Updated: Jan 6
G60 Blog - Social Facilitation. Why G60 Works
I come from a background of team sports. Growing up in the UK, Football (Soccer) was my main sport. I loved football then and still do now. The main obvious difference between football and golf is the team element. In football you have teammates to help inspire, motivate and compete with. In golf you’re on your own.
There are advantages and disadvantages to being on your own. Golf, as an individual sport, is the ultimate test. Once you’re out on the golf course, you can’t rely on teammates to help you out when it gets tough. It’s all on you. That can make things harder. But some golfers love this part of golf. The feeling of being in complete control of your destiny can definitely be a positive thing.
Playing these 2 sports to a fairly decent standard made me think about how I would train for each sport. Generally, football is practiced in a group/team environment, whereas golf is practiced in a solo environment. Looking back on my playing days, coming from practicing in a team environment to a solo environment was tough for me. Sometimes it was hard to motivate myself to put the time in, sometimes I couldn't think of drills/games to do whilst practicing, and other times I just felt a bit lonely! I didn’t realise it at the time but I think I would have benefited from being in the presence of others whilst practicing golf.
These thoughts led me to do some research on training/practicing in the presence of others, and whether that can have a positive effect on performance. I looked into the theory of Social Facilitation which was first proposed by researcher Norman Triplett in 1898.
What is Social Facilitation?
Social facilitation is a psychological concept relating to the tendency for the presence of others to improve a person's performance on a task.
Triplett first studied bicycle racing by looking at records from a cycling association. He noticed a curious phenomenon whereby cyclists who were racing against others performed better than those who were trying to beat their own times.
In terms of a basic definition of social facilitation, it refers to improvement in performance induced by the real, implied, or imagined presence of others.
Two types of social facilitation have also been defined: co-action effects and audience effects:
Co-action effects: A co-action effect refers to your performance being better on a task, merely because there are other people doing the same task as you. An example would be working at an office with coworkers instead of in a solitary environment.
Audience effects: An audience effect refers to your performance being better because you are doing something in front of an audience. An example would be a pianist playing at home versus on stage in front of a crowd.
In addition, social facilitation is thought to involve three factors: physiological factors (drive and arousal), cognitive factors (distraction and attention), and affective factors (anxiety and self-presentation).
Physiological factors: This refers to a higher arousal level and drive to perform
Cognitive factors: This refers to the role of attention and distraction in social facilitation. For example, having people watch you do something can make you feel more focused.
Affective factors: Finally, affective factors refers to how anxiety and self-presentation influence social facilitation.
Factors such as the supportiveness of the audience, how close it is, and its size may play a role in social facilitation. Luckily at G60, we have a great group of people at G60 who are constantly supporting, motivating and encouraging their fellow members in a group environment.
G60 Group Training - Why it works
The benefits of social facilitation are obvious to see in our group sessions at G60. Practicing in the presence of others is what we’re all about.
The short game sessions are conducted in groups of 6-10 golfers. The drills, games and routines are all set up by the coach so our players don’t have to worry about that. The sessions are centred around fun, competition, and pressurised practice.
The driving range sessions are a little bit more individual, but our members are still in the presence of others whilst practicing. Couple this with the feedback and guidance our members receive from their coach, and we have a winning combination.
We notice a much quicker rate of improvement with players practicing in this group environment than players who take sporadic private golf lessons.
Maybe you’re one of those people (like me) who struggles to motivate yourself to practice your game…
Maybe you’re one of those people (like me) who comes from a team sport environment where practicing on your own feels difficult and doesn’t produce the best results…
Maybe you’ve been taking private golf lessons with little to no feedback in between and not seeing the results you’d like…
If so, consider clicking the link below to apply for G60 membership and start changing the way you practice the game.