The Art of Excellence in Training: Creating Quality Practice Sessions by Changing Your Mental Approach
Think about your current practice habits. When was the last time you gave your training regime a check-up?
As the half way mark in the calendar year approaches, it’s all too common for elite players who practice multiple hours on our daily basis to revert to amateur patterns of practice that prevent them from getting the most out of their training time mentally and physically.
Even if you are not at the elite level of play, if you have aspirations to take your game to new heights, follow these steps to revolutionize your training habits and the results you can achieve.
First assess your current focus, actions, and attitude toward training by answering the following questions:
If you answered YES to these questions, then it’s time to give your practice habits an overhaul.
There are many different types of focus you can apply in training (e.g., technical, tactical, or high pressure focus).
However, your focus is directly dependent on your plan and goals you set to achieve for training.
If you do not set specific goals, then it’s all too easy to revert to the same technical focus for every training session and your default aim becomes about “perfecting” swing changes.
A sole focus on correcting your technique, without tangible markers for a successful practice session is a recipe for disaster.
You are more likely to judge your success or failure based on “feel”, how well you strike “each” shot, or worse; you only recall the few shots you strike poorly relative to the 30 effective shots you created. Such dangerously vague indictors of good verses poor practice does not help you build confidence and instead facilitates an unhealthy, perfectionistic attitude toward your game as there is no room for error in your analysis.
FOCUS! On What?
An aim to simply “stay focused” in training is not specific enough. You must define what it is you will focus ON “specifically” in training. When you are fully aware and committed to performing a specific task, you can then immerse yourself into training and ultimately achieve “fearsome focus.”
Close enough is NOT good enough
The art of excellence in golf training is being able to set clear, measurable goals for each segment of your training and hold yourself accountable for every shot you hit in training. This is no easy task, it takes discipline and focus, but all great players know that the pursuit of excellence is not an easy journey.
Grinding does not characterize quality training
Quality training aligns your drills and training activities with your performance plan. Repetitious drill work, “grinding”, and long hours of training should only occur in your “technique building phase” of your annual performance plan. Your performance plan should also include a pre-competition phase and a competition phase. Quality practice in the pre-performance phase should include target practice, pre-shot routine work, and high pressure drills that simulate on course play.
A clear training focus builds confidence
Confidence building must take place in the practice setting first before it can translate into success on the course. To build confidence you need to first set specific goals to measure your success in training, provide base-line statistics, and to show concrete evidence of your progress. All the motivation in the world will not translate into meaningful training without a clear plan.
QUICK TIPS FOR CREATING QUALITY PRACTICE HABITS
a. For example;
3. Allow time to review your training session and pin point your current strengths and weaknesses.
4. Use a training diary to set goals and track progress.
The MNC Training Diary is an essential tool for anyone who wants to gain the most they can, both physically and mentally, from their hard work. The MNC Training Diary is an excellent way to log your training, track your progress, monitor your improvement, and stay motivated.
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