The Teachers Forum – Keeping it Random
Motor Skill Acquisition Science is just loaded with studies about how we humans learn things like golf. There are now mountains of double-blind studies from the professors in this field that prove that How we practice is much more important than How Much we practice. Basically, there is Block practice and there is Random practice. Block is something like hitting 50 drives in a row with the idea that you will develop “muscle memory”. This isn’t completely wrong, but it doesn’t always translate to competitive situations. Random practice is basically changing clubs, targets, trajectory, and etc. after every shot, closer to the way the game is played. Random practice engages the mind and emotions substantially more than Block practice. Block practice can be therapeutic, but the studies prove time after time how ineffective it is in comparison.
- Some examples of a Random practice session could be:
- rehearsal of the next course you are about to play (“rewind the tape” and replay on mistakes)
- using 3 or more trajectories with every club in the bag (some do all 9)
- putting the student in different contexts such as “this shot is to win the Masters”, etc.
- betting (for just pride points, of course) on every range ball shot
By getting creative and structuring your students’ practice sessions, you could get them to transfer their range games to the course better than the majority of golfers who vainly hope that their ball-munching will turn them into the next Ben Hogan. It could also keep those students coming back for more fun, productive, and interesting lessons with you, their own full-spectrum coach.Bill McKinney, PGA Swing Fit Golf Academy at Marbella CC