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What can golfing legend Ben Hogan teach us about practice?
  • Calendar Mar 26, 2018
  • User Jared Wells
  • Category In Uncategorized
  • Comments 0 Comments
Ben Hogan Swinging Golf Club Ben Hogan used "deliberate practice" to rise to the top of the golf profession, winning an astounding nine Masters championships Students who struggle on tests and quizzes will often answer “Yes!” to the question, “Are you practicing at home?” And it’s often true. They go home and do their homework. But there is a difference between practice and what performance psychologists call “deliberate practice”. Deliberate practice has a few features -Deliberate practice is effortful. It feels difficult. It never devolves into mindless repetition. -It consists of breaking down the skill or behavior into small chunks, and practicing them individually -It involves constant evaluation, including measurement and feedback. This part can often be longer than the actual skill being practiced. As you probably are already thinking, these features are very often lacking in the way that students approach homework (and sometimes even teachers and tutors can overlook their importance). How can students apply “deliberate practice”? One of the ways we incorporate deliberate practice into our work here are Wells Academics is through our Math and Reading logs in our ACT and SAT programs. Each time a student makes an error on a problem, it’s up to them to rework the problem, showing all work, and write a sentence or two describing why they made the mistake they made, and what behavior needs to change in order to avoid that mistake in the future. However imperfectly this is done by the student, the effort put in gets the student thinking about how to change behavior next time (and of course, our instructors review the logs with the students to make sure that the right lessons are taken away). Students can do this with their homework as well. The difficulty, of course, is that it can feel much easier to just get a homework assignment done, rather than adding more work on top of a homework assignment. Deliberate practice does take a level of motivation to improve that many students might not have. But the key is keeping in mind what the purpose of the homework is. If the purpose for a student is to improve their ability in a class, then deliberate practice is what it will take. Check out this great article on deliberate practice, with some real world examples. Give us a call (858.551.2650) or email ( if you want to talk about how to help your son or daughter implement deliberate practice in their homework and studying! -Vince

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