You have a choice:
If you want to improve you have to do the work.
Change is a challenging process... Especially significant movement changes in your swing.
The kind of work you do to make that change... is your choice.
Old school (harder)... Is all about volume of repetitions.
The old school methodology is... the more reps you do the faster you'll change.
Go to the range and keep hitting balls until you figure it out.
New school (smarter)... Is all about the quality of the repetitions.
You still have to do repetitions to make a change and you have to do them consistently or the change won't take hold.
BUT... When you focus on quality of repetitions you dramatically reduce the volume that you have to do in order to get better.
What does quality of repetitions mean?
It means, how close is each repetition to the ideal movement you want to make.
The closer your repetitions are to 100% ideal... The quicker you're moving toward making the change you want.
The challenge is that your brain and your body like to do what they are used to.
Which is why your level of awareness is so important to your success in making changes and improving faster.
If you can't accurately feel the difference between the old movement and the new movement... How can you accurately assess your quality?
The answer is you can't.
Which means when you're trying to make a challenging change... you need to raise your awareness FIRST before you try to get results (hit better shots).
Raising awareness means increasing the accuracy of your FEEL relative to the movements in your swing.
The best way to raise your awareness is to close your eyes or to go slower.
Both closing your eyes and going slower heighten the accuracy of your feel for the movements in your swing.
Let me use a school analogy to further clarify the importance of awareness.
If you want to learn a new concept in school you study it a little bit every day.
Then you take a quiz to see how the learning is going along.
Then you take a test.
Swinging the club with your eyes closed or going slow is studying the new concept.
Hitting a shot at the range is like taking a quiz.
Hitting a shot on the course or in a tournament is taking a test.
You need to make sure you're doing enough studying to accurately understand the material before you take a quiz or take a test.
I like to do a couple weeks of slow motion swings and eyes closed swings away from the range to get a very accurate feel for the new movement before I try to take it to the range.
I have found old habits are much less likely to come back when I start with this awareness process first.
I have also found the increased awareness help increase trust in the new movement. Trust is one of the keys to the movement holding up under pressure.