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Simple, Specific, Slow, Short, and Success - The Five "S"s of Great Practice


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A good article: http://lifehacker.com/5939374/a-better-way-to-practice .

Great read. Thanks for sharing.

Bill

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius

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  • 3 weeks later...
This is great info. Many times not able to get out due to temp or wind (wished it was due to snow or rain) so can put these to use. If you ever do the wrist band I want a couple!! :-D Love having new things yet old. I remember my track coach making us do some of our things slowly. It really did work then so know it will now.
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If I had a dollar for ever SsssLlllOOooooWWWwww practice  swing I've done with regards to just keeping my stoopid head still (key1) I could easily buy a new set of irons. I won't even get into keys 2, and 3..lol

Went to the range last night, and hit 250 balls. Spent the better part of the first hour doing slow repetitive drills, and thought I had made some progress, then.......the old demon ways of my past somehow worked it's ugly self into my practice session. Hit 1 good driver, the next 6 were crap, tried my 3 wood, first shot was o.k...the next 4 junk. Went back to slow drills with my wedge, starting from 15 yd chips to 60 yd pitches, which took my last ball, and about 3+ hrs later...meh.

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Went to a range yesterday.  I am working on one thing currently in my Evolvr lessons.  I warmed up with some pitches off the mat.  Then worked on my priority piece.  I did slow repetitions at 50% max effort with three clubs.  No swing was more than this.  It felt very relaxing.  Ball contact was excellent.  I was surprised how far the ball was going with that little effort.  The ball was moving where I wanted it to go and curving slightly (baby push draw).

I have been doing all my really slow work in the mirror.  Stephan is having me feel like I am laying the club head down from A4 to A5, because I can get too steep and over the top.

Scott

Titleist, Edel, Scotty Cameron Putter, Snell - AimPoint - Evolvr - MirrorVision -MEVO+

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One thing about this though. When there are guys machine gunning their drivers next to you on both sides, it's like studying in the library near people with headphones on full blast with uncontrollable leg bounce, constantly fidgeting, basically doing things not studying. That is when it's headphone time. In ear canal headphone time. Has anyone ever used earplugs at a range?

Steve

Kill slow play. Allow walking. Reduce ineffective golf instruction. Use environmentally friendly course maintenance.

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One thing about this though. When there are guys machine gunning their drivers next to you on both sides, it's like studying in the library near people with headphones on full blast with uncontrollable leg bounce, constantly fidgeting, basically doing things not studying. That is when it's headphone time. In ear canal headphone time. Has anyone ever used earplugs at a range?

No earphones, I just hit the Ignore button... :-D

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One thing about this though. When there are guys machine gunning their drivers next to you on both sides, it's like studying in the library near people with headphones on full blast with uncontrollable leg bounce, constantly fidgeting, basically doing things not studying. That is when it's headphone time. In ear canal headphone time. Has anyone ever used earplugs at a range?

I just use them to help my timing and to slow down. I only allow myself to hit a ball for every 3 or 4 they hit. O:)

Henry

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  • 2 weeks later...
From what I've learned recently, slow practice with a lot of time spent thinking between trials is not the OPTIMUM way to become as good as you can be at any physical skill. I just became aware of the new science of human movement learning (HML). HML was developed by a scientist during 20 years of university level research. The HML scientist has shown that slow, methodical practice can lead to improvement, but with a longer learning curve. He asks: If slow is better, why not do 1 free throw a week with a lot of thinking? Or, 1 practice putt a month? Did you learn to walk or ride a bike with slow motion weekly attempts and thinking about how to do it? More importantly, research demonstrates that you CANNOT become as good as your genetics will permit if you employ slow, "mindful" practice. Were self-taught world class ball strikers like Hogan, Moe Norman or Trevino engaged in a lot of thought in their daily 5, 6, 700 balls? "Rapid fire" is a much faster way to improve, provided the athlete receives PRECISE, DETECTABLE FEEDBACK Here are two provocative insights from the HML scientist: 1) Only training employing the principles of HML will allow the athlete to achieve peak performance; 2) No athlete has ever trained under the principles of HML. Therefore, no golfer or, for that matter, ballistic sport athlete has ever achieved his/her peak genetic potential. (Everybody can be better. MUCH BETTER. Including the all-time greats and the guys on TV). I'm new at this forum business. Should I start a new thread with more info on HML---for those who haven't already dismissed me? Anyone interested in hearing more about the science of physical skill acquisition?
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I just became aware of the new science of human movement learning (HML). HML was developed by a scientist during 20 years of university level research.

I'd like to learn more. Can you provide the name of the scientist, as well as which peer-reviewed conferences or journals his discoveries were published in? I'm generally suspicious when I hear "a scientist found this" without a name of a published study to back it up.

-- Michael | My swing! 

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I'd like to learn more. Can you provide the name of the scientist, as well as which peer-reviewed conferences or journals his discoveries were published in? I'm generally suspicious when I hear "a scientist found this" without a name of a published study to back it up.

+1 and that is the problem these days is that not many people differentiate between scientists and soothsayers who want to make a quick buck out of you!

I don't know anything about HML, but I am naturally going to question anything I don't know until I get all the facts!

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Eyad

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I think you're perverting my definition of "slow" and "mindful" (which isn't a word I believe I used) to an extreme. Obviously you're not suggesting hitting one putt a week, but I'm not even suggesting two minutes between golf balls during the full swing. And in that 90 seconds, you're not just thinking, you're making practice motions or otherwise still practicing something.

Additionally, Hogan wasn't necessarily "working" on things when he'd hit 500 balls a day. I also bet he hit a lot more shots at 90% of his on-course swing speed than you may give him credit for.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Glad you would like to learn more, Shindig. I understand the first book to explain the science of HUMAN MOVEMENT LEARNING book will be available shortly (for a not so quick buck) .  And , the HML scientist will find funding to open his sports training institute soon, which will provide the scientific data you need.  (How long was it before Darwin was "peer reviewed"? Newton?")

Regret I said "mindful," Erik.  Should have said "thinking."  Almost all physical skill learning happens BELOW the level of your awareness.  Were you aware of HOW you learned to ride a bike?  Or, walk?  Or, swim?  Doubt you learned them "slowly" or have forgotten those skills.

May I submit that the examples offered of "fast is slow, slow is fast" are anecdotal? That is, random observations, not systematic scientific evaluations. Some might consider that to be "soothsaying."

It would be quite easy to offer anecdotal evidence of the opposite of those examples. I will not waste your time.

However, the scientific data will show, with certainty, that "fast is slow, slow is fast" serves to lengthen the learning curve.

Best of luck in your physical skill acquisition journey.

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Regret I said "mindful," Erik.  Should have said "thinking."  Almost all physical skill learning happens BELOW the level of your awareness.  Were you aware of HOW you learned to ride a bike?  Or, walk?  Or, swim?  Doubt you learned them "slowly" or have forgotten those skills.

Yes. Particularly to the swimming bit. I worked on the mechanics of my stroke. I was quite good at the backstroke, and I'm quite sure I'm nowhere near as good at it now.

May I submit that the examples offered of "fast is slow, slow is fast" are anecdotal? That is, random observations, not systematic scientific evaluations. Some might consider that to be "soothsaying."

One person (not me) said that… and I think it's fine to say just about anything if it gets the proper results from your student.

However, the scientific data will show, with certainty, that "fast is slow, slow is fast" serves to lengthen the learning curve.

And until then, just this cloud of mystery? Okay, great.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins • Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 • "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | 5SK.com | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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Having taught swimming, I disagree with the notion @mcbeck that you did not learn slowly.  Our WSI instructors taught us to teach all the motion in slow motion.  First on land, then in the water while holding the student afloat.  I did this for teaching strokes and lifesaving techniques.  This is the proper way to teach swimming.  You don't just throw the 3 year old in the deep end of the pool and hope for the best.

Same applies to bike riding.  You teach your child balance while moving slowly.  You don't launch them down a hill. When I was racing, we taught paceline, cornering and pack riding techniques in slow moving groups.  MTB techniques over obstacles and difficult terrain is best learned slowly at first before attempting at race speeds.

Scott

Titleist, Edel, Scotty Cameron Putter, Snell - AimPoint - Evolvr - MirrorVision -MEVO+

My Swing Thread

boogielicious - Adjective describing the perfect surf wave

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From what I've learned recently, slow practice with a lot of time spent thinking between trials is not the OPTIMUM way to become as good as you can be at any physical skill.

I just became aware of the new science of human movement learning (HML). HML was developed by a scientist during 20 years of university level research.

The HML scientist has shown that slow, methodical practice can lead to improvement, but with a longer learning curve. He asks: If slow is better, why not do 1 free throw a week with a lot of thinking? Or, 1 practice putt a month? Did you learn to walk or ride a bike with slow motion weekly attempts and thinking about how to do it?

More importantly, research demonstrates that you CANNOT become as good as your genetics will permit if you employ slow, "mindful" practice.

Were self-taught world class ball strikers like Hogan, Moe Norman or Trevino engaged in a lot of thought in their daily 5, 6, 700 balls? "Rapid fire" is a much faster way to improve, provided the athlete receives PRECISE, DETECTABLE FEEDBACK

Here are two provocative insights from the HML scientist:

1) Only training employing the principles of HML will allow the athlete to achieve peak performance;

2) No athlete has ever trained under the principles of HML. Therefore, no golfer or, for that matter, ballistic sport athlete has ever achieved his/her peak genetic potential. (Everybody can be better. MUCH BETTER. Including the all-time greats and the guys on TV).

I'm new at this forum business. Should I start a new thread with more info on HML---for those who haven't already dismissed me?

Anyone interested in hearing more about the science of physical skill acquisition?

I think the way one practices depends on what it is they're practicing. For example, in martial arts, it is not optimal to learn how to spare/fight in slow motion, assuming you've developed some fundamentals first, of course. You'll learn much faster by being thrown in with someone better then you and just letting your "instincts" develop. I can see how this may be true with a lot of different sports. HOWEVER, if you're learning a series of movements such as a form (kata), there is no way you're going to learn faster by just doing it "rapid fire" with feedback. You learn the specific body movements in martial arts by going SLOWLY and precise and then overtime you start to build on that foundation until you can start moving faster. Over time, the moves will start to become ingrained and you'll develop a flowing, fast, precise skill set. The same thing is true in other skills that require very precise and accurate movements that are NOT depended on reaction time. Other examples would be various forms of dance like ballet and learning how to play a classical instrument such as a violin or piano. In this type of skill development, you "learn" by increasing neural pathways through repeated firing of specific neural networks until the neural connections develop so they become "automatic." This is based on Hebbian Theory, which at its simplest way of explaining it is, "Cells that fire together, wire together." So, in learning these types of skills, it's important to have them fire correctly, over time, and repeatedly until they're "ingrained.". Yes, you can learn something like piano, ballet, or martial arts with a rapid fire method. However, the idea that learning these types of skills in rapid fire manner is "much better" as you say, goes against basic learning theory and neuroscience. And since a golf swing is not a game of reactions and is a series of precise movements such as dance or piano, I would put it in the category of learning a form of movements.

BTW, here is Ben Hogan revealing to some close friends how he practices. He was one of the greatest ball strikers of all time and HE practiced slowly all the time:

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A quick phone google search found several pdf files and also the following website on "human movement learning" : http://necsi.edu/events/iccs6/viewabstract.php?id=202 No opinion from me, just a quick link to try and remove the mystery.

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Having taught swimming, I disagree with the notion @mcbeck that you did not learn slowly.  Our WSI instructors taught us to teach all the motion in slow motion.  First on land, then in the water while holding the student afloat.  I did this for teaching strokes and lifesaving techniques.  This is the proper way to teach swimming.  You don't just throw the 3 year old in the deep end of the pool and hope for the best.

Same applies to bike riding.  You teach your child balance while moving slowly.  You don't launch them down a hill. When I was racing, we taught paceline, cornering and pack riding techniques in slow moving groups.  MTB techniques over obstacles and difficult terrain is best learned slowly at first before attempting at race speeds.

Dang.. Are you me?  I was a WSI back in the day and completely agree with everything you say.    I am still into mountain biking and ride frequently here in Michigan.   I'd like to see inexperience riders ride fast over terrain like they have in Moab, UT  (going in three weeks!)

One doesn't learn to play the piano or any musical instrument fast either.    For the same principal, you don't see amateurs racing new corvettes on the tracks at work.

From the land of perpetual cloudiness.   I'm Denny

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  • 3 weeks later...
I had read this thread before and coming upon it again, I'm glad I'm reading it again. At times with my practice I get discouraged when I hit the ball badly and this thread has reminded me that when working on swing changes, where the ball goes doesn't necessarily mean that it's an indicator if it was a good practice swing or not. Thanks again for this thread and all who have contributed!

Christian

:tmade::titleist:  :leupold:  :aimpoint: :gamegolf:

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