Wednesday, 13 October 2010

More gems

"Approaches to learning should be moved beyond normative approaches. A primary goal of education is to improve the functional level of performance of students, so they can then produce skills on their own"

Kurt Fisher (Director of Harvard's Mind - Brain Connection to Education Institute)


"Teacher assisted environments that guide, motivate and support self discovery learning are more effective than teacher centered environments. Learning skill and education do NOT come from teachers"

The committee of Learning Research and Educational Practices (USA)

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Swings of the Ryder Cup

Wow! How about that for a sporting event? The 37th Ryder Cup matches at Celtic Manor won by Colin Montgomeries’ European players was fascinating in so many ways.
The challenges of the weather, the match play format, the different strategies of play, the size of the spectator galleries, I could go on.
One of the things that struck me more than before was just how different the swings of the 24 players looked and how easily identifiable the golfers were by their idiosyncratic golf swings.
Take for example World number 3 Phil Mickleson. Yes I know that’s easy because he is left handed and stands on the other side of the ball to right hander’s, but Bubba Watson who is also a “leftie” looks to do things in a completely different way to Phil.
How can this be? Both are leading exponents of the game yet hit the ball miles, but in an entirely different fashion. We know that top golfers have amazing skills and a huge variety of shots on and around the greens but surely they all hit the ball the same way.
Well for most part they do. Physics and the laws of a spinning ball govern us all so to hit a particular shot we all have to deliver the clubface to the ball in the same way to achieve the desired outcome.
I was privileged to work for Ryder Cup radio at Celtic Manor and had the fortune to be “inside the ropes” where I could get a close up view of what was going on. It is difficult not to get drawn into watching the power, the balance, the rhythm and style of these players, all twenty four looking unique in their own delivery of the club.
If however we watch closely at how the club swings and NOT what the body looks like we can then see and begin to understand the similarities of what these World-leading players do.
The common thread running through all these swings is the position of the clubface at impact. The golf ball does not lie. It will go where the clubface tells it. FACT!
So when you hit the ball to the right of your target where do you suppose the clubface is pointing at impact?
This is where your attention needs to be, on the clubface, as the most important fundamental is how and where the clubface is swinging.
Next time you are out playing explore, don’t just swing and hope for the best. Watch the flight of the ball as this is the feedback you need as to where the clubface was at collision point.