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Harnessing the Science of Learning for Golf Mastery with Michael Hebron

May 08, 2024 Jesse Perryman Season 3 Episode 128
Harnessing the Science of Learning for Golf Mastery with Michael Hebron
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Flaghuntersgolfpod
Harnessing the Science of Learning for Golf Mastery with Michael Hebron
May 08, 2024 Season 3 Episode 128
Jesse Perryman

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Transform your approach to learning golf—or any skill—with insights from the celebrated coach Michael Hebron, who takes us beyond traditional techniques into the neuroscience of skill acquisition. In this episode, I had the privilege of engaging with Michael as he traces his own evolution from award-winning instructor to a pioneer integrating the science of learning into his craft. His remarkable journey, steeped in education from Harvard and UCLA, reveals how understanding the brain's activities prior to the execution of a golf swing can revolutionize coaching. Michael defies conventional methods, arguing for a universal goal of facilitating learning that goes far beyond the sport itself.

Feel the rhythm of your golf swing as it aligns with the tempo of your learning process. Michael and I dissect the significance of visualization and present-moment awareness, paralleled with anecdotes from my early writing days that underscore the power of positivity and incremental challenges in mastering a skill. We unpack the seemingly complex motion of a golf swing, simplifying it to actions innate to our daily lives, and emphasize that true learning requires more than just instruction—it demands an experience that resonates with the learner. This episode is an exploration of alternative coaching, where the focus shifts from correcting to understanding the 'why' behind each movement.

Venture into the broader landscape of learning with us, where adaptation and self-discovery reign supreme. Hear about Michael's groundbreaking book, now influencing college curriculums with its fresh perspective on learning theory. We critique outdated educational approaches and champion a no-fault philosophy that treats every outcome as a valuable lesson. For those thirsty for educational strategies that honor the holistic nature of learning and growth, this masterclass with Michael Hebron is an invitation to reshape your understanding and elevate your game—on the green and in life.

We thank Micheal for his enormous contribution to the game of Golf. His email is micheal@michealhebron.com
 
For Justin: justin@elitegolfswing.com

For Jesse: jesse@flaghuntersgolf.com

Lastly, a big thank you to TaylorMade and Adidas for their support 🙏

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Transform your approach to learning golf—or any skill—with insights from the celebrated coach Michael Hebron, who takes us beyond traditional techniques into the neuroscience of skill acquisition. In this episode, I had the privilege of engaging with Michael as he traces his own evolution from award-winning instructor to a pioneer integrating the science of learning into his craft. His remarkable journey, steeped in education from Harvard and UCLA, reveals how understanding the brain's activities prior to the execution of a golf swing can revolutionize coaching. Michael defies conventional methods, arguing for a universal goal of facilitating learning that goes far beyond the sport itself.

Feel the rhythm of your golf swing as it aligns with the tempo of your learning process. Michael and I dissect the significance of visualization and present-moment awareness, paralleled with anecdotes from my early writing days that underscore the power of positivity and incremental challenges in mastering a skill. We unpack the seemingly complex motion of a golf swing, simplifying it to actions innate to our daily lives, and emphasize that true learning requires more than just instruction—it demands an experience that resonates with the learner. This episode is an exploration of alternative coaching, where the focus shifts from correcting to understanding the 'why' behind each movement.

Venture into the broader landscape of learning with us, where adaptation and self-discovery reign supreme. Hear about Michael's groundbreaking book, now influencing college curriculums with its fresh perspective on learning theory. We critique outdated educational approaches and champion a no-fault philosophy that treats every outcome as a valuable lesson. For those thirsty for educational strategies that honor the holistic nature of learning and growth, this masterclass with Michael Hebron is an invitation to reshape your understanding and elevate your game—on the green and in life.

We thank Micheal for his enormous contribution to the game of Golf. His email is micheal@michealhebron.com
 
For Justin: justin@elitegolfswing.com

For Jesse: jesse@flaghuntersgolf.com

Lastly, a big thank you to TaylorMade and Adidas for their support 🙏

Speaker 1:

This is Jesse Perryman of the Flag Hunters Golf Podcast, welcoming you to another really unique and special edition. This week we have Justin and I have a man by the name of Michael Hebron. Michael has contributed to the game of the golf throughout his life. Notably, he has reached the highest level of certification for the golfing machine, which is a GSED, and he is one of the lifetime true seekers, learners and teachers of the game of golf. And he has a new book I think it just came out recently called it Depends. I highly recommend it. I have it. It is incredible what this man has given to all of us. Whether you know him or not, it's worth an inquiry and he really exemplifies a wealth and a masterclass of knowledge. During this conversation, justin and I don't ask a ton of questions. He goes into the golf swing a little bit and learning and really what learning and learning is all about and the application of learning, and it's fascinating. So I will make sure that his information is in the show notes. And, mr Hebron, both Justin and I congratulate, salute you and we are both extremely grateful and on behalf of all of us who are on a similar path of seeking learning and executing that knowledge and passing it down. We salute you, pal, and we appreciate you, and I will put all of our contact information in the show notes. Once again, mine and Justin Michael Hebron. Thank you, my friend, for coming on and we hope to get him on again. Cheers everyone and hope your week is going well and continued success. Throughout the week we have the PGA coming up. That's going to be exciting at Valhalla, and next week we'll have Jim Venitos coming on the pod. Cheers everyone, and next week we'll have Jim Venitos coming on the pod. Cheers everyone.

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Flag Hunters Golf Podcast. I am your host, jesse Perryman, along with Justin Tang, bringing you another special edition, and our guest. We're very grateful to have him come on. His name is Michael Hebron, michael is. You know, as we were just talking, I don't even know if the golf machine is still around or if it's still alive or anything, but he's achieved the highest level GSED, which is basically a doctrine of that little yellow book that was instrumental in at least legitimizing golf instruction, along with many of his other accomplishments. We're just going to let the man speak and I'm going to get out of the way. Thanks, michael, for coming on, justin. Thank you, as always.

Speaker 2:

Thanks Jesse, thanks Michael. So, michael, such an honor to have you on our show. I knew of you from my coaches, Chuck Evans and Lynn Blake, when I began my study of the golfing machine in the year 2000. Now the 20-year-old me then would have wanted to discuss, mr Homer Kelly, golfing machine, swing planes, hip action, lag and all that interesting stuff. But today we really want to talk about skill acquisition, retention of it and its replication under pressure. So could you discuss a little bit of how you got, how you switched your teaching pedagogy? So there's a saying we've got space age technology today, but caveman pedagogy when it comes to teaching golf.

Speaker 3:

Well, thank you for inviting me and you guys should be congratulated for doing your best to promote golf through your show and interest in the game. Let's briefly go back a little bit to the beginning of how I coach now, about 20 years ago I was waiting for a student to arrive and I thought I was doing a very poor job at the time and I was an award-winning teacher PGA Hall of Fame, now World Golf Teacher Hall of Fame from Golf Magazine. And I tell everybody my mother wrote a lot of letters. So I got these awards, but I'm very humbled to receive them.

Speaker 3:

But here I was a teacher and I was very confused at what was going on, because this student I thought had a lot of talent and what was missing. And for some reason that morning, nice spring morning, it came to me that I knew nothing about learning. I was, we could say, information strong, but I was a teacher who knew nothing about learning. So from that point on I've been studying learning, and when you study learning you have to. It brings you to studying the brain.

Speaker 3:

The brain is the gateway to learning and everything we do from walking to talking, to swinging a club, to driving a car everything starts in the brain first. So when I started studying learning I went to Harvard. I took 30 hours of courses at Harvard University. They were very kind to me to let me come up and spend time in their graduate school of education. They kind of got a kick out of somebody who was kind of a public name in sports showing an interest in education and learning. I took 80 hours of courses of workshops, of teaching with the brain and mind workshops, and spent time at UCLA's learning lab and just about every day for the last 20 plus years I'm reading or studying something about learning is reading or studying something about learning.

Speaker 3:

If we put a golf swing up on a screen and we had, say, 100 coaches in the room, they all watched it. It's a good chance. They would all have a different idea to share with the student. But there's one common denominator Whether the teacher's in the school or they're with a sports organization, every coach and every teacher wants their students to learn and that's the common denominator. But there's very few who has taken the time to study learning. They get very involved with the golf swing and the golf swing is actually the last thing that happens. If you think about it, it's like a turkey, the turkey that served in America on Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day. It's the last thing. There's been a great deal of preparation.

Speaker 3:

The golf swing I have some of my notes here. I think it's fair to say the golf swing. Nicholas says three or four percent. People spend 90 percent of their time on something that's really 10 percent, 90% of their time on something that's really 10%. Before we swing, there's imagination, emotions, attention, physical strength, flexibility, reasoning, deduction skills, eyesight, stamina, organization skills, memory. Every coach should just read a book on memory If you want. Whatever you share, whatever the system is, study some learning just by reading a book on memory. So we have memory, we have visualization, we have feels, we have creativity, determination, anticipation, mindset and, of course, emotion. Birds fly, fish swim, people feel.

Speaker 3:

Is your method of instruction correcting and judging the golf swing? The golf swing is never wrong. It's never wrong. The ball flight that went out of bounds had the correct motion. The ball flight that was topped had the correct motion. Every outcome is correct for the motion Fixing is negative. I would tell a room full of beginners if they had nothing wrong with their swing. Nothing, you're just on a journey of development. It has to be a positive message, emotionally safe coaching. I was slow to learn that For years when I was and without the golf machine, I couldn't coach the way I coach.

Speaker 3:

I think it's to have some basic. The golf machine is a foundation for a lot of good coaches, a lot of outstanding coaches, and they use it in different ways. But the golf machine is a very important book. Two professionals in America, greg McHatton and Jim Petrolier, were very helpful years ago in helping me understand the golf swing and it has proven to be a very useful tool.

Speaker 3:

But when you consider learning, the way we say things matters, is it being said in a negative way? We can't control ball flight? It's impossible. If we could control ball flight, professionals wouldn't miss greens, fairways and putts. The only thing you can control or influence is what goes on in between swings. I call it the gap, the GAP, whether it's the walk between swings or the gap in the change of direction or the gap before you swim.

Speaker 3:

It's like having a meeting in business. The doors of business open at nine o'clock. We have a staff meeting at eight o'clock. You can influence the staff meeting, but once the business doors are open, anything could happen, so you have to be flexible and portable. Most important probably, insight into learning, is struggle and the unwanted outcome. The poor shot, shows you what to do differently, not better. I don't think better exists. I think better is a very poor word. I believe people come to us to be different, they don't come to be better, and the reason that that's important to look at it that way, in my opinion is learning needs a reference point.

Speaker 3:

I know hot because I know cold. I know strawberry because I know vanilla. I know open clubface because I know closed clubface. Learning needs a reference point. We often say in the day oh, could you please repeat that, sir? I don't.

Speaker 3:

Wherever we are in life, we often say, oh, I didn't quite understand you. Well, the reason we didn't understand them is that statement didn't relate to something we already know. It could be about speed, it could be about color, it could be about weather. It doesn't have to be exact. The exact information on the subjects we're talking about. It has to be generally similar. For that information to leave short-term memory and go into long-term memory, it has to relate to something we already know.

Speaker 3:

That's why I coach with a lot of metaphors and story. To a surgeon I might say show me how you hold a scalpel To somebody. Actually, we didn't learn to drive a car. We learned what to do with a steering wheel, a brake pedal and a gas pedal. We learned what to do with the tool. And what we do with the tool is based on the swing model.

Speaker 3:

There's only one swing model the golf course. The golf course is telling me it, the golf course. The golf course is telling me it's an eight iron. The golf course is telling me it's hit a chip shot. The golf course is telling me to play the putt left to right. The golf swing doesn't exist in a book or in any of my lectures. The golf swing lasts for a second and a half. That's the golf swing. The other is opinions of the golf swing, perception.

Speaker 3:

And when a student shows up I ask them to give me some instruction. Tell me how you're trying to get to Main Street, tell me what you're trying to do, and that becomes my starting point. Sometimes I describe something pretty useful, but they don't do it, or they describe something that we're going to change their perception. All we can do as an instructor I didn't look at it this way for the first 20 years, but now all I can do as an instructor I didn't look at it this way for the first 20 years, but now all I can do as an instructor is change an idea. Oh, billy, you think that's a clean room. Oh, joe, you think you're on time. People show up with ideas and perception and that's that's how we go forward from there. So during instruction there's nothing to fix.

Speaker 3:

If somebody hits several shots that they like. I might say to them are we trying to learn that? And they say yes and I say no. You already showed me you can do it. You're trying to learn what gets in the way of that, what stops you from retrieving that and what stops you from retrieving that is how you're thinking about it, Not physical. It's the physical comes second.

Speaker 3:

You can't film what makes a golf swing work. What makes a golf swing work is going on in your brain and the brain sends a message to your body of what to do. You could take the tool. Okay, the big idea in basketball shoot up. People say the big idea in basketball is to score. That's a result. Everything works backwards to the environment. The golf course is telling me what to do. Every business works backwards from their customer telling me what to do. Okay, the golf parlor. Big idea in tennis get it over the net.

Speaker 3:

The big idea in golf is swing, the weight of the club, swing the weight of the club. A putting swing and a driver's swing take the same amount of time from start up back to end. Exactly the same amount. If the club is swinging and it doesn't have extra employees, I like to say the golf swing's a one, it's a one. Why do people call it one, two? Because they're sheep. Everybody calls it one, two, it's a one, it's a one. You don't take a hammer and go dot-dash-bang. You don't take a tennis racket and turn it into parts. It's a one. A steady application of force. We're swinging the weight of the golf club.

Speaker 3:

Now, when you play golf, focus is bad. Focus is really bad. I was focusing so much on the weight I didn't see the red light. I was focusing so much on the rain, I didn't see the red light. I was focusing so much on the line and the putt I didn't get the speed. What the brain does? The brain uses wide attention. It sees everything. It sees everything at once and turns it into one idea. If you look at a putt, see a line, roll the ball on the line, because the brain sees the break. The brain sees the distance. Table, chair, couch, the sweater with the keys we all miss. The brain already knows how far away it is and you have two options for putting either size or speed, and I like to talk about size rather than speed. It's always swinging. It's always swinging.

Speaker 3:

We would say golf has no head. We would say the swing has a beginning and an end and nothing in the middle. I used to break it into parts. The brain does not relate to parts. The brain relates to sequences and patterns. It reduces everything to something small. The reason we have a habit is because we took, whether it's a book or a paragraph, and we crunched it down into one idea. That's how habits are. You take a lot of information and you turn it into one piece of information. I call that a house, but the brain sees size, color, shape, how many windows? Blah, blah, blah. The brain sees everything, but it reduces it to one image. Okay, because the brain uses 30% of our energy.

Speaker 3:

And it's only as big as maybe your two fists together, only weighs three pounds, so nature developed it to be efficient and use the least amount of energy for what we're doing. Create a picture and put a feel with it.

Speaker 3:

My first book See and feel the inside, move the outside was written many years ago, before I had any real training or it was just an intuitive I was. I worked for a man. I worked for a man for a while who told me that he saw that I was reading and studying. He said, michael, you should write, whether it's once a week or once a month. You should, you should make notes about all these things and those notes. And I write every day still, I read every day still. It's a great advice and those notes were my first book.

Speaker 3:

See and Feel the Inside, move the Outside. And just recently, about a month ago, I read some research that pointed out that visualization is very important and they just figured out that if you put a feel with the picture, learning improves by five times. So you see and feel the putt, you see and feel where you want the golf swing. You see and feel thing. That improves learning. That's a real quick foundation for where I'm at today and for some of the things I'm going to talk about with you today.

Speaker 2:

That was a lot of material to unpack in the last 20 minutes. It was almost like sitting in front of a tenured professor talking about the subject of learning and how the brain works. So I've taken notes and let's just go through some of these things that you spoke about in the last 20 minutes. You said that the golf course will dictate what you need to do. What's the model? The model, that's the model.

Speaker 3:

So Tell us what you do with the club.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so this is the paradox here. This is what I call the paradox of patterns. Every golf lesson, instead of a session, teaches patterns. When it teaches one singular pattern. When the golf course demands multiple patterns, serial moves. So you hit your driver on the first tee, then you maybe hit a cut, seven iron, you miss the green, you're going to hit a high bunker shot and then a putt. All these are different patterns, but the paradox is we are taught one pattern. Can you talk a little bit about concepts versus patterns and how the brain likes to learn in general concepts rather than details?

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes, well, let's work backwards. From a shot that goes over the green, it's normally called a bad shot. Me calling it a bad shot doesn't help. If I said it's a shot that went too long, or if it's a shot that went to the left, or if it's a shot that went to the right, that would be helpful. But what to do different? You have to describe from this perspective. You have to describe what actually happened, okay, and what happens during.

Speaker 3:

I call my time with people session because the lesson is not what I say. The lesson is what they take away when the kids leave school for the summer. That's the lesson what they're taking away. What school made them think about what they did with what they heard. I would say my aim and instruction is to improve, improving. I'm trying to improve, improving, that's all I'm trying to do. And so, number one, the shot we're about to make has no path and has no future. It's in the present. That's all the brain knows. The brain just it's in the present and it's acting in the present based on past experiences.

Speaker 3:

You know, what I learned in school today. I'm a bad speller, I'm no good at math. You know what I learned in the golf class today? Well, I have a bad grip. My back swings way in here or there. Negative, negative, negative, negative.

Speaker 3:

We call our approach at my club learning positive golf, everything's positive, everything's positive. We would never, let's say, you just asked about going down and I might ask the student, and it would depend on what level of student we're working with. And according to brain science, anything we work with should be just beyond, just beyond their current level. Showing new golfers tour swings is useless. It does no good at all. It scares them, intimidates them. Okay, show them just beyond what they're capable of doing. Then ask them what they think they should do different. Okay, I always start with time. Time allows everything to work, whether it's a tournament player and I've worked with somebody who's won the Open, somebody who's won the Masters, somebody who's won the PGA, yada, yada, yada.

Speaker 3:

And I don't want to be known for who I coach. I like to be known for how I coach. I never tell anybody who I coach. Some people in the industry know who I've worked with, but I would never put that in an ad or anything that I'm so-and-so's coach. Tour players are the easiest people to coach. They have the most experience, the most talent, the most time and we work with many but only a few excel. Progress in golf is based on the student, not on the Coaches can slow things down and move things forward, but it depends on who you're coaching. It always depends on who you're coaching. Do they have talent, do they have time, et cetera. The tour players are the easiest and I always start with the putting. So okay, I'll say, let me see you make a few putts, okay.

Speaker 3:

So here I'll say, mr Smith, let me see you putt. Okay, I'll ask him Mr Smith, why does everybody call this one two? Well, of course most people do. Okay. Why does everybody call this one-two? Well, of course most people do. Okay, I like to call it a one. I like to call it a one, a one. Right now. Your putting stroke is a one-two. Your putting stroke has it in it. Let me see what you think is a one. And I normally have them do it with one hand in it and let me see you put it. And most of the time they make a change. And I say, does that feel different? She says yeah, it's very different. Okay, now put two hands on.

Speaker 1:

And that's my starting point.

Speaker 3:

I'd ask Mr Smith why does paper get written on To?

Speaker 1:

say something.

Speaker 3:

No Paper gets written on because it's in the middle. It's in the middle of the table and the pen. The golf ball gets hit or impacted because it's in the middle of a dance step. It's in the middle of a swinging club. You didn't come to learn how to hit a golf ball. You came to learn how to use the tool. The tool has three employees. It has a face, a head and a shaft. And where do I want the face? The head and the shaft Depends on what the golf course is telling me to do.

Speaker 3:

I might ask him to show how important the club is. I might ask him to show me an open club face. Show me a closed club face and I'll say why did your hands move? Because you did something with the club. The rules are for the golf club. Your arm is coming in too high because the club's too high. Your hands are flipped because the club is in front of your hand. The rules are for the golf club. I call them the golf club rules. Okay, and if it's a fairly new golfer or a high-handicap golfer, I would say to them how old are you when you get out of school? 21?, yes, two, yes, 21, 22. How old were you when you got really good at something? 40?, doctor, lawyer, no matter what you do took 20 years. Golf takes time and it's based on time Rhythm of the golf swing that improves, sometimes you don't.

Speaker 3:

I don't feel I have to bring up technical things of course that's not the case all the time, but rhythm allows everything to happen. What makes music work? The time between notes, the rhythm of the notes, the rhythm of the golf swing okay and one thing I would bring up to teachers who might be watching this.

Speaker 3:

When the club head's going 80 or 90, the hands are going about 15 miles an hour and the hips are only going four miles an hour. The hips are never talked about in miles per hour. I think the golf industry should start talking about the hips in miles per hour. Everybody talks about quick hips. The outside girl on the skate line is going the fastest.

Speaker 3:

But, she's the outside girl. That's the club head. The inside girl is going the slowest, that's your hips. I talk about three dots. I put three dots on the ground, I draw a circle around it and I spin. I say this Think of it as a disc, okay, three dots going out from the center, going round and round and round. Are the three dots staying in a straight line? Yes, are they moving the same speed? No, well, how do they stay together? Because they're moving at the same RPMs. They're moving on the same system. When I throw a ball, my hand's going faster than my shoulder, my shoulder's going faster than my chest, but they're all moving at the same pace. One's not outracing the other. That's a one-two, that's an all of a sudden. That's an extra employee that's trying to do something instead of allow something.

Speaker 3:

The golf club is not moving in a golf swing. It's being moved, it's being swung. It's not moving. It's responding, responding to what you want to do. It's responding. Responding to what you want to do. It's swinging, it's swinging. Some people kind of start like that. I call that placing. Club is being placed, it's not being swung.

Speaker 3:

And, of course, the body, arms and club. Depending on who you're coaching, you may talk about different things, but this is how I see the golf swing. I don't know if this will help anybody. When a baseball is being hit, the body is turning towards the umpire. When I'm throwing a football, the body is turning away from where the ball is going. That's how you should play golf. A very small axis of rotation. The body is turning away. The body's turning away. It's not turning to the target. The body's turning away. It's counterbalancing the weight of the arms and the club are going that way and the weight of your body's. In order for this arm to go that way, my body has to go the other way.

Speaker 3:

Even with new golfers, I've found that when we talk about rotation, I've found that visualization very useful. I found, even with new golfers, I found that when we talk about rotation, I found that visualization very useful. I found it very useful. Learning styles don't exist. Big fallacy, I'm not a visual learner. Well, how'd you find your way home? The brain uses all our senses at one time, simultaneously Pictures, fields, concepts all of it's happening at the same time. We might have a preference, but learning styles is not part of learning.

Speaker 2:

Then, lastly, came this visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning came out of a very, very early NLP quote-unquote research.

Speaker 3:

We need flexible knowledge and portable skill. The whole process is based on unintended outcomes.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, Before we go into unintended outcomes, can we just talk a little bit about golf talk? Then we'll come back to unintended outcomes, and that would provide a fantastic segue into your latest book, it Depends. So the great philosopher Karl Marx used to say this that religion is the opiate of the masses. The golfing equivalent is this Golf technique is the opiate of the golfing masses. So what I like to tell people is this there isn't a golf swing to find. We have made all the moves that constitute the golf swing at one point or another in our life. You talk about lateral bend of the spine. Well, when we reach down to pick something up while seated on a chair, that's a lateral bend. We've turned our torso to shake someone's hand. We've raised our arms to get a can of coffee from the ladder. The thing is this we need to combine these moves into something that people describe as a golf swing, and a lot of people sorry.

Speaker 3:

Information is intellectually interesting.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

Educational not that helpful. Yes, correct, Educational educationally not that helpful.

Speaker 2:

Yes. So the next thing I want to say is this Most people misunderstand teaching from learning. Some instructors are great at sharing technical information and most golfers, as you pointed out, think that this is the be all and end all of golf. They usually walk away disappointed because because learning did not take place. Can you talk a little bit about golf talk versus how we learn all these concepts.

Speaker 3:

Well, let's name some sports Tennis, baseball, football, swimming. Which sport does the beginner look most like a beginner?

Speaker 2:

Golf.

Speaker 3:

Here's why I think Every day there's a new idea Television, books, magazines. Every day, every day, every day. There's so much information out there that people are going around and I think just in, my perspective. I had a technical coach tell me once the reason he's technical is so he doesn't have to guess. So you're saying coaching's, not guesswork. You know, this is exactly, but that's how some explain it. Whenever you break things into parts, it slows down learning. Okay, when the golf swing cannot be made twice the same way, there's always something different.

Speaker 3:

You know why we can't sign our name the same way twice? Because of evolution. When we were developing as a species, the animals attacked different every day. The weather was different every day. So we developed to be flexible and portable and creative. Not to be perfect. If I was perfect, I could only hit one golf shot. I'm flexible and portable and creative. Not to be perfect If I was perfect, I could only hit one golf shot. I'm flexible and portable. Fifty species a day become extinct on Earth. We're still here because we are the best adjusters. One of the reasons Tiger was the best was because he was the best adjuster. This college boy that just won this week, 20 years old, won on the American Tour.

Speaker 2:

Nick Dundup.

Speaker 3:

He double bogeyed seven and he didn't play 18 very well, so he wasn't he was playing golf. He wasn't playing golf, he was emotionally stable. So, yes, golf, information, measurements and things are intellectually interesting, but that's not how the brain learns.

Speaker 3:

The brain learns from general concepts. The brain learns from during what happens. Research has shown what happens during a golf instruction positive or negative is no sign that learning did or did not take place. Let me say that again what happens during golf instruction poor shots or good shots is not a sign that learning did or did not take place, because we learn a lot from a car accident.

Speaker 3:

The baby learns a lot. When they fall down, he probably says thank you God for the feedback. So the process of instruction, the process of instruction is to give people the tools to think about what's happening.

Speaker 2:

You know you mentioned something about the baby and your approach. You mentioned something about the baby and your approach. You mentioned something about the baby falling down. Yeah, the baby picks himself or herself up after each fall, so failure is not failure. It's feedback.

Speaker 3:

Finding access into learning FAIL Finding access.

Speaker 2:

Tell our listeners.

Speaker 3:

Try stands for talking and ridiculing yourself. Really, really talking, really trying.

Speaker 2:

I got to get this key in here Just do it and tell our listeners what play stands for.

Speaker 3:

Learn positive golf. Okay, so you top the ball. You did everything.

Speaker 2:

You used to say this Play stands for powerful learning about yourself.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and.

Speaker 2:

I think what's really exciting about this approach, this brain-friendly approach, is that it's emotionally positive, because it's not better or worse, it's just different.

Speaker 3:

Imagine telling a beginner he's doing nothing wrong after his buddy's told him this and this and this. You're not doing anything wrong, you're on a journey of development. It takes a while they show up trying to hit the ball instead of swing the ball and here's another thing I think is correct what does it feel like to hit a really good shot? Feels like nothing, feels light, feels free. Yes, yes.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

But it doesn't look light and free.

Speaker 2:

It doesn't look light.

Speaker 3:

So they're watching what they think is, but it doesn't feel like that and they're trying to hit the wall. So they come with two very poor perceptions. When the three dots line up and are moving at the same RPMs, that's why it feels light. You don't have anything working against each other. Everything is at the same RPMs, not the same miles per hour, but the same rhythm. What moves the ball? Well, the club. No, the club does not move the ball. If I drop a basketball and it comes back up, did the floor move it or compress it? Oh, the floor compressed it. So we are learning in golf to compress the golf ball, not move it. This is moving the ball, this is compressing the ball. We're learning to compress Shaft before club face.

Speaker 3:

Golf clubs are designed like the roof of a house, okay, so we don't want to go up the chimney, we don't want to get off on the second floor, we still want to be on the roof of the house, more or less. And golf clubs are designed with the book on the back seat of the car. That head is behind the handle. Why does the book come off the back seat of the car? Because the car stops when we stop swinging the weight of the club flips the hand. I don't think people flip their hand. I think the weight of the club's flipping the way it comes. So if we keep rotating, if we keep the car moving, we keep the handle. Is the whip moving? No, the handle's moving, the whip, the club's not moving, the system's moving. If I suddenly stop the handle of a whip, what does the whip do? It comes off the back seat of the car. That's how I coach. I coach with metaphors and stories, and everything's based on the tool, on the golf club. What do I want to do with the golf club?

Speaker 2:

Shall we talk about the fallacy of muscle memory. A lot of our listeners and golfers in general think if I beat one million balls at some point, I'll become good. But there's no such thing as muscle memory, because memory is a function of the brain.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and the brain sends a message to the body. The muscles aren't being trained, the brain is being trained to send a message. And it's a message that we can't repeat exactly the same each time, because we're not designed to do that. We're not designed to the same message the exact same message every time. It's different every time. A little bit Below our awareness. Learning happens below awareness. 95% of learning is we just learn something Learning is a survival skill.

Speaker 3:

When that baby's born, it's born a natural self-learner, a natural self-discoverer. We are born to help ourselves learn so we can pass our genes on to the next generation. Learning is a survival skill we are learning in our mother's womb. Pass our genes on to the next generation. Learning is a survival skill we are learning in our mother's womb. One of the first things that happens in the mother's womb is balance, a feel for balance, and when we swing the weight of the club, a lot of things just happen. They're allowed to happen. Oh, I have to have long arms? Well, that's a result, it's not a cause. That's a result, not a cause. The cloths on what we call on plane? That's a result, not a cause.

Speaker 2:

You earlier spoke about a technical coach saying he's teaching technically because he wants to remove the guesswork out of his coaching.

Speaker 3:

He just wants to be wrong. He says. But here's the thing he said I don't want to guess.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So here's the funny thing, right, Every golf shot is a guess. I'm hitting a putt 30-foot putt downslope. I'm looking at it, I'm trying to figure out the break and the slope. That's guesswork. When I step over the ball, I am testing out my hypothesis about what kind of force should be applied to the ball so that it nestles up close to the hole and hopefully falls in. Every shot in golf is guesswork. However, most of us, when we practice, we hardly try to develop that guessing ability. What do people get wrong about learning and practice?

Speaker 3:

Well, the magazines they read are what to do, not how to learn. Every magazine would improve if they would include a little paragraph, whatever their lesson was, if they had a little paragraph about how to learn what you just read. In my view, that would help magazines a great deal. Give choices when you coach, Be like A, B or C. I don't like the word practice. A doctor has a practice. A lawyer has a practice. After they train, I ask people to go train which you're going to put into practice on the golf course. Everything's based on mindset, how they're thinking about things.

Speaker 1:

okay, and if you go down to train and things aren't great, you don't beat yourself up.

Speaker 3:

But if you're going down to practice, that mindset is very different. I use mirrors, I don't use film. I put somebody because they can see themselves and the picture of themselves and the feel of it is immediate. I have a room that's all mirrors. I talk about the golf club laws, One of the problems with learning aids it takes away the mistake and I want them making the mistake because that's the teacher. I want them to know what this feels like. I don't want something here that prevents that. Some learning aids take away the struggle and I think I don't know how good that is. In fact, I know it's not good.

Speaker 3:

I call it outstruction, not instruction, because the answer is coming out of the student, it's not coming from me. My job is to help them think and see something they didn't see before.

Speaker 2:

You know, an interesting thing about what you mentioned is this the word education in Latin means to draw out from.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yes, yes, shall we. Is this. The word education in Latin means to draw out from yes, yes, yes, shall we. You can't control a bullfight. People believe you can control a bullfight. You can't do it. You can't do it If we could. Rosewood, miss Greens and Fairways.

Speaker 2:

Everyone would shoot 54.

Speaker 3:

Yes, that's why Vision 54, 54. That's right.

Speaker 1:

Vision 54, Lynn and.

Speaker 3:

P are two great coaches in America. Their company is Vision 54. And they talk about when you're behind the ball getting ready, they call that the think box, and when you address the ball, they call that the play box. Okay, and this is like the meeting before the business open, and then when you walk up, you just play golf. You don't play golf. Swing Play means powerful learning about yourself, powerful learning about playing. Go play with it.

Speaker 2:

Can we talk a bit about unintended consequences and then about your new book with Dr Stephen Yazula? It depends.

Speaker 3:

The unintended outcome is your teacher and then, I ask people why they think the ball went a particular way. If you wanted to do that again, what would you do? Well, I don't want to do it again. Well, tell me what you would do to do it again. That's how I coach. I don't correct, I don't criticize. I want them to do it different based on what they're doing now. That's how the brain learns the brain has to know up.

Speaker 3:

When I coach putting one of the things to do with putting I'll put down three or four balls and I'll ask them to putt and I'll say now, putt at the same distance. And most of them can't do it, and so that's one of the ways. Another one, if I'm going to use a hole which I very rarely use.

Speaker 3:

I'm going to use a hole. I'd say let me see you make the ball go left. Let me see you make the ball go right. Let me see you make the ball go too long. Now make the ball go short. So if they know what feel of left, right, short, they'll get the feel of where the hole is. Then I'll walk in on the green, maybe 15 feet, and turn around and look at the edge, the edge of the green most greens is somewhat circular and there's 500 different putts there. It's like going on a basketball court with a ball by yourself. The ball rebounds to a different place each time, standing at a hole, going over and over and over again. That's not golf. So when you're standing on the green and now you're learning distance control because there's 500 different distances on the edge of the green, the other thing I do is I put a quarter on the top of the putter, balance it there and they'll learn how to make a steady stroke with the quarter on the top without me saying anything.

Speaker 3:

I putt with my back. I putt with my back. My back can't get nervous. I putt with my back. I putt with my back. My back can't get nervous. I putt with my back. Everybody has their own way, but when you putt with your back, your hands and arms I was working with Ian Woosden once a few years ago and it was the first golf I ever heard him talk about the back and I started thinking you know what.

Speaker 3:

Mikey, what can I play with me back? What can I pay with me back? What can I pay with me back? That got me thinking that was fun. I've been blessed. The author's been very kind to the Hall of Fame, the Team of the Year books people, people like you showing an interest in my work. I've been blessed.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, michael, but let's talk about your latest contribution to the world of golf, the book it Depends. Oh, oh, this is a gem.

Speaker 3:

Okay, now it Depends. Can I get an A in your class, professor? It depends. Will business training help? It depends. I've had the idea for years why learning is not guaranteed. It depends. I did the book with a professor, professor Uzella. He's a neuroscientist and behavior professor, and this is just. I have a lot of illustrations in it. That's the different parts of the brain where different things happen. What the book is.

Speaker 3:

It touches the topics that influence learning. Okay, chapter one is about the nature of learning. Okay, chapter two do emotions and stress. What influence do emotions and stress have on learning? It depends. Next chapter how is learning determined? It depends. Is all learning the same? It depends. How is motivation affect learning and performance? It depends. Are unintended outcomes failure? It depends. Depends how you look at it.

Speaker 3:

Learning by drills, by play? It depends. Drills are not very good for learning. Drills after you know something. Doing it over and over again can be very useful. Focus a wide attention. It depends Practical suggestions to implement brain-compatible learning. So what I tried to do was put together each one of those chapters has a lot of research about that topic and the book's already being used. In a college I was told it's only been out about four or five weeks. One of the professors is using it already because of the research that's in it on what supports learning. Learning has two sides the information and learning. And remembering that, and many approaches to education don't support learning. The way the information is presented, the way it's criticized and judged Remember every poor shot was perfect for the swing that created it. Correct I don't want to say perfect, it was correct, for the swing created it. There's no mistakes. There's no mistakes in God. It's all what should be.

Speaker 2:

So how can our listeners contact you and find out more about your services, as well as the books that you've written through the years?

Speaker 3:

Well, my email is michael at michaelhebroncom. Michael at michaelhebroncom, you're very gracious to have me on your show. Thank you for fitting me in, and if you ever wanted me to come back, I'd be glad to help you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you very much, michael. That was such an amazing session and I'm sure our listeners will benefit greatly from your wisdom. Thank you, michael.

Speaker 1:

Appreciate you coming on. Thank you.

Mastering the Golf Swing Through Learning
Golf Instruction and Learning Methods
Understanding Golf Swing and Learning Process
Learning and Practice in Golf
Supporting Learning Through Research