Golf Motor Learning 101
Let’s start simple: what is motor learning? Easy, it’s finding out what makes a Hemi different from a standard big block, and why you need to tune Triumph every time the seasons change. Now, if you believe that, can I interest you in a beachfront condo timeshare in Nebraska?
Believe it or not, motor learning has nothing to do with cars or physical motors as we commonly think of them. The motor in question is the human motor system, and motor learning is concerned only with motor skills.
More directly, motor learning is the study of how skills are acquired, retained and transferred. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what motor learning means for golfers.
For a beginning golfer with no previous experience that has trouble simply making contact with the ball, there is some benefit to practicing in a blocked manner, i.e. focusing on simply hitting a ball over and over again until elementary skills begin to take shape. However, once some degree of skill becomes evident, practice should become more and more varied.
By varying or interleaving practice, golfers are encouraging the development of motor skills by creating long-term changes within the motor process. Therefore, interleaved practice in an environment designed to simulate stresses faced in actual competition is the best way for golfers to acquire skill.