This topic began in my head as I started to prepare for our first Junior Performance group of the year which takes place this week. It came up as a result of looking at a documentary on the Team Sky cycling team which covered how not only that particular team’s success was turned around, but also how it ultimately culminated in the entire British cycling team being the most successful team at the London Olympics in 2012.
The documentary eluded to how Team Sky effectively looked at every little detail that affected their performance and how they went about trying to make lots of marginal gains in order to lift their overall performance. I started thinking about my students and what they could control within their power in order to make them more prepared and more likely to shoot lower scores. This started me off with a simple checklist of things that a “Professional Amateur” would have and do, that an “Amateur-Amateur” would not! While making this list I also began to look at how many of these boxes I ticked….. Or rather how many I didn’t tick!!
• Towel – This may seem simple, however I must own up and admit I did not have this on my bag!!
• Yardage Laser – In Dubai I have relied on the GPS Systems in the buggy, while helpful to me this is not what a Professional would do….. So I went and bought one!
• Alignment sticks – Again while I had them lying around the school, they were not in my bag!! They are now!
• Sharpie – So simple, so cheap but yet many judt say “Titleist 4” on the first tee with no mark on their ball.
• Good Condition Gloves – Again some people may take this as a given, but on a day to day basis I see more ripped gloves than good condition ones!
• Look After your clubs – Keep them clean and ensure the grips are tacky….. If not change them!!!
• Use One Ball – Pro’s will use one brand and one type of ball, very rarely will they ever change ball as it provides them consistency.
• Distance Chart – For most the response I get is “I know how far it goes, I don’t need to write it down” but the purpose is not just knowing the distance but actually to enable a part of a good routine on the course.
• Gym routine – It doesn’t matter how pressurised or difficult your gym/physical routine is, but having something in place to help your mobility and ultimately keep injury at bay, can only help your performance!
• Custom Fitted Clubs – No pro uses “Off the Rack” Clubs, like a good suit it should fit you perfectly!
• Organised practice – Practice is not just about volume, it’s about making the most of the time you have. Whether that means 1 hour per week or 10, make those hours count!
• Keep Statistics – This is a great way to not only analyse your improvement as you make changes to your game, but also a great way to organise your practice based on what they tell you needs the most work. My preference for keeping stats tends to be Upgame and Golfstatlab but there are many more which you can choose.
Your homework for this week is to first look at the list and figure out which boxes do you not tick…. Then choose 3, and try to fix or improve them!! Make a start at becoming “A professional Amatuer”