If you read my last blog. You’ll know that I was talking about the importance of practice.
That learning on its own isn’t enough, that you need to do the work in between to make the changes that you want.
I also talked about my golf coach Paul, who wouldn’t allow me to have another lesson until I’d hit at least 1000 balls and then he’d “consider it”.
So, I’ve been out practicing and was reminded of a valuable lesson that I knew as a tennis player and coach but also through the work I do now.
You see, what I started to do with my practice was to get 100 balls from the machine and hit maybe 20 chips, 20 short irons, 20 mid irons and 20 woods. I’d then hit a range of clubs as if I were playing a couple of holes. So, driver followed by 6 iron and wedge or A three wood followed by an 8 iron etc.
Then I’d go to the putting green, hit 50 or different types of chips and then do some putting practice. It was taking me about an hour and a half. I don’t mind. I’m in the sunshine and I love being out there hitting balls.
Here’s what I found though. The things I’m working on (there are only two) are not improving. I’ve been getting quite frustrated with this as I’ve been putting the work in.
What I realised is this: Although I’ve been putting the work in, it’s not been dedicated work. I’ve been working on maybe five different elements of my game in that hour and a half. Moving from one thing to another and not giving the technical changes I want to make enough time to embed.
I’m applying the changes but it’s being lost in the other balls I’m hitting. It’s the equivalent of doing half an hour of Facebook ads, followed by half an hour of blog writing, followed by twenty minutes of a website change. All whilst being interrupted by phone calls and phone notifications.
Yesterday I got my 100 balls and took one club out the bag onto the range with me. Just one. I hit 100 balls with the same club, trying to repeat the new technique as purposefully as possible. In an hour, I’d hit 100 balls, as close to the same way as possible.
After the first 20 or so I realised I could measure progress in a simple way. I marked myself out of ten for how I felt I’d hit the ball and out of ten for accuracy (where I was aiming).
It was simple, yet effective. Yes it’s a little subjective but I now have data and a way of measuring progress.