The Issue

The Issue isn’t their grip.
The Issue isn’t that they sway.
The Issue isn’t that they didn’t hold the lag.

The Issue is that they hit it fat.

Having A Whiteboard

Having a whiteboard in the lesson can be so helpful. Personally I like to write down, more or less with every lesson, something like the following:

Direction is right
=
Face open

Objective: Clubface more closed on impact

It might seem overly simplistic but often people are looking for simplistic. Plus, they can easily take a picture of it at the end of the session.

They Were Really Happy

If you’re looking to employ someone and/or work with someone who always comments on how well their lessons have gone then be careful.

“They hit it so much better”
“Yeh it was easy”
“They were really happy” 

Are often said but not often true. 

If you ask me I would rather be around the person who says that their lesson has gone poorly.

Ask For Permission

Whether we like it or not, it would be fair to say that society as a whole lives as a whole by a different set of standards. Particularly in the workplace, there are a slew of different rules that we must live by to respect those who we encounter.

Although it would be fair to say that sometimes this spills over into exaggeration and oversensitivity, I do believe that the way we comport ourselves with our players should be wholly respectful. This is particularly the case when it comes to physically touching those in our care.

It sometimes still is the case that a coach will physically force the player (sometimes quite strongly might I add) into desired movements or positions. Hands on elbows, shoulders and even hips are often seen as a necessary way for players to get desired feedback from the coach.

Although I don’t necessarily agree with this, if you believe that this is worthwhile for your player, I would strongly advise asking for permission before you do. Not in a written statement or anything but a simple…

“I’m just going to touch your shoulder here, if that’s okay?”

The chances that they refuse are slim to none and you avoid them feeling uncomfortable. 

Take care when working with your players. For your sake and theirs.

 

Go With The Energy Of The Group

Especially when you’re working with Juniors, moods change. Interest changes. Energy changes.

Rather than viewing this as a nuisance, go with it. Try not to resist and put them through something that goes against where they’re at today. Nobody wins.

Be patient. Go with the flow. Go with them. And take advantage of those days or moments when they are with you to get some good work done.

Coaching In Other Sports

If you go to a coaching forum or event in most other sports they talk about topics like: leadership, finding out what makes the player in front of you tick and managing different personalities.

We don’t do that in golf.

Different Clubs For New Golfers

A new golfer can often be bombarded with information from the coach regarding how to stand, how to swing, how to play etc.

Personally I don’t believe that more information in the form of describing the differences between clubs should necessary be piled on top.

If a coach wants to explain the differences between clubs, the best bet would be to ask them to hit a few shots with a sand wedge. Then a 7 iron. Then a hybrid. Then a driver.

Depending on the level of contact, it will be evident what the different clubs do and also how some or easier to hit than others. The coach can then explain clearly and succinctly why they’re seeing what they’re seeing.

Longer laster learning comes through self-discovery rather than being told.

Silence

When speaking to players, sometimes the best thing you can do is just remain silent. Even though it’s tempting to interject and maybe finish their sentence or to let them know that you have the solution to the problem that they’re having; don’t.

Every word they utter or every shift of their body gives you invaluable clues as to how they see things and thus, how they should be treated to eke out their best level of performance.