by Ryan on December 18, 2013

GOLFERS

If you are aware of what golf instructors D. Leadbetter, B. Harmon, H. Haney, J. McLean would say to improve your golf, you are invited to hear something “different”.

The Wanderers Club in Palm Beach county Fla. invites golfers of all skills to spend time with PGA Hall of Fame instructor Michael Hebron.

Called the most unique “learning”
experience in the golf.

Michael Hebron, 1991 National PGA teacher of the year, recipient of over 25 awards, Golf Magazine and Golf Digest top 50 teacher.

Michael coached thousands of amateur and professional
golfers in 15 countries on four continents, is called a teacher of teachers, invited to speak at Yale and MIT.

He has taken 90 hrs of classes at Harvard University’s Connecting the Mind Brain to Education Institute and 80 hrs in Teaching with the Brain in Mind workshops.

Dr. Robert Bjork, director of UCLAs Learning and Forgetting Lab,

“In the world of golf instructors,
Michael Hebron is remarkable, not only for his
emphases on the learning process, but for his efforts to have students become their own best friends, rather than their worst critics”.

“Helping someone learn golf is very different from teaching golf. Studies show fixing its clearly a waste
of time” — MH.

Men and woman, new and experienced golfers come visit with Michael and experience the difference. Private lessons, 1/2 day, one and two day workshops available.

“Leave frustration and intimidation behind, I guarantee
you can learn to improve” — MH.


Call The Wanderers Club today for program options
561-795-3510.
www.wanderersclubwellington.com

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Random Training Using the Tempo of “One”

by Ryan on September 25, 2013

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From Dr. Fran Pirozzolo

by Ryan on August 30, 2013

Dr. Fran Pirozzolo – Former Chief of Neuropsychology Baylor College of Medicine.

Michael Hebron has undertaken a frightfully ambitious, Herculean challenge in this heroic attempt to change the minds of people engaged in the mysterious rituals that have developed around golf learning and teaching over the last one hundred years. Some may argue that his task is more Sisyphean than Herculean, as confronting people about how they teach, learn and think is a thankless job. All of us offer up snappy lines about open mindedness and the search for “truth”, and yet we promptly slam the door in the face of change. It is much safer and far less destabilizing to our view of the world to return to our offices and homes insulated from the winds of change.

Michael Hebron is an award winning teacher who was recently inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame for his innovative work. His previous works have included novel conceptualizations of the golf swing, and methods of teaching people how to play the game of golf. The present book is likely to have a more profound impact on golf than his previous efforts, and it is also likely to annoy the golf professional who is quite comfortable with the methods he employs to teach the game to the masses.

Michael has made a career out of taking on difficult challenges. He has been responsible for pushing a very conservative, large organization (the PGA of America), made up of mostly well-meaning, benevolent, and compassionate professionals who have been, objectively speaking, poorly prepared in the areas that pertain to how their students learn and compete in golf.

Golfers as it turns out are not that different from real people. The simple fact is this, that people are decidedly not open to new ideas and even less so when  new information contradicts what they think they already know  about how the world works. Research in cognitive neuroscience has consistently shown that we overestimate what we think we know. There exists in the field of cognitive psychology an entire category of research that has been come to be known as “judgment of learning” research. The simple (and sad) fact is that learners not only are consistently overconfident in what they think they know and have learned, but even in the face of scientific evidence that alternative methods (which are not so painful after all) are superior to the ones that we prefer to use to learn.

Here’s an example. Researchers separated learners into two equally matched groups giving them a text to be read for the purpose of learning the subject matter which would be tested after completion of the study requirements. One group was asked to prepare for the exam by re-reading the text a second time, which turns out to be the favorite method for most people who want to retain information and do well when tested. The second group was asked not to re-read the text but to simply test themselves on the subject matter only. When tested, group two was far superior to group one (the rereading group), suggesting that learning is supported by the processes which are activated when you are forced to re-conceptualize material. The most interesting aspect of the study was the follow up. The researchers told the subjects in both groups what the results were. They then gave them a second text and told each subject that they could prepare for a test in any manner they preferred. Almost all of the subjects preferred to re-read the text a second time to help them learn the subject matter! Needless to say, the few subjects who chose to test themselves on the subject matter as their test preparation strategy, and not re-read the text, performed better than their counterparts.

In the world of science, we often point out that there are two “ways of knowing”, through “testimonial evidence” and it’s opponent process, empirical scrutiny or scientific study. Professional sports has never been reluctant to accept testimony as evidence of fact. If a prominent Tour professional states that the ball he uses is superior to the others, in spite of the fact that we know he is being paid for this testimony, then we accept that this particular ball is superior to others. We are so addicted to this kind of information that one golf publication queried professional golfers about which hamburger is best among the fast food choices. Nobody asked me, but I chose ” In and Out Burger”.

Most other domains require some level of scientific proof, controlled scientific studies proving efficacy. Golf has been steadfast in resisting scientific investigation to support the claims of its constituents, and nowhere is it more harmful than in the learning area, which Michael points out (ad nauseum, as some reviewers may choose to point out). Readers could be annoyed by the re-stating of many of the main points that Michael makes, but I am thinking that this strategy is but a Darwinian vestige. His voice has not been consistently heard, and he may feel the need to keep making his case.

Some readers may not be familiar with the alarming fact that, in spite of all of the efforts of millions of teachers, golf is the rare endeavor in which people do not improve after their initial forays into the game. The National Golf Foundation keeps statistics on the handicaps of golfers over the years, and no, the average player still does not break 90, and his/her handicap hovers around the same number for years. Certainly, young people, gifted with enormous neuroplasticity (as well as being a lot more open to new ideas that us old folks are turned off to), make good strides of improvement in their games for several years. Adults, however, after they have taken up the game and worked at the new techniques for a couple of years cease to improve. This “learning disability” should be shocking and unacceptable to golf teachers, but alas it is the accepted state of affairs in golf. Sometimes it would seem that only Michael and his precious few like-minded colleagues know the depth of this problem. This phenomenon exists in spite of the fact that golf equipment is far superior to the tools used in the past. The golf ball flies farther and straighter than ever before (from the same force and vectors applied at impact). Golf courses are far better conditioned. There are literally hundreds of teaching and learning aids that claim to take strokes off your handicap in a month’s time. Certainly the feedback mechanisms used in the game today, such as video, augmented feedback, Tracman, and the myriad of technology-based gadgets, including distance finding global positioning mechanisms, provide more information about how the player is performing than could possibly be imagined by golfers of even a generation ago.

This book will enlighten the people who can read it without a bias towards their particular, preferred ways of training, teaching, and learning. It is my hope that the book will find its way into the hands of millions of teachers, coaches, parents and golfers. Michael has had a second career as an itinerant graduate student in education, psychology and neuroscience, and he has done the game a service by sticking his neck out, while most of us timid souls wring our hands and fret over the sad state of affairs and future of the game. I have had the blessing and the honor of wearing a New York Yankee uniform and going to work everyday with athletes like Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, and I have also witnessed the courage and mental toughness of other athletes that I have worked with such as Evander Holyfield, Bernhard Langer, and Andre Johnson. Michael’s courage belongs in the same category with these sports heroes.

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Michael’s Newest Book is now Available!

by Ryan on August 6, 2013

Modernizing Approaches to Learning

Is temporarily sold out

Check Back soon for updates on availability

Now Available on Amazon.com

Below is what Karl Morris, one of Europe’s leading Performance Coaches had to say about the new book.

“I have been to many teaching conferences, I haven’t listened to numerous dvd and cd’s, I have bought enough golf books to open a library but almost all of these ‘instructions and instructors’ missed the KEY point. All the coaches were telling us WHAT to learn without any real understanding of HOW we learn. In his new book Michael Hebron addresses this fundamental weakness and gap in the instruction industry. All of our futures depend on our capability to learn, if we don’t learn we just repeat, we do more of the same things that bind us to the status quo. The joy of learning new information for yourself can only be matched and possibly exceeded by the joy of helping someone learn something new. If you are a coach or an educator of any kind you need to do yourself but more importantly you need to do your students a favour by reading Mike’s book. It is a testimony to a man who has devoted his life to his passion for learning and you will be MISSING a huge opportunity to grow as a coach , a student and indeed a person if you don’t decide to buy this book now.” ~Karl Morris

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A Constant Application of Force

by Ryan on May 25, 2013

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Great Commercial

by Ryan on April 30, 2013

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A Preview of Michael’s Newest Book

by Ryan on April 20, 2013

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The Masters is upon us, once again inspiring the golfing heart like the Wodehouse morning “when all nature shouted Fore!”

I’m anxious to get on the course, but as finding the actual time gets more challenging, it’s hit me that in all these years I’ve gotten as much pleasure from the thinking about how to play better as I have from the actual playing.

Basically, I’m a compulsive golf experimenter. As pointless and counterproductive as it seems to most, I love to assess the flaws in my game and incessantly consider possible antidotes, the whole process springing from the vain belief that I know I can be better than this. It doesn’t take much for a new idea to gain temporary currency — putting at a table leg, air-swinging before the reflection from a sliding glass door or just watching Golf Channel. Often, the obsession needs only the mind’s eye and a quiet moment, and perhaps a scrap of paper to urgently write down something vague and perishable like “Swing PAST the ball.”

My search is for a personal unified field theory, the key idea that will suddenly get my weak limbs and soft core moving with athletic cohesion, leading to pure contact, power, accuracy and repeatability. I know such a flimsy approach is a presumptuous shortcut, arrogant in its ignorance, and, if precedent matters at all, doomed. Yet it’s the chase that for me makes the game intoxicating.

I’m currently pursuing some ideas gleaned from Dick Mayer’s rich but obscure account of a putting lesson from Bobby Locke, thus my suddenly closed stance and inside takeaway on the greens. On the full swing, a recent passing comment from Raymond Floyd about how all good players “cover the ball” has me finishing in a Tempo Raymundo-style forward lean. Both imitations are likely to be short-lived, but at the moment, I’m considering them prime candidates to make the permanent cut.

All this jacking around doesn’t mean I don’t respect the work of the great instructors (Leadbetter, Toski, Haney, Harmon et al.) that I’ve had the privilege to converse with and listen to and occasionally take (an always helpful) lesson from. As a group, they’ve been my biggest source of insight into the game. But all acknowledge that learning, especially about how to get better at golf, requires a deeply personal engagement. It’s a nuanced and difficult process, and if both teacher and student are honest, the mystery always remains.

It’s why reliance on a teacher is tricky. In a recent New Yorker article, the concert pianist Jeremy Denk, in a first-person piece about the stages of learning, writes about how he “slipped into the dangerous state of craving a guru, someone who would tie it all together.” When he thought he had found such a teacher, he regressed, finally realizing that it was because “my idea of music merged with my idea of him.”

Similarly, I believe that competitive golf is still recovering from the way David Leadbetter helped Nick Faldo win majors with an apparent mechanic/machine relationship. It can’t be a coincidence that the two finest strikers ever by acclama- tion — Hogan and Trevino — worked it out themselves.

As Hank Haney recently told pupil Michael Phelps on his television show, “This whole thing is up to you. It’s not up to me.” Master professional Michael Hebron doesn’t even like to use the word teacher, preferring the term “learnist” — one who facilitates moments of self discovery. The last sentence of Denk’s story says of teachers, “They have given all the help they can; the only person who can solve the labyrinth of yourself is you.” When Arnold Palmer warmly urges, “Swing YOUR swing,” he’s saying that somewhere in all of us, after fundamentals are absorbed, there are things we do naturally that we should never abandon. I give you Inbee Park.

I’ve enjoyed going it alone too much to settle on “my” swing, although if I had been good enough to have my scores put in the newspaper, I’m pretty sure I would have. I won’t argue that I’m a head case, a player who gets in his own way and makes the game too complicated.

But I also know that when I do get out, usually in the late afternoon at Mid Pines GC in the sandhills of North Carolina, a Donald Ross original with a recently restored naturalness that evokes a smaller-scale Pine Valley, and hit a good shot that no one else witnesses, that act alone, and all the thought that went into it, lives inside me like few other things ever have.

Let the season begin.

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