Coaching for Player Development

There is persistent confusion in the sports world between what is known about, and practiced, as "skill," versus what is known about, and implemented, as "habit" development. That cannot possibly have come about intentionally. It certainly did not happen for lack of information. Resources are available in quantity, if not always in quality. But when the difference is mentioned, more often than not, it is greeted with blank stares rather than recognition.
Our goal here is specific. We want to provide just one missing ingredient that will help coaches raise their performance quotient a little, or a lot, depending on how much time and energy they have to pursue a new level.

At KeyGolf, we have discovered a couple of things: There is a fourth dimension to learning and performance, and ...

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do."
from Goethe

The KeyGolf Mission is to help coaches take their teams and players to the fourth level of development - The Habit level.

There is absolutely no doubt that players who master their skills so that they become habits consistently perform at a higher level than those who simply trudge along at the skill level.

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It may look as though few care very much about the formation of habits as the fourth dimension in learning, but we do not believe that is true. We think they care quite a lot. So why does "skill" continue as the center of attention? Likely because it is always hard to shake the ideas and behaviors of the past. So, in practice, there is often much concentration on the sharpening of skills, accompanied by a few words aimed at "bad" habits.

But the impression that skills and habits are really the same persists.

There are two innocent cracks in all that: one; the assumption that practice is primarily the repetition of a skill until it becomes "pressure-proofed," and two; the notion that skill is the highest level of learning and development.

"Habit" and "skill" are not the same thing. They are related, but each carries a different purpose. Both play a part in final development, but skills are third level and habits are a step above in the hierarchy of mastery. A skill must precede a habit, but one doesn't acquire a habit merely by practicing a skill. There is more to it than that...

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Update 12-27-07