The Community of Disc Golfers and About All Things Disc Golf
A University of Michigan study used a golf skill - putting - to prove something golfers have known for ages: Don't talk about that putt, just do it. The research found that golfers who carefully detailed how they completed a complex putt had a more difficulty completing that putt again.
The phenomenon can be attributed to an effect called verbal overshadowing, where attempting to verbalize a sensory event interferes with non-verbal aspects of memory, said University of Michigan researcher Kristin Flegal, co-author of a paper on the research that was published in October.
I've read a lot about that. I majored in psychology and have kept up, some, over the years. The part of the brain that processes words interferes with the part of the brain that does fine motor skills. So it is harder to do something like putting if you are hearing words or thinking words.
I can remember this putt at a tournament at Hudson Mills. I really needed the par and my upshot had hit a tree i didn't see and then the disc rolled. So I was muttering to myself walking up to the disc and my caddy [some junior girl national champion] says, "Just shut up and make the putt." Really good advice.
I always tell the national and world champions named Brakel, "Think about how you're going to throw it, but then quit thinking about anything when you get ready to actually throw it." At Worlds Kelsey's lead was eroding and she really needed to park a long second shot to a basket that was backed by a cliff to stop the bleeding and get a quick two or three throw turn around. I told her, "Look at the throw with your eyes but don't think about it. Just let it sink in to the part of your brain that knows what you need to do here. Then throw the disc you have confidence in and that's all you can do.
I spend more time over thinking my drives, not my putts. I putt with confidence. Thanks Mark.