Listen to what the experts say to Matt & Cordie in this Learning & Performance podcast

In season one of our podcast, GLT Golf Radio, team GLT partnered with Cordie Walker of Golf Science Lab to create a product unique to the podcast world. While many podcasts attempt to be jacks-of-all-trades, GLT Golf Radio focusses exclusively on the areas of learning & performance. 

I just lost you, didn’t I? Learning… performance… who wants to listen to that for hours at a time? What is this, grade school? Hey, we get it. And don’t worry, while the GLT Golf Radio podcast may be about learning & performance, that doesn’t mean we’re asking you to listen to a lecture. We bring in guests each week, including top teachers like Graeme McDowall and Trillium Rose, US Olympic Committee member John Kessel, Train Ugly’s Trevor Ragan, and yes, actual professors, Dr. Tim Lee and Dr. K. Anders Ericsson. While we don’t hand out assignments or pop quizzes and there’s no written homework, we do provide how-to guides and tips designed to help golfer coaches and golfers implement more effective and deliberate practice. So, maybe we are a bit  like school, there is take-home practice… and we can even be convinced to accept tuition payments if you insist. 

We see you beginning to sweat as the flashbacks begin from simply seeing the word homework; fear not, the GLT Golf Radio season one podcasts aren’t about letter grades, or even pass-fail. Our only desire is to provide the most up to date knowledge, advice and strategies in order to help golf coaches and golfers improve how they coach & play. GLT Golf Radio is more than a podcast, it’s a training aid.  

The Critical Missing Component in Most Practice Sessions w/ Trevor Ragan

Trevor explains that Train Ugly is the marriage of the mental component, or growth mindset, and motor science learning. He emphasizes that a motor learning science practice can get ugly – it’s harder, more chaotic and more random. When you’re in that zone, you make more mistakes. That’s why coupling that science with growth mindset research produces the best results; the mental approach to learning helps you see the value of mistakes and struggle and how that helps you to grow more.

TREVOR NOTES THAT TWO CONCEPTS MATTER MOST WITH THE GROWTH MINDSET

1 Belief in your ability to learn 

2 Value of learning and getting better over how you look to others.

THROWING ZOO TIGERS INTO THE WILD

Trevor cites his “jungle tiger vs. zoo tiger” analogy to better illustrate the concept: There are two tigers; one lives in the zoo, one in the wild. One lives a life that is safe and easy, whereas the other faces daily danger and struggle. If you put a zoo tiger in the wild, it wouldn’t survive. The jungle tiger figures out how to survive in the wild by being in the wild. Both are the same animals with the same tools; the only difference is the way they developed.

Why Your Practice Doesn't Transfer to the Golf Course w/ John Kessel

John Kessel is the director of sport development for USA Volleyball and joins us today to talk about the importance of learning and some of the most important principles they’ve implemented with the US Volleyball team we can transfer to golf. The way we learn and practice has drastically changed over the last twenty years and has become clear on how to retain skills. Retention is the ability to remember on Saturday, what was learned on Tuesday, and something most golfers are familiar with while being frustrated with the lack of transfer from range to the course.

LEARNING INTRINSICALLY
When you learn things intrinsically they are retained far better than when you are simply told what to do. 

John uses the example of learning to ride a bike. How did you learn to ride a bike? Did your parents hire a bike riding coach, put you through bike riding drills or send you to bike riding summer camp? Did they do bike riding progressions? 

Most likely you got on the bike, you wobbled, somebody held you up and all of a sudden you were off. 

When all is said and done if you haven’t ridden a bike in five years you are going to get on and wobble for a few seconds but then you will just take off. That is learning intrinsically. It is far better to figure it out on your own rather than being told what to do. 

 

How to Maximize Your Training by Understanding the 3 Phases of Participation w/ Matthew Cooke

In this episode we talk about the phases of participation every golfer goes through when they get into the game and how to best manage them. It’s critical to understand the different needs of a golfer to set up the best learning environment possible to avoid burn out and get the best results.

Phase 1 – Entering the Game
This is where players are introduced to the many aspects of the game in its entirety in a very open, engaging, and non-intimidating game like way. Measures are taken and scores are recorded, however, they are not shared or discussed too much extent in an attempt to reduce the possibility of creating unrealistic expectations. Praise and applause are given in response to the efforts that are being made. 

Phase 2 – Intense Training
Somewhere in the transition students must become possessed by golf and have the sudden desire to play, excel and compete. The initial interest has been fostered, cared for and is now becoming inspired to evolve. Students begin to work and spend tremendous amounts of time fine tuning detailed aspects of the skill. The stage one applause turns into knowledgeable criticism from teachers, feedback during practice and competition results.

Phase 3 – Guidance and Mastery
This is where the focus now shifts to a player creating their own personal game based on his or her strengths. Here golfers transition from technical precision to personal expression. Interviews of expert coaches in different sport related domains state that they teach young people for a number of years and they end up playing very well, but then they suddenly plateau when they have to do something by themselves.

Why You Can Accelerate Your Improvement With a Growth Mindset w/ Dr Fran Pirozzolo

Today we’re joined by the incredible Dr. Fran Pirozzolo, former mental skills coach for the New York Yankees as well as psychologist and coach to many PGA tour golfers, and in this episode, he shares concepts to accelerate your learning. If it’s not difficult there really is no new learning happening. The goal of all learning is retention and the transfer to other environments. Desirable difficulties are one of they concepts that help achieve those goals. Watch the video below to learn more.

Dr Fran shares some of the most important aspects of learning that should be implemented in golf from his decades of research in other sports and with the military. Check out this quote about the importance of randomizing practice and not attempting to hit shot after shot “perfectly”. 

The brain wants to see change and will reject doing the same thing over and over again.

Dr Fran also shares some of the research and concepts around mastery learning and what you need to be applying to your training to take it to the next level. Learn how “testing” might have benefits for growth and improve long term learning. 

We talk about staying motivated and pushing through desirable difficulties that are necessary on the path of learning. It’s a concept that golfers and coaches need to understand to keep moving along and not get stuck with a fixed mindset when in reality we need learners to have a growth mindset. We talked about this more on a past episode with Trevor Ragan you will find at the top of the page.

And at the end of the episode Dr. Fran shares the critical component to understand when you approach learning. Don’t miss it!

 

How Types of Feedback Influence Learning w/ Trillium Rose

We’ll talk extensively on, and around the subject of feedback. Feedback has been known for years however it has been misunderstood. Trillium dives deep into exposing some of the important factors within it, and how to utilize it properly.

Once upon a time it was believed that quick, instant, informational feedback in the form of a coach telling a student something was the best for learning. Turns out this is not the case, although at times helpful but not always beneficial. 

We discuss some of the big areas on feedback such as Intrinsic, and augmented types of feedback amongst others. These two particularly important and often misinterpreted.

Augmented feedback is simply the information from the measured performance outcome fed back to the learner by some artificial means, and is also sometimes called extrinsic feedback. Intrinsic feedback is simply the information provided as a natural consequence of making an action, and is sometimes called inherent feedback. 

Different levels of players benefit differently on the frequency, and amount of each. 

Take a listen and find out more

Specificity of Learning Might Explain Why You’re Not Improving w/ Dr. Tim Lee

Learn from one of the “forefathers” of golf motor learning research, Dr Tim Lee as we talk about specificity of learning and feedback so you can discover how to improve your learning environment.

Specificity of Learning = Practice Like You Play

In early research they found that skills individuals found were much less general than they thought, finding that skills were much more specialized. We talk about how this plays out between a beginner and an advanced golfer and how you should scale specificity based skill level. 
Specificity is a sliding scale that you want to look toward and try to achieve.

Positive and negative feedback in a learning environment… What should it be? We talk about this fascinating topic as Dr Tim shares some new research that has changed his beliefs over the past few years. 

Confidence can lead to improved competence

The one thing Dr Tim recommends reading is the “P.A.R paper” which summarizes a lot of the golf research on learning in one paper.

4 Step Process to Creating Highly Effective Performance Games w/ Matthew Cooke

In this conversation we talk about Performance Games, how to create them, why to use them, and give you some examples you can take to the course.

The answer is; traditional practice just doesnt offer up as easily the carefully designed pleasures, the thrilling challenges, and the powerful social bonding afforded by game environments. It doesn't motivate us effectively. It doesn't maximize our potential. 

 

Training 'Game Like' fulfills our genuine human needs; it's inspiring and can engage us in ways that the traditional training method does not. Games help bring us together and work towards a common goal as a team rather than against each other in solitary. Games will, if created using the following structure, create all of the above and can re-shape the golfing world. 

"Expertise is defined as a sequence of mastered challenges with increased levels of difficulty in specific areas of functioning"

Dr. K. Anders Ericsson

5 Common Myths of player Development and What To Do About It w/ Iain Highfield

There are a lot of misguided common beliefs and myths about player development that we tackle in this episode of Game Like Training Radio with special guest Iain Highfield. If you’re a coach, parent, or junior golfer, MAKE SURE to listen in to this episode!

Player Development Myth #1 – Players don’t need mental training

With most players not making it onto the PGA tour till their mid to late 20s a junior golfer has 10+ years until they achieve “their goal”. Pursuing excellence of a craft for 10+ years demands grit and resiliency to be able to make it over the long haul.

Beyond just the demands of playing golf many players have to adapt to cultural or lifestyle differences which can have a big impact on development.

Mastering golf doesn’t align with today’s “quick fix” culture.

What is mental training? Helping golfers develop psychological characteristics of excellence. Including… metacognition (self-awareness), goal setting (mastery goals over ego goals), growth mindset, grit, resilience, self-determination, focus on process.

How to help Junior Golfers manage Skill Regression w/ Stuart Morgan

We have an expert in player development with us in this episode, Stuart Morgan. He manages one of the largest full time junior golf academies and has years of experience developing skills, and helping players perform their best.

Today’s guest, Stuart Morgan started out teaching on tour believing everything was about technique. The player he was working with ended up losing his card and leaving the game… That experience motivated Stuart to never let that happen again and begin a search to better understand performance.

One area he’s dived into is learning and player development and has become an expert at junior development, and now is the director of instruction at the IJGA academy.
Never dismiss technique. It’s still very important there is just a lot more to look at.

Skill Regression in Juniors
In juniors, there is a nonlinear period when they’ll go through growth spurts and experience change in the brain and body. You can see the legs grow first, feet are bigger, and torso / arms are small. 
This ultimately leads to a loss of coordination and potentially skill regression.
Sometimes it can be as obvious as drastic differences from one day to the next during this period.  One day they can be aimed perfectly and the next they’re completely different.  Juniors during this period just don’t have the same awareness and coordination.

Defining the Goal of Affective Learning w/ Graeme McDowall and Peter Arnott

Does your game or skills test mean anything? Today we’re talking about learning and importance (or lack of) with common skills testing while sharing best practices for better learning and practice.

Hot cognition vs cold cognition. 

By practicing in an environment that demands hot cognition builds skills and develops emotional resiliency that transfers to the performance environment.  You remember the hot cognition you don’t the cold.  At the end of the show our guests share practical ideas to get your training and performance back to hot cognition and improve your learning.

The goal with affective learning is to simulate the emotions and feelings of performance during practice.  Create games around the principle of play. Don’t worry too much about stats and skills tests. And very much affective learning. Similar emotions… Getting annoyed during training.

If someone comes in who is a top performer on the golf and don’t do well during training… Something is fundamentally wrong with the training.

“It’s not necessarily what you do… but where you do it.”

Pete shares a story of a tour player who recently scored very high on a Trackman combine, however went out and had one of his worst tournament performances.  Learn more about the pros and cons of combines and tests during this discussion.

The Biggest Misconceptions around Learning Debunked w/ Dr. K Anders Ericsson

Dr Anders Ericsson is one of the foundational researchers in the field of learning and joins us today to talking about what it takes to achieve peak performance.

We talk about this balance of time spent and quality of time. It’s not necessarily about how many thousands of hours one is putting in but the quality of that practice and making sure it hits on the attributes of deliberate practice.

Instead of just making a movement and repeating a task, the athletes that see the most growth are the ones that put in the thought and planning stage of each shot.

Dr. Ericsson talks about the role of a great teacher and some of the traits to look for when trying to break through the next level.

We hear the story of how pieces of music that were once though unplayable have now become common place just a hundred years later as training and teaching has improved. As training and teaching quality and methods become more effective so will the performance and quality of students.

Should we push ourselves and be fully concentrated during practice? 

We see some athletes in practice just going at 50% and not going at “game speed”. If you’re going to be 100% during training during the week you’re going to get tired and face exhaustion.

Why Your Swing Thoughts Impact Your Golf Swing w/ David Sherwood Ph.D.

What does the research say about where you should think during the golf swing? That’s what we talk about today with guest and researcher David Sherwood.

David has spent a lot of time working on research around focus of attention… Should you think about your arm, the club, the target? That’s what we talk about in relation to learning and performance today. 
Under stress or pressure, we often revert back to earlier movement patterns and techniques that we’ve used in the past. 

We dive into some of David’s current research on focus of attention in relation to dart throwing. We dive into what they’re looking at regarding muscle activity depending on where performers are focusing and its impact on performance. We learn what they are seeing with fluidity of movement + coordination and corresponding results with different focuses. 

We dive into some of the common questions we’ve heard about focus of attention and hopefully bring some clarity to a topic you like. 

 
Fascinating look and insights on focus of attention you haven’t heard many other places.

 

The Junior Golfer and Parent Relationship w/ Stuart Morgan

The dynamics between parent and competitive junior golfer is an interesting one. We often hear about what’s going on from afar but today we’re going to the source and sitting down with a parent and junior.

Stuart Morgan, junior golf coach and author of the new book Gifted Junior brings on a very talented long time student and parent to talk about their relationship, diving into what’s worked and what hasn’t.

If you are a parent to a junior golfer or a golf instructor this is a fascinating look at how this parent and very good junior golfer manage their relationship and what they’re doing that they think has been most helpful.

Stuart’s new book Gifted Junior talks through the development of elite junior golfers and shares an example of what the story looks like in the real world.

Gifted Junior looks at the complexities of juniors growing up in a sport and the intricate, dynamic relationships between players, parents and coaches. By taking readers on the bumpy road of developing talent, or what is thought to be talent, Stuart Morgan wants to pass over his experiences, to support coaches and to guide parents of juniors in sport.

Once you dive into the story you’ll be hooked with the narrative and not be able to put it down for a few hours. Check it out!

(ANALYSIS) The Junior Golfer and Parent Relationship w/ Stuart Morgan

We’re back with part 2 of our look at the junior golfer and parent relationship. This week we’re talking about what we heard last week during the conversation between an elite junior golfer and parent.

Stuart’s new book Gifted Junior talks through the development of elite jr golfers and shares an example of what the story looks like in the real world.

Gifted Junior looks at the complexities of juniors growing up in a sport and the intricate, dynamic relationships between players, parents and coaches. By taking readers on the bumpy road of developing talent, or what is thought to be talent, Stuart Morgan wants to pass over his experiences, to support coaches and to guide parents of juniors in sport.

Traits of Effective Golf Instructors w/ Dr. Paul Schempp

Today we talk with coaching researcher and educator Dr Paul Schempp about the traits and actions of the best instructors and coaches (plus what that difference is).

Dr Schempp shares some of his experiences working on the rankings of top golf instructors and talks about a unique insight he learned from Butch Harmon. 
Is golf instruction teaching golf swing or more? We have a conversation about the current paradigms and compare this to other sports and where we should be headed. 

 

Effective Ways to Train Speed w/ Super speed Golf

Today we’re talking all about how to increase speed and how to hit the ball farther with two experts in this Kyle Shay and Mike Napoleon of Superspeed Golf.

We talk about the development and evolution of overspeed training and how to effectively train clubhead speed increases that LAST. Mike and Kyle walk through when the speed jumps happen using overspeed training and how much speed they’re seeing people gain on average. 

OVERSPEED TRAINING – Overspeed Training works by getting the body to move at a faster than normal speed during a known motor pattern. Essentially the brain has a set range of speed for the neuro-muscular response when a golfer makes a golf swing. We first need to increase the response speed from the body by reducing the “load” or in this case the weight of the club. 

We then need to gradually increase this load to teach the brain that the body is capable of running the motor pattern faster. In our application to golf, we use a club that is about 20% lighter than a driver, one that is 10% lighter, and one that is 5% heavier in order to achieve maximum results from overspeed training.

The Myth of Learning Styles w/ Professor Richard Bailey

In this awesome podcast we’re tackling a common learning myth with professor Richard Bailey and having a conversation about a shift in teaching and coaching he’d like to see.

Professor Richard Bailey tackles the idea of learning styles (visual, verbal, etc…) as a myth and what the research says in reality with the emphasis on evidence based coaching. 

We talk through a few questions to ask yourself while setting up training:
Question 1 – What am I trying to do here?
Question 2 – To what problem is this a solution?

Richard’s advice to golf coaches – “Don’t give students solutions to problems they don’t have“. 

It’s become far too common for coaches and instructors to throw out advice all the time that’s not relevant to a problem the student is actually facing.

The Myth of “Perfect Practice Makes Perfect” w/ Dr. Tim Lee

We’ve all heard the phrase “perfect practice makes perfect” but what does the research say about learning? That’s what we’re talking about with one of the leaders in the field of golf research, Dr Tim Lee

The research has in fact shown that ERRORS in practice or training or most beneficial. So how beneficial is grooving your swing with that training aid time after time or repeating a 5 foot putt with a guidance device over and over? Find out in today’s episode.

On the course you never have two identical shots… So why try to repeat identical shots in practice?

As a student always be looking to figure out what happened after errors and mistakes. An open or growth mindset toward the planning and review part of hitting a golf ball is a huge part. To many golfers aren’t willing to take the time to problem solve!