This is a guest post by coach, Matthew Cooke.
The term ‘Deliberate Practice’ has been widely used since being popularized by the great writer Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers”.
In this book he introduces us to “the 10,000-hour rule”, a concept that is believed to have come from a 1993 research paper written by Dr. Anders Ericsson, Cognitive Faculty Director at Florida State University, called “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance”.
Mr Gladwell has created a perception that expert performance is achievable after 10,000 hours of practice, which I believe to be untrue.
The magic 10,000 hour number was never actually mentioned by Dr. K Anders Ericsson. It is Mr Gladwell’s incorrect interpretation of the research paper. The acquisition of expert performance is different for everybody in every domain you could think of. What Dr. Ericsson and his team of researchers did discover, is that expertise and expert performance came to those who had spent more than 10,000 hours engaged in deliberate practice, which usually took around 10 years. Some domains took 9 thousand, some domains took 11 thousand etc.
So what is it, for us folk that don’t eat research papers, journal studies and spend 15 hours a day on Ted Talk’s YouTube channel?
Deliberate practice for golf
“Deliberate practice for golf is the amount of Game-Like repetitions a player gets during practice.” – Matthew Cooke
My reincarnation of Dr. K Anders Ericsson’s pioneering work runs right in line with his original.
“Deliberate practice is the engagement with full concentration in a training activity designed to improve a particular aspect of performance with immediate feedback, opportunities for gradual refinement by repetition and problem solving.”
Clear, concise and relatively easy to understand. Let’s go through it step by step. First off we’ll go into how to make it “Game like”.
“Game like” training for golf
It doesn’t matter what level golfer you are. I will categorize three very distinct levels that are hard to argue with (us golf coaches like to do that, argue): beginner, intermediate and advanced. Decipher the numerical value in your own time as it’s all relative. First we mustrecreate, then we must simulate and finally we regulate, which gives us opportunities tochunk. These are the principles to follow. There are differences in the specific design of practice tasks, but all are in bold!
How can a beginner have the same principles that an advanced golfer has? Here is how:
Thanks for reading – What you need to Improve your golf is Deliberate Practice!