generation of the majority of the 20th century. Perhaps the cure has become the disease..?

For some, social acceptance and one’s perception of others can be defined inside social media by how many followers or likes they have. Now, to be clear, there are many outstanding people on social media who I admire and have the highest levels of love, regard and gratitude for as how they use social media to spread their philosophies and love which is something we should all aspire to and have nothing but admiration and appreciation for, therefore removing them completely from this discussion the amount of followers someone has attracted has for some become the marker we reference their intellect and contribution to knowledge by, unfortunately this is a highly concerning marker as some of the history’s greatest dictators had many followers however this proved a very poor and dangerous validation of their ideologies. Is having a Colgate smile, many followers and a wonderful produced piece of media is now how some perceive intellect online?

Allow me to provide an example. Recently I read a post on social media by a coach who stated they were trying to remove radial deviation from the trail wrist and actively increasing wrist extension in the backswing. Now, in their defence I initially thought I don’t know in what context this was given, I was not present in the session or know the players background of objectives therefore I simply cannot judge. However for some reason this post intrigued me so I watched further and observed the demonstrations they were using. It was simply staggering. Why? I have never in 21 years observed a player who needed less radial deviation in the trail wrist and more extension as when we look at wrist bone structure and joint configuration we only have around ~25 degrees of radial deviation in the wrist and typically ~80-90 degrees of extension. Through our joint configuration and movement concepts we will almost invariably have too much extension in the trail wrist though backswing. In addition, almost all trail wrist injuries such as scaphoid compression and scapho-lunate issues occur because of excess extension, for example when we radially deviate the wrist with extension we compress the scaphoid, equally high levels of extension is where movement issues such as scapho-lunate ligament dissociation can occur in response to the capitate bone being pushed down and invariably separating the lunate and scaphoid. On two occasions I have actually seen this movement create a condition called Kienbock’s disease which is when the lunate bone is deprived of blood supply which leads to the bone eventually dying. What created much intrigue and curious disillusionment is if I shared this post with many contemporaries and peers of mine for example surgeons and high level medical professionals I can only imagine what their response to me would be, however this post attracted over a thousand ‘likes’ and a list of glowing feedback from the coaches followers and audience. I actually went to bed that night full of conflict as to whether I am the issue and problem and perhaps I don’t know as much as I perceive myself to know. However looking retrospectively at this, the issue for some is its now becomes fashion rather than function as whatever it said online can come at no cost or consequence if its endorsed by their thousands of followers. Perhaps this is a reason why I have so few...

Reverting back to many of my experiences, a reoccurring situation I face frequently is almost every time I share any feedback or provide a response to a question it is almost always met with a reply referencing what someone has posted online and/or social media. Its’s almost like an habitual response that if a discussion occurs between people its immediately related to or validated against an online post. How would this work in medicine? A surgeon provides their diagnosis as to what procedure needs to happen and what the issue is, would a person or parent then question this and reference it against what they have seen on social media?

I for one have attracted some abuse online recently as some have unfortunately perceived some of my posts as a challenge to their belief systems and perhaps their social media presence which is a shame, I or one like to be proved wrong every day as this is what hopefully allows me to evolve and grow as a human and a consultant, however as The Stone Roses sang about in the famous song ‘I wanna be adored’ - in my 20’s I wanted to be adored, in my 30’s tolerated by most and now I’m in my 40’s, hated just a little less’. Staying with the musical theme, The Clash wrote the song ‘I fought the law and law one’, perhaps some are now taking the approach of “if I post it on social media, lets now see who wins.....”

Everything we do in life is simply a way of passing time, however from an educational position how we look to pass time is one area in the current climate perhaps we can all explore as in essence, how good would you like your education to be?


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