The best book I have ever read is called Range by David Epstein.
I read it an integral part of my strength coaching career, back in 2020.
I am currently rereading it... and it's as good as I remember.
Since 2020, much of my mindset has shifted towards the golf world, and helping athletes within the sport.
With that in mind, I wanted to write an article about some critical highlights that I believe could benefit you...
A few central takeaways from the book were this:
In order to truly create depth within a certain topic, you first need a wider breadth.
Learning, in its truest form is slow, it takes time and is a process. We best learn through experiences; through success and failure, not having somebody else tell us what to do.
It's often best to approach topics and problems from an outsiders perspective.
There are SO MANY nuggets within the book that still to this day apply to my training programs and philosophy.
BUILD RANGE, DON'T JUST GOLF
Most reading this are golfers.
Because of this, they swing a golf club many times over the course of a round, and that's about it... so they think.
The truth is, the most resilient and adaptable golfers are the ones with the largest breadth of movement ability that underlies their golf performance.
While the motor solutions a golfer is creating in competition are limited, the underlying mechanisms of those solutions are very wide reaching!
The best golfers have a wide breadth of movement ability that they can draw upon on the course.
We should train with this in mind.
We should explore novel movement patterns and challenge our motor control in training!
Doing so will make our movement toolbox more diverse. It will give it that wider breadth that we're talking about!
Learning is SLOW
The second central piece of my philosophy that was developed, in part, from thoughts provoked by this book, is that I believe in order to create true long-term learning, we need to allow exploration and experience to fuel adaptation.
The moment a coach or teacher starts directing, commanding, and ordering an "ideal" methodology is the exact moment that long-term learning is disrupted.
Be a guide.
Be a sounding board.
Don't give athletes solutions.
Help them find them on their own.
I wrote about this in an IG Post >HERE< if you are interested!
Your Best GOLF may include Less GOLF
And I don't mean playing less golf... nobody wants that to happen.
The more the merrier.
I mean your best golf more than likely will happen when you play with a free spirit, an explorative mindset.
Stop trying to lock in the "ideal" swing.
Start playing free.
Enjoy the course. The conversation with playing partners. The weather. The beauty of the game.
Stop worrying about whether you get your hips through the ball.
Or whether your club is on plane.
Because there is a high probably that these thoughts are making you golf worse.
The toughest problems are solved when we take an outsiders viewpoint.
Play golf with this thought process and feeling.
Less worry about the score and your swing.
More presence, camaraderie, and exploration.
Let's build RANGE!
Let's learn slowly.
Let's play freely.
Let's go low!
Carter Schmitz, CSCS, TPI