Super pumped to kick off this part of our blog and share with you our first can’t miss tip. Let’s get right to it!
This week’s hot tip – DELIBERATE PRACTICE
WHAT IS IT & WHY WE NEED IT
Wikipedia defines deliberate practice as repetitive performance of intended cognitive or psychomotor skills. Rigorous skills assessment, specific information feedback, better skills and performance.
To dumb it down a bit I would think of deliberate practice as picking something very specific to improve on – then figuring out what the one or two things that you would need to work on in order to improve that particular skill.
Lets take a look at a real-life example:
Joey has a very good golf swing and a very low green in regulation percentage (GiR). He spends hours upon hours working on the mechanics of his golf swing but his GiR doesn’t budge. Joey’s coach is stumped so he decides to go watch Joey play a round of golf. Coach is happy to see that Joey’s shots are very solid but he is either coming up short or flying shots over the green.
After recognizing Joey’s tendencies his coach builds a deliberate practice session for Joey that looks like this:
Using a launch monitor to measuring the average distance Joey hit 10 shots with each golf club. The goal here is to calibrate the average carry distance of each club. It is also helpful for Joey to know how far the shortest shot and furthest shot with a particular club is for him. At KOHR Golf Center we use a tool called Trackman to measure the distance the ball carries. For those that do not have the luxury of using a trackman KOHR Golf Center has yardage cards for all of our greens which makes calibrating possible.
After calibration we recommend challenging yourself with a game. We call this game-like type practice, Battlefield Practice at KOHR Academy. Battlefield Practice (otherwise known as random practice) is when you are in your game-like mindset and trying to achieve a certain score. Joey pulls out 18 golf balls and sets them aside (we use 18 shots to pretend like you are playing 18 holes). He is then assigned a different target for each of those 18 golf balls – hitting 6 shots with his short-irons, 6 shots with his mid-irons and 6 shots with his long-irons and hybrids. His goal is to see how many greens in regulation he would hit with those 18 golf balls. At KOHR Golf Center a game like this is easy because we actually have real greens to hit to, making practice SUPER FUN!
Check out Phil Mickelson talking about one of his key battlefield games, which he calls the 3 Foot Circle Drill, to where he has to make 100 three foot putts in a row… YIKES!
Below I have listed some awesome books and articles that talk about the importance and research behind deliberate practice. Enjoy and keep us updated on your progress. We would love for you to share some of the ways you structure deliberate practice sessions or some of the challenges you all may have in achieving a deliberate practice session.
Either way, make DELIBERATE PRACTICE your goal for 2018 and you will not be disappointed.
- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
- In summary Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success.
- The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner
- Sterner’s message is to be process oriented, be present and have a very specific intention and stay ware of your intention.
- The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
- I love this book! Josh Waitzkin writes a book on his personal rise to the top of the chess and Tai Chi world, by explaining the mindset, proper ways to practice and how he built habits to take him to the top of the world in his professions.
ARTICLES & BLOGS
- The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice by James Clear
- I highly recommend following this guys blog. This is an awesome article that talks about how it was Ben Hogan was the one that was credited for “inventing practice.”
- Missing Ingredient to Lower Scores Is Something Called Deliberate Practice by Golf.com
- A great article about how Tiger Woods practiced during his heyday
- How to Become Great at Just About Anything by Freakonomics Radio
- Awesome podcast!
By KOHR Golf Coach Bill McInerney