How to Practice so You can Swing Like a Pro
The Spacing Effect
To forget is to remember. Most golfers look to mass produce their golf game by hitting ball after ball in short order at nothing in particular down the range. This produces muscle memory and a swing that works on the range and little else. Here at GLT Golf, we offer this alternative: hit a ball a minute for 20 minutes, not 20 balls in one minute. Incorporating this Spacing Effect initiates the aforementioned cognitive stress to your working memory and induces a deeper degree of learning. Your body and mind will be challenged as never before to recall your swing and shot making mechanics, and this stress is what leads to better learning.
The Variability Effect
Our brains need variety to effectively learn. Chew on that for a while, then consider Ben Hogan. If he had practiced hitting one club 135 yards over and over at the same target, he would have become a one-club robot. Instead, he challenged himself by practicing with this self-same Variability Effect, and this led to him mastering a swing that allowed him to hit every club that yardage. To every target in front of him. So change your club and target regularly and repeatedly when you practice, and you'll produce cognitive stress that leads to better learning. Cognitive stress is key!
The Challenge Effect (Or an Optimal Challenge Point)
We all need challenges. And these are achieved via goals. Runners, swimmers, and bikers seek PRs. Golfers hope to break 100, then 90, then 80, then 70. To hit these goals, we at GLT Golf believe you must challenge yourself while practicing. Combining, or rather, embellishing the scenarios from Spacing and Variability Effects with outcome goals - the Challenge Effect - creates cognitive stress. And what does cognitive stress do? It leads to better learning.
Here’s an example:
- Hit 20 balls in 20 minutes.
- Change the club and direction every 2 balls.
- Award a point every time the ball is struck on the sweet spot.
- Set a goal to achieve 14 points in those 20 balls.
Follow this practice routine, and you attain cognitive stress. Cognitive stress allows for an incredible state of learning. And this incredible state of learning means this type of practice routine will get you on you way to swinging like a pro in no time.