What do you want to achieve going forwards? Maybe this is a great time to re-assess and formulate a new plan on how best to improve? I often like to use the analogy of going on a car journey as a way of giving clarity to the initial phase of formulating a development plan. I am however convinced that watching hour after hour of random social media videos can often do more harm than help in pointing the way forwards!
If we're going on a journey we definitely need to know where we're going? You will not end at your destination if you don't clearly mark where it is, this is what I often describe as the Big Dream Goal. I'm not a massive fan of all goals but I'm mad keen for you to have this one in your plan in big bold letters right at the top! It might be to win the Open Championship it might be just to get to single figures or break 100 for the first time, but this Big Dream Goal will underpin lots of your motivation and provide a direction for your efforts.
In addition we also need to know where the journey starts. This may seem very obvious but a detailed appraisal of a players game has to be the starting point otherwise the route we take can be longer than needed.
How we get to that destination can obviously depend on many factors, lots of these are out of your control and so setting timescales and specific achievements can be folly and at times demotivating if we don't achieve them. For example on that car journey we may have a breakdown and have to be towed to the nearest city to be repaired, this could be miles away and add days to a journey. Equally in golf you could get injured and miss a whole season, at the time of writing we are in in world lockdown for coronavirus and so with no golf all timescale goals are totally screwed up!
Setting goals like winning a tournament or making a particular college or national team also depend on how other players perform or even worse peoples opinions. While these may serve in some form as mini dream goals I find they are next to useless in improving performance.
Yes I will totally admit if you're going on a long journey there have to be milestones along the way. These help us understand we are on track to our final destination and they definitely motivate us to keep going on a journey that may already have been arduous.
If a talented young Amateur's big dream is to get in the Ryder Cup Team, it goes without saying they have to have success as an amateur, turn Pro, get a tour card, establish themselves on tour, win some tournaments etc. I would always acknowledge these milestones, if a player wanted to write them down then that's fine but to hold them accountable and even worse on a timescale I feel serves no purpose.
They are outcome goals based on far far too many factors to be able to focus on them with any intensity on a day to day basis. What matters most is that you know what to do right here right now.
Imagine getting to the end of your road and not knowing whether to turn left or right? Aimlessly hoping you'll find your way to the landing place with a left turn here and a right turn there, not knowing when to get off the motorway.
This is a little like using YouTube Videos as your sole source of golf development, its like playing Russian roulette. Yes there are many really good YouTube Videos and if you're looking at the ones that apply to your development then they can be fantastic source of education. In fact I actively encourage my players to watch specific ones!
The real trick is to know what areas are most important for you to think about and work on right now? The route you take can only be determined by what you do next, nothing else matters. If you take control of your next steps and they're going in the right direction you won't get lost or have to double back on yourself.
So what does a golfers route map look like?
It has the big dream destination, it might have some mini dream milestones but it definitely has lots and lots of small process goals guiding the way on the journey. Process driven goals are the actions you take on a daily and weekly basis the key to success in my opinion.
They can be wide and varied, from a change in technique, to spend more time on putting, to find a new piece of equipment and can encompass many areas of our multi faceted game.
Probably the hardest part of improving quickly and successfully at golf is choose where and what to focus your attention on! There are a number of ways we can solve this problem.
1. Talk to your coach
2. Gather Performance Statistics (click to see previous blog)
3. Use previous lessons as the starting point if not currently working with a coach.
4. If you've never had a coach seek out a good one in your area.
5. Write down what you initially need to accomplish and how you're going to do it?
Planning is one of the pillars of my 5P's of Winning Golf. Without a deep understanding of your own game or the help of an experienced coach I believe you will make mistakes and waste time and effort on your development.
If anyone would like a free of charge 30 minute consultation on how to move forward with their game, formulate a plan and set some process goals I'd be more than happy to chat it through with you?
Click the link below to book.