COACH VERSUS TEACHER
A teacher tells you what to do, perhaps lays out a pre-defined structure and passes on their knowledge.
A coach tries to understand you and helps you to navigate through the murky waters of improvement with a personal focus.
I consider myself a coach.
No matter how good the technology, the facility or the small talk – if there is little improvement there is little point. I truly believe everyone can improve in a measurable way. It’s up to me to make you better – to provide you with the tools for improvement.
I’m not perfect. I have made coaching mistakes and will continue to make them. Hindsight can be a wonderful thing. But I won’t make changes on a whim.
Bad coaching is poor communication and a lack of understanding from the pupil. It is a lack of reasoning and a lack of results.
Good coaching creates an obvious improvement in performance – visual, feel or result based. It is also clarity from the pupil on how this was achieved and can be maintained.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
Alongside their pupil, coaches in front of a computer screen list the number of ways they are different than their favourite golfer. It maybe increases their swing position knowledge but I have rarely seen it create a lasting difference – often impacting confidence.
FEEL THE DIFFERENCE
Despite all modern forms of feedback, when we are on the course in competition all we have is feel. I would never complete a lesson without discussing in great detail what YOU feel.
Swing drills mean different things to different golfers. For me they mean no swing aids. They are ways to hit balls which provide clear feedback for the pupil . It gives them a feel they can use on the course. It gives them a way to practice that guarantees change.
When did change in any context ever feel comfortable? Let me take you outside the comfort zone of your golf to effect change. But this doesn’t mean going back to square one. Change is not black and white. It is an evolution. An evolution of feel, perception and confidence.
YOUR BODY IS YOUR SWING
See a physio if you want to achieve your potential and if you want to prevent injury. The force of the golf swing is massive. They can give you abilities that I cant. A physio’s feedback helps me to understand how your body works best.
A FAULT OR TENDANCY?
A fault is something incorrect, something that prevents success. A tendency is an individuals pattern. Jordan Spieth has no faults. But he has some unique tendencies. Do you have a fault or do you not look like your favourite pro?
DEFINING YOUR STRENGTHS
So often a lesson can feel like an exam. Something you have to survive or get a good grade. A lesson should be a fun exploration of your strengths and weaknesses. In my experience everyone has something in their game that works well.
GOLF IS NOT ONLY A SWING
Your swing does not define your ability or your potential. Golf has so many aspects to it that can outweigh one or two less than perfect swing positions. I will always try and understand your game as a whole.
The downswing takes 0.4 seconds. How many swing thoughts can you get into that time? Improve by training your instinct.
WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION
I love the complexity of golf and the fact that it can’t be conquered. I love the day to day variability that is so extreme relative to other sports. I love seeing people achieve their goals.
What’s your motivation?