You work hard on your golf game. You take regular golf lessons, you go to the range to work on your game and play a few times a week, yet your game just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. There are so many factors that effect improvement of your golf game that go beyond the technical components of the golf swing. The reason for the lack of improvement could very well be a case of mindset.
Before we look at the two types of mindset and how they effect your ability to improve your golf game, take a few minutes to complete the Train Ugly Mindset Check Up ( www.trainugly.com ) – Train-Ugly-Mindset-Check-Up
There are 2 mindsets that have a MAJOR impact on your ability to learn, grow and achieve your goals.
Having a Fixed Mindset means you believe that your skills and intelligence are set and can’t be changed.
Having a Growth Mindset means you believe that your skills and intelligence are things that can be developed and improved.
The research shows that the growth mindset is what fosters grit, determination and work ethic within students, athletes and people of all ages.
Which mindset do you think successful people and athletes have?
We all have an inside voice. The one that warns us we shouldn’t do something, or tells at us that something is a good idea. Your inside voice often protects us from getting into bad situations, so it wants us to play it safe. This often means that our inside voice tells us not to challenge ourselves, that we are not good at something so we should stop trying to do it.
It is your inside voice that likes you to practice the golf skills you are good at. To design your practice so that it is easy and thus builds your confidence that you are a good player. It encourages you to hit your favorite club from the same lie to the same target over and over again until you get in a rhythm, believing that repeating the same swing and shot builds consistency. But is this really helping you to become a better player?
To become the best player you can possibly be, you must learn to constantly challenge yourself and to improve your weakest skills.
When your inside voice tells you that you can not do something, add the word YET!
The key to success is not merely the effort or focus you put into your practice. It is your mindset and the manner in which you practice.
My main goal is to help players take what they learn in practice and have it show up on the course. While technique is extremely important there is so much more to performance than just technique.
Block Practice involves a high number of repetitions repeating the exact same movements over and over again. The player is working to see consistency. There is a better way.
Every time you play a shot on the course you have to Read the situation, Plan what the steps involved in hitting the ideal shot and then Do the shot. Without a good Read and Plan your Do is useless. Yet when we practice, far too often we focus solely on the Do.
The key to playing your best golf is to take the skills you have developed and learn how to play them to the variety of situations you will face on the course. Players all believe that if they can be consistent they will shoot lower scores. But consistency means the ability to repeat the same swing from the same lie and stance to the same location over and over again. Does that sound like what happens on the golf course?
Your goal is not to be consistent, it is to be Adaptable. To be able to take your skills and adapt them to the situation the shot presents to you on the golf course.
Consider how you can change the way you practice so you can practice not only the Do but also the Read and Plan?
Random Practice involves never do the same thing twice.
Characteristics of Random Practice:
- Change clubs
- Change targets
- Change trajectory
- Change lie
- Change stance
- Keep score (measured outcomes)
- Have consequences for those outcomes.
The research is clear. Block practice may produce better results in practice, random practice will always allow you to perform better when the skills are transferred to a game situation.
Random practice is hard. Random practice is rarely fun. You will make mistakes. It will challenge you and you may not see immediate improvement. But your goal is not to perform better on the range. Your goal is to perform better on the course and on the field of competition. So that is where you must measure you growth.
So when you are practicing next, always ask your self why are you practicing this way? Are you working on the Read, Plan and Do components of the skill? If the answer is no, and your goal is to shoot lower scores then you need to make a change to your practice habits.
Make the decision to not necessarily look good in practice, but rather to perform better on the course.
* Thanks must go to the Train Ugly team for the helping me to clarify the ideas presented in this post. If you would like to learn more about how to improve your golf skills and the process of learning please visit their website at www.trainugly.com