There are many golfers who take lessons and practice. But some advance their skill level and lower their scores faster than others. Why does this happen? Are some simply better athletes or is there something else going on here?
I would argue that it is not the amount of time you spend practicing but rather how you utilize that time to the best of your advantage. In other words – what is the level of effectiveness of your practice?
Effective use of your practice time is a big part of how quickly you are able to improve your skill level and this past week I came across a great video that explains the different commitment levels that we see players engage in when they practice.
The video is called “winning the workout” by Vern Gambetta. Vern is a well known athletic coach and functional training expert.
In the video Vern asks the question that if all players work out, then why don’t they all end up at the same skill level. His conclusion is that it has nothing to do with natural ability, but rather that people make choices every day as to whether they will be average or to be great. The opportunity to be great is a choice, and one that very few make.
There are essentially 3 ways to approach practice:
Level 1 CommitmentAt this level you show up to the practice session, you are happy to be there and you do the practice session. Nothing more, nothing less. Any practice will make you a little bit better. You hit your bucket of balls at the range, you got a tiny bit better, very little ventured and the gain is commensurate with the investment. This where I see the vast majority of golfers.
Level 2 CommitmentPlayers at this level realize they have to do something a little bit more than turn up, if they want to improve their game. They realize they have to work the work out, they think about it before they start their practice session, they think about what they did yesterday, they think about what they will do today and what they will do tomorrow. They realize that just doing the practice isn’t enough; they have to concentrate and push themselves if they want to get better.
Level 3 CommitmentThis is where the big boys and girls play. These players believe they have to win the practice session. These players prepare mentally and physically in advance for every session. They know they must be at their best every day, they understand they are going to be uncomfortable all of the time during their practice. This is a very select group, but they see results because they choose to win every single practice session.
Vern talks from many years of coaching experience, and I have seen it with the best players with whom I have been associated, those players who do not spend their practice sessions at Level 3 will always be less successful when they step into competition. The best players do not necessarily work harder, they work smarter.
So the next time you go to practice your golf game, consider the choices you will make during that session and whether they are keeping you at the same skill level or are they allowing you to make quantum leaps towards your goals. The choice is yours.
I hope you enjoyed this post on highly effective practice. As always comments are welcome and appreciated.
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