I am sure you have asked that question of yourself numerous times!
Co-director of PTGC Lawrie Montague and I have had same question put to us by parents, players, State and National golf associations and player management agents and the answer is always the same 10 Year Rule!!
How do I know this! In my player development program the same pattern has unfolded time and time again with Michael Sim starting his development program as a 11 year old and getting his US Tour card at 21 years old.
Kim Felton starting as a 12 year old and becoming World no.1 amateur at 23 years old, Tanya Holl and Dana Lacey same 10 year cycle to achieve status on the European Ladies Tour. I have seen it happen too many times for it to be chance so when I read Karl Anders Ericsson work and his finding that every expert in every field is the result of around ten thousand hours of committed practice it all made sense.
This committed practice he named "deliberate practice" which x 10,000 hours = World Class Skill. There are also numerous other factors that need to be linked with the above equation to enable a person to achieve world class skill and the same rules apply if they are a chess player, painter, piano player, math or writer. What about genius's you may ask, or those who are born with more talent? The answer is Tiger Woods started swinging a club at 2 years old but from the time he started competing in tournaments to winning the US Amateur it was that same 10 year rule.
Even the chess prodigy Bobby Fisher put in 9 years of hard work before he achieved his Grand Master status at 17 years of age. Both these individuals had the "burning obsessive desire" to be the very best, the perfect training enviroment and had Master Coaches on hand to guide them.
So what is deliberate practice? Here's an exercise for you to try and it will help you understand the difference between "ordinary practice" and "deliberate practice".
Take some time to view list A and B below spending the same amount of time on each list. When you are done turn away from the computer screen and recall as many of the word pairs as you can and write them down. From which column do you recall more words?
chair / couch car / b_s
fruit / vegetable road / l_ne
high school / college l_nch / dinner
television / radio church / m_sque
computer / chip b_x /carton
steak / chips boat / ocean_ iner
forrest / trees be_r / wine
petrol / engine river / b_oat
hotel / motel pen_il / paper
movie / actress clouds / s_y
If you are like most people you will recall more words from column B. The difference is you experienced a micro-second of struggle and that made all the difference. This is the "kicker;" you did not practice harder when you looked at column B you just "practiced deeper".
Now all the successful players Lawrie and I have worked with through the years have had the ability to "practice deeper". That is the reason why we have been successful with our players development as it's been our understanding that "if you train like you play, then you play like you train".
All our training systems and programs have been developed with that one goal in mind to create the enviroment for our players to understand the "state" they have to be in to make their training beneficial and meaningful. The emphasis is always on growing skills with deliberate practice which takes energy, passion and committment and 10,000 hours over 10 years.
Broken down its 1,000 hours per year, 83.3 hours per month, 19.2 hours per week and 3.2 hours per day for 6 days. Even the most committed golfers have one day off each week.
Here at PTGC we train 5 hours per day, 5 days per week with all the ingredients of deliberate practice here for golfers attending our programs to experience and understand; the tried and tested formula of Deliberate Practice x 10,000 hours = World Class skills
Lawrie Montague & David Milne
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