Saturday, November 1, 2014

When is practice not practice

To develop a skill requires four steps.

1 knowing what to do
2 knowing how to do it
3 becoming able to do it
4 get to a high level of skill

The first three steps are learning steps,  the third is practice.

Let's say you want to learn how to hit a draw.

Going to the range and trying to hit a draw is NOT practice. It is a futile and frustrating exercise.

Do step one first.  Learn what must happen to create a draw.  What is the setup.  What is the club path. What is the face angle? What needs to happen to create a draw. Write it down on paper.  Draw it out if that works for you. Design the swing that creates a draw like an architect designs a building. Become an expert in describing the process of hitting a draw.

Now do step two. Take a moment to figure out how you can actually do what you have designed. Your body and your swing, dictates what you're capable of.  Learn how to do what must be done to hit a draw. Discover how to turn the description of hitting a draw into the actual motion of hitting a draw. Do it in slow motion.

Step 3 is knowing the skill you must aspire to and develop at least a modicum of ability to actually (at least occasionally) hit a draw. This is where you test the theory and design of your draw swing. Verify that it can actually work.

Congrats, you know what to do, you know how to do it and you have demonstrated that you can do it.  Now get good at...get skilled...become consistent.  That is practice.