Improve your performance skills in practice
Improve your performance skills in practice Every action you take in your practice should lead to better changes, whether or not you see a better picture during your practice. Long-term improvement isn’t about one day being good or bad; it’s more about the little things learned during each session that add up to big improvements over time.
HOW DO WE LEARN NEW SKILLS MOST EFFECTIVELY?
Research shows that if you want to improve your skills, whether it’s playing golf or learning a new language, six things must be met:
- Challenge and constraints
Improve your performance skills in practice What are some reasons you want to improve your golf skills? How are they good for you? Write this down. Remind yourself as soon as possible why you are playing. There will be a lot of challenges along the way, so your motivation should be high enough to get you there, or you might want to consider doing something else.
Improve your performance skills in practice INTENTION
How will you get better? On every shot and practice, make sure you have a goal and ask yourself what exactly you want to change. For example: what is the problem specifically and how does it fit into the overall picture of overall improvement? Are you going “all in” or do you have evidence (in the form of statistics) of what needs to be changed? Research conducted on high performers shows that, in practice, most of the time, they grapple with their weaknesses (greater opportunities for growth).
Improve your performance skills in practice FOCUS
To improve your skills, you need to focus on them. If you have a good reason to focus on a particular aspect of the game and focus on it, there is no problem with practicing with full concentration. Hitting can backfire because it takes your attention away from what you’re trying to do and makes it linger on the success or failure of your shot. Instead, focus on shorter practice sessions (five to ten swings), each dedicated to dealing with a specific move or shot that is bothering you.
Slow-motion swings can be an effective tool for changing your swing because you have to spend time thinking about your moves. You can intersperse slow-motion swings between normal speed swings to create even more variety.
Timothy Lee and Richard Schmidt suggest in their research paper “PaR [Plan-act-Review] Golf: Motor Learning Research and Improving Golf Skills” that a golfer who practices with 20 balls in 20 minutes makes his practice more “deliberate” by spending more time thinking about each swing before and after he makes it, which helps him learn better than if he simply practices with only one ball per session.
CHALLENGE AND CONSTRAINTS
The most effective way to learn something is to accept challenges, make mistakes and fail. Practicing new skills is not easy because you have to deal with setbacks and develop coping mechanisms. You can also practice dealing with setbacks and developing coping strategies as you study. Make each rep a new challenge and take the consequences for failure (must have a clear success or failure). Learn to be more comfortable when you are uncomfortable. At the end of this lesson, I have a sample lesson for you to use to experience it for yourself.
Improve your performance skills in practice FEEDBACK
What did you notice in each shot and how was your practice? Have you been focusing on the tasks or intentions you have set for yourself? What improvements can you make to your performance and what would you do differently next time? Most of my students keep a “performance journal” where they add notes and reflections from practice sessions to make the next lesson even better.
How can I tell if my skills have improved? Regular testing should be done as you work on specific aspects of the game. If you get better, how do you know? As part of your practice, in addition to observing your performance in the course, you should also take some kind of stress test.
SAMPLE PRACTICE SESSION:
I will increase my GIR to 58% by taking 20 shots in 25 minutes, spacing shots every minute, and focusing 100% on the mechanics of each shot. I wanted to use the slow-motion video of the swing to review every shot between shots so I had time to reflect on what I did wrong and how to deal with it. In the end, I’m going to put the ball behind me, so I have to go back and get the ball. This will force me to reflect on my previous shots and plan my next shot, something that should always be done between shots during practice.
Performance Practice (45 mins)
Try to make your practice a game by competing between you and other players. You can even set training goals that correspond to specific parts of the game that need improvement. For example, if you’re having trouble shooting from beyond the 3-point line, aim near the free-throw line and see how many 3-pointers you can make in 15 minutes.
To hit a 7-iron over 100 yards, your goal is to keep the ball within 5 yards of the target line. If you hit the 7-iron straight, you must aim 10 yards to the left of the target. Hitting a 7-iron means aiming 10 yards to the right of the target line.
If you’re interested in how to practice more with more focus, intent, and challenge, you’ll definitely benefit from the Golf Mindset Practice System.
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