Technical practice session

Purpose:

Learn or refine the movement of club and body, to increase potential for better club delivery through impact.


Priority

There are two simple questions to answer in a technical practice session: "Am I moving as intended?" and "Was it on-task?". The latter simply means did the club's delivery match what was intended of the movement.


Caveat

A technical focus is not necessarily the best focus for performance. As such the failure rate may be higher. It is thus essential not to chase or be attached to all elements of a ball flight when working on movement goals. If you are, it will probably trigger the old swing and achieve nothing. Good coaching will be able to give you an idea of what aspect of impact is most correlated to the movement goal.

 

Two goals max

At any one time, it is unlikely or undesirable you have more than two movement goals. If you have more than this you need to consolidate your swing cues or prioritise. Examples of long game movement goals: "Smooth takeaway", "Belt buckle turn" "Collision ready impact".


Task progression

Initially, make the task easier (e.g.shorter club, easy lie), so that excessive challenge of the shot doesn't thwart your body's attempts to learn new movement. You can add difficulty as the success rate increase, but start easy and be prepared to go back to the easy version of the task, if the failure rate gets too high.


Process

Lay out 5-10 balls

Drill or rehearsal swing using one movement goal as the focus

Did I move as intended? Was it on task?

Hit shot with same focus. "Did I move as intended?" If not, where/how did it differ?

Correct or reinforce in next rehearsal

​Repeat process for 5-10 balls then stop and reflect

Tackle one movement goal at a time and confirm feel with video review early on.

 

Brain tips

Ingraining the new technique requires building a “motor circuit” in your brain. Being engaged with the right level of difficulty is key. Motor access (the ability to “repeat” the good swing) requires practice to re-engage with the task multiple times. Hence blocks of 10 balls with a pause, beats 60 in a row, as it gives you at least 6 re-engagements.


Awareness boosters

You can only correct movement that you are aware of, i.e. experienced in real time. Initially it may be difficult to make distinctions between your rehearsal and the real thing if the shot is at full speed and power. To that end try:


  • Swing slower

  • Shorter swing

  • Eyes closed practice swings


There is a speed or effort level below which you can make distinctions that allow correction.




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