When I was a teenager, my stepdad taught me how to hit a golf ball. He was a humanities teacher for most of his career (and a bloody good one – speaking as one of his former students), and a single-figure handicap golfer (and still is). Being the impatient teen I was, I’d get frustrated with my perceived lack of progress as he taught me the techniques (physical and mental) that I needed to master if I wanted to get better. I’d feel like I was working as hard as I could, but that I wasn’t getting better. Then, every now and then, I’d ‘spike’, and my skill (or at least the measure of my skill, namely my scores around a course), would move to the ‘next level’ – dropping a few handicap strokes in a short time before plateauing again.