Almost every one of us wants to improve at disc golf. I don’t know of any disc golfer who is 100% happy with their current skill set. Even Paul McBeth, the highest rated disc golfer in the history of the game, works daily to improve his disc golf skills. He is constantly measuring his performance, his improvements, and the distance to his next goals.
If you were to take all of the posts about improving people’s disc golf games off of Facebook, Reddit, and DGCR, you’d reduce web traffic from disc golfers by half at least. All that would be left is people bickering about which brand of disc is better or bragging about their 500 foot drives that aren’t real.
One of the most fundamental aspects of improvement in any field is that what gets measured gets managed. Measurement is critical in almost anything you want to do well. Without it, improvement is exponentially more difficult.
First, how do we know if we are improving if we don’t measure? Do you know your make % from 30 feet? Do you know how far your average 200 foot approach shot lands from the basket? Do you know how many times a round you 2 putt from inside the circle?
If we don’t take the time to measure the things we are trying to improve, we don’t really know if we are improving or not. Even if we notice some improvement, we don’t have a clue as to how much!
Second, without measurement, how do we know the biggest area of opportunity in our game? We might think that driving distance is our weakest point, but then when tracking we realize that 30 more feet on our drive wouldn’t actually lower our score at all.
We might think that putting is what we need to work on because we missed a big putt in competition. But then when we look closely we realize that was the only putt we missed inside the circle that whole day.
By measuring our skills, we get a clear idea of what needs to be “managed” in the first place.
Third, how can we set targets for improvement if we don’t know where we started or how much better we need or want to be? If we don’t measure, then we are left with the very vague “I want to get better”. That’s a very tough target to hit.
Now for the bonus. Often the simple act of measuring will produce improvements on its own. Just by paying attention to a particular aspect of your game, that part of your game will naturally improve.
I’m reminded of this past winter when I decided to finally learn to putt. I kept a putting log that kept track of thousands of practice putts over the span of several months. The simple fact that I had committed to myself to make entries in that log every single day is what motivated me to actually practice every single day (that and the fact that I was posting weekly updates here for all of you as well!!!). That, in turn, led to a vast improvement in my putting.
If I hadn’t started to measure, I never would have seen the improvement that I did.
The challenge is to actually pick some things you “think” you need to work on and measure them. Once you do, you’ll know if you really need to work on those disc golf skills or not.
If you decide that you do, indeed, need to work on those things, now you are well equipped to make improvement. You have a starting point determined. You can regularly compare to your starting marks. You can easily set a goal for improvement, giving yourself a target you can reach for daily.
If you think about it, almost all of you already do this in a broad sense anyway. It’s called keeping score. Your scores going down are how you know that you are getting better at the game as a whole, right? All this is is taking that broad measurement and making it more narrow in focus. Measure specific skills instead of the game as a whole.
So what do you need to measure? How much better do you want to get? What goal will you set for yourself based on that measurement? How are you going to improve your disc golf skills?
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