Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

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Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:29 pm

Do you repeat the same errors, time after time, in ways which are unique to you but different than the errors made by others?

A recent study in basketball suggests this happens with Pros shooting free throws. A system called SportVU has been set up in 13 Professional Basketball arenas which has 6 different camera angles recording the action 25 frames per second. A computer analysis evidently shows that when players miss free throws they make the same kind of errors on most misses yet those errors are different than the errors made by other players. So each player has a "signature" way to miss the shot.

It seems to me that a putt in disc golf has certain similarities to a free throw in basketball (each is basically an easy shot in terms of physical difficulty, no one plays defense against the shot and consistency is mostly a function of mental focus and mental toughness/confidence). So perhaps the basket study extends to disc golf as well.

To look at the study go to: ... -+Mixed%29

I know that when I miss a putt it often happens in the same ways. I seldom miss to the left or too high. I am much more likely to miss too far right on longer putts or too low on closer putts. At least this is my impression without the benefit of 6 camera angles recording my shots at 25 frames per second. What would we learn if our shots were analyzed by speed, spin, launch height, loft, angle, right/left deviation and off axis torque? I don't know the answer but I would love to make use of this technology.

So what do you think? Do you have a "signature" kind of missed putt? Or is this just high-tech nonsense?
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby vtbuzzz » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:41 pm

Yes!!! And can't learn how not to, drives me crazy.
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby allsport1313 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:00 pm

This is a neat post Mark :wink: I know I miss primarily in two different ways... The first and most painful is the low putt. In my 95% range (20 feet or so), my misses are usually always low. The second way is on farther putts where I'm making a run for it and expecting to hit metal, but not really expecting to drill it. I'm very prone to air balling to the right of the basket hoping that my disc faded more than it did. Would be cool if these were tied directly to physical things that I could change, but what about the mental aspect of it?
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby keltik » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:06 pm

Sadly, I'm not consistent enough to miss in a consistent manner. That and I've learned to block out my failures and just keep throwing. It probably doesn't help me score wise but it keeps me playing.

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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby allsport1313 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:09 pm

oh when you put it that way, I do miss in just about every possible way lol. Two are most common though
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby cubeofsoup » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:14 pm

I'm right with you keltik, my game lacks it's tough to point to a particular spot.
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby discmonkey42 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:13 pm

Absolutely Mark, this really hits home. I miss my putts the same way almost every time. I know exactly what I need to do to fix it. I tell myself before every putt, "follow through to the pole". And then I proceed to short arm it low and left over and over again. For me it's all mental, but it's still a signature mental mistake I regularly make.
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby Parks » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:52 am

Yup, in close I'm always low and a little further out I yank it to the right.
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby iacas » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:56 am

I didn't need a study of basketball players to tell me this! (But it helps confirm things!)

What I mean by that is that as a golf instructor we'll often tell people when we work on their #1 priority thing "look, this will likely ALWAYS be your #1 priority thing, so you'll have to constantly monitor it." Doesn't matter if the guy's been playing for twenty weeks or twenty years - we tend to have a sort of "swing DNA" that's difficult to change. I've seen it done, but not that often.

The only way to really change it is to convert to an entirely different style. For example, people with a weird putting stroke can sometimes change it by converting to a very different grip or something.

But then they just end up changing their "core issue" and swapping it for a different one. So that really isn't a win either.

Basically, you'll always have a core issue or a set of core issues. If you're inconsistent enough that you don't think you have one, then the core issue is likely simply what's causing the inconsistency. Your wrist isn't extending at the proper rate, or rolling at the proper rate, or whatever for your style of putt. And it's often more than one core issue - oftentimes golfers will have two or three things that they constantly have to monitor. BUT, if they do those things, they play really really well.

If you completely change your putting style, you can swap that core issue (or two, or three) for a different set. :)

If you can boil something down to cause and effect, you can not only "fix yourself" on the course but you can know which of your priorities needs the most attention. For example (I'm making these up):

a) putt comes out with too much hyzer angle = grip gets too much in the fingers
b) putt wobbles, has OAT = not extending the wrist enough, no finger spring
c) putts miss high and right = arm swing is not inline, dropping the arm too far to the left, failure to paint the pole

In a round if you find yourself missing high and right on the first two putts, you'll incorporate a bit more of a "paint the pole" feel or thought into your next putt, and so on.
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby Star Shark » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:15 pm

Only on long putts. I tend to try to put more wrist into it and in doing so, yank it right.
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Re: Do we repeat the same errors, time after time?

Postby JR » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:07 am

I have two major causes for misses. I think is share the not enough mental focus with most players. The other is not accelerating the elbow straightening quickly enough when i'm fatigued so the elbow straightens and the wrist turns to the right. A third less common issue comes from the first with too short backwards movement of the arm from the last pre throw straightening of the arm used for aiming and stance checking. A too short arm movement doesn't produce enough speed and if i notice it i can't stop usually and try to hit harder. i have committed to the throw by that time and i'm poor at stopping mid throw. When i go i go all in. Pussyfooting sucks in the hit rate and at times i have noticed chickening out despite knowing it kills results. Self butt kicking time starts at the very latest then. That is why at times i putt the best when i'm angry because no way i'm wussing up them i'm moving down the basket with my putt and not holding back.
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