Want to get better at disc golf? Stop playing!! (and start practicing)

Seriously I know it’s hard.  The sun is shining.  You have a couple of hours to yourself.  The course is just begging you to play.  Stop and ask yourself one question, “do I want to get better, or just have a good time?”  If the answer is get better you need to relax on the number of rounds you play and actually work on your game.  By no means am I the first person to discover this, but it is worth repeating, especially when getting better is the goal.  Still lots of things trick us into just playing rounds, even when doing that is to our detriment.

I mean I like to keep score?  It helps me know if I am improving, that’s why I  play rounds, right?  The problem is when you are playing rounds your score is always in the back of your mind.  Sometimes it dictates shots, other times it makes you tense up.  Your game and attitude are shaped by your score.  Bad shots that end up in good places can trick you into thinking you are better than what you are.  Score can be misleading.  The funniest part about it is what prevents you from scoring better is the fact that you can’t execute certain shots and you can’t get better at certain shots if you only throw them once a round and get frustrated when you miss.

But rounds are fun!!  That is true, very true, but you know what is even more fun?  Having the round of your life!  Making shots, playing smooth.  Knowing your discs and using them wisely.   I know sometimes when I have the course to myself I play two discs and play the whole course, essentially playing 36 holes at once.  Even this is a poor substitute for practice.  My odds for working on shots may be doubled but it still pales in comparison to throwing 100 of those.

But my friends are heading to the course,  what are we going to do just practise the whole time?  Look nobody likes to compete more than I do.  I say turn it into a game.  Spend the first 30 minutes throwing all your discs at a short target, then a medium, then a long one.  Pay attention to the ‘natural’ flight of each disc.  See what happens when you don’t force things.  Play catch.  Find the best line to toss into the wind, or with a cross wind, or back wind.   Take 15 minutes before every round, or an hour a week, or whatever you can muster. Either way remember this, the more you put into it the more you’ll get out of it.  Once you know how to get out of any jam, you will find yourself in less of them.

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