Find Your Balance
Training for peak performance is all about balance.
Here are two of the key balance scales to keep in mind when you're training.
Learning vs Patterning
Trust vs Test
Learning a new skill is a big challenge.
It is rarely comfortable.
When you do something different it usually feels bad until you have performed enough repetitions to make it feel more comfortable.
Efficient learning means you have to push yourself well beyond where you want to go with the change... and then work back toward your goal.
If you don't go past the goal and then work back the process of getting to the goal itself is much slower.
Patterning is all about doing a high volume of repetitions consistently correct... so that pattern becomes the dominant pattern from your brain to your muscles.
In essence... learning and patterning are the opposite of each other
Learning is about raising your awareness of the entire spectrum surrounding the movement you want.
Patterning is about performing the exact movement you want correctly as often as possible.
The balance maybe different for each skill that you are trying to learn or pattern.
The key is to know the difference between learning repetitions/practice and patterning repetitions/practice.
Keep them separate and you will get better faster and be able to take it to the course quicker.
Trust vs Test is all about the difference between building confidence in the skills you already have and testing those skills so they will hold up under pressure on the golf course.
When you hit the same shot with the same club over and over... you will hopefully experience high degree of success.
This will help you build trust in your ability to execute that shot and trust is a core component of self-belief and is the foundation for confidence.
When you hit different shots to different targets and the skill level required for those shots is high... you will test your skills.
Testing your skills is absolutely necessary if you want to be able to survive under pressure on the course and especially in tournaments.
Trust repetitions help build your self belief and give you confidence that you can execute the swing you want and the shot you want.
Test repetitions prepare you for executing the swing you want and the shot you want under pressure.
Finding your specific balance between Trust and Test is very fluid.
Certain shots and certain situations may require more trust repetitions.
Others may require testing yourself more severely giving yourself higher levels of challenge.
The key to both these balancing scales is keeping them in mind when you're practicing at the range and making sure you're finding your optimum balance or at least close to it.
The balance doesn't need to be perfect but it does need to be kept in mind to make sure you're mapping out optimum practice sessions more often.