Last post we laid out the concept of “deliberate practice” popularized by Dr.K.Anders Ericsson. This post is all about implementation! .
1) The great performers isolate remarkably specific aspects of what they do and focus on just those things until they’re improved; then it’s on to the next aspect.
This seems pretty straightforward, but its often hard for golfers to step back and identify where there game needs improvement. I suggest when playing golf, in addition to keeping your score, record fairways hit, putts per hole, up and downs, and greens hit. Now, instead of just a score at the end of the round, you have illuminating data to make inferences regarding your strengths and weakness. You may notice you hit every fairway, and every green, but had 5 three putts. If that’s the case, focus on practicing your putting! Challenge everyone you can find to putting contests (and wager a couple dollars on it!)
2) Feedback on results is continuously available.
Terrible golfers have a habit of giving terrible advice to slightly worse golfers- this cycle reinforces itself as the advice metastasizes in its host and makes him even worse than before. Save yourself the trouble and the next time a hack gives you advice just ignore him- seek out a Pro who you can trust. Avoid “how to” type advice and find an instructor who fosters self-learning and discovery. Michael Hebron, Master PGA Professional, embodies this philosophy- check out his wonderful video blog here: http://nlglive.com/
3) It’s highly demanding mentally.
No Kidding right? Any golfer who has played a few rounds can tell you this. I recommend reading Bob Rotella’s book “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect”. Also consider the book “Zen Golf.” I have not read it but here its excellent.
4) Instead of doing what we’re good at, we insistently seek out what we’re not good at.”
I am noticing a theme- figure out the weak spots and practice, practice, practice. At one point last season my chipping was abysmal. I could chip like the best of them on the practice green, but out on the course I really struggled around the greens. I found simulating the pressures of live play to be helpful- bet your buddy a couple of bucks that you can beat him in a chipping contest. Also, think about the concept of opportunity cost when you practice and allocate a greater percentage of time to areas that need the most help.
Roberto Clemente Jr., and Fan Demo The Omen
5) The best performers set goals that are not about the outcome but rather about the process of reaching the outcome.”
An example would be to switch from saying ” I want to break 100″ to “I want to break 100 and here’s how I am going to do it.” Lay out a plan and commit to it. Share your goals with others and the social pressure will help keep you on track!
6) “Practice activities are worthless without useful feedback about the results.
You need useful standards and benchmarks- I feel playing with golfers who are better than you is one of the best ways to improve your game. Not because of the advice they give you but because over time you will instinctively elevate your game to their level. Your mind is observing the other players and learning, often whether you realize it or not.
From Left- Keith Blakely (OnCore’s CEO) and Douglas DuFaux (Inventor of The Omen)
Good luck and team OnCore
hopes your golf game improves!