Time…..it is the Boss. Or is it?
Coming to work this morning I was thinking of my father turning 67 and my son turning 15. That places me at 43, sort of between the two with a chronological age that isn’t “old” but certainly isn’t “young.”
Haven’t we all asked, “Where did the time go?”
I coach by the hour, or at least I schedule by the hour. In reality I coach, as most coaches do, until the students have learned and feels assured they can reproduce the training and practice on their own. But I still hear this phrase too often, “I have been putting the TIME in.”
When it comes to our “golf swings” we are dealing with the function of our body, motor patterns, and perceptions. We all “feel” stuff all the time thanks to the skin being the largest organ system and all those nerves running through our body. Learning and Perception are different. In fact, it can take a ton of education to change an ounce of perception.
When it comes to our “golf swings being good or bad” we are dealing with efficiency. How much stuff do we have to “manage” to play well. “Stuff” can be mental, emotional, mechanical, or physical. The more “stuff” we have to manage to play well, the more inefficient we are. Get it?
I like training and practice for the same reasons everyone else does; I do it because it cleans up my game so I don’t have to “manage” as much stuff to hit a ball toward my target. Truly…….good golfers “manage” less and are more “efficient” than less good golfers. But if I am so called “putting the time in training and practicing” but my game is not becoming more “manageable” then what?
So if you are putting in the “time” but not seeing results, then your “time” may not be the same as a better player’s “time.”
Instead of “putting in Time” why not put in quality reps? Instead of blasting through 500 balls (as I would typically do each day during my red shirt year at Southern Miss) try to visualize your swing and look at the working parts. Play 9 holes practicing strategy instead of banging drivers looking for the perfect shot. Practice your speed on the greens rather than tirelessly trying to figure out how to hit your 4 iron. It is really simple………TIME is important but what we do with our TIME is much more important.
Change your perception on practice and training. Training is what you do without a ball in front of you. Practice is what you do with a ball in front of you. Get a basic training plan, even if it is a few minutes or reps in length. Stick to it. Add to it. Do it daily.
As a 43 year old coach I can certainly tell you there is no reason to make golf super mechanical and get lost in the process of becoming more efficient. Technique is efficiency driven. Not perfection driven. Within this context, understand that if you wish to be #1 in the world one day you will need to be more efficient than if you want to be the club champion. In this way, understand that efficiency can be perceived as perfection.
Use your TIME wisely. Don’t put in “hours and hours” of practice, instead seek counsel and put in “quality reps.”
After all, if our perception of what “putting in the time to get better” is not correct, then don’t we need to change that perception first?