#1 You don’t practice enough
Do you need to practice your golf swing in order to improve? This is an often asked, yet excellent question. So to give you an answer, I’d like to use an analogy to make a point about improving your golf swing. If you decided at 40 years old that you wanted to become a pitcher for a local baseball team, however you hadn’t played baseball for 25 years – would you need to practice throwing pitches before your first game?
If you had to pitch this coming Saturday, the following Saturday and each Saturday after that for the next 10 weeks … how many days would you practice each week before you pitched?
If you practiced 2 times this week for about 1 hour each session – how well do you think you would do in your first game? Then if you practiced 2 times the following week – do you think that you would do better or worse than your first game? And if you practiced 2 times the following week … do you agree that you would be getting better each week?
What would happened if you practiced 1 time each week? Would you improve your pitching as much as if you practiced 2 times a week? After 3 weeks of practicing twice a week – how much farther a long would you be than if you only practiced 1 time a week?
Now imagine if you didn’t practice at all. You just decided to pitch each Saturday – would you do as well as you would if you had practiced 1 time during the week? Would you be anywhere close to being as successful as if you practiced 2 times during the week?
The question isn’t whether you should or should not practice to improve your golf swing. The question should be – how much do you need to practice.
#2 You practice too much
How much is too much? Too much is when you go out to the driving range with 3 or more things to work on in your golf swing. This often leads to Golfers drifting from golf tip to golf tip – trying new things each swing until they find something that works.
Once they find something that works … they usually stick with it until it stops working. Yet, once it’s not working anymore … it’s on to finding something else that helps you to hit the golf ball better.
That is until that next golf tip stops working and the whole process of “Fiddling” with your golf swing starts over again.
As there’s no doubt that it’s better to practice 1 time a week and play 1 time a week rather than playing 1 time with no practice. The former is also probably better for you than to practice 4 times a week and not play at all.
However, you need to find what your perfect ratio of practice to play is. Each person is going to have a different ratio of how much to practice and how much to play. You need to find your ratio.
And although every Golfer will have a ratio that’s perfect for them – we often see many Golfers that practice too much. And these hard working Golfers hardly ever perform well on the golf course. Why?
Because if a Golfer practices their swing too much – they often carry that practice onto the golf course where they aren’t in the right frame of mind to play golf. They become too focused on working on all the things they worked on while on the driving range – and their golf swing, their ball striking and their scores suffer.
Try to find what your ratio of practice to play is. Yes, you need to practice … however, just as importantly – you need to play without thinking about your practice.
#3 You don’t know what to practice
Perhaps the worst of all is ‘not knowing what to practice’. Many Golfers hit the practice range – just for the simple fact of … hitting golf balls. Or because they just read about a new tip and they want to see if it works.
However, when a Golfer goes to the driving range just to hit golf balls without a PLAN – they’re setting themselves up for disaster. Do you think a 1 handicap or Tiger Woods or Lorena Ochoa goes to the range just to hit golf balls? Of course not. They have something specific they’re going to work on.
Do you know any Golfers that say – “I don’t practice anymore because whenever I practice … I get worse.”
Not knowing what to practice turns your golf game into a rollercoaster of highs and lows – that ends just like a rollercoaster ends … in the same place it began. Golfers that go to hit golf balls without knowing what to practice often become inconsistent Golfers.
Learn how to practice. Learn how to develop a Practice PLAN. Discover what your ratio of practice to play should be. If you do these things – you’ll see improvement on the golf course. If not, you’ll continue to do what you’re doing – you’ll continue to see what you’re seeing.
The Monkey either doesn’t practice enough, practices too much or doesn’t know what to practice
The Player knows how to practice, has a Practice PLAN and knows what their practice to play ratio is
Are you a Monkey or a Player?
Go ahead, be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life