KEY SKILLS OF A PERFORMANCE COACH

COMMUNICATION – It doesn’t matter what style or information you possess an inability to communicate will see you fail. This doesn’t just mean speaking or writing clearly, this means directly engaging with your audience. Can you communicate with visual ideas or unique imagery? Are they engaged?

INSPIRATION – Can you inspire your audience? Is your passion easy to see? Going the extra mile, setting a great example and showing complete confidence in your delivery creates confidence in others. Inspire others!

TRAINING METHODS- What methods create real and permanent change? We have all had that eureka moment when practicing or receiving a lesson….how do we repeat that success? The same principles of habit change that apply to those who are trying to give up smoking apply to us as well. You can have the best of intentions but without the correct principles in place your old habit will likely reassert its dominance again.

STYLES OF LEARNING – A knowledge of habit change is key, but a perception of the audience will speed up the process of improvement. For instance a persons handicap does not dictate their ability to grasp different learning concepts. Usually a higher handicap improves quicker as they have less ingrained habits.

TECHNICAL SKILLS- Also known as swing theory, this is the area where the majority of help and advice is offered to players. The technique of a player obviously makes a big difference to the result. But not nearly as much as most people think. I can think of a few scratch golfers that demonstrate better technical skills than some millionaire professionals! Why they don’t make millions from golf is a key part of understanding performance coaching.

BIOMECHANICS- In golf, biomechanics can be defined as “the understanding of laws of the mechanics that are applied to human movement and athletic performance.” The implication is that golf isn’t unique in its requirement for creating speed, balance, strength and flexibility. These athletic components are essential for performing certain skills. Without this understanding a performance coach is unqualified. Recommending a player change his shoulder flexibility, for example, could have a much more immediate and positive affect on his overall performance than working on a technical skill.

MENTAL PRINCIPLES- Similar to the above a sound understanding of golf psychology is needed. It helps the performance coach to direct the players focus of improvement to the correct area. For example what would cause a player to hit a drive out of bounds on the first tee after a fantastic practice on the range? Should he work on his swing – probably not. Yes you can explain what happened with the club face and swing path to create that shot but we are interested in the ROOT cause!

 STRATEGY- This is a fantastic area of discussion for most golfers when on the course with a pro. The pro’s ability to think ahead, to create a strategy with the biggest margin of error and employment of statistical evidence is of huge benefit to the amateur. It’s amazing the effect on your confidence when every decision is almost pre-determined by factual evidence. Once the players emotions of fear and hope are removed a clear pathway for decision making appears.

Thanks for reading and as always we love to hear from you on your journey to lower scores!

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