Over the last five years I have learnt so much about golf psychology from Dr Brian Hemmings. He has been lead psychologist to the England golf team for sixteen years and as a result has worked with many top golfers as well as cricketers, formula one racing car drivers and Olympic athletes. I have so much information to share from my time spent with Brian but in this blog I'm going to talk a little about taking technical changes to the course.
Improving at golf is a process and to my mind a never ending one. The ability of a player to take information and then apply it to the course is an essential skill. There are three distinct training cycles that the best players use to introduce new technical improvements into their game.
After swing analysis the player must turn these concepts into feelings in order to make the change. It is then important to get back to the correct playing state as quickly as possible. This is one with limited thought of swing mechanics on a conscious level with a larger focus on the target.
Some players are able to think very technically fully engaging the left side of the brain on the range and then swap to one which is right sided with little technical thought when they play. An example of this is someone who could spend all morning thinking about their technique and then play on the course in the afternoon with little to no technical thought. This method changes attention from the left side of the brain to the right side of the brain in a very short period of time. There are a number of players that practice this way but it takes a certain process in order to achieve and is something I will post a specific blog on in the future.
The second method of taking changes to the course uses a cyclical approach and focuses on peaking at the right time. This method would be the most common in tour players who do a lot of technical work on their games. It uses a period of ''weaning off''' or reducing down the technical practice as the tournament date becomes closer and should be an important part of any players Pre Event strategy. The duration of the cycle will vary from player to player. It could be a week cycle it could be a month cycle or longer. For example some players on a tournament week will work quite technically with their coach on the Monday checking what progress had been made and then looking at ways of optimising this. By Tuesday the technical thought would start to become less and more focus on the playing, by Wednesday the player would have a full rehearsal playing the pro am ready for the tournament on the Thursday. The Cycle would then start again on the Monday or Tuesday.
The third method is similar to the second but usually over a greater time period. The most commonly known is where the player will work intensely on their technique for the off season and then by the start of the season be in a position where they do not think about or work much on technique until the following year.
Working on the right technical changes is only part of the improvement process, in order to take this to the course an effective practice strategy needs to be in place. For more information http://mattholmangolf.blogspot.se/2013/12/what-i-learnt-from-victoria-institute.html
Thanks for reading!