Constantly Improving

While I cook my dinner this evening, I want to write to you very briefly about an experience. It doesn’t have anything to do with technology, but does have everything to do with learning.

I like to consider myself an amateur-1 golfer. I don’t know what my handicap is because we’d be there all day trying to figure it out. It basically comes down to the fact that I can hit a ball in a forward direction all the time, and where I want it to go some of the time.

Maybe amateur-1 is a bit gracious. You won’t see me on the Golf Channel any time soon.

So you’re probably wondering: “if you’re not very good, what does this have to do with learning?”

Everything. See, I used to not be able to hit the ball at all, as in zero out of ten times. In what’s amounted to roughly a total of 16 hours of practice overall, I’ve made great strides in my golf abilities and I think there’s a key to it, something I learned while reading The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. I won’t give the book away but the key here isn’t any special regimen or long hours of greuling practice. It’s repetition. If you want to know why, you’ll just have to read the book.

See, every time I go to the range, I practice maybe 30-45 minutes. I’m a computer guy, so my physical fitness right now wouldn’t allow for much more than that, anyway… that and my mild scoliosis always likes to make fun things involving slightly awkward back positions less fun.

The physical part is getting easier, and so is the consistency in my swing, without golf lessons. Granted lessons would definitely help me improve the finer motions, but I think it definitely goes to show that plain old practice works wonders.

I will have to work on the physical strength if I want distance, but I’m incredibly happy with how far I’ve come, on my own. If I ever had to leave the tech industry forever, I’d become a pro golfer. With enough quality practice, I might just be able to say that with real confidence.