I would like to talk with you a little bit about how to learn and how to practice. I feel that over the years the way people have been taught and the things that they have been told to do has always been very misleading. It has always been 'why don't you try this or try that,' and that is not a good way to learn.
Jim Colbert's Practice Philosophy
Jim Colbert told me a story once that meant a lot to me and I share it with my students all the time. After he had become a very successful player he told me that the way that he changed his swing was that when he came to me he already knew what I taught was right.
He believed in my method because he had seen players who had come to me for help that he could beat and after they had spent time with me they were winning tournaments and he could not beat them anymore. He knew that it was right because he had seen it work. That gave him the confidence to say to himself when he practiced that he had to follow the method, that he had to stick with it.
The Right Mindset for Practice
If you go out and hit a few bad shots at first it would be real easy to say that 'this Ballard thing' does not work, that you are going to try something a little different. What you have to do as a person when you are learning is believe that what you are doing is right and the reason it did not work is that you just did not do it right.
You have to keep trying, keep your thoughts together and actually make the changes, they do not happen the first time. Whether it is my method or someone else’s method, you need to decide what you like, then when you go to the practice tee work on those things. Have some goals set and know what you are trying to do. Work on the same thing everyday so that you can make some changes. Otherwise it is like the dog chasing its tail, try this try that will not get it done.