FOR BETTER OR WORSE? – VIDEO COACHING
This article will discuss and debate the merits and faults of video coaching in improving your performance. We will refer to the video lesson as remote coaching for the rest of the article as the coaching may take the form of a an email or podcast. The introduction of the internet has created a large change throughout the world to the volume and type of information available. A new idea or method can spread worldwide in days with the correct application whereas in previous generations books where the most likely source of knowledge. It is just as likely that a golfer in Fiji will be aware of the information or techniques promoted by Tiger’s new coach on the day of his appointment, as a golfer in the USA close to the source.
But before we go any further lets state a key fact – remote coaching is inferior to the real thing. I’m sure many reading this article have improved or rely on, the help provided online. There is absolutely no aspect of the game that isn’t covered in great detail by the internet. So why is the real thing a better option?
GOLF COACHING – FACE TO FACE
With any type of teaching a personal relationship will accelerate the learning process (if their information is correct!) This is because a lot more is revealed between teacher and student in terms of personality, their learning style and ability to digest information. A deeper analysis of the skill performance is possible from the teacher also. In golf terms understanding what a player is capable of will dictate your strategy of coaching them. For example their definition of acceptable performance may be a long way from yours!
I would go as far to say that until you witness your pupil on the course or play some holes with them, you are not appreciating their performance in the correct context. Many golfers are capable of a high degree of efficiency on the range but become wild on the course. In person you can decide how much of this is their sporting psychology or symptomatic of a poor swing breaking down under pressure. A real life relationship creates a bit more trust and mutual respect – the teacher is present as the pupil adapts or learns and struggles with habit change.
REMOTE GOLF COACHING
So what can remote coaching offer? The internet has added an extra dimension to the struggle for improvement. A random remote lesson may pay off but it becomes just like any other version of up front advice offered on-line. It lacks specificity, it is designed for the mass market and relies on you to adapt the advice for your technique.
Successful remote coaching, where it can really add value and aid improvement, is in it’s practicality and price. The exchange of information between student and teacher can happen anytime, anywhere. Price wise the remote coaching is generally included as part of a package and helps to provide great value. As an example a golfer on tour may not have the opportunity to see his coach more than once a month and cannot afford to fly him to the next event. But with some insight from the player such as statistics, trackman data, a swing video and a diary of competition thoughts and emotions a clear picture emerges for the coach. With comparison to their previous analysis the coach can see a likely help with faults or confirm an improvement to the player.
Another example may be that a player comes across videos and articles of a coach that they really get a benefit from. The player may wish for an analysis and advice from the coach and as a real life visit would require a flight across continents, the on-line lesson is a good option!
The tour player example is the most complex example but generally it allows the coach to ‘always be there’ for the student rather than leave them to fend for themselves. Golfers at all levels are anything but bulletproof and require confident boosts of assurance that they are on the right track.
A remote coaching service may be offered as a one off assessment or as part of a package. At MEandMI golf we offer both. For the player that receives face to face coaching or takes playing lessons the remote coaching method is a valuable addition to their learning. Rather than the coaching time being used to recap previous lessons or to catch up on how the practice and competitions have been going, this information is exchanged beforehand. The lesson becomes, a more efficient goal oriented process as a result.
This off-course mentoring may be a simple tournament report or a detailed full swing progress report. It may be to answer a question after a club-fitting session or more commonly, having tried a friends club or swing tip!
For golfers who are not local and don’t have the opportunity for a face to face session we strive to make our video lessons as helpful as possible. Many video lessons take the simple form of sending in your swing to receive analysis on your differences or faults versus a model swing – generally one of the most physically gifted players in the world! This is little more than a spot the difference competition and is a reason for the general reputation of video coaching.
At MEandMI we provide a detailed questionnaire for each new golfer that purchases a video lesson in our on-line shop. The intention is to simulate a face to face golf lesson and understand as much as possible about the golfers traits and ability before providing advice. The lessons are not restricted to full swing, putting and short game video lessons are highly recommended. A coach providing analysis is usually restricted by only having one or two videos available from the golfer – the large data files being the main reason.
To combat this and provide better analysis we utilise the sports coaching application – EDUFII. With access via a laptop or your smartphone, EDUFII keeps all your correspondence in one place. Access is via the cloud so no file transfer is needed. The video below demonstrates its exciting features:
Excited to try EDUFII? Why not create your account and training space just now? Add Malcolm Isaacs as your coach and upload your swing!