Key Information forAspiring High Performance GolfersInformation in this presentation is a collaborative effort between the USJGA andoriginators of the “The Road to Excellence” program.Bill Madonna, PGA Master Teaching Professional
The Road to Becoming a World Class CompetitorYears of Preparation 10International Level of PerformanceA schematicillustration of thegeneral form of therelationship betweenattained performanceas a function of thenumber of years ofserious preparation.The international levelof performance isindicated by thedashed line.-Courtesy of “TheRoad to Excellence”THE RESEARCH IS VERY CLEAR AND CONCLUSIVE. IT SUGGESTSTHAT IT TAKES AT LEAST TEN YEARS OR 10,000 HOURS OF INTENSEINVOLVEMENT OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE TO ATTAININTERNATIONAL LEVELS OF EXPERT PERFORMANCE.Developing Expertise
The relationshipbetween a givenlevel ofcompetition andthe number ofactive individualsat that level.-Courtesy of “TheRoad toExcellence”Level of PerformanceDistrictLevelClubLevelNationalLevelInternationalLevel WorldClass LevelThe Road to Becoming a World Class CompetitorDeveloping Expertise(cont.)
How many events should a player enter?A - Too few eventsNot sufficient stress.Expect less than optimal performance.B - Ideal practice/competitive event ratioCompetitor is prepared and rested for competition.Has opportunity to build skill.Golfer appropriately psyched to perform optimally.C - Too many eventsToo much stress.Skill decay.Burnout.Expect less than optimal performance.Irritable and lackadaisical.Event Scheduling
“Being managed means followingdirections. Self-managementmeans finding them.”- Dr. John MarshallSelf-Management
The Self-Management ProcessSelf-Managers• Determine their own goals,objectives, and expectations.• Figure out what they need to do:•Behavior or activity•Strategy•Game plan• Make a commitment to thebehavior or activity.• Keep the commitment.Self-Management(cont.)
Self-Managers• Give themselves credit for keeping thecommitment.• Evaluate their performance of the activity.• Evaluate the results.• Seek resources for self-improvement anddevelopment.• Evaluate the overall process, over a period oftime, to decide whether to continue it, adjust it,or discontinue it.Self-Management(cont.)
Athletes who perform below their potentialtend to repeat the same habits andstrategies and expect a different result.1x1x1x1x1 = 1Self-Management(cont.)
Champions use strong self–management skills to improve, therebygaining an “edge” over theircompetition.1.1 x1.1 x1x1 x1.1 x1.1= Enhanced Performance1.1’s are root work strategies tobecome a bigger tree.Self-Management(cont.)
The Concept andPractical ApplicationPeriodization
How Should You Practice?• Your practice should be fun and effective. It should reflectyour personality.• Arrive at your practice session with a specific plan andperformance goal.• “Play” fun practice games such as Worst Ball Scramble onthe course, Par 18, or the 54 Shot Challenge.Effective Practice Strategies
• Train on the course whenever possible. There is nobetter place to practice or simulate conditions thanactually being on the golf course.• You should measure performance and create“pressure” as much as possible. For example, commityourself to practicing green side sand shots until youhole five shots, or practice putting with one ball on thepractice green with a friend for a friendly wager, etc.• Focus your energy 90% on your strengths. Keep themstrong. Build them to an even higher level.Effective Practice Strategies(cont.)
• Identify opportunities for improvement (weaknesses). Becommitted to improving each of these skills over time untilthey become strengths.• Practice your short game twice as much as your long game.Use the Short Game Exam for motivation.• Practice “playing golf.” Follow your routine, react to the targetand imagine how the shot would turn out on the course.• Make your training as realistic and as simulated to golfas possible.• Keep a written journal of your practice activities.Effective Practice Strategies(cont.)
Why does “traditional training” fail to optimize playing performance?- Dr. Bob ChristinaTraditional Training – “Ball Beating”Transfer Training – “Practice the way you play. Play the way you practice.”Traditional vs. Transfer Training
Traditional Training• Is not “deliberate practice.”• Players are not generally engaged mentally.• Does not encourage players to learn to perform golf skills in a playing context.• Encourages players to depend on their coaches.• Does not encourage practice of pre–shot routine.•Golf skills taught and practiced in ways and under conditions that are largely different than thoseduring play.• Does not simulate competitive pressure involved in play.• Hit balls repeatedly the same distance with the same club.• Stroke putts repeatedly from the same distance.• Hit all shots from good lies.• Makes it relatively easy to perform on the practice range.• Promotes a false sense of confidence.• Is not generally focused on reacting to targets.Traditional vs. Transfer Training(cont.)
Transfer Training• Encourages the learning of golf skills in a playing context.• Encourages players to think as they should when they play.• Encourages players to analyze and correct their own performance.• Less frequent feedback, instruction, and coaching.• Encourages players to practice as they must play.• Hit balls successively with different clubs to simulate play.• Hit balls different distances with the same club to simulate play.• Practice pre–shot routine/mental routine when hitting shots and putts.• Golf skills are taught and practiced in ways and under simulated playing conditions.• Resulting effect is that shots are more difficult to perform on the practice range than theyare during Traditional Training.• This training tends to promote a realistic sense of confidence.Traditional vs. Transfer Training(cont.)
Mental Game1. GOOD FOCUSGood mental routine for each shot. Openfocus between shots. Not distracted.2. ABSTRACT THINKINGThoughts are on course management andrelevant variables only. Doesn’t over-think orover-analyze.3. EMOTIONALLY STABLELittle reaction to poor shots and bad breaksor to good shots and good breaks.4. DOMINANTModerately aggressive. Takes smart risks.Challenges course.
Mental Game(cont.)5. TOUGH-MINDEDSelf-reliant. Indifferent to others. Overcomes adversity.Unaffected by conditions.6. CONFIDENTSecure, self-satisfied, and guilt-free. Sees self as winner.7. SELF-SUFFICIENTVery decisive and prefers own decisions.Resists peer pressure.8. OPTIMUM AROUSALAware of and controls level of tension to enhanceperformance.On 1-10 scale: 4 for putting, 6 for driving.
What Most Great Players Know• Be your own best friend. Always be kind to yourself.• Believe in yourself. If you don’t, who will?• “Love” every shot that you hit. There’s no such thing as a badshot.• The mind controls everything in golf. Learn how to use it - that’swhere your swing “lives”.• Do your best to never get mad on the course. What can you dobetter in golf when you’re mad versus when you are composed?
• Find “one” coach whom you trust and believe in. Stick with themand don’t go for advice from teacher to teacher. That leads toconfusion.• There are no quick fixes in golf. All great players have earned it.• You win with your attitude, practice and preparation, not byworrying and expecting.• Many players are impressive ball hitters; however, the finestplayers are the best inside 50 yards.• Listen to the sounds of your best shots. Fall in love with thatsound.What Most Great Players Know(cont.)