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From Tee to Green


The importance of practice



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June 12, 2013 - There are few sports that require the amount of practice that takes for a golfer to master the necessary fundamentals to hit a good golf shot.

Yet because of time commitments, lack of desire or lack of good practice facilities in our area, most of us don't practice nearly enough to produce the results we would like.

Here are some of my thoughts regarding practice.

No condition is of greater importance to the acquisition of motor skills than practice.

The two most obvious effects of practice in the learning of motor skills are increased performance and increased accuracy (i.e., error reduction).

A skill may be practiced either continuously or with rest pauses. It has been shown that practice pauses are more efficient than continuous practice periods for the acquisition of motor learning skills. As the skill becomes well established and ingrained then practice sessions can be lengthened.

Practice in and of itself is insufficient for improvement. The student must remain determined, goal oriented, and practice with purpose. Unless the student practices with specific goals and a purpose, even simulating real course conditions, practice is essentially worthless and wasteful.

Some practice should occur under varying instructional or stressful conditions to help achieve a higher skill level.

Establishing reasonably difficult and specific yet attainable goals produces better performance than setting easy goals or a general, amorphous goal simply to do one's best.

Performance is influenced by previous experience. Factors such as the amount of practice, the motivation to practice and the method of training all affect performance.

Marc White is the PGA teaching professional at Oakhurst golf and country club, mlwpga@yahoo.com, marcwhitegolf .com, at 248-891-3321

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