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Develop your ‘muscle memory’

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

The players’ association for professional golfers gives a trophy each year to the pro with the lowest stroke average over the season. Tiger Woods won it in 2000 with an average of 68.43 strokes per round. Phil Mickleson came in second with 69.25, and Ernie Els third with 69.31. Woods won the trophy by 82/100ths of a stroke.

One prerequisite for grabbing and keeping your edge is nerve. Another is “muscle memory,” a talent developed from constant drill and practice. Muscle memory takes you beyond understanding what you need to do, to the point that your muscles are trained to hit the target every time. It’s why basketball star Larry Bird spent hours practicing shots, and why Tiger Woods finishes a tournament and heads straight to the practice greens.

Lesson: Don’t learn the best way to do something, then let it atrophy. Keep doing it until it becomes second nature.

— Adapted from Golf and the Game of Leadership, Donald McHugh, Amacom.

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