Off to See the Wizard

By TJ Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Instructor

Deliberate-practiceHere is a sobering fact: Your brain doesn’t care what it learns — it doesn’t have a quality detector so, if you’re not on the ball, you’ll learn the bad right along with the good – and once you’ve learned the bad, it’s problematic getting it out of there.

Here’s what good leaners can do: They can vet their own learning – they can separate the correct from the incorrect, the genuine from the real and they are especially good at identifying the important and ignoring the unimportant. Great learners don’t know all the answers, but they do know the right questions and it is this knowledge of what to ask that sets them off on a journey of acquisition – aka it’s “Off to See the Wizard.”

Anders Ericsson, a professor of psychology at Florida State University, co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance,documents that know-how is the result of a single process – deliberate practice he calls it- where you concentrate on improving one aspect of performance at a time. Deliberate practice means working on technique, seeking constant critical feedback, and focusing on improving weaknesses. The message is clear: If you have not already done so you need to shape your golf learning to match this proven procedure – which, of course, is what we do here at Keiser University College of Golf.

I’ll talk more in subsequent articles about this research and how you can bring your pursuit of answers to keystone questions into line with how your brain learns naturally, but here it is the good news in a nutshell — you can learn to be great.