Q&A

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  • How does The Deliberate Golfer differ from The Dan Plan? Inspired by Dan, there are of course many similarities between the projects. There are also a couple of key differences. Firstly, golf is my passion and I feel there is more likelihood in continuing a pursuit that you are inherently interested in, especially when deliberate practice is difficult by design. Secondly, I’ve afforded myself more time to complete the 10,000 hours within. Research by Ericsson and colleagues show that ten years is a typical average period of time required to achieve mastery of a skill or domain. Thirdly, I’m starting from a level of existing experience in golf that Dan did not have. Of course, this might prove to help in terms of building upon existing mental representations or equally hinder with regard to needing to unlearn poor techniques.
  • Doesn’t the 10,000 hour theory only apply in cases where the subject has started as a child or adolescent? No, not necessarily. The majority of retrospective studies have examined subjects who have achieved mastery in their subject in their early adult years. And the finding is that their deliberate practice training started in childhood. This is because time is more readily available the younger you when there are less demands and distractions. Plus, athletic pursuits such as gymnastics and swimming are also age limited so deliberate practice has to commence early. Pursuits such as golf, chess and the piano do not have to start as early and this is what I’m intent on proving.
  • Why do you wear gloves on both hands? I suffer with peripheral neuropathy in my hands, a condition which sees them get inflamed in hot conditions and equally sensitive to cold conditions. Through experimenting I’ve worked out a couple of ways to allow me to practice and play unaffected. Firstly I use extra thick Winn comfort golf grips on my clubs. And I find that wearing light winter gloves all year round allows me to grip the club consistently. As a result, I’m always interested to hear about winter gloves that others recommend.