Swing Direction and Strike

We shouldn’t forget the effect that changing the swing direction has on where the player strikes the ground.

For a right handed player, moving the swing direction more right = ground contact moving more towards the ball.

Moving the swing direction more left = ground contact moving more after the ball.

Club Path and Shanks

I have very rarely seen the shanks be improved by working on club path directly

A Peaceful Feeling

One of the worst feelings that you can have as a coach is a group lesson that you haven’t prepared for. You scramble around, jumping from idea to idea, person to person, trying desperately to stave off any potential restlessness, frustration or even boredom that they may have.

Compare that with a well-prepared session. Nothing is a surprise. Everything flows seamlessly. The session runs itself. The group runs itself. You mainly observe. Calmness.

They’re Safe

A key part of Junior coaching is letting the parents know that their children are in good hands with you.

A lot of the time this is created in teh first few minutes of the first session. Make a joke or two, be relaxed in yourself and let them know through your body language and tone of voice that you have done this 1000 times before and there’s no need to worry.

Know Who You’re Talking To

Each player that we work with is different from the one before and the one after and thus should be treated as such. 

At 9am you might have someone who enjoys a chat and a laugh.

At 10am you might talk to someone more seriously with no questions at all outside what you are working on now.

At 11am they might be nervous.

12pm really ambitious.

And it goes on…

A large part of coaching is finding out what makes the person in front of you tick and with that knowledge you can help to extract top performance. Yes, we have to express ourselves as coaches but we also have to adapt to the person in front of us.

Simplicity

Sometimes the simplest lessons are the best lessons. For the right person, working on something as seemingly banal as ball position for the entire lesson will do just the trick.

Working on something else that you weren’t really too comfortable with working on for the fear of seeming too simplistic or not as knowledgable runs the risk of confusing the player and a drop in performance.

Don’t be afraid to keep things simple especially if it is producing good results

Where Are You Aiming?

One question that rarely gets talked about is asking a player where they are aiming. Only going on my own experience, I would say the vast majority of golfers just starting hitting into the abyss of the driving range without either picking a target or if they do pick a target, without telling you directly what that target is.

As Butch says, “if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time”. As every shot we hit on the course must have a target, I think it’s fair to say that every shot in practice or in a lesson should have a target as well.

José

My hairdresser is called José. He cuts my hair well. Not that I am fastidious about it. I’ve asked for the same haircut for about 30 years and never really touch my hair. He’s good. But I keep going back to José because he talks to me and I like talking to him. There are probably 100 hairdressers in my town who could do the same or even better job than him but I always keep going back to José.