There is a little chit chat about Tiger Woods and his amazing comeback and legacy. Enough with the tabloid drama, if this dude is able to bag another major, it will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in sports history!
Remember, it’s been 10 years since Tiger won his last major title. Ben Hogan had a great comeback after a life-threatening car accident in the 50s. Speaking of Ben, he was one of the best “practicers” ever in sports. Ben used to practice intently for 20 minutes in total solitude, then take a short break to reflect and absorb the neuro-muscular experience into his brain. Six decades later, the latest greatest brain research validates that we can only focus intently on a peak cognitive task for about 20 minutes before we require a break. Yes, you can bang out emails for longer than that, but your peak focus falters without these recharge periods.
Again we cover numerous concepts calling for deep reflection. “Humans are designed to solve problems.” This is when we feel most alive and fulfilled. Today as we pursue and avail ourselves to more and more comfort, we forget this truth and end up feeling unfulfilled. We speculate that Tiger in his prime had mastered the game and dominated the competition to such a great extent that he became bored and pursued the off-course distractions to his downfall. Now he has a daunting goal to try and return from layoffs and serious medical issues, so watch out!
More good stuff: “Failure is an opportunity to grow,” “emotions and subconscious are running the show”; The “10,000 hour rule,” popularized by Malcolm Gladwell but first conceived of by Christopher’s friend K. Anders Ericksson, has been misinterpreted and overhyped. Excellence and mastery are more about deliberate, context-specific, challenging practice. Yes, that could mean lots of hours are required, but we also have genetic considerations when we are in competitive environments. Do the best you can, get over yourself and have fun out there at whatever level you perform at, and train to trust! Whew, what a killer show and time for a break to go pick berries in Eugene.
Brad and Christopher look at the amazing comeback of Tiger Woods and relate it to all sports. [03:27]
Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out. [05:46]
We are giving up power to technology. We were designed to solve problems but now we are letting “things” do it. [08:34]
We need to acknowledge the abundance of information our brains are trying to deal with [14:44]
Can we rewire our subconscious? [15:05]
Emotions either give you energy or take the energy away. [17:15]
If we have gone through life avoiding failure, then there is no progress. [18:51]
Some champion golfers have displayed great class with the aftermath of losses. [20:38]
In golf and in life, if you want to get good, you have to give up being fair. And if you want to be great, you have to give up being good. Get out of your comfort zone. [22:56]
What is the Train to Trust program? [27:04]
We work best with segments of 15 to 20 minutes of undistracted work. [30:32]
Unlike other creatures, we have a large prefrontal cortex that allows us to choose what we want to pay attention to. [37:15]
- “Golf is the most random, chaotic and unpredictable game on the planet. Yet people practice it like a foul shot.”
- “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” (Wooden)
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:08 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high stress modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 03:30 Hey its Brad to introduce a another great show with Christopher Smith. Go listen to the first show. I tee him up and his accomplishments and his background. And so this time we’re just going to get into it man. And we’d get talking about some fun subjects. Again, for the general listener, even if you’re not a big time golfer, there’s the golf backdrop at some great insights about the importance of practicing with a purpose, uh, getting over yourself as a theme that’s woven throughout all this messaging, especially when it comes to golf because that’s where the personality flaws really come out and play out. When you get into that frustrating overly analytical mode on the golf course and you have a temper tantrum or you issue a litany of self limiting beliefs throughout the round to your playing partners, bare with me, haven’t played in a while.
Brad: 04:20 My knees really stiff, blah, blah, blah. But you know what? You’ll like our commentary about tiger woods, everyone’s favorite subject and the amazing comeback that he’s been on here in 2018 I think people overlook the fact that the level of struggle in surgeries and health misfortunes that he’s had as well as the personal misfortunes for him to battle back and be in contention and a major championship is an absolutely phenomenal athletic accomplishment. And if he were to win a major, which I think is going to happen, it looks good right now even though there’s a lot of competition, man. And that’s his fault cause he took this sport to the next level starting 22 years ago when he burst onto the professional circuit. Wow. I think he’s got a compelling challenge in front of them. And Christopher and I talk over that handicap his odds and, so forth.
Brad: 05:07 Uh, we also get into the popular concept of the 10,000 hour rule that was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell, but originally conceived of by a scientist named K Anders Ericsson, who is a friend of Christopher’s. They’ve associated on this level and Christopher gets into some details about how a lot of that’s bullshit. Some of it’s valid. So if you’re into pursuing excellence and mastery in life and also enjoying the ride along the way and join the walk in the park, which is one of the ways that Christopher refers to a round of golf, just to keep our perspective calibrated. You’ll love this show more from Christopher Smith show number two, enjoy.
Christopher: 05:46 Yeah, I think people, again, you have to have, this plan isn’t going to go that way. No. And, and I think this is again where people that have had adversity in their lives, just in any aspect, it might be difficult upbringing. Oh, things just didn’t work out the way I wanted it as the great John Wooden said, and I mentioned him earlier, you know, things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out and wow, what a great way to look at it. So yes, you need to pre program and plan. Now just because it doesn’t go your way. Does that mean you should give up on the pre-programming and the planning? No. Okay. Instead, what if you looked at it as a, how do people know that when they get laid off? Okay, where they hit a bad shot, maybe there’s a silver lining there.
Christopher: 06:29 Maybe there’s a blessing there. It’s not a curse. Oh, woe is me. I lost my job. Maybe just maybe you could look at it in a different spin. Oh, I just whipped it into the bunker when you know, what? Maybe you need to work on your bunker play. Okay. And maybe it’s just a test for you to see, to test your resolve, so to speak, cause things are not going to go, we all know that, always as planned. Let’s think about it. If it did in life and on the golf course, uh, you’d probably quit. It just be too easy. Oh, this is too easy. It’s no fun.
Brad: 07:02 Are you join the navy seals like Tiger Woods. Honestly, where it’s so easy for him and everything’s coming to him like magic that he had to divert himself into other challenges to make it difficult or rebuilding of swing for the heck of it. When you’re number one golfer in the world, I’m looking at that example thinking, wow, this, you know, this unsettled, you know, this desire for struggle is part and parcel of what made him great, but also maybe it was his undoing, jumping out of airplanes and injuring his knee and all that. But it’s like, wait a second, we’re, we’re looking at this whole package here and maybe that is part of the success formula to be the greatest athlete is, you know, some built in suffering because it’s so easy that you’re winning all the tournaments.
Christopher: 07:44 Yeah. I think with, you know, individuals like Tiger, I think honestly he got bored. He was, people don’t, you know, the, some of the younger listeners or viewers, people forget how much better he was than everyone. And we’re talking about the best players in the world. So whether it was influenced, you know, he certainly had a, a pension for a military things, uh, with, you know, his father’s relationship as a Green Beret. Uh, I think that was something he probably always found them doing it. I think he got bored. I think he got distracted. I also think with his, you know, with his golf swing, uh, Tiger’s always trying to get better. Even now he’s a, you know, he’s a different version. He can’t move the same way. And I think what you hear with a lot of a lot of successful people is they talk about, and I’ll use a Rory McElroy accent, they talk about the process.
Christopher: 08:34 It is a process. It’s a process of getting better. Taking certain steps is, it all is up, up, up now there’s peaks and valleys all the time. Okay. And so I think with, uh, as human beings, hopefully in his golfers, I know I’m going to be this way, you know, in 55 years old, uh, my body doesn’t move the way it used to. I am still every day trying to get better at golf. I’m trying to be a better person. I’m trying to be a better golfer. Can I move and swing the same way I did five years ago, 10 years ago? No. Okay. But for me, it’s kind of, it’s kind of fun because I have to adjust and adapt and improvise and really, you know, deep down we’re hardwired to do that. That’s what we’re hardwired to do as human beings. Otherwise, in my opinion, we wouldn’t be around anymore.
Christopher: 09:21 We are designed to solve problems. Now, what’s happening, not only in the golf world, but everywhere we’re having things, things that we plug in that we think are really, really smart. They’re solving the problems for us, but only to some extent. And so we’re giving up this power independence. We’re giving up this ingenuity that we all have to figure things out to solve problems to improvise. But I’ll just let this, you know, I’ll let Siri do it. I’ll let this do it. Really. I mean, pretty soon we’re just gonna let somebody wipe her own ass too. So where is it? Where, where’s it going to stop? I’ll let the car drive itself. Okay, great. So when the body goes and the mind goes, you know, that amount of laziness and we see it on the golf course too. And then I see that in practice.
Christopher: 10:11 So, uh, we have this inner, we all have this, you know, the computer that we call the human brain, you know, it makes everything else combined. Just, it just pales in comparison. So imagine you had the Uber Super Computer, the most incredible mind, body spirit system ever, and you just decided to turn it off. I’m just going to turn it off and let something inferior. But I think it’s okay. I think it’s better. I think it’s superior. That’s actually, it’s inferior. Really. I’m just going to turn it off cause I’m lazy and let somebody else do it for him. So then what happens is, well, what happens when you need it and he just going to turn it back on. So you got to keep it, you got to keep it going. You know you’re going to, you’re gonna lose it if you don’t use it. So heaven forbid people go out and play golf and you know, maybe play with a handful of clubs, going back to speed golf, people say, well how do you do that?
Christopher: 11:05 And I said, well here, watch this. Let me pick up this rock and here’s how far I can throw it at the maximum. Watch this, I can throw it, whatever, 30 yards. Now watch this. This is really cool. I can also throw it 15 yards and I can throw it underhand and I can throw it sidearm and I can throw it high and low and medium. People say, well of course you can. Well I can’t. You do that with your golf clubs because you haven’t learned to do it. Oh, how far away is that? Well, do you need to get your laser out and your GPS deal? You know, how do you think, let’s go way back. See, we’re all hardwired not only to to improvise, we’re hardwired to aim. So aiming and alignment is super important in golf. It is when you drive a car too.
Christopher: 11:44 So the caveman back in the day when he was out trying to survive, right? Trying to kill things with stones and spears, how did he aim? He ended with his eyes. So if you’d put a white, if our caveman had been blind, we wouldn’t be sitting around this conversation. They, cause we’d be gone, man, the saber tooth tigers would have been, would have taken over. So we’re hardwired to aim, but people need, you know, yardage finders and alignment sticks at their feed and blah blah blah. Really, caveman didn’t need that and he was pretty good. So my experience is when you, when you reawaken the inner genius that we all have, okay? It’s not a, it’s not a superhuman thing. And we were talking about Wim Hoff earlier. His feats are superhuman, okay? But if you did a DNA test or any other kind of test with Wim Hoff, he is not a superhuman being, he’s not an alien. Okay. He’s trained himself to be able to do these feats. Okay? So do we all have this inner genius of Holy Crap, I can aim, holy crap, I can do this. Okay. Cause I’m designed to do this. I’m designed to solve problems, okay? I’m a master compensator by the way. We all are so much of that in golf and in life, okay. Which is actually brilliant, but we’ve, you know, we’ve chosen, again, it’s our choice and let’s just turn it on and have somebody else do it for me. And, uh, I think it’s unfortunate.
Brad: 13:11 Well, my most profound example is using the GPS on your phone, which I absolutely love to do because I want life to be simple and I don’t want to waste brain energy on shit that I don’t have to. Albert Einstein’s great quote, uh, when he said, I don’t know my phone number and it will need to because I can easily look it up in the phone book. So he didn’t even memorize his own phone number. He memorized Pi to 100 points or, or invented it himself. But then we have the gps where you just push start and they tell you the best way to go. By the way, if there’s traffic, somehow it knows it’s pure genius that, that no Google maps.
Christopher: 13:48 I agree.
Brad: 13:48 But now I think back to when I used to ride my bike all over the place, especially coming into a new city and previewing the chorus or trying to get some exercise in. While I’m a based in Tampa, Florida, waiting a week until I fly to the Caribbean and you know, going in needing to do a three hour ride. And we had the printed maps if we were lucky, but we had to rely so much on intuition and memory and you know, taking a snapshot of, uh, of an intersection where were we, we know we’re going to head back there and want to make this a particular thing. And now I honestly, my sense of direction is it’s horribly suppressed and they can identify it now and then when my phone goes out of batteries or just in a random thing where I’m like, Whoa, we’re already back at your house, will trip out. It’s like, what, you know, we were making a loop the whole time, but, but we’re completely dulled to these things because we have the technology to replace it.
Christopher: 14:44 Yeah. Completely disconnected and liberal estimates will tell us that we are bringing in 11 million bits information per second,
Brad: 14:53 33 gigs a day. I’ve heard, which if you know, like, uh, an entire full length book, uh, is maybe a half a gig on the computer. So we’re exposed to 33 gigs of information.
Christopher: 15:05 Yeah. And so imagine you’re bringing in 11 million bits of information through your five senses. Those are the senses we know about folks. So there’s also ones that we don’t know about that we’re using. So if you’re bringing in that much information every second, why are you trying to add information from outside sources that creates confusion and doubt again, which are killers in whether it’s in your golf swing, on the golf course or in life as opposed to, hey, let me take in this information. That’s a lot of, it’s not happening consciously by the way, but we are going through our lives 95% of the time in a trance. We go through our lives and an unconscious fashion. It’s our unconscious that is running the show. So back to the sports psychology piece and then in the mental training piece and even changing the thoughts, I think a lot of where traditional sports psychology really misses the boat. Getting to the cause of things is if the unconscious or the subconscious is running the show, then why are they treating the conscious? See, that makes no sense to me. You know the person we talked about this earlier, that that slices the ball, they hit the ball to the right. Well, they aim to the left, but that’s just a bandaid. And so when you want to know why it’s going to the right in the first place, so can you rewire? Can you change the subconscious and the unconscious? Absolutely you can. Does that take time? Does it take different modalities? It does, but that’s what’s running the show. Our emotions and our subconscious are what’s running the show. So if you try to adjust the output by addressing the effects, let’s say the conscious and in my opinion, the thoughts, I think it’s very temporary. I’m not going to say it won’t work, but it’s very temporary. And what most people want. Back to the golf thing, I want something that transfers to the golf course and I want something that lasts. I don’t want it to go away. So I think those are directions that we all need to take in order to evolve a little bit and, and um, think react in, in ways that are maybe more beneficial.
Brad: 17:15 Again, the transfer over to, uh, trying to make it in your burgeoning career as a real estate agent and when your clients get, uh, get whiny and frustrated that they don’t like any of the six houses you showed for them and you have an emotional response and you mouth off, uh, some type of statement that compromises the client and the provider relationship and you keep going in this pattern, your career, struggling, whatever the example is in career. I see so much power there and I guess it’s coming from the athletic world myself and then going into the career world and realizing that managing my emotions and uh, speaking of those, um, whether the emotions, give you energy or take energy away, you know, and anger can be a fuel sometimes for a peak performance. John McEnroe showed us that and the tennis court where he deliberately would go pick a fight with a ball boy and making make a 13 year old kid cry. But he was, he was doing it in a deliberate manner because maybe he was bored and need to kick into gear number seven. Who knows what, but I identify the concept of getting discouraged and I shared this with my kids that I never ever want you to get discouraged. You can get any number of assorted other, uh, things like angry, frustrated, um, even, you know, desperate or, uh, you know, highly charged or whatever it is. But when you get discouraged, that’s like shutting that motor down and not giving yourself a chance to grow as a person through failure. Failure can either discourage you or it can be that growth opportunity where you sit back and say, okay, what am I going to do about it?
Christopher: 18:51 For sure. I mean, we’ve learned that failure is bad. It’s not bad. You can’t learn anything without failing.
Brad: 18:55 Oh, excuse me. Helicopter parents push the 15 second rewind button on your podcast APP now.
Christopher: 19:02 Yeah, I mean we can thanks. BF Skinner for part of that. Yeah. Failure, bad. Avoid failure. Really. So if, if we go through life and if we have gone through life avoiding failure, then there is no progress. Failure is simply feedback. It’s a fluctuation and it’s phenomenal feedback. No one has ever learned how to walk without falling ever. So if we could change the context and back to the discouragement and the disappointment, Brad, is there certainly a lot of that in, in the golf world, you know, Oh, I’m frustrated, I’m disappointed. Nine times out of 10 it’s because their expectations are too high and they look at failure as a negative. Why is it a negative? I don’t know. How many times did Thomas Edison fail? How many times did Abraham Lincoln fail? A lot.
Brad: 19:51 Okay.
Christopher: 19:52 Do you learn more when you fail or do you learn more when you succeed? Uh, you learn more when you fail. And what are we all here to do to learn more by listening to your podcasts? Of course. So, you know, when we succeed and succeed and things are Hunky Dory, boy that was a great experience. What did you learn? So, you know, more often than not my students after their round of golf, the first question I asked them is not what they shot and how they play it. I asked, what did you learn? So, and, and usually it’s when they
Brad: 20:22 not to go left on number 11. Yeah. Well cause I got a nine. Right?
Christopher: 20:26 You know, right or left here. So, okay. Well, um, and those, those answers are always better. They’re more profound or more meaningful when they didn’t perform maybe exactly how they wanted to.
Brad: 20:38 Do you think there’s some times, uh, when we see, uh, John Van de Velde in 1999 get a triple bogey on the 18th hole. When he had a, all you needed was a double to win the British open a journeyman player who had never possibly have another chance, which proved to be true. He’d never contended again in a major, but was there something deep down that he was not ready to become a major champion? So he self sabotage.
Christopher: 21:05 That’s a, that’s an interesting question.
Brad: 21:07 Well, I’m asking this for all the, the 51 – 39 players. Right? Could you describe that concept too? Didn’t you write about that in the book?
Christopher: 21:14 Sure. I think we all have our comfort zones, Brown and I, and I know having lived in France for six years and I was actually in France in 1999 and watching that on TV. In fact I did. I caught it that time, uh, in his own country due to some perceived or existing arrogance. There was a lot of French people that we’re not rooting for him. So a lot of them didn’t feel badly. I think as a golfer, anybody, it’s kind of like watching these brutal accidents. Uh, you know, when you see somebody do that, it hurts. I think, uh, the way he reacted to it and responded to it is beautiful. Um, I think it was a bit in, you know, because of denial and that was his way of kind of being cheerful and jolly and no big deal, even though it was a big deal. So, um, kind of, yeah.
Brad: 22:04 Greg Norman Masters choking. Same thing. He made that quip. That’s at least I’m flying home on my private jet, which is a nice quip to be, to be sure and drinking my own label wine on my flight home. I, so I’m okay with it. I’m like, no you’re not.
Speaker 3: 22:21 No you’re not. I mean, even at least at least Tiger had the honesty after, even though his kids were there watching him play in Scotland. Uh, he said, you know, afterwards this one’s going to sting and it’s going to bite for awhile. So he could say, oh no, it’s just great to be back. And yes I am. I’m blessed and I’m grateful, which I do think he is to some extent, but he said this hurts cause I was right there, you know, and that guy knows how to win. He’s not something that’s hard, you know, ingrained in him. I wouldn’t say hard wired. I don’t think he came out of the womb that way. I think there’s things that we come into this world with, if you want to call them gifts or straight or traits, uh, that some people have and some people don’t have.
Christopher: 22:56 They might be genetic, they might be other. That’s an entirely other topic. But at least he was honest enough to say, Hey, yeah, I’m disappointed. You know, this one’s going, this one’s going to hurt because I was close. Um, you know, back to this idea of, I think we all in life and on the golf course, we have a comfort zone. There’s, and comfort zones are beautiful places. They really are, but nothing ever grows there. So if you’re comfortable where you want to be, then just stay there. Uh, if you want to get better than that is going to involve some discomfort. Might you get worse before you get better? Yes. However, uh, if you don’t want to take that chance and you just want to hang out in your little comfy zone where you’re at, that’s cool. And so I, I mean, I, I, I see this everyday with people’s golf swings and their grips and they’re, well, that’s not fine Dude yes or no? Do you want to get better? And so, um, yeah, I’m a firm believer that in golf and in life, if you want to get good, you have to give up being fair. And if you want to be great, you have to give up being good. Now if you are not ready or willing to give up being fair and good, I’m cool with that. I totally understand it. You know, I can handle that. But don’t complain or wonder why you’re not getting better if you’re not ready to sacrifice and give, you know, the current level up and a lot of people, again, it goes back to the known, oh, I’m just, this is my known swing. This is my known thing. Fine. Then just keep shooting 80 the rest of your life. Do you want to break 70? Here’s what you need to do. Is it going to be uncomfortable? Yes. Is it the unknown? Yes. Might you 90 before you start shooting 75 on a regular, yes. Your choice. So as free country still barely, ah, no political tone there, but it is your choice. So you choose, okay. Do you want to get better? Do you want to better your best or do you just want to hang in the comfort zone? This is comfortable garden here. That’s not my choice. I can give you options though. Can I? Sure.
Brad: 24:51 Yeah. I subscribe to the idea that you should engage in email during focused periods and then shut it off to pursue the peak cognitive tasks that you have prioritized on a to do list for the day. And I tell people about this and I mentioned it a lot and then I look at my own life and realize that I’m um, I have a shortcoming there and part of it’s the dopamine hit that you get from new and fresh stimulation. So whenever the text message dings, you get an immediate payoff and it, it’s a highly addictive, right? And so why do I have these stated goals that are not putting forth in my life and not executing? And it’s due to the laziness, the comfort zone. Something is not a boosting me over to the other side where I know I’m going to get greater happiness and fulfillment. If I can complete a chapter of my book and do this wonderful work that’s sort of been lingering and there’s peace, there’s missing pieces and puzzle pieces all over the place on different files, which is how you write a book. Um, it’s tough work and you need that complete focus and dedication and instead I’m dripping through them in this cognitive middle gear is Dr Tommy Wood quoting someone else, calls it where we’re, we’re multitasking and we’re doing a shit job on, uh, on all accounts. And I think back to golf or going the other direction now where you have people that practice a little bit and they give themselves a few putts here and there. So they’re in this tremendous comfort zone that they obviously don’t want to break out of or they say that they do, but they’re not willing to do the hard work.
Christopher: 26:19 Yeah. And the focus piece is huge. One of the, one of the people that I’ve integrated into my Train to Trust programs that I had mentioned earlier. It’s a combination of my own experience through trials and tribulations and a lot of failures and what I learned through speed golf and becoming a Guinness World record holder and speed golf and lots of rounds under par and under an hour.
Brad: 26:41 And that’s a good like license plate frame or something under par in under an hour. Uh, can we raise your hand, all, all those on the planet who are a member of that club? How many members of that club do you, would you guess there are in the world? Did that have shot under par and under an hour?
Christopher: 26:58 Depends if you are in a golf cart or not. Or maybe it really fast golf at
Brad: 27:01 The golf cart’s going to get blown away by a good speed golfer.
Christopher: 27:04 Possibly. Yeah, possibly. But anyway, the, uh, back to the, uh, you know, what is the train, the Train to Trust program is I brought, you know, this is 20 to 25 years of my own gleanings of information from neuroscience and neuroscientists, a human performance experts and motor learning specialists, people that know how we learn motor task movement. Anyway, one of the people that came into my life a few years ago, it was Dr. K Anders Ericsson, who was kind of the founding father of the 10,000 hour hypothesis, which we won’t get into. And I’ve spoken on it at that on multiple occasions in reference to golf. And it’s a, it’s a bit of a pipe dream that if you put 10,000 hours of deliberate practice into something, you will become an expert.
Brad: 27:48 Well it’s not a pipe dream for the guy from where’s he from? Portland. There was actually doing it and he’s got a website. Yeah. Counting is hours and he’s up at 7,000 hours or something.
Christopher: 27:57 Actually, the reality of that story is he is now disproved the hypothesis. Right. Cause he stopped after 6,500 hours due to injury. Yeah. So, uh, he’s actually a perfect example. Hypothesis, hypotheses. I believe it’s the plural. Uh, those are things that have not been proven yet. It’s not a fact. Okay. You know, the planet, the planet earth is round fact. Okay. Uh, putting 10,000 hours of something of deliberate practice. And I do like this and this is what I wanted to go to. This idea of deliberate practice is very focused. So it’s the opposite of multitasking. And we were fortunate enough to actually speak with Dr. Erickson several times and fascinating guy. However, he’s a professor of psychology at Florida State University and just for just for all the listeners. So they, this is a perfect example of people taking for granted. People saying, well, this is, this is law. This is the way it is. Uh, there was a study done. So the origin of the 10,000 hour hypothesis, it’s not a theory, it’s a hypothesis. It is one group of elite violin players in Berlin. From that came the 10,000 hour hypothesis and everybody buys into it as if it’s law or lower. Okay.
Christopher: 29:15 However, I do like the idea and one of the things that candor shared with us is this idea of deliberate practice, which is highly focused, no multitasking work. And so in a golf realm or if it’s in your work realm, this would mean no distractions. I am really focused, you know, in Brad’s case and writing, finishing this chapter in this book. So what’s interesting is if you physically remove the potential distractions, uh, it’s way easier. Okay. Because we, uh, I think this goes back to our hunter gatherer days were designed. If something flies by, we’re kind of like the cats and the dogs. Okay. Uh, we may immediately go and pay attention to that. Okay. So that can be a distraction. So for example, you know, get your phone out of the room, get these other distractions out of the room. Now on a driving range, and I’ve used this example in many, many cases and I wrote about it in 99 Swing Thoughts. Arguably the greatest practicer of all time was Ben Hogan. I’m sure there’s people that might be equal to him, but maybe the best of all time. And I had a chance to interview an individual who wrote the book “My Afternoons with Mr. Hogan”, Jody Vasquez. And he actually caddied for Mr. Hogan in his later days at Shady Oaks Golf Course in Fort Worth, Texas. And so I wrote an entire chapter or two on, on practice and this was 10 years ago.
Christopher: 30:32 So hopefully I’m a little smarter now than I was then. But really what I asked Mr. Vasquez is gimme the gimme the poop on how Hogan practice. I don’t want the urban legends, you know, this stuff that you read online or so and so said this. And while you know, and there’s so much crap out there in golf and everywhere, so he shared a few things. A, they’re top secret that I can’t share with the listeners. But, uh, one of the things he’s told me is he would always go to the very far end of the range where nobody would bother him. First of all, no distractions. So the phone wasn’t ringing. You know, the current modern day player will start to practice and then people come over and talk, talk to him. You know, it turns into happy hour. It’s social hour. Okay. So I told him, I says, okay, that’s what you’re there for.
Speaker 3: 31:15 If that’s what you’re there for, you don’t give a crap. But if you’re there to get better and you’re there to do focused, deliberate practice, uh, you need to get a hat that says, leave me the F…. Alone. Okay, now you can take that hat off when you’re done practicing for your hour or whatever it may be. But in the interim, people coming over, are you checking your phone? K is not the best way to practice. You’re not going to get the most out of it. So anyway, a Hogan would go to the end of the range and because he was Hogan, if anybody got within 50 yards of him, he would turn and glare at them with the, with the evil eye and they turn around and walk the other way. So that was one thing. The other thing that we now know from a learning science standpoint is, and this can help people with their golf in addition to you with your, uh, you know, the book writing is we work really well in, in 15 to 20 minutes segments of really intense focused practice and quality work.
Christopher: 32:12 So try this, do 15 to 20 minutes of undistracted. It’s really undistracted, really focused, high quality work. Then guess what you need to do? Just like coach Barment said, take a break. You need to rest. Stop doing whatever you’re doing. Now people say, oh, wait a minute. I want to make a few more swings. I want to write a few more lines. I’m wasting time, not doing. Incorrect. You see, the thing that’s doing all the learning and all the work is your brain. Okay? It needs in addition to your body, if it’s an athletic endeavor, but the brain is running the show, it needs time. These little pauses, these little breaks, five minutes, every 20 minutes to process, digest, and assimilate, whatever it is you’re learning or doing. So the downtime, the rest is just as important from a mental cognitive standpoint as it is from a physical standpoint.
Speaker 3: 33:11 Anyway, back to uh, Mr. Vasquez and how Hogan practice. Ben Hogan knew absolutely nothing about neuroscience. He probably didn’t even know how to what it was. Okay. However, one of the interesting things that Basquez shared with me is Hogan would go to the end of the range, leave me alone, blah, blah, blah. He would practice something specifically for 15 to 20 to 25 minutes and then he would stop, go stand next to his bag, smoke a cigarette or two and reflect on and think about what he had just done for about five minutes. Then he would go back and do another block of 15, 20, 25 minutes, highly focused, leave me alone. Then he’d go back, take this little pause. Okay. He infused nicotine into it, which apparently has some interesting learning benefits. Um, anyway, that’s the way he practiced and obviously what he did transfer to the golf course.
Christopher: 34:06 It was a guy who particularly later in his years could not make a lot of golf swings. He was on a ball count because of the injuries. I think that’s something that back to Tiger that he’s going to need to do because he’s only got so many swings left in that fused back. Uh, his practice needs to be precious. It needs to be incredibly high, high quality. Um, and I think those, those are things that we could all remember that if you could make it higher quality, make it context specific. You know, have people stay out of your way. You know, if you want to go have a beer and Kibitz with people, find, do it afterwards, you know, that’s cool. But if you’re out there to get work done and to get better, finish your chapter, get something done at work. You know, you need to go into that away from multitasking. Okay, undistracted and, and you’ll get more done. And then give yourself a pause. That means don’t just reflect on, think about, ponder what it is you’ve just done. Your brain will actually appreciate and you’ll be more effective.
Brad: 35:06 I think we have to decide to make that commitment and buy in to this stuff. And I talked to endurance athletes all the time. Like I said, when I said it’s okay to go on the range and chit chat and drink a beer or go to top golf and have your slice of pizza half chewed and then it’s your turn to hit. That’s okay. There’s no judgment here. And with the endurance athletes that I worked with, I said, you know, everyone deserves to go and blow off some energy from a stressful day at work or family and get out there on the road, but don’t. I’m looking at your questionnaire right here and it says, I want to get better. I want to make the podium in my age division. I want to be a role model for my children to see a hardworking peak performer that sets a goal and achieves it.. And I go, don’t write that and then go out there and train at an inappropriate pace because you just liked to below your competitive jet’s out, uh, after a hard day at work.
Brad: 35:56 And again, if you just want to be, if you just want to be that person that puts in miles and goes home and writes it on a piece of paper and that’s your maximum enjoyment level and you don’t care about anything else, like, uh, you know, reaching your potential and competition, that’s fine. But I think the problem is like, I just verbalize that I want to get better at reducing distractions and staying focused on cognitive tasks at my computer. And I suck at it right now or whatever my score is. It’s not good enough for my purposes. So I need to, you know, live in, in, in congruent with my, with my stated goals and values.
Brad: 36:29 Otherwise, that’s the greatest source of pain, I think is to say you want to get better as a golfer and then you can’t make yourself pull away from the allure of conceding and 18 inch putt because, uh, you, you, you made a, you had a Birdie putt most putts, conceited or that Birdie Putt, that misses. And I noticed some of these guys will, they’ll have a six footer for Birdie and they’ll run it three and a half feet past and everyone’s like, oh, too bad he didn’t get your birdie. And it’s just raked in like it doesn’t count the to try to make that part. But if you sweat over that par putt after missing a six foot Birdie Putt, that could ruin your whole day at golf. So you know, you better concede it or you better, you know, access a portal to a new dimension where you have another chance for a peak performance effort to save that par after the shittiest putt imaginable.
Christopher: 37:15 Yeah, there’s a lot of that, you know, and it’s interesting you go back to, well, why am I getting distracted? Well, what separates human beings from all other creatures, including primates. So we’re over 99% the same as all primates, a to tell you on that people. But that’s the truth. That’s the truth. Except for what are very large prefrontal cortex. So what people say, yeah, great. I have a large prefrontal cortex that allows us to choose what we want to pay attention to. We have that no other species on this planet does. So we can choose, because of this prefrontal Cortex, what we want to pay attention to. Now, does that mean it’s easy? No. Okay. But we have that gift. All of us do. I’m sure there’s some people that maybe, unfortunately don’t have that prefrontal cortex, so whatever flies by at any given time, but we’re us humans.
Christopher: 38:19 We’re kind of evolving that way. Oh, I just got a new text message. I got distracted. The latest and greatest seems to be what’s more important now than what’s really important. However, that can be also, hey, I’m going to put my attention on this. I’m going to focus on this, and it’s okay for me to only do it for 15 or 20 minutes and then I’m going to take a break. Okay? So those have nothing to do with how to swing the golf club. They have something to do with how to train, how to work, how to be more effective. And also what if you now you know that okay, that you actually, if you have a prefrontal cortex with most people listening to this, do okay. That gives us the ability to choose. I get to choose. Guess who’s in control? I am in control.
Christopher: 39:04 And so even though there’s a lot of chaos out there in the world, you know, when we’re playing golf or in the workplace or doing whatever you are in charge, it’s not them. It’s not it. Okay. Take control, take charge. Doesn’t mean it’s always going to go your way. But nothing ever has nothing ever will.
Brad: 39:23 That is a beautiful closing thought. I think Christopher, you’ve given us so much to think about. My head’s blowing up, but I’m formulating a plan of action to, to overcome this comfort zone, uh, momentum. And I think it’s a wonderful thought to take away, reflect on areas where we can, can learn, grow, maybe even risk failure horrors, horrors. Or if you’re a parent listening right now, maybe it’s okay to allow your kid to, to fail that class and not, you know, email the teacher about the makeup homework possibilities. And the lifesaving techniques and the life rafts
Christopher: 39:58 For sure. It’s a, it’s a possible paradigm. So if, uh, again, if, if what people are doing is, is working, you’re happy, you’re content, you’re leading a meaningful life, uh, your golf ball is behaving most of the time. As trivial as that is, keep doing what you’re doing and if not, know that there are some alternatives and they are within your grasp. A lot of these things we’ve talked about, Brad, do you need a lot of money to do these things? No.
Brad: 40:29 Garage sale clubs for sure. Sale for you to take charge craigslist, you can get a chest freezer on Craig’s list and a nice set of irons.
Christopher: 40:38 There you go. Maybe you get a two for one.
Brad: 40:40 Even with the, with the clubs inside the chest freezer, Christopher Smith Train to Trust. Find out everything at christophersmithgolf.com right.?
Christopher: 40:52 You got it, Brad. Thank you very much for the, uh, for the chat. Very enlightening. As always.
Brad: 40:56 Fun stuff. Thank you for listening.