‘Practice with a purpose’ is a common phrase that people hear in the game of golf yet it’s not necessarily put into practice with any consistency. Often people head out to practice with the hope of finding solutions and confidence in different aspects of their games. However, without a true plan of attack to understand and acquire skill, those hours on the practice tee or putting green can be counterproductive, an exercise in futility.
The best in the game are the most willing to put themselves under the microscope of analysis by a coach, a technology, statistics, or an assessment. This constant willingness informs their practice and drives their focus making for quality practice time. This may be easily understood but not easily applied. Why is that? According to Dr. Brant, it is human nature to seek the path of least resistance and that is apparent in how people approach improvement in golf. The exceptional players are the ones who lean into discomfort and continue asking why at every point. Tom Brady’s football coach at Michigan, Lloyd Carr, said of Brady, “I never had another player who embraced the struggle like Tom did.” This was before he became the Brady we know today. Exceptional willingness to embrace the struggle lead to better development and an exceptional career.
So ask yourself one question. What am I avoiding in my approach to improvement? It could be that you are avoiding being assessed, or that you are avoiding putting the work in at the gym. It could be that you are not willing to work on changing swing tendencies that are hard to change or that you refuse to review your round after you play to learn more about yourself and your game. I am sure if you really ask this question you will find an answer, albeit an uncomfortable one, but one that needs exploring.