Updated: Sep 8
There is so much information about different techniques and methods in golf. Most of the information is useful and relevant to someone at sometime in their development. The problem is, if it isn't relevant, it can become a distraction from the element that is in the way of achieving your primary goals. Below is an infographic with the different elements in which we assess our clients before starting on a learning journey. We will look from left to right in this assessment.
The behaviour skills necessary to complete a given task will be dependant on the task itself and where your behavioural skills currently are. It would be typical for most of our clients to start here as most don't have a grasp of what is required to learn, retain and effectively practice a skill. Further learning tasks requiring the same behavioural skills might mean just a little revisit and straight onto the next relevant learning element.
This is the most common area for golfers to put their attention. The vast majority of information out there is developing this element and although it is important, it is not all important. We understand as movement has so many possibilities that it is the home of the most information. We would rarely start here as most people have a pretty good model of how to move a club around their body and their time is better spent modelling one of the other elements to reach the level of their movement.
This is how the club moves in space and the brain needs a working model of the cause and effect of this tool. It would be typical for most of our clients to move their attention here from behavioural skills. If we have a model of how to learn a skill and how to swing a given club then we need to model how you apply that club to the ball.
Ball Flight Skills
We may start here if the golfer has the necessary behavioural, movement and club skills. This can be typical for a better player who has a working model of the previous elements. They can work on modelling the flight of the ball and implicitly(without attention) improve movement and club skills. Good players can have these spatial models without having conscious memory of having learnt it. This is normally because they learnt it when they were young and like all good motor skills became something they can just do rather than think how to do.
So we can control our ball flight but maybe not so much in awkward lies or in certain situations. The ever changing world can affect our perception of how to hit a shot. Knowing how to adapt our skills in the environment is critical to high performance golf.
In future posts we will explore what we coach within these elements. What we hope to do by starting golfers on the most relevant learning element is to speed up performance improvement and make learning enjoyable.
John and Tom