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


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The Talent Code is a good book, but the message it preaches is quite simple: to become great at something, some ways seem to be better than others. Whether you're a violinist, a soccer player, or a

I do a decent amount of Evolvr's telling student to make slow, 20% speed swings on the piece they're working on.  See so many fast paced practice swings while they're trying change a motion they've be

I don't remember if I quoted this here before, but at the risk of repeating myself, I have this saved away in my notes for quick reference and try and reread it now and again: Motor Learning and

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I do a decent amount of Evolvr's telling student to make slow, 20% speed swings on the piece they're working on.  See so many fast paced practice swings while they're trying change a motion they've been doing for years.

On the forums or on the range you'l hear, "I tried this, it didn't work, so I'm not doing it anymore".  Or my favorite, "It feels weird".  Well of course it does!  Anything you do that takes you out of your comfort zone should feel different so you know you're doing it right.

Arnie was just talking about practice yesterday on TGC, about players just hitting balls with no purpose

And a couple examples of how slow and deliberate practice can be

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Thanks for the posts Gentlemen!  I am going to spend the long cold winter in Boston doing just that.  I've got a few drills and items to work on as recommended by Mike, James and Erik.

I've got a gym at work with a room with lots of mirrors.  I can't hit balls but can see my swing.  Do I need something to swing at or is a mark on a mat sufficient for some of this work?

There is also an indoor range near by that I can hit into nets.  I am going to ask if it's OK to film my swing in there as well.

Have a Merry Christmas.

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Originally Posted by gwlee7

I am going to make a commitment to practice in this way starting today.


That's a good idea. Everyone should make this a new year's resolution. It's probably more boring than "exercise more" or "eat better" and it won't make you healthier, but it will make you happier and it will help you to improve your golf game.

If I knew someone who could print up wristbands - those little rubber ones or something - I'd seriously consider making these and selling them at cost. Simple • Specific • Slow • Short • Success .

Maybe a bag tag.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Oftentimes, I'll be perfectly happy to hit shanks, top the ball, hit it thin, or otherwise hit some terrible looking shots so long as I'm improving (or often exaggerating) certain moves. In that sense, the moves I'm making are equivalent to the violinist's fingerings, and the unrecognizable song is the shank or cold top.


It's like the internet startup mentality - you have to fail to succeed. But in this case, you're progressing but it looks like you're failing.

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When my students start complaining and say, "this feels weird" I say, "if it doesn't feel weird you're probably not doing anything different."

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Thank you. Now I feel slightly better about my swing feeling so horrible right now.

PS: Is everything going to have precisely five keys from now on?

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Hmmm, maybe Erik is writing a book? I've been reading and getting alot out of his posts here for awhile and he definitely has no shortage of good material. I'd most certainly buy it.

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Originally Posted by boogielicious

So Erik, is this what the five keys are for in your Avatar?


No. Heck, a few days ago there were only three "S"s.

Let's please stick to the topic, as I think this post can stand on its own and does a good job of that. Thank you.

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An excellent post Erik - one of the top three reasons why golfers fail to improve as much as they would like.

Perhaps you could consider a 6th "S" - see or study - as my video camera (OK, iPhone!) is now my 15th club these days. I cannot imagine practicing without it. It never ceases to amaze me how much my feel deceives me.

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IN with gwlee7 and JetFan1983...i've also went by my head baseball coaches driving words, "each day you either go up a step or down a step, never stay the same, what'd you do today to go up?"

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I went to the range yesterday and did a simple and specific slow motion drill that helped me with my shoulder turn on the BS and not letting my right knee over flex on the DS.  I had success.

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