Practice and the diminishing return
April 17, 2015
Long ago during my time as a Bodybuilder, among many things, I learned a very important lesson. This lesson has held true in every endeavor I have sought to take on.The more you improve the harder it is to get better. Going from bad to good is much much easier than going from great to world class. World Class is very rare territory. The line is extremely thin but the gap is vast.
Diminishing Returns are the rule. You start bumping up against your potential. How do you determine your potential? An honest coach could tell you but I think you should ask yourself a very honest question. What makes me different than everyone else that plays this game? Do I hit the ball farther off the tee? Am I a better putter than anyone I know? Is my wedge game better than anyone I have ever played against? Do I have a knack for scoring going low? You have to be better at one aspect of the game than anyone you know. Then you build off that strength. Thats the question.
There are four things I have found it takes to be world class:
Number one – Physical genetics. A jockey could never be a great NBA player no matter how hard he worked at it.
Number two – ‘Grit’ determination and or attitude. You must be willing to work harder than everyone you know and never complain about it. Ninety nine percent of all people will lack this ability.
Number three – access. You have to have a place in which to hone you skills and the money to do it. This is a deal breaker for most as it takes great sacrifice by more than just the athlete here. It takes sacrifice from parents, friends, golf course staff, coaches, loved ones and more.
Number four – correct coaching. It has been my experience that many potentially great or even world class players are ruined by well meaning but utterly unqualified coaches. Wrong instruction and coaching can be more detrimental to an athlete than any other single element. If you get a young person to myelinate the wrong patterns in his brain it’s extremely difficult for a new pattern to override the old pattern. It can be done and I have coached kids to do it, but it sucks valuable energy away from the time they would have used to be great. Developing new patterns is so difficult for some kids and adults that many quit. Thats how devastating bad coaching can be. The game of golf has not grown due to this problem. You would be far better off with no coaching or lessons than with bad coaching. Great coaching can shortcut and accelerate your learning curve ten fold. Great coaching can save the athlete so much time and long term money that if you self coach in this day and time you are automatically well behind the athlete that is coached well and efficiently. But there’s also the problem. How do you find a great coach? Please read my other blog on correct coaching. There are many good coaches out there, but the problem is finding that 1 out of 10 who is competent and qualified.