As you move into golf’s “off” season, take some time to understand your stats, scores, go through a thorough assessment of your golf, physical, mental skills, and your equipment. Put an engaged effort into building a program that will help you succeed in reaching your goals. The “off” season is a great time to turn “on” the most beneficial work to turn your good game into a great game.
Let’s look at the science behind superior performance. This may come as a shock to many, but YOU can become the best player in the world! You don’t have to be born with talent, as a matter of fact, science has proven that no one is born with talent. There is also no disputing that some are born with slightly better genetics than others, but it is a small component of becoming a superior performer, regardless of the area of practice. This leads us to discuss Nature vs. Nurture. How much does the environment have to do with our ability to become great? A lot! The book Road to Excellence, with further research brought to light in the book Talent Code, is about how certain cultures or environments produced the highest levels of athletic performance from some of the least expected regions of the world. So when you say you want to be the best in the world at something, environment matters. It is extremely rare for someone to achieve this in an isolated environment. There needs to be others to help challenge you, push you and motivate you. Environment matters, therefore we at The Golf Performance Center have worked hard to create an environment and culture of development, bringing multiple people together with the common goal of being the best breeds and helping everyone in their developmental process.
Let me explain or highlight a small bit of knowledge on developing high level performance. According to the American Psychological Association, “Counter to the common belief that expert performance reflects innate abilities and capacities, recent research in different domains of expertise has shown that expert performance is predominantly mediated by acquired complex skills and physiological adaptations. For elite performers, supervised practice starts at very young ages and is maintained at high daily levels for more than a decade. The effects of extended deliberate practice are more far-reaching than is commonly believed. Performers can acquire skills that circumvent basic limits on working memory capacity and sequential processing. Deliberate practice can also lead to anatomical changes resulting from adaptations to intense physical activity. The study of expert performance has important implications for our understanding of the structure and limits of human adaptation and optimal learning”(Ericsson & Charness, 1994). Therefore we believe function dictates form, when your body is able to move efficiently throughout the motion of a golf swing there is less adaptation to limiting factors such as limited ranges of motion or lack of stability, leading to superior performances, leading to higher level of success over time.
It has been found in nearly every field of human endeavor, the performance of the best practitioners is so outstanding (Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Pele, Usain Bolt or Tom Brady), so superior even to the performance of other highly experienced individuals in the field, that most people believe a unique, qualitative attribute, commonly called innate talent, must be invoked to account for this highest level of performance. Although these differences in performance are by far the largest psychologists have been able to reliably measure among healthy adults, exceptional performance has not, until recently, been extensively studied by physiologists, neurologists, kinesiologists and performance experts. By understanding how these individuals have been able to separate themselves from the other great athletes is eye opening. Knowing that all the mentioned athletes happened to grow up in an environment very rich in deliberate practice or playing many simulated games alone helped researchers understand that these individuals were not born with more talent, but developed it over time with a focus of becoming the best that they can be. Much of this comes in the form of self-talk, psychologically telling themselves that they will be better than everyone else who played their sport or in their field, unrelenting in their pursuit of perfection for themselves.
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Enjoy Your Journey!
Ericsson, K. A., & Charness, N. (1994). Expert performance: Its structure and acquisition. American Psychologist, 49(8), 725–747. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066x.49.8.725