The Famous quote ( press conference) from Allen Iverson was in reference to the coach saying Iverson was dogging it in practice. While “some” highly skilled professional basketball players may think practice isn’t important and they have their skills honed in as an individual, practicing as a team is a very important part of winning championships. Last timeI checked Allen did NOT win a ring as a pro. Team sports are much different than individual sports and certainly require game plans and executing them in order to be the best, but without a serious training regiment and the willingness to get the most out of practice, you can only go so far.
Disc golf like all other individual sports requires spending time practicing to improve or maintain a high level of play. You wanna get better at throwing a roller? Well,,,throwing 1 or 2 during your afternoon bag tag challenge a few times a week is better than nothing, but pales in comparison to throwing 30 rollers in 10 minutes in a field.
Practice and training takes time and commitment and you have to understand the importance of working things out in practice and then bringing them to the game once you have developed the confidence.
So you heard about a grip different than yours, or a longer run up, a longer back swing, more follow through??? You saw a guy throw over the trees on a hole at your home course that you always try to thread the needle. You want to improve you game?? Really?? How long do you want it to take to get better??
You think you can do it while playing for score in your monday night league? Sure, you can get a little better, slowly but surely,,,,, but guys that are really good at disc golf train like true professionals. They are constantly trying new things, a new disc, honing down a hole on thursday for the upcoming event. Working these things out on the practice field and then implementing changes into your game day, require developing lots of confidence in the changes. The worst thing a player can do is lack confidence in a shot or a disc.
In this blog today I want to be clear,,, if you play disc golf for fun and just don’t have the time to practice, than have fun at your league night, have fun in your round with your friends and have fun when you get the chance to play a tourney on the weekend. For players that want to get the most of their skills and challenge themselves to be the best they can be, its practicing and working hard that will get the best and fastest results.
When I first started traveling out of town to compete at disc golf in 1983,, I realized a few things:
1) I had as much disc golf skill as anyone.
2) My 18 years of playing sports had me in as good of shape as any disc golfer I had met.
3) my years of team sports and being a part of lots of winning teams and knowing what it took to get there all started with combining DESIRE with practice and being prepared!
So, my desire to win was also up there with the likes of Dave Greenwell, Johnny Sias and Steve Wisecup. Seeing these guys compete at the highest level and their determination to win and be the best,,,, immediately inspired me to do what was necessary in order to “HANG” with them,,,which was,,,,practice more, train harder and be more prepared than anyone else.
I started setting goals for my training regiment which included number of reps per week for putting,laying up and drives. I set a goal to improve my game and be able to “BEAT” these guys.
While my natural abilities had gotten me close, I had a long way to go and i knew right away that it wasn’t possible without practice and training.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to cover many areas of training and practice routines,, from 10 foot putts, to monster rollers and even diet and cross training exercises.
I’ll close this blogpost out by mentioning the fact that starting at about 16 years old I saw Nikko put in more time practice putting in my backyard then anyone could have possibly put in (sure may have been grounded to the yard, but he sure made use of his time there). He eventually combined his off course training which included lots of practice shots in an open field with after schools rounds of disc golf at Endicott park,,, often playing by himself and throwing 4 or 5 drives and lay ups on every hole, often 2 or 3 rounds a day. Of course Nikko started with a ton of skill but it was the hours of practice that catapulted him from a decent amateur to one of the best players to have ever played this game.
Of course there’s always one or two guys that seem to do well without training, but most likely this isn’t you. While in Florida back in winter of 1998/99 we were at Ken Climo’s playing cards,, every time ken folded a hand, he ran outside and threw a few dozen putts. After 4 hours of card playing Ken had about 300 putts thrown. So even with 9 consecutive pdga world championships Ken was still very at adamant about his training,,,that’s why he’s the champ!
Check back soon for some of the training methods that I have used as well as many of the other top players in the sport today.