golf instructor coaching student

Qualities of a Good Golf Instructor

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My golf instruction has a process that needs to be followed in order to give each student the maximum results for their time, effort and money invested. 

Teaching the same swing to every student regardless of age, physical ability, or body structure can lead to frustration for both the student and the instructor.  I call this being a “cookie-cutter instructor”.  Using my 35 previous years of coaching experience, let me explain. 

Different Strokes for Different Folks

My studies in college included learning about the anatomy and physiology of the human body.  This has been very beneficial throughout the years in evaluating how and why my students move their bodies in their own unique ways when pitching a baseball, high jumping or hurdling.  I have found that the same applies to golf instruction. 

A prime example would be finding a baseball pitcher’s natural arm slot to throw a baseball.  I would simply ask pitchers I worked with to go to center field, then hit them fly balls and watch their natural motion of throwing the baseball back into the infield.  Then we would work from their natural arm slot throughout their lessons. 

A good instructor, no matter what the sport, will never ask a student to do something they can’t physically do, nor will they ask them to do something that will make their ability to reach their goal much harder than necessary.  

Take Time to Talk

When meeting with a new student, we first sit down and get to know things about one another.  This gives me the opportunity to find out about other sports or activities they have been engaged in order to relate them to their lessons when appropriate. 

This is the time to also find out about any physical handicaps or disabilities that could affect their ability to swing the golf club. 

I have them stand straight facing me, back to me and to the side to check certain things about their body structure that could cause flaws in their swing.  Then I have them walk toward me and then away from me to gain additional information.  I then share that information with my student.  

Student Goals & Expectations

Next, I ask my student what they plan to achieve from their experience taking golf lessons? What amount of time are they willing to invest in this process?  We then set goals that are “SMART”.  All goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.  

Individual Swing Analysis

Now it is time to put all this into motion.  I take them to the range and allow them to hit some balls, pre-instruction, and video them for a baseline from which to work.  We analyze the video and I use only positive reinforcement to address aspects of their golf swing. 

The student is given specific things to work on that will enhance their swing, within their physical abilities, and prepare them for the next lesson.  We focus on the unique things about the student’s swing and use them to achieve maximum results.  

In Conclusion

In conclusion, I give the student two to three basic things to work on to improve their swing. These will be very simple, easily achievable movements that can be repeated successfully. Getting the student to understand this is a process that takes time and effort enhances their ability to be patient. For most, this will be a distance race, not a sprint.

What do you expect to learn from your golf instructor? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

Read about identifying stressors in your golf game here.

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