The key to becoming a champion golfer. Part two.

Matthew Cooke
  • Author: Matthew Cooke
  • GLT Director
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How To Challenge Your Memory for Lasting Learning

The most recent research from Stanford University has provided us with a deeper understanding of neurobiology, suggesting that the brain desires variability; therefore, learning through repetition is ineffective. Basically, the brain gets bored. In line with the new research, constant changing of tasks is vital in the process of learning a new movement, such as a golf swing, as it engages memory recall. This does not happen through repetition. Repetition without repetition is key, as it creates cognitive stress.

Making the Exact Same Swing 2 Times in a Row Is Impossible!

Neuroscientists from Stanford have also concluded the golf swing is a physical action that a human brain can never carry out the same way each time. So, even in the quest of tuning your motor patterns from dial up to high speed broadband, there will be some reactionary element that will require the ability to adapt in some way, shape or form.

How to Make Your Golf Practice Contextual

Another school of thought that would challenge such a one dimensional approach to playing better golf would be the ecological approach to learning. These theorists would be concerned that such repetition in golf would take place in an artificial environment, such as a golf range, and would not provide a player the chance to develop the mental representations required to adapt to contextual interference of the golf course. The environment that golf is played in is so diverse that the player with the best swing (motor program) fails. It is the player who can adapt their swing to the environmental demands of the course during the stress of competition that prospers. Bubba Watson taking down Luis Oosthuizen in the 2011 Masters playoff is a prime example of this.
 

Free It up on the Course

Motor learning experts will tell you that during peak performance, often the degrees of freedom in the golf swing increases, representing that “rooved swing is not actually what happens when you’re in flow. There is a much more complex psychological and neurological interaction than just myelin sheath firing off that grooved swing. 

 

The GLT Philosophy

Any player or coach that team GLT Golf gets the chance to help, we want to help understand that deliberate practice does help a student build a more efficient golf swing, and the myelination process is a part of this. Please don’t think this is the golden ticket to higher performance, and certainly don’t get caught up in grooving your swing through repetition. Take the time to learn how to adapt your swing (or GNP) to the demands of the course and competition, just like Tiger learnted to adapt his autograph to many different surfaces over the years.