Just the simple fact you clicked on this tells me you might benefit from reading this…
A slight hint of click bait??
Well maybe – but you might have a better approach in 5 minutes…
The Thing Hardly Any of Us Have Got
Probably the most boring word in the English dictionary.
But in my opinion one of the most valuable traits to learn – especially in golf.
We live in an existence where if we don’t get what we want almost instantly we throw our toys out the pram or we go looking for something that will give us that instant satisfaction…
The art of patience seems to be a forgotten concept and it’s not your fault…
Everything is designed to get stuff to us quicker and quicker and this certainly isn’t slowing down.
Being a Teaching Pro…
Teaching Pro’s certainly get my utmost sympathy. A lot of the time, they just seem to be pissing in the wind.
There’s just so much noise out there…
- Quick fix programs which will have you swinging it like Dustin Johnson after 5 shots.
- You Tuber’s promising they’ve found the secret to curing the slice.
- Post’s that promise you’ll be a better golfer in 5 minutes.
And because of all this nonsense and false promises – golfers haven’t got any patience.
If they miraculously do turn off YouTube and do bite the bullet for a lesson, most of them expect instantaneous miracles.
Unfortunately none of this instant rubbish exists in golf and in fact, doesn’t exist in anything worthwhile.
- No you won’t put your wrist in a certain position and start smoking every shot.
- No you won’t take the club back in a one piece motion and start ripping it like Rory Mcilroy.
- No you won’t do that one drill and you’ll never miss a shot right again.
All the above may help (depending on your faults) but without hard work, patience, repetitions and plenty of up and downs.
None of it will happen.
This isn’t sexy I know.
Especially compared to the guy who can promise you that high draw whilst you sit on the sofa dreaming about Kim Kardashian.
But it’s real…
And I only care about reality.
Improvement Takes Time
How much time?
This is so dependent on so many factors, I couldn’t possibly answer.
But in my experience, real lasting improvement always takes time and consistent work.
And when I say lasting, I mean – when you are doing it without thinking about it. When you have built sufficient pathways in your brain (I’ll talk more about this in a bit)
- When you are automatically hinging your wrists into the faultless position.
- When your backswing is slotting into place whilst your thinking about tonight’s kebab.
- When that drill is so ingrained that your misses to the right have significantly reduced.
Most golfers impatiently are just after that one tip or quick fix which will send them on their merry way.
But this is so flawed.
And once you know how your brain learns, you’ll realize this won’t work.
It’s a Yo-yo Process
Getting better at anything is never a straight line and is always a yo-yo process.
Take my writing for example. I only started writing about 9 months ago, so I am a beginner. I think I have improved a bit in that time but it hasn’t been a straight line improvement. It’s gone something like this…
First post – hopeless
Second post – less hopeless
Third post – Not bad
Fourth post – hopeless
Fifth post – hopeless
Sixth post – average
Seventh post – less hopeless
eight post – good
You get the drift…(I have written over 60 posts now)
(Don’t worry: all the posts that were hopeless have all been edited or deleted)
The point is I am a better writer than I was 9 months ago but that didn’t mean that I got better every single article.
But for us golfers this same process is frustrating and test’s our patience to the absolute limit.
You go down the range and start working on a particular improvement. The results are great, you feel like you’re making real progress and life feels good.
You’ve got a real spring in your step and the game feels easy (or easier)…
Then wham – you go down the range and you can’t hit it for toffee despite doing all the same things. You feel like the new move isn’t working and you lose patience, give up and go searching once again…
To make real progress you have to accept these times of frustration. When you are learning a new skill it’s absolutely inevitable to hit these road blocks.
It doesn’t mean you are not improving.
Neurons are Always Firing
As Adam Young explains in this article… (i’ll summarize it now)
Even in the sessions where you either feel like you are going nowhere or even worse, going backwards. If you have the correct intentions in these sessions, you are still improving.
Adam explain’s when you are trying to learn a new skill, neurons in your brain are constantly firing trying to create new and improved pathways.
Let’s look at a typical example:
A lot of amateur golfers have an issue with coming over the top. So let’s say you have this issue and you go and have a lesson to correct this…
And the poor old magician of a teaching pro shows you a new drill to perform, which will result in you swinging on a better path.
If you take this on board and you are consistently going in your practice sessions with this correct intention of doing the drill. Then your brain will be constantly firing neurons trying to re-wire this new movement pattern.
Now if in the 1st,2nd,3rd,4th,5th,6th sessions your brain hasn’t fully connected the new pathways, then it’s likely your results won’t be to your satisfaction.
But that doesn’t mean they have been a waste of time and you should lose patience and give up.
Far from it…
In every session whilst practicing in this way, you are just edging closer to creating these new pathways and then all of a sudden – boom, the 7th session they click.
And you have the new move and the best bit…it feels effortless.
Patience has prevailed and you have made the improvements you were after.
But what about if you listened to that impatient guy raging in your mind and jacked it all in after the 3rd session?
Now I don’t know about you, but just knowing that this is how the brain learns new movement patterns enables me to have more patience.
Once you realize nothing worthwhile takes 5 minutes, you can actually commit to the process and give it the patience that is required to make the change.
Now going back to my writing, if I had lost patience after every post I have written that wasn’t to my standards, then there’s no way you would be reading this.
Our blog would be in the Abyss with so many others…
But I have realized that the more my intentions are good in my writing. ie I write a little every day, then my brain will be constantly firing and then one day…
I will finally write a piece I can be truly proud of and more than about 5 people will share it.
I know once this happens, it will feel like I just found it on this one particular day.
But the truth is, it’s the mundane task of writing everyday which finally connected up these pathways to enable me to write a good piece.
I’ll look forward to that day…
Are you being patient enough to hit your goals??