If you are looking for maximum retention and the quickest imprinting of new habits, the motor learning scientists tell us you must obey the 80% rule at all times!
For every five repetitions, you perform at least four of them MUST be correct. If 80% of your repetitions are not correct your new habits will take significantly longer to replace the old patterns and may never become the new dominant patterns.
This is one of the primary reasons people perform better during lessons and at the range but, continue to struggle on the course. When practicing at the range, or being cued by the instructor, pressure is minimal so the new movement pattern works just fine.
When correct cuing from the instructor is not present or under the perceived pressure of play on the course…the old dominant habit patterns will always win.
Here are a few keys to using the 80% rule to help you change as fast as possible and retain as much as possible:
- Make swings without a ball to practice the new movement. It is much easier to ensure correct movement without the added pressure of the ball.
- Make slow or partial swings. Once you feel comfortable you can make correct movements with a ball, slower or smaller swings make it much easier to assess correct movement.
- Make at least 10-20 correct swings EVERY day for the first three weeks of the change. This is the most critical period and the body responds best to daily repetitions.
Remember, the goal for all swings is to shut off the brain during the swing and let the body swing the club. In order to trust the body will do its job correctly, you have to have built confidence in the results through quality practice AND the 80% rule!
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