Old 09-11-2013, 07:25 PM
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Shmacka Shmacka is offline
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Perfect practice makes perfect!

I like the discraft putting confidence clinic video(s?) hosted by Mark Ellis. Check them out on YouTube. Rather than teach you what to do with your hands, body, eyes, etc., they focus on making practice EFFECTIVE.

From an educator's standpoint, this is right on the money. Effective practice can be seen as (1) massed practice, in order to learn new content, skills, procedures. (2) distributed practice, to hone and maintain skills, knowledge, etc. Since you know HOW to putt, distributed practice is where to begin.

I'm relying on my memory, but the elements of effective practice outlined in the videos include:

2 sessions of 15 minutes daily. No more time should be committed, you face diminishing returns if you over practice, and that will be frustrating. Be like Little Richard, always quit while your audience (that's you, in this case) wants more.

Putting from your range, so that you are sinking your putts regularly. Train your brain to become confident in what your body is up to.

Stick with one mold, use two discs. (This is the hardest one for me, I like picking up the new hotness as soon as it becomes available).

Reward yourself for following good practice protocol. Small, measurable rewards
Will help you practice regularly. Obviously, a banana split each time would be yummy but stupid.

If anyone remembers other elements, please add them. I practice not as much as I could, but when I do, I try to follow these tips (except I am still throwing bangers, wizards, pa4s, APX's, and whatever cool disc comes my way).
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:23 AM
bnbanbury bnbanbury is offline
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i find that having a consistent routine helps me drown out any thoughts about missing the putt i am preparing to throw. I study the putt from behind my lie first and decide before i step behind my mini if i'm going to run it or not. Once i step behind my mini i pick a spot in the center of the pole and make that the only thing in the world that has my focus. I don't allow any thoughts about how to putt or the mechanics of putting. Your body knows how to putt as a result of the practice you've put in and allowing yourself to think about how to perform an action takes the fluidity out of the motion. Finally i accept the results and remind myself that even after performing all these steps perfectly i will miss some putts and that's ok.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:03 AM
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whatXhappened243 whatXhappened243 is offline
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It all starts with a consistent and deliberate practice routine. That is, your have to set attainable goals, focus on meeting those goals and focusing as much on form as results. In addition to what others have said, here are my thoughts, FWIW

When practicing before a round I like to start from one spot relatively close to the basket (within 10 ft); Ill try to sink 6-8 putts to get my confidence where it need to be. Then, move back 5 feet and repeat. Then another 5 five feet and repeat. Then, Ill move back another five feet and repeat one last time. After Im comfortable sinking shots from around 20 ft out, Ill move back in to about 10-15 ft from the basket and drop up my putters ( I have 3) in a line pointing straight to the basket, with each one spaced about 8-10 ft apart behind the previous one. This allows me to increase my putting distance a little at a time without changing the basic shot too much. I also try to shoot from one side of the basket at a time, so changes in the wind don't play too large a role in my shot. If at any point during my practice I start missing badly or too consistently, I stop and take a break. Reinforcing bad habits can be worse than no practice at all.

Also, if you have your own basket at home like I do, try removing the outer ring of chains. Getting used to hitting a small target at home makes hitting the chains on the course even easier

When it comes to actually going for your putts. Take your time to consider the shot before you even step up to your lie. Decide exactly what you want to do and execute it. I try to pick out a single link of chain near the center of the group and aim for that when I putt. It makes the whole target look that much bigger.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:22 AM
Spinthrift Spinthrift is offline
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Good tips. As others have done so above, I also endorse Bob Rotella's books, especially "Golf is a Game of Confidence" and "The Golfer's Mind."

Confidence comes not from experience, but from how you choose to think.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:31 AM
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wildwing wildwing is offline
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Originally Posted by knettles View Post
I used to have some trouble (still do) with this. I realized that while I was "confident", I was still screwing up one large aspect. I would focus on a putt and not realize my putting motion slowed down. That slowing down of the putt would make me fall short quite often. So now I just make sure that every putt is a relatively quick motion. I still focus on all my putts, but remind my arm from time to time to keep it quick.

Of course, if I just practiced more often this would be less of an issue as muscle memory would take over.
This. If I concentrate on "exploding" at the start of the motion going towards the basket, it always comes out solid. Most of the time, my putting motion is like my drive where I start slow, then snap at the very end. This leaves me short most of the time when it's a long putt. I'll compensate by flicking my wrist too much and miss to the right.

Other times, I'm so timid and get nervous, my putting motion reflects it, slow and timid.

Like everyone else says, practice and confidence are the key IMO. Both of which I lack and need to work on.

(Post 100! woohoo! thought I'd never get here! )
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:49 AM
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Stardoggy Stardoggy is online now
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Clear the mechanism.

Find your focus. Once I started concentrating on that single link in the chains (and ONLY that link), I started making 50% more putts.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:19 PM
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HeavyCritters HeavyCritters is offline
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Originally Posted by Stardoggy View Post
Clear the mechanism.

Find your focus. Once I started concentrating on that single link in the chains (and ONLY that link), I started making 50% more putts.
Good movie reference. Good movie.

Also, I agree. I actually aim for the pole, but that focus and a deep breath prior to the putt makes all the difference for me.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:08 AM
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Connorl Connorl is offline
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Alright, I've been reading and I feel like I can remember making more putts when I actually take time to focus on the pole (seeing as how that's how I aim and line up in practice it all makes sense). So thank you for bringing up focusing on a single link. I know it's some kind of mental block that I'm having because I feel completely different during a round. I just don't feel as connected and the "feel" isn't there. I start thinking about the putt and I just psyche myself out sometimes I guess.

Hopefully it's just a natural thing that I'll be able to work out in time.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HeavyCritters View Post
Good movie reference. Good movie.

Also, I agree. I actually aim for the pole, but that focus and a deep breath prior to the putt makes all the difference for me.
Underrated movie, IMO. It may just be my love affair (she doesn't know) with Kelly Preston, though.

On a normal putt (staggered stance), I aim right of the pole. Straddle stance, dead center. Don't know why, but it works.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by dorseymatt View Post
What helped me was I stopped (for the most part) practicing putts that I'm not making at least ~80% of. Now when I putt on the course, I expect the disc to go in, since that's what I see all the time when I practice. I think that goes to show that, at least for me, putting is largely about confidence.
Yep. Gotta see them go in to build confidence.
Originally Posted by Vorpaljesus View Post
Why are you being timid? You're a good putter. Run that sh!t! Even if you miss you're gonna make the comeback putt. Chin up, putt through the chains, follow through strong. Good luck!
Now that you've seen them go in, this should be your mindset.
Originally Posted by OregonDG420 View Post
stick to one mold and one plastic
I'll go farther, stick with one putter, period. Learn how to make that putter fly every which way you can, become one with that putter. This is why I switched to a Vibram Summit, the rubber is durable enough to change the least.
Originally Posted by Jax11 View Post
It seems you have successfully built muscle memory, now you need to teach your brain to trust your muscle memory. all you have to do is turn your brain off. Your body knows how to put(t) the disc in the basket, you do not need to think about it. Clear your mind, visualize the putt hitting dead center, breath, stay relaxed, trust your routine, and trust your body.

If you miss one, do not question your mechanics, do not start "aiming". If you have been a little low on the bin maybe pick a higher target link and trust your muscle memory.

You have to believe every putt is going in. I know when I am in the zone I am legitimately shocked when a putt hits the bin.
I want to expand on this b/c I think this is what trips up a lot of otherwise would be good putters. I've noticed an interesting parallel between this and free throw shooting in basketball. There are lots of guys that struggle to shoot a high percentage even though they have good mechanics. Basically, their minds are in the wrong place. They have their routine, they bend their knees, hand placement is good, and follow through with that "goose-neck" hand in the air meant to give soft backspin to the ball. And then it clanks against the rim badly.

They focus so much on the checklist of their mechanics (got to have that goose neck!) that they forget the most important part, trying to make the free throw. Instead, they try to not miss the free throw which doesn't sound like much but it's a monumental difference.

When you pick up a rock to throw at something or some trash to toss into the garbage can, do you stand there and analyze height and distance and wind trajectory and all that? No, you just throw it at the target and if you miss, adjust. Your brain makes all those adjustments (height, distance, etc.) subconsciously for you; this skill has been honed ever since humans threw things (stones, throwing sticks, spears, atlatl darts, etc) at prey to get some protein. So when you overthink your putt, you're effectively muddling up your primal targeting instinct that has been honed by evolution for millions of years.

The "focus on a link" trick works b/c you subconsciously aim where you're looking. In basketball, shooters that tend to hit the front of the rim when they miss are usually looking at the front of the rim whether they know it or not. Guys that miss long? Staring at the back of the rim. The trick is to look inside the rim which is kind of abstract since the inside is usually blocked from view thanks to the front of the rim. Fortunately disc golf is a little easier in that regard, just focus on that link to the right of the pole.

Short version:
  1. Become familiar with your putter.
  2. Build up confidence with reps and putter familiarity
  3. When it comes time to putt, like Bruce Lee said "Don't think! Feel. Like a finger, pointing the way to the moon (basket)"
  4. If you miss, make simple adjustments and remember to look where you want the disc to impact the chains.
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