PGAs of EuropeCoaching – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:18:28 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9 U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar: 09 November – Hamburg, Germany http://www.pgae.com/news/u-s-kids-golf-certified-coaches-seminar-09-november-hamburg-germany/ Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:01:49 +0000 U.S. Kids Golf http://www.pgae.com/?p=20330 Register now for the latest U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar on 09 November in Hamburg, Germany...]]>

Registration Opens – Sep 19, 2017

Registration Closes – Nov 09, 2017

Price – $119.00

Participating in a U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach Seminar enhances the coach’s knowledge of all aspects of youth golf that can be utilized to enhance his/her current program or provide the basis for establishing new offerings. Areas of focus during the seminar include:

Perfect Swings Begin with the Perfect Fit:

The importance of properly-fitted clubs to maximize success for both young golfers and their coaches. Proprietary research on swing speed development for junior golfers.

Scaling the Game:

Research regarding proper length of course setup for players based on their driver carry distance will be provided so that coaches will become experts in golf course setup and yardages. Tailoring the course for young golfers will result in lower scores, encouraging more rounds and increasing retention.

Enhancing Current Junior Programs:

Tools, resources, best practices and bringing “fun” to their junior programs through a games-based curriculum. The seminars will feature an outdoor session that will demonstrate game-based learning with games from the U.S. Kids Golf Book of Games.

Other topics presented in more detail include:

  • Analysis of golf participation and programs vs. other youth sports.
  • “Scaling” of the following elements for youth: Equipment, The Golf Course, Competition and Instruction.
  • Parental involvement and introduction to the “Positive Coaching Alliance”.
  • High-quality instruction focusing on fun and achievement while teaching fundamentals.
  • Introduction to golf-specific games to serve as a key component in instruction.

Completing the Certified Coach process

Certified Coach Frequently Asked Questions

LOCATION – Gut Kaden Golf and Land Club GmbH, Kadener Straße 9 , D-25486 Alveslohe

DATE AND TIME – Thursday, 9 November | 8:15-16:30

HOTEL INFORMATION –  A limited number of rooms are available at Gut Kaden.  Reservations can be made at Gut Kaden.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Seminar – http://eur.pe/2idJSKu

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U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar: 09 November – Hamburg, Germany
“If Disney Ran Your Hospital…The Things You Would Do Differently” http://www.pgae.com/ask/if-disney-ran-your-hospital-the-things-you-would-do-differently/ Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:00:05 +0000 Tony Bennett http://www.pgae.com/?p=20277 "Author Fred Lee gives his advice on the five behaviours that customers really value in those who provide them with services..."]]>

On my latest read of the thought provoking, “If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently”, author Fred Lee, gives his advice on the five behaviours that customers value in those who provide them with services.

Fred observes that hospital patients judge their experience not only by the way they are treated for the disease but also, and more importantly, by the way, that they are treated as a person…

If Fred is right, and incidentally I think that he is, and if this concept transfers across into golf, which I think it does, then the ‘how’ is perhaps more important than the ‘what’? This is an essential point for all, coaches, managers, and leaders to recognise. By the way, the great ones do; that is one reason that they are great.

Content, or perhaps we should call it knowledge, can be learned. In fact, content can be learned by almost anyone on almost any subject. Certainly, there is always content to learn or be updated on, that is the nature of progress. Often people have a fascination for content, and yet they have a hard time sharing that knowledge in a way that can make a difference in the life of someone else. I believe that it is possible to learn enough content for whatever role you have in a short period of time to become good at almost any subject. Learning to share that knowledge however is altogether different.

Back to Fred Lee and his five behaviours. Fred conveniently created the acronym S.H.A.R.E. Essentially these behaviours boiled down to the following values: using initiative, being part of a team, understanding the customer’s feelings, treating them with courtesy and making sure that communication is open and honest.

  • S – Sense people’s needs before they ask (initiative)
  • H – Help each other out (teamwork)
  • A – Acknowledge people’s feelings (empathy)
  • R – Respect the dignity and privacy of everyone (courtesy)
  • E – Explain what is happening (communication)

So if the ‘how’ is so important then how can golf focus more on how to share experience and knowledge so that it is relevant, timely and useful? There are many answers to this question, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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“If Disney Ran Your Hospital…The Things You Would Do Differently”
Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/ask/nutrition-for-golf-with-david-dunne/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:53:13 +0000 David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/?p=20284 Nutritionist, David Dunne, gives his insight into considerations when working with golfers of all abilities to maximise performance...]]>

Golf is, without doubt, one of the most exciting opportunities in the world of performance science in 2017. However, despite these high stakes there has been very little research done to date in elite golf.

This forces us as practitioners to extrapolate ideas from other areas of research and trial them with the players we work with as we refine and optimise our strategies and learn from the players, coaches and caddies until the research catches up.

I’m pretty fortunate to have a younger brother on the European Tour who has fast tracked my practitioner learning curve in golf and helped build up some practice based evidence which hopefully over the next few years can be trialled and tested to eventually translate into evidenced based practice.

Until such a time, I hope the following provides an insight into some considerations when working with golfers or even some food for thought (apologies for the pun) for Tour Professionals themselves.

 

Pre Round Fuelling

Golfers are faced with three different fuelling scenarios on a day to day basis. They are either out early (which often means a 5am start!), mid morning, or in the early afternoon.

Despite these timings changing, which may impact on meal timings and portion size, the underlying principles of how to fuel the round don’t.

Ok so what are we looking for? Well when we look at the demands of golf a round generally takes approximately 4 hours, top this up with 60-120 minutes of prep time (warm up, range, putting green, conversations with caddy, etc) and we are looking at about a 5-6 hour shift.

During this 5-6 hour shift mental focus, stable energy levels and adequate hydration are going to be key, as one poor decision or energy dip can ruin your card and separate the winners from the also-rans.

As a result the pre round meal should be finished approximately 90 minutes before the round to give the body time to digest the food and the player time to prepare. The meal itself should contain some high fibre low GI carbohydrates, such as oats, to provide a sustained release of energy over the coming hours.

This portion of carbohydrates should be complemented with a source of high quality protein, such as greek yoghurt or eggs, to not only supply the muscles with amino acids to support muscle maintenance and function but also to aid the production of neuro-transmitters to improve mental focus and induce satiety.

This base of protein and carbs should then be finished off with some high quality dietary sources of fat to provide some low intensity fuel, e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado, etc as well as some fruits and/or vegetables to bump up the micronutrient content of the meal.

A simple example of this for a 9am tee time would be a bowl of nutty muesli topped with banana and fresh berries coupled with a 3 egg omelette and a large glass of water at 6.45am. For a 2pm tee time, a baked salmon fillet with a sweet potato and feta salad would also be a good example.

On Course Nutrition

The goal on the course is exactly the same, optimise mental focus, keep stable energy levels and remain hydrated. As a result on course snacks will follow a similar trend aiming to provide some low GI carbs, a moderate amount of protein and some high quality fats.

To ensure a steady supply of energy as well as reducing symptoms of hunger it is best to spread 3-4 snacks out evenly over the round. Depending on the length of the course players may wish to eat on holes 5, 10 and 15 (particularly if it’s a shorter course) or on holes 4, 8, 12 and 16 (better suited to longer and/or slower rounds). These snacks can be prepared (in an ideal world) ahead of time by the player or one of their team or purchased for convenience.

Some great examples of on course snacks that players/their team can prepare would be homemade protein bars, nut and seed “energy” balls, oat based banana bread.

Speaking from experience, some of these snacks can be prepared with no more equipment than a mixing bowl so could be an easy way to kill 10 minutes on a Monday and set you up for the week. However, preparing your own snacks is not always possible so picking up some nuts and seed tubes/bars, bananas, beef jerky and protein bars is also a good call.

What does need to stay more regular than the eating on course is the drinking! The best way to stay on top of this is to not only consume a few mouthfuls of fluid along with each snack, but also on each hole either as you are walking down the fairway or walking to the next tee box. You might find on hot days that you may need to do both!

As for what’s in the bottle, it is best to drink water with additional electrolytes (a simple effervescent tablet will do – sugary sports drinks should be avoided). As a result the player should be equipped with 3-4 agreed on snacks before leaving the locker room and 2 bottles of water and a tube of electrolytes to top up when needed during the round. The only time this may differ is on a Sunday, in which case you always bring more and are fully prepared to go down 19 if required!

Nutrition for Recovery/Sleep

Post-round the shift focuses to recover for the following day’s play. Again this meal should contain some quality protein to aid muscle repair and maintenance however, unlike most sports there is no need to feed high volumes of carbohydrates to refuel, a moderate potion accompanied with some tasty vegetables will do.

For example, a nice lean steak with some mash potato and pan fried vegetables would fit nicely, as would a tasty teriyaki chicken stir-fry with some additional vegetables. This meal is generally the easiest for most players to get right.

This meal should be followed up with a nighttime snack, again to support recovery but also to enhance sleep, e.g. greek yoghurt with tart cherry mixed through.

Nutrition for Travel

As the competition draws to a close on Sunday, most players make their way straight from the locker room to the airport as they head on to the next event. For Tour Professionals, the schedule can be relentless and this high volume of flights, temporary time zones and often new/foreign cuisines all increase the risk of illness for the players and caddies.

These at-risk periods and shifting circadian rhythms should all be supported with appropriate performance planning to not only ensure the player and caddy acclimatise as soon as possible for the next tournament but also minimise the volume of days a player and his caddy may lose to illness.

I hope this gives some insight and sparks some thoughts about how nutrition may impact on a golfer’s performance. With the lack of current evidence available it seems the next step is for the tours to continue to innovate in performance nutrition research – then we can see how well the worlds best can really play.

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This article appears courtesy of the Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society – www.basem.co.uk/usems

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Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne
Growth Mindset Culture http://www.pgae.com/ask/growth-mindset-culture/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:16:23 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=11094 The USA Women’s Volleyball Team has been one of the best at applying growth mindset into their team culture...]]>

The USA Women’s Volleyball Team has been one of the best at applying growth mindset into their team culture. 

Their staff explains how they do it:

This interview was the inspiration behind The Growth Mindset Playbook (a page dedicated to laying out the best ways to teach and implement growth mindset).

I’d like to give a huge S/O to Karch and his staff for being so incredible these past few years – I can’t explain how much they’ve helped the Train Ugly mission!

If you’d like to see the crew in action and learn more about their approaches, check out:

THE TRAINING THE GAP CONFERENCE

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Growth Mindset Culture
PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-marie-jeffery-pga-of-austria-podcast/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:07:43 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20084 Marie Jeffery tells us about how she got into golf, her work in the world of 'Communicology', and her views on female participation and development in golf...]]>

Marie Jeffery is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of Austria Member. We spoke to Marie to find out more about how she got into golf, her work in the world of ‘Communicology’, her experience with the Austrian Girls National Team and views on female participation and development in golf.

“I think women’s golf has a great future if it can market itself correctly. For me it’s as exciting watching a ladies’ tournament as it is watching a men’s tournament. Sometimes people get a bit drawn to how far the ball flies and they attack impossible pins and take on impossible shots, but the ladies play really clever golf too.

“I was at the Evian Championship last year and what I saw was very impressive – they had a very professional attitude and were really focused on the range so there’s no difference between them and the guys. I would like to see ladies get much more TV time and more acknowledgement for what they are doing.”

Interview Highlights:

00:29 – How Marie got into golf…

01:39 – Entering a golf club as a young girl golfer…

02:21 – The changes in golf in Austria…

03:23 – Marie now works at the same facility that she started her golf career at…

06:25 – Being driven by those that originally discouraged her golf…

08:23 – Getting the Austrian National Team Coach job…

09:20 – Becoming involved in ‘Communicology’…

11:25 – Using ‘Communicology’ to break things down and not get lost in the detail…

12:10 – Key learnings from Marie’s career so far…

14:19 – The difference between teaching & coaching…

16:00 – What changes has Marie seen over the time she worked with the Austrian Girls squads…

18:49 – Working as a National Coach is a 24/7 role…

19:41 – What is the future of girls’ golf…

20:48 – The challenges face in women and girls’ participation…

23:01 – The difference between girls and boys’ sport …

24:26 – What are the mistakes most beginner golfers make…?

28:15 – Who is the best lesser-known coach Marie has worked with…?

30:19 – What advice would you give your 25-year-old self…?

31:09 – Marie’s views on who she feels are ‘successful’ people…

32:05 – Marie’s favourite book…

33:01 – The advice has Marie found beneficial up until now…

35:01 – What might surprise listeners about Marie…

35:19 – The golf equipment that gives Marie the most joy…

35:55 – Marie’s dream Fourball…

36:34 – Advice for aspiring PGA Professionals…


Find out more about Marie at www.functionalgolf.at and at functionalgolfat on Facebook.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST]
PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-alastair-spink-pga-of-gbi-podcast/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:45:15 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19589 We speak to PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team Member, Alastair Spink, about his journey as a PGA Pro & how he has become a leader in women's golf development]]>

Alastair Spink is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of GB&I Member. Here we speak to Alastair about his how he made it into golf to eventually become a PGA Pro, along with how he has become a leader in women’s golf development and participation taking an academic approach to his work in creating the hugely successful Love.golf programme.

Interview Highlights:

01:14 – Early beginnings in golf…

04:38 – Alastair’s first golf coach…

07:58 – How has the way Alastair learnt golf shaped his coaching style…

08:48 – Turning Professional…

12:58 – Working at Hintlesham Hall Golf Club in Ipswich…

16:16 – An increased in development and working as a County Golf Development Officer…

22:24 – Taking an interest in gender disparity in clubs and golf in general, creating an interest in women’s golf development…

23:54 – How did Alastair create a women’s participation-led programme…

27:37 – Barriers to developing women’s participation programmes…

29:06 – How will female participation help the industry in general?

30:32 – Learning from the stories and communities developed at ‘Park Runs’…

33:12 – What changes have you seen in golf across your career?

35:00 – What’s the main mistake golfers make when taking up the sport?

37:05 – What would you tell your 25 year old self?

38:57 – Alastair’s favourite books…

39:34 – What might surprise us about Alastair Spink?

40:21 – Alastair’s dream fourball…


Follow Alastair on Twitter at @Thegolfcoach and find out more about Love.Golf at www.love.golf.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST]
Technology in Golf Coaching – What’s Next? http://www.pgae.com/ask/technology-in-golf-coaching-whats-next/ Wed, 30 Aug 2017 06:01:37 +0000 Aston Ward http://www.pgae.com/?p=19149 We explore the ever-evolving world of coaching technology and what might be making its way to the lesson bay, golf course or swing room sometime in the future..]]>

I am very lucky to be in the position where I can mix my passions for technology, communications and innovation together with my biggest passion, golf, and my knowledge of coaching as a PGA Professional.

Because of this I sit in the middle of various areas of the industry where I can get a good view of what is happening when it comes to embracing technology and looking at innovative ways to continually advance our profession and the coaching process.

Barely a day goes by without an announcement of an upgrade or introduction of a new piece of equipment that could make a golfer better (or ideally simply enjoy themselves more), and it’s exciting to think where this could go in the future.

Now, as an opening caveat, I no longer coach students as part of my job, but I am exposed to a lot of great coaches who have dedicated their lives to improving golfers’ experiences. So whilst I may not be directly using coaching equipment on a daily basis, I can appreciate the technology behind them and their practical applications.

In speaking with many of these coaches, there is something that continually comes up when you discuss technology – data capture.

The level of detail and sheer quantity of data that we can capture about a golf swing is incredible. Technologies such as launch monitor/radar flight and ball-roll tracking devices, hi-speed camera analysis, and the myriad of other options on the market, mean you can now analyse every parameter imaginable when getting the ball into the hole. And, assuming the user is appropriately trained, this can turn into a very tangible benefit to the end-user.

Previously we featured the Strokes-Gained metrics developed by Dr Mark Broadie that utilises the PGA Tour’s ShotLink® data in which every single shot played in PGA Tour events is recorded into an open-access pool of information that academics can make use of.

This detailed level of data capture has meant that every single aspect of a player’s round can be analysed and new and improved metrics for performance have been created.

With the continued rollout, pun intended, of golf simulators and intelligent, customisable simulated environments, combined with Augmented Reality (AR) technology, we now have ways of mirroring golf course conditions like never before, making coaching more realistic and contextually applicable.

Where Next?

Simulating golf course conditions leads nicely into the potential innovations that we could see in the future.

One thing I think could have huge potential uses would be virtual reality (VR) – imagine standing in a bay, putting on a headset and methodically planning your way around your next golf course of choice.

This could be something that helps the transition of elite amateurs to tour events – often players with little experience of the ‘big stage’ can let things get on top of them. The incredibly immersive experience of VR could help train players to overcome their nerves, ignore the distractions and perform better under pressure by recreating the conditions they could feel. Granted, nothing will ever replace the real thing but this would be a great start.

The future of data-capture looks to be about expanding our awareness and knowledge of areas of the sport that were previously nothing more than theory. We already have equipment with built-in sensors but I can see a future [that is not too far away] where there are completely non-invasive methods of gathering the same data Trackman can for example, but without the need for any external equipment to be setup, with data streaming live and wirelessly to receivers both on and off the course.

I can also see this extending to more wearable equipment that is less intrusive in the practice or practicing or playing (think a biomechanics analysis product that is nothing more than a normal base layer for example with no discernable difference to a normal item of clothing).

Right now anyone can go out and measure their vital statistics using something like an Apple Watch and the relevant apps, but perhaps in future we won’t even need to put anything on, or if we do it will be more akin to wearing a temporary tattoo than an accessory like a watch.

Perhaps a much bigger question to pose from all of this is what will be done with this data – the more you capture, the more you need to process it, and ultimately it needs to be useful to coaches and then to their students.

What will certainly need to happen, no matter what might come in the future, is for the education of coaches to go hand-in-hand with the technological advancement to ensure these fantastic tools are not purely a marketing ploy but are actually beneficial and valuable to their students.

PGA Professionals have a responsibility to keep up with the latest changes in coaching methods to ensure they a) provide what their students want and need, and b) they don’t get left behind when others could be helping golfers play better and enjoy themselves more.


This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Technology in Golf Coaching – What’s Next?
1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game! http://www.pgae.com/news/1st-schools-championship-in-lebanon-creates-a-new-national-buzz-around-the-game/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:33:41 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=19246 After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The...]]>

After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The PGAs Europe) were requested to help organise and implement a Schools Championship for students, parents and train the workforce in succession management to facilitate future Schools Championships in conjunction with the Lebanese Golf Federation and Golf Club of Lebanon.

The Schools Championship proved a huge success with over 70 children attending the day at Golf Club Lebanon, Beirut, the children aged between 6 and 11 years represented six schools which had all received prior coaching through the Lebanese Golf Federations’ ‘Golf in Schools Programme’.

The event which removed the barriers to participation by inviting teachers, parents and friends of the participating children, coaching taster sessions were also delivered to attending parents whilst the event took place. Further coaching offers and entry level memberships were available along with general information on golf and its many benefits, including tours of the golf clubhouse and golf course.

The three hour event showcased golf to VIP guests and high ranking Government officials including the Minister of Tourism and the assistant to the Lebanese Sports Minister being also in attendance…The blistering midday heat did require more Parasols to be brought in for the dignitaries though!!

As desired the event aided in changing the negative political perception of golf in Lebanon, also empowering parents and local officials to view how much fun golf can be, alongside all of the many health and social benefits that golf can offer. This was ultimately justified in the Golf Club Lebanon securing an indefinite extension to the lease of the land from the Aviation Authorities. Both Club and Federation are now better positioned to continue to move forward with their business plan – with the future of their only facility to date secured.

Upon interviewing attending parents they were amazed at the location and readily stated that they didn’t even know that the Golf Club existed, with the demand for green space increasing as housing developments continue to monopolise the area, they all suggested that golf would provide an excellent activity in which all the family could participate in beautiful surroundings.

We were able to attract coverage from local TV stations and newspapers who later wrote a full page article on the event, again another first here as golf received its first full page mention in the Lebanese National Press!!

Such events continue to justify how important it remains for Federations and Golf Facilities to reach out and engage the local community, developing support and relationships with both the community and political stakeholders…more importantly to shift golfs’ stereotypical perception and increase participation in our sport to new players of all ages. Both The Federation and Golf Club have been inundated with enquiries since the event, attaining new sponsorship opportunities, recruiting new schools to their programme and participants of all demographics to their club coaching and membership offers.

Please contact The PGAs Europe if you would like further information or assistance on such events.

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1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game!
Regripping in a Coaching Environment http://www.pgae.com/ask/regripping-in-a-coaching-environment/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:23:29 +0000 Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/?p=19117 Golf Pride explain how you could add regripping to your business regardless of whether you run or have access to a retail facility...]]>

How to Offer Regripping Services Outside of the Pro-Shop

When you think of regripping many automatically think of a workshop tucked away at the back of a Pro Shop at a club and then nothing more than a selection of example grips on the side of the shop counter.

Well it doesn’t have to be like that – you could add regripping to your business regardless of whether you run or have access to a retail facility like a shop or store.

If you are a coach working at an academy, or maybe you run an indoor practice facility, then you too could add regripping services and Golf Pride products to your offering.

All you need is an area within a facility where you can create a grip station and also promote your regripping service and the products you have on offer.

Golf Pride’s team of local distributors will then help explain what your specific requirements are, what products you can stock and how to go about effectively marketing your services and Golf Pride’s range of products on offer.

4 Tips For Marketing Regripping Outside of the Pro-Shop

1 – Make sure your regripping service is clearly on offer to your students or customers

Place marketing materials in driving range bays, discuss the service with every student you have, bring products with you to lessons, and keep your regripping point-of-sale materials and stands in view of your teaching bay or passing customers.

2 – Utilise your Social Media presences and leverage your email database

Make an announcement about the introduction of your services, make use of the Golf Pride retailer resources on offer, and keep regular communication going with clients.

3 – Make it experiential

Have specific times on the range or at your academy where you regrip clubs in front of customers to show your expertise, attention to detail and the services on offer. You could create a while-you-wait service for people who are practicing, or perhaps invite the local distributor to spend a few hours with you and your clients to share their knowledge of the important of regripping.

4 – Keep regripping at the forefront of your mind

Hardwire the services into your teaching process, ensuring your students are all using appropriate grips and you regularly check their grips to ensure they are fit for purpose.

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To find out more about setting up your own regripping service with Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com/about/wholesale-distributors and find your nearest distributor.

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Regripping in a Coaching Environment
Leadbetter’s Grip Fundamentals With Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/ask/leadbetters-grip-fundamentals/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:25:15 +0000 Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/?p=19134 Golf Pride Ambassador and one of the game’s most successful and respected coaches, David Leadbetter, offers his thoughts on the importance of the grip...]]>

David Leadbetter, one of the game’s most successful and respected coaches, offers his thoughts on the importance of the grip and how to get it right…

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I think I can sum it up in a sentence when I quote Ben Hogan and say, “good golf begins with a good grip.”

You can take that two ways and look at the actual grip, such as those made by Golf Pride, and the way that you position your hands on the club. These are clearly intertwined and, if you look at how the actual grips on golf clubs have evolved over the years, it shows how the hold plays such an important role.

The Top Hand

I would say that 80% of amateur golfers grip their top hands on the club incorrectly, and this is the biggest fault in golf. You can really only tell the quality of a grip when you open it up and a lot of the time you will see golfers grip the club too much in the palm. This makes it very difficult to set the club and the only way to do that is with the elbow. This increases the tension in your hands, and your body doesn’t get involved in the swing.

If you set the grip further in the lower part of the hand towards the fingers, you can set and hinge the wrist. A simple tip for amateurs is to hold the club up in the air at 45 degrees before placing your hands in the grip position. You will have seen a number of pros do this over the years, as it ensures the hands are in the right position.

You can then connect the hands together, however you feel comfortable, safe in the knowledge you are set correctly.

Grip Size

A lot of players underestimate the importance that the thickness of a grip plays. All hands are different sizes and the thickness of the grip is vital because it determines the amount of pressure you apply to the club. If the grip is too think or too thin, a player is going to generally grip the club in the palm of the hand, which is one of the most common faults I see.

This is because the player is trying to hold on to the club in an attempt to hand onto it, something that is clear when you see wear marks on the heel of a golf glove.

You hear about a strong grip all the time, but this is often misinterpreted. It in face means that a player sets their hands round in an anti-clockwise position.

You might think a grip is just a grip, but there is a big different between the types on offer and the golfers they suit. For example if you play golf in Dubai and it is 120 degrees and your sweating profusely, you will need something that is completely different compared to what someone is playing with where it is always cold, and more of a tacky feel is needed.

Grip Pressure

If you ask most of the pros they would say that their grip pressure, our of 10, would be between a three and a five. If amateur golfers were honest, many would say they are around a nine and you can see the veins popping in people’s arms as they stand over the ball.

If you go back to the great Henry Cotton, the hands play a huge role in the swing. Although I believe that power comes from the body, this power ultimately comes down through the arms and hands, and then through the club. The hands also control the clubface, so if you aren’t gripping it correctly and your grips are the wrong size, you’re going to have a problem squaring the face up and releasing the clubhead.

Personal Feel

My great friend Nick Price has the same size hands as me, but has very skinny cord grips that feel awful to me; he couldn’t hit my clubs and I couldn’t hit his.

The reason he has those skinny grips is that over the years we have worked hard to set the club and because he has very solid wrists, they do not cock or set very easily. Having a thinner grip allows him to set the club easier. Players who are very wristy through the ball can control that hand action with thicker grips.

This is where a good teacher or fitter will help to advise on the type of grip they need. Feel is such a key thing to top players, and it can make such a difference.

I have worked with LPGA player, Lydia Ko, who previously played with a normal grip, which is stretched half an inch to make it thinner. She then made an equipment change and could tell immediately that the grips on the clubs hadn’t been stretched.

There is no answer for everybody, but once you have found your grip thickness it will help your game.

The grip is a very underestimated part of the club. Some manufactures will put cheap grips on great golf clubs and they will wear out quickly and compromise the quality and performance. Changing your grips at least once a year is vital. My first rule of thumb, a little tongue in cheek, is that if you can see your reflection in your grips it is definitely time for a change.

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To find out more about setting up your own regripping service with Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com/about/wholesale-distributors and find your nearest distributor.

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Leadbetter’s Grip Fundamentals With Golf Pride
The Player – Psychologist Relationship: Working With Practitioners at the Highest Level http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-player-psychologist-relationship-working-with-practicioners-at-the-highest-level/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:58:57 +0000 Dr. Brian Hemmings http://www.pgae.com/?p=12208 What lessons can be learned about creating a successful, effective team of practicioners around an elite performer?]]>

European Tour Professional, Seve Benson, and sports psychologist, Dr. Brian Hemmings, have established a successful professional relationship that has lasted well over a decade.

IGPN spoke to Brian and Seve to find out more about how they work together and what lessons can be learned about creating a successful, effective team of practicioners around an elite performer.

Becoming an Effective Part of a Player’s Team


How did your working relationship come about?

SEVE: Our relationship began when I was a young lad playing for England. Brian was the England squad psychologist when I was about 17.

BRIAN: I remember seeing his name and like many people I thought it was misspelt.  So that was noticeable at first in terms of his name but I remember meeting him as a what was really a young boy of 15 and of course now he’s in his late 20s.

What sort of work did you do at first?

BRIAN: It would of been a typical session with a young junior golfer on the fringe of England recognition with ‘boys’ – what you’re trying to do is get to know somebody and how they approach the game because we’re all different.  Then largely it’s individually based – so for some people it might be very much on putting work and with others it might be their approach off the course.

But for a lot of young golfers, there are their own expectations of how far they want to go in the game and it’s very competitive in the game from a very early age.  What I probably recall from Seve…would be something about expectations of yourself, and of trying to forge a career in the game.

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What has your working relationship entailed?

BRIAN: Seve’s always been a quiet individual, keeping himself to himself…I think sometimes with players, when they’re quiet they can be deemed to be unconfident but I would say Seve had quite a quiet assurance about him, which he’s always had.

SEVE: Working with Brian for this length of time has been a real joy.  He has always kept me focused on the process of what I am doing.  After working together for a long time he has become a great friend.  We meet on pretty much an ad-hoc basis from time-to-time and after seeing Brian I’m always left with a sense of calmness, which I love.

BRIAN: The beauty of working with somebody over that extended period of time is that you see him or her through so many psychological transitions – not just in terms of their game, but also as a person going from a young boy into a young adult.  Then they’re developing long-term relationships off the course in terms of their partner, along with other transitions such as buying houses…and all the things that we probably don’t think much about when we look at sportspeople play golf.

At the same time you’re cautious about the fact that you’re not their friend.  When you’ve known somebody for 14 years you get to know them very well but it’s a professional relationship, it’s not a personal friendship relationship.  Therefore we’re both quite disciplined in that way that it retains a professional sense whilst it is in a friendly way.

How do you manage these influential factors with players like Seve?

BRIAN: Work with any player is very individually-based if it’s going to be the most effective because you’re trying to establish a very unique relationship – what makes a player unique, what’s their way of thinking about the game, and how can you remind them of those things when there might be a sense to search for something that’s going to be more effective.

So we retain contact only maybe by text before and after a tournament. When he’s home for a reasonable stretch of time we try and meet up either at Wentworth where he’s based or more locally to me.

Then it’s very much in the moment about what’s on his mind – is it a performance issue or is it somewhere else in terms of lifestyle or his approach that he’s maybe lost his focus – it really comes from him.

SEVE: Since a young age, Brian has helped me to become very strong mentally and cope with any situation that may arise on the golf course.  I think that as time has gone on our relationship has improved and Brian knows how I tick so when something comes up in my game we can deal with it really effectively.

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Brian, you’ve seen Seve through all of these various stages of development – is that a challenge to get background and relationship bond with players when you first begin working with them?

BRIAN: Yes, in new relationships getting to know one another, getting to know how someone thinks about their game, their particular issues or the demands/pressures at that point, gets easier as you get to know people.  But by and large, in sports psychology, they’re actually more short term relationships – people come to you with a specific issue and that may last as little as one or two sessions, six sessions, or over six months, but is more fleeting.  I think that this is where it is different from a PGA Professional because although players do change coaches my experience is that they generally do have a bit more longevity than a sports psych.

[Sports psychologist] relationships are generally more fleeting and therefore there’s more pressure on you to be effective over a short period of time, whereas with somebody such as Seve or a longer-term relationship, there’s a sense that you can get into other areas that perhaps they wouldn’t think are performance-related by getting to know the person better.

What is it about Seve and others that set them apart?

BRIAN: They’re all very different in their approach…but my observations of working with the amateur-professional transition in the English game would be that they invest in themselves.

So at National coaching level there would be a number of technical coaches with specialist areas, a physio, strength and conditioning people, and one of the difficulties for players when they turn professional is that all of a sudden that team largely drops off because they’re not at your beck and call as a national squad player.

So all of a sudden the support structure that you’ve experienced and the edges in performance through sports science or through certain technical coaching is no longer there.

I think that when you speak to people who have made ineffective transitions, you find that their team completely dispersed and they really suffered as a result of that.

Whereas I think that with people like Seve, Danny [Willett], Chris [Wood], what they did very well was that they still invested in themselves.  So at a time when perhaps money might have been at a bit more of a premium, they still tried to retain as many people of that core team as they could.

SEVE: I think my professionalism, relentless work ethic and commitment to the game are my strong points.  But they all come from the fact that I’ve always focused on, and invested in, the mental side of my game and made sure I put the effort in to maintain what I’m doing.

Because I’ve known Brian for a while and specifically since I was young, he’s helped me to mature as a person and become very professional in what I do.  We also spent a lot of time in the past looking at goal setting so our work has helped me become very clear on how to achieve those goals.

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Brian, how do you fit into Seve’s coaching team?

BRIAN: I’m very rarely at tournaments, the European Tour is obviously a world-based tour now so there’s the cost implications of [travelling to events].  And also I think Seve is ‘low maintenance’ so I don’t think there’s a need for that a lot of the time.

Generally I’ll try and see him play a couple of times a year – clearly the UK ones this year, Wentworth and Woburn, are the easiest, and that’s more observationally.  As I say to him, I’m not looking to intervene at that point; it’s really an observational point to see how he operates because a large amount of his work is based on his reflections.  Also of course there’s a chance at that point to interact more with his team – he has a world-class coach in Pete Cowen, he works with Justin Buckthorp who works with Justin Rose and a number of other players in terms of his strength and conditioning, and I get a chance to meet with his caddie.

He works with Phil Kenyon on a week-to-week basis out on tour…so it gives me a great chance to catch up with their work and the putting work I am doing with him to make sure it’s in accordance with them.

So to get the views of other people who are closely involved with him in terms of their observations on maybe his improvement or areas where there could be more improvement is very useful.

So that’s how it works, but otherwise when Seve gets back after a series of tournaments we’ll either catch up face-to-face or by Skype, FaceTime or phone, whatever’s the most convenient to him.

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How do you make yourself an effective part of Seve’s team and manage his expectations of what you hope to do?

BRIAN: There are many sports psychologists that would emphasise the content of interventions and ‘this is what you do’, and often there’s a lot of ‘yes, this technique will enable you to do x, y, and z’.  I’ve always approached it from a slightly different way – I’ve always recognised that the relationship is of primary importance.  So, as somebody begins to trust you and you build rapport with them, the relationship is in a sense also how you help people change their views or beliefs, or how they approach a certain situation.

So I always put great emphasis on the importance of the relationship with any player.  As it is with Seve, that’s easier to say as I’ve known him a long time.

The second part of it is that I try to be open to his needs at whatever point he is at.  Sometimes players give you that themselves.

I would like to think that sometimes I challenge his way of thinking when I think it is unproductive to him, or I present a different story to him that could be equally valid based on his experiences.

Let’s say in terms of expectations, in terms of your progress through the game, you could write a story where you say ‘well Seve’s never won on tour’.  He’s won as a professional, but like many people he hasn’t won on tour yet. They’ll be other people who will say ‘well Seve should have won by now’.  Now of course if that creeps in to your thinking that can put you under enormous pressure.

Where as an equally valid story is to say ‘well actually year on year he’s improving and whether he wins or not is not entirely down to him’.  It’s down to how in any given week, the rest of the field also perform.

SEVE: It’s really important to have a good team of people around you.  I would say that the team would each need to be open-minded and have minimal egos – that way they can work effectively for the player.

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With thanks to Brian Hemmings, Seve Benson (@SeveBenson) and Northampton Golf Club (www.northamptongolfclub.co.uk).

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The Player – Psychologist Relationship: Working With Practitioners at the Highest Level
Moments of Mastery – How Coaches Can Build Belief http://www.pgae.com/ask/moments-of-mastery-how-coaches-can-build-belief/ Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:30:34 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=18933 In golf, there are the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. The ‘haves’ possess the required skills to excel on the course, along with the key: self-belief...]]>

In golf, there are the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.  Not only do the ‘haves’ possess the required skill set to excel on the course, they also have the secret ingredient that truly separates them from their less-successful counterparts: self-belief.

This topic came up as we were recently discussing the results of some of our competitive clients.  It seemed we kept coming back to this commonality in describing our students who were experiencing the most success.  Obviously, they perform well because they are all highly skilled, but the players that seem to have an unwavering belief in their abilities– keep achieving— sometimes even beyond the level that their current skills would predict.

We love the queued up clip below of the current World Number 1 communicating an amazing sense of belief in himself and his abilities.

“They had no chance.”

“Who’s playing for second place?”

This steadfast outlook on his ability to perform manifests itself in a few key characteristics:

  • a willingness to take on meaningful challenges
  • a propensity to exert maximum effort in training
  • a persistence in the face of setbacks

These traits allow the self believers to navigate the ups and downs of golf and better manage the stress inherent within competitive golf.  Psychologist and motivation expert, Albert Bandura, referred to this belief as Self Efficacy. Here is how he describes performers with high self efficacy:

Alternatively, we sometimes encounter highly skilled and technically proficient players who lack this Self Efficacy. They approach competition with anxiety rather than the exhilaration.  These are the players who, despite having robust skills, aren’t able to parlay them into maximum output. How often do you see a player approach their performance with trepidation and expectations that are not in alignment with what they are capable of? Why is that?

It may seem obvious, but so much effort is spent on refining skill and technique that it’s easy to omit this essential component to performance from our lesson plans.  And sometimes it’s worse than merely omitting— sometimes we prepare for an event in a way that inhibits self-efficacy and belief.  Spending too much time on technique in our interactions leading up to an event rarely fuels a belief in their skills ‘as-is’.  Instead, this approach may allow for a bit of doubt to creep in as the performer wonders what iteration of their mechanics will show up when it counts.  This is a really difficult roadblock to avoid, especially if performance wanes in the lead up to an event.

So how can we build belief?

One of the most difficult things to do, as coaches, is to persuade a performer to believe more in their abilities. And that’s because players need something more tangible– to see it, not just hear it. They need proof. While we certainly try to build it and protect it through how we communicate— ultimately that belief has to be earned.

In our experience, the best source of Self Belief is the memory of previous accomplishments. To that end, we work closely with players to build a success inventory – a storage box of instances that demonstrate to the player, that they are capable to excelling in a variety of situations.

Think of an athlete who struggles to perform.  If we know the person well, and know what they need to be successful, we can get pretty creative in creating situations where these accomplishments can be earned – and their memory bank can get filled.

Through reflection, we found a very common pattern – the occasions in which the people we work with reported the most confidence and performed best in events, closely matched the time in which we presented them with tasks aligned most closely with the ‘Build Efficacy’ quadrant of our Task Design Matrix.

These tasks – ‘Moments of Mastery’ – allowed the athletes to train in similar-to-play conditions under  achievable outcome demands.

In looking closer at the anatomy of a Moment of Mastery, our end goal is to craft a task that creates assurance for the athlete– once complete, they know their skill is on-point and ready.  We want them to be able to recognize a situation and refer back to the training they have completed and know, with great certainty, that their skill set is more than capable of producing the outcomes that they want – and need – in that circumstance.  This performance state serves as a stark contrast to the uncommitted, uncertain performer who just isn’t sure if they can pull a certain shot off.  If that’s the perceived belief, they SHOULD be nervous and anxious!

Although it sounds simple, there is an art to it.  Knowing how hard the task needs to be to get them engaged and exerting effort while also keeping the difficulty at a level that is likely to produce a successful performance is quite difficult, as it is often a moving target and a very thin line to walk.  However, it is the means by which this ‘swagger’ is earned, and it is something that expert coaches are able to do with practice and careful planning.

This is obviously made more difficult when the player attempts to create a Moment of Mastery with a technique that isn’t producing the desired results.  That’s when, as coaches, we have to scale difficulty and possibly even put certain aspects of technique in isolation, so the performer can mentally ‘check the box’ and move on.  While this ‘isolation’ technique may not align with how a player best learns in the long-term– it’s worth doing at times if we know it will have a positive effect on their perceived competence.  For an example of successful players training his way, visit the putting green of any tour event Mon-Tue and witness players going through their technique checks with any number of training aids in a noticeably superficial environment.

On these occasions, we prefer a stable, unrepresentative setting despite the stigma that often comes with these ‘blocked practice’ activities.  If, in that moment, it will help an athlete believe in themselves more, we won’t hesitate to go there.  Even if it’s a bit manufactured and unrepresentative– skill acquisition science be damned!

CREATING MOMENTS OF MASTERY

There are two things that we need to be aware of when designing Moments of Mastery.

  • The goal is to boost a player’s perception of their ability to be successful under the gun.
  • The boost comes from them being able witness their success in the first person, repeatedly.

With those action items in mind, we need to provide a task that has three distinct characteristics:

  • Low to moderate relative difficulty.
  • A like-golf environment.
  • Repetition.

These three aspects of the training task – difficulty, instability, and time on task – work together to create an environment that has the potential to inspire motivation and perception of one’s abilities as it offers the possibility for the performer to be successful, in similar-to-play situations, often. Provided the outcome standard that governs success is in alignment with their skill set, these tasks serve as a catalyst to the creation of confidence.  Here is an example:

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

 

 

In this instance, the athlete received certainty that what he is training, he is able to recall when he needs it and that the outcomes are very good.  Again, it sounds very simple, but the more we can create these moments, the more moments of success they have in the memory bank to reference during competition.

In addition to providing opportunities to see success, we can further promote their sense of ‘I-Can-Do-It-ness’ by keeping track of their performance.  Logging skills assessments or statistics, can show tangible proof of progress against early versions of themselves.  What will happen to the athlete in the screencast after we point out a drill that at one time seemed very difficult, but now they complete with ease?  This is another great source for self-belief— it’s a great way to promote their sense of ‘I-Can-Do-It-ness.’

While we don’t claim to be sports psychologists– we realize that our interactions need to impact performance state in equal measure to skill.  Exploring the motivational and psychological underpinnings of how we coach and train should be a priority for all coaches.  Luckily there are experts in golf like Pia Nilsson, Lynn Marriott, Dr. Bhrett McCabe, and Dr. Rick Jensen who share their insights generously.

If you feel researching this topic could improve your coaching– our friend Cordie Walker is putting on the Unlocking Performance Virtual Summit.  Some of the brightest minds in golf, including the ones listed above, will be sharing their thoughts.  We would highly recommend checking it out!

Another great source is James Sieckmann’s new book, Your Putting Solution.  Not only does he cover the technical components of putting in comprehensive detail, but the second half of the book is essentially a master class in how to coach, build belief, and train more effectively.

And after you check out those great resources, we hope you’ll engage us in further investigating this topic in the comment section.  What activities do you use to create similar ‘Moments of Mastery’?  Describe a task that you use that seems to evoke a strong sense of ‘I can do it’ from your students.  We would love to compile a database that we can all learn from and use in our coaching.

 – COREY LUNDBERG & MATT WILSON

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Moments of Mastery – How Coaches Can Build Belief
Changing Limiting Beliefs: Do You Focus On Your Character Or Your Reputation? http://www.pgae.com/ask/changing-limiting-beliefs-do-you-focus-on-your-character-or-your-reputation/ Tue, 30 May 2017 15:21:56 +0000 Dr. Brian Hemmings http://www.pgae.com/?p=11946 The great American basketball coach John Wooden once said that sportsmen and sportswomen should focus more on their character rather than on their reputation...]]>

The great American basketball coach John Wooden once said that sportsmen and sportswomen should focus more on their character rather than on their reputation. Wooden remarked that character was ‘what you are’, whereas reputation was merely ‘what others think you are’. 

In nearly two decades of working in golf with PGA Professionals and elite players I hear a lot about pressure and see where coaches and players become overly worried about their ‘reputation’ rather than knowing and trusting in their own ‘character’.  Here I witness the limiting beliefs people have about themselves and the perceived consequences of poor results.

Often players will underperform because they feel pressure about how they might be viewed by others if they fail.  This can also affect coaches as they sometimes feel their own reputation is determined by the performance of those they coach, when in reality performance has so many variables, and the coach only contributes in specific ways.

In essence being overly concerned about your reputation creates instability as it is not under your control as it involves the perceptions of others.

Knowing the impact of limiting beliefs should give you the motivation you need to change them for yourself or to help players when you sense this is an issue. A healthy belief puts you into the right frame to have the best chance of success. It is also true that negative beliefs and thoughts have a huge impact on performance, so if we find it difficult to be positive then we must at least learn ways of managing negative thinking to keep it to a minimum and hence give ourselves a chance.

In the previous two articles I have written about the need for effective listening in coaching. Particular words to look out for are must, should and got. For instance, ‘I must make the cut; ‘I should beat this opponent’; or ‘I’ve got to win’. These words reveal very rigid, inflexible beliefs and create unnecessary pressure as they result in patterns of ‘all or nothing’ negative thinking.   It is much better to frame performance beliefs with a prefer approach.  For example, ‘I’d prefer to make the top ten’.

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Often these beliefs hinder players’ views of themselves, their golf, and of their potential success.   So in future improve your coaching by listening carefully to the words your players use. They will reveal much about their thinking patterns and the performances that follow.

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Changing Limiting Beliefs: Do You Focus On Your Character Or Your Reputation?
[PODCAST] How Good Golfers Get Good with Graeme McDowall & Peter Arnott http://www.pgae.com/ask/podcast-how-good-golfers-get-good-with-graeme-mcdowall-peter-arnott/ Thu, 18 May 2017 08:01:33 +0000 Golf Science Lab http://www.pgae.com/?p=18837 How do we explain great players? And what can we discover when we ask questions like, “how do PGA tour players become PGA tour players”?]]>

How do we explain great players? And what can we discover when we ask questions like, “how do PGA tour players become PGA tour players”?

We’re sitting down with two guys, Graeme McDowall and Peter Arnott, who have some interesting concepts that might explain a lot of the “luck” and “mystery” surrounding great players.

Ecological psychology is really the study of how organisms act in their environment, how they adapt, and how they become functional in their environments.

One of the key concepts explains how we are able to directly perceive our environment and how we are able to scale movement solutions to that environment. This essentially reverses the paradigm – you’ve got to find the problem first, then come up with a solution.

With an ecological dynamics approach, you don’t give the organism any solutions. Instead, you just give it appropriate problems and let the organism (golfer) come up with the solution. Because we are all different in the sense that we are unique, we act with creativity and novelty.

For instance, you see all these guys in the PGA Tour with different movement patterns, but they are effectively doing the same thing and that is behaving functionally in the environment.  Each of them has come up a unique solution to a problem. The human system is very smart. It has evolved to adapt to the demands of his environment. These are empirical chase-able theories and facts that you put down that we can present a lot of literature to support these in motions

The human system is very smart. It has evolved to adapt to the demands of his environment. These are empirical chase-able theories and facts that you put down that we can present a lot of literature to support these in motions

We just need to provide it with an appropriate environment and an appropriate level of development and the whole organism will be capable of whacking whole things out and you’ll have such as self-organization.

Real World Example of Great Players Adapting to the Environment

One of the great examples of this is from Padraig Harrington when he talks about his junior golf development.

He talks about being a part of a group of players who used to play games for money every day and quite simply, if you couldn’t hole a putt for money, you had to leave the group. If you couldn’t develop that competency, if your skill couldn’t emerge to a high enough level you would have to leave the group because you couldn’t afford to be a part of this group.

Padraig talks about never ever being concerned with technique, but only that they knew how to get the ball in the hole.

We talk about this certain illusion of form following function.

When you look at the PGA tour you see a lot of different golf swings, grips, and techniques. Some of these are techniques you wouldn’t necessarily want to teach someone . What you are seeing there is people who have learned to do something that is a function.

Learn to get the ball in the hole, “This is the way I get the ball in the hole, my technique has just emerged”. It doesn’t necessarily resemble a particular standard.

It doesn’t always look optimal, but I am going to get this ball in the hole because those are the demands of the environment placed on me.

That’s what Harrington is describing here. He is saying that his environment growing up was such that if you couldn’t learn to hole putts for money, then you had to leave the group.

You see a skill being emergent; they didn’t really concentrate on the technique. They were just figuring out a way of getting that ball in the hole because of the constraints that were part of the environment.


About Graeme McDowall

Graeme has an MPhil in Sports Coaching from the University of Birmingham and is a full-time Golf and Sports Coaching lecturer at the SRUC in Scotland. He is also an associate lecturer and a PhD researcher at the University of Abertay Dundee.

His main area of research is skill acquisition in sport and as well as being a practitioner in this area with the high-performance golf programme at the SRUC, he has worked with coaches in rugby and football. Graeme is currently involved with some of the world’s leading experts in non-linear pedagogy, in a project aimed to bring coaches, academics and education professionals together to raise standards in player development.

Follow Graeme on Twitter Here

About Peter Arnott

Pete Arnott is the Teaching Professional at Craigmillar Park Golf Course. Pete is currently studying a MRes in skill acquisition and has worked with all levels of golfers, from novice to European Tour Players, using a constraints-led approach. Indeed, recently one of his star pupils, Nastja Banovec, won a very prestigious Professional Tournament (The Paul Lawrie Invitational) whilst still an Amateur.

Peter has also just recently returned from talking to over one hundred delegates from all sports at the English Institute of Sport on how he puts ‘science’ into practice and has been asked to talk at several high-profile institutions as a result. Basically Peter specialises in creating effective practice environments, which enable a greater transfer from practice to play.

Follow Peter on Twitter Here

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[PODCAST] How Good Golfers Get Good with Graeme McDowall & Peter Arnott
Coaching Confidence: 3 Ways to Help Players Pre-Tournament http://www.pgae.com/ask/coaching-confidence-3-ways-to-help-players-pre-tournament/ Tue, 16 May 2017 13:03:45 +0000 Jonathan Bint http://www.pgae.com/?p=12219 Coaching at tournament sites or in the lead up to tournaments can provide unique challenges for coaches - Jonathan Bint explains more...]]>

“I found something on the range”. A typical quote that you hear from time to time from players who have just shot great rounds in tournament golf.

Coaching at tournament sites or coaching players in the time leading up to tournaments can provide unique challenges for coaches; from dealing with pre-competition anxiety or working with a player who is convinced they need to be ‘patched up’.

In my experience, knowledge of the mental challenges that a player may be experiencing tends to (not surprisingly) be aligned to what experiences the coach themselves has had with tournament play. This is not necessarily a bad thing (depending on the coach’s experience) but what I’ve tried to do below is highlight some general factors from a psychological perspective that might help your coaching in pre-tournament situations.

Coach the situation

Why will a player come to see you close to competition? I’d be willing to bet that the majority of lessons arranged (with existing coach-player relationships) within a week leading up to a competition are by players looking for a fix of some kind due after poor recent performances.

The tendency in such moments might be to over-coach or get sucked in to the player’s dilemma whilst the situation calls for something completely different.  A strong coach has an acute awareness of these situations and has an ability to remind the player of the longer journey, to show evidence of progress made to date, to listen well and to simplify and refine rather than introduce new ideas.

Take some time to think about your tendencies in these situations. Do you get drawn in to the player’s ‘problem’? At these times pay attention to the bigger-picture: What are the factors that may be impacting on the player? What do you need to filter to be effective?

Comedian and Counsellor

Away from technical expertise one of the main tools a coach has is his or her ability to communicate.

At tournament sites or close to tournaments in many ways a coach becomes much more like a counsellor or psychologist. How you relate to the player in these circumstances can directly influence how the player feels, which in turn can impact on performance.

The image I have of Butch Harmon working with players around tournament sites is one of jokes and laughter not heavy technical work. I’m not suggesting you need to turn into a comedian to be effective but a greater awareness of how your tone and words can impact on a player will be useful.

Being open to simply listen intently as a player talks through concerns may sometimes be most useful for the player at this time. Don’t under-estimate the impact this can have.

Also near competition it’s worth reminding the player how far they’ve come to get to this point. What specific progress have they made? The current tournament is always the next measurement post rather than a final exam. Playing ‘down’ the current tournament is nearly always helpful for golfers.

Always seek to gently adjust the player to the playing environment, from a technical mentality to a playing mentality. This may go against your natural instincts as a coach. Help the player adjust by providing tournament scenarios (“now you’re on the 6th tee”) while reminding them that they have some of the feelings associated with tournament play will help them play better and should be embraced rather than feared.

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‘Giving’ a player confidence

The coach who could pass on confidence like a magic pill would command great power in the world of golf. Confidence or lack of is probably the most used explanation for if a player is playing well or poorly.

There is a great mystique about how confidence can come and go for players. “If only I could have had the confidence I had last week”. The idea that someone else can give or pass on confidence is a bit misleading but knowing a little more how a player obtains confidence is a useful tool for any coach.

Roughly speaking, confidence derives from a few factors: being prepared (and feeling like you are more prepared than others you are competing against), a track record of quality practice (and a perception that you’ve practiced better than peers); having the experience of beating a similar group of players that you’ll be competing against, use of competition specific imagery, running through scenarios that you may face within the competition; being able to use self-talk for reinforcement; and being able to perceive high arousal as helpful.

Obviously, the confidence ‘recipe’ is complex and will be different for each player but in general the following ‘rules’ should help coaches facilitate feelings of being confident in the players they are helping:

  1. The closer to tournaments the more simple instructions should be.
  2. Remind players to focus their efforts on controllable factors; praise and encourage a player to take pride in doing the simple things well.
  3. When reminding players of successes use fact-based evidence. Confidence doesn’t feed off half-truths or hopes.
  4. Take time to check in with player for understanding? How does the player understand what you’ve just said? Uncertainty is a confidence killer.
  5. Help the player adjust to a performance mind-set; use language that will remind a player to be target focused and playful rather than analytical.
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Coaching Confidence: 3 Ways to Help Players Pre-Tournament
An Essential Guide to Learning About Learning: A Curated Reading List For Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/ask/an-essential-guide-to-learning-about-learning-a-curated-reading-list-for-curious-coaches/ Mon, 08 May 2017 12:02:41 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=12714 It has never been easier to embark on a journey of self-education in our field. We have countless books, seminars, certifications, social media groups]]>

We are very fortunate to have a number of readers who share our passion for learning and growth.  Many of them have reached out lately– curious about where they can learn more about motor learning.

It has never been easier to embark on a journey of self-education in our field.  We have countless books, seminars, certifications, social media groups, and blogs dedicated to sharing and disseminating new ideas in golf instruction.  And for those focused on learning more about ‘what to coach’, these sources are immensely valuable in furthering our knowledge.  But for those looking for information on ‘how to coach’, and more specifically, ‘how people learn’, sources seem to be much more scarce.  Ultimately, if we are in the business of human development, it stands to reason that understanding how humans come to attain mastery would be of utmost importance to becoming more effective.

There ARE great sources for learning about learning, they are just a heck of a lot harder to find.  Outside of a few textbooks available on Amazon, many of our favorite texts have been circulated amongst peers who are engaged in similar knowledge pursuits.  So it inspired us to compile a few seminal pieces on the topic of motor learning and performance to help you continue your path to better understanding of how mastery develops and skills are refined.  And because we were hoping to discover a few new gems for ourselves, we reached out to a few leaders in the field for help.  We assembled a list of the experts in learning who have focused some of their work on golf, and posed a simple question:

“What is the most important piece of motor learning research that all coaches should read?”

Thankfully, these generous leaders obliged and provided what has become our curated list on Learning about Learning.  Click on the book icons for each of the articles provided by our esteemed list of experts.  We hope you’ll take the time to dig in.  Enjoy.


ATTENTIONAL FOCUS AND MOTOR LEARNING: A REVIEW OF 15 YEARS

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - attentional-focus-imageRECOMMENDED BY DR. GABRIELE WULF

Our first recommendation comes from Dr. Gabrielle Wulf, a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences at UNLV.  Not only is Dr. Wulf the go-to expert on attentional focus and it’s affect on learning and performance, she is also the author of one of our favorite books (which happened to be a suggestion by one the experts we surveyed  for our list).

Wulf suggested this piece, telling us, “This review of about 80 studies shows the importance of adopting an external focus of attention for optimal performance and learning of motor skills. Helping athletes adopt and maintain an external focus by giving the right instructions or feedback is critical for enhancing performance of complex skills– such as golf skills– particularly in challenging situations.”


PAR (PLAN-ACT-REVIEW) GOLF: MOTOR LEARNING RESEARCH AND IMPROVING GOLF SKILLS

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - PAR-TIM-LEE-IMAGERECOMMENDED BY DR TIM LEE

Motor Control and Learning is the book that introduced us to many new coaching concepts and ignited an interest in motor learning that continues to burn.  In addition to Motor Learning and Control, Dr. Lee has authored Motor Control in Everyday Actions and over 80 papers on the topics of motor control and motor skill acquisition in peer-reviewed journals.

While many motor learning texts are devoted to a broader pursuit of skill development, Dr. Lee sent us over a paper specifically dealing with the learning of golf skills.  He mentioned that this would be a great starting point for many practitioners and we couldn’t agree more.  The paper hits on several big learning topics: phases of learning, effective practice conditions, focus of attention, and delivery of feedback.  Along with a thorough exploration of these major themes, it also includes specific implications for golf skill acquisition.


CHALLENGE POINT: A FRAMEWORK FOR CONCEPTUALIZING THE EFFECTS OF VARIOUS PRACTICE CONDITIONS IN MOTOR LEARNING

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - challeng-pointRECOMMENDED BY DR. CHRIS BERTRAM

Not only is Chris a former PacWest Golf Coach of the Year several times over, for the past 11 years he has served as Director of the Human Performance Centre and as an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at UFV.  Dr. Bertram recommended another paper dealing explicitly with golf.  This is a paper that we have referenced in previous posts and it’s had a huge influence on our approach to coaching.

Chris suggested the Challenge Point paper because it “nicely summarize many of the important concepts relating to practice and feedback and provides a framework- based on optimally challenging a learner – for a coach or practitioner to apply in the real world.”

As a nice bonus, Chris also included a couple of papers that he credits with shaping his thinking about skill acquisition in golf:

1) Goode and Magill (1986) Contextual Interference Effects in Learning Three Badminton Serves, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Volume 57, 4

“An early and important study on the effects of blocked and random practice.  Were among the first to demonstrate that increasing contextual interference (i.e.., randomness) in the practice setting is a more efficient way to see gains in learning than blocked practice.”

2) Winstein, C. J. & Schmidt, R. A. (1990). Reduced frequency of knowledge of results enhances motor skill learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology:Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 16

“Another important early study in motor learning, this time looking at the how the frequency of feedback, and its impact on learning.  In other words, in golf terms, how often should a coach be providing “information” to the student… what we see happening in practice is not always a trustworthy indicator of how much learning is going on.”


MOTOR SKILL ACQUISITION: AN ESSENTIAL GOAL OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - skillacq1RECOMMENDED BY TRILLIUM SELLERS ROSE

In addition to reaching out to the academics specializing in learning research, we really wanted to include the recommendations of some coaches who promote the study of skill acquisition within our industry.  Trill certainly qualifies– she paused a very successful teaching gig to obtain a Master’s Degree in Motor Learning and Control from Columbia University.  Now, as the Director of Instruction at Woodmont Country Club, she is applying the lessons learned and can offer the perspective of a coach well versed in how golfers acquire and adapt skills.

Few are better equipped to bridge the gap between academic and real-world practitioner, so her recommendation carries a lot of weight with us.  She points us towards “Motor Skill Acquisition: An Essential Goal of Physical Education”.  The paper is especially relevant to those coaches developing young athletes and explores the importance of time on task, engagement, and corrective feedback.


NON-LINEAR PEDAGOGY UNDERPINS INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN SPORTS COACHING

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - non-lin-ped1RECOMMENDED BY MATTHEW WILSON

We couldn’t finish our list without including a couple of our own recommendations.  During a bit of a research project that we conducted last year, we requested some recommended reading from Graeme McDowell, who has been a great resource for us.  Like Trill, we see Greame as a bit of a hybrid between a well-versed academic and an experienced coach with real-life interactions with the topics in question.  Graeme delivered us about 30 papers, focused mostly on the theme of Non Linear Pedagogy.  We went about reading the list and, through a shared Google Document, recorded our notes and takeaways/actionables from each paper.  Many of the papers by Ian Renshaw were among our favorites, and this one in particular tops Matt’s list.

The article tackles a key challenge for sports coaching– providing performers with learning environments that results in sustainable motivation.  It provides an excellent explanation of both non-linear pedagogy and self-determination theory, two topics that have made a big impact on our coaching styles.


INSIGHTS FROM ECOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY AND DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS THEORY CAN UNDERPIN A PHILOSOPHY OF COACHING

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - dynamicalRECOMMENDED BY COREY LUNDBERG

Our last suggestion was also uncovered from the abundant source of Non-Linear Pedagogy papers provided by Graeme McDowell.  It’s another one from Ian Renshaw and Corey includes it because of how comprehensive it is in organizing so many important learning concepts within one paper.

It provides a clear description of nonlinear pedagogy while giving insights on perception-action coupling, self-organization, variable practice, and implicit learning .


BONUS TOP 10 BOOKS ON LEARNING

RECOMMENDED BY MICHAEL HEBRON

In addition to the papers above, we were excited to get some recommendations from Michael Hebron.  Michael is a member of the PGA Hall of Fame and world renowned coach that has dedicated much of his career to educating coaches.  His books, The Art and Zen of Learning Golf and Play Golf To Learn Golf, have made a huge impact on how we approach golf instruction.  As he has devoted so much effort to better understanding how golfers learn, we knew that our list would be incomplete without his contributions.  Below is a list of 10 books that Michael has recommended.  Once you have read the previously mentioned papers, we think this represents a great way to continue your path to better coaching.

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_01

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_02

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_03 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_04 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_05 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_06 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_07 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_08 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_09 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_10

Happy reading!

–Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson

 

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An Essential Guide to Learning About Learning: A Curated Reading List For Curious Coaches
Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes-Gained Statistics to Improve Golf Performance & Strategy http://www.pgae.com/ask/every-shot-counts-using-the-revolutionary-strokes-gained-statistics-to-improve-golf-performance-strategy/ Tue, 02 May 2017 11:21:17 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=18776 Dr Mark Broadie's innovative Strokes-Gained metric has led to a fundamental change in our understanding of how important the different areas of golf are...]]>

Statistics have always played a part in the analysis of golf and its golfers. They allow comparisons to be made between individuals with all their varied characteristics, abilities and experiences, enabling a golf coach to use those statistics to drive action.

The amount of information and number of statistics/metrics available to the Professional coach has never been greater – in fact, many argue that there is too much information out there that does not answer the questions people really want to know about.

This is something that Columbia Business School Carson Family Professor of Business and keen golfer, Mark Broadie, saw as being fundamental to his groundbreaking research in the past 10 years. Current statistics and metrics are good but lack the capability in many cases to relate other metrics. In response to this he developed a system that allows all the elements of the game to be compared to each other – Strokes Gained.

In his new book, ‘Every Shot Counts’, Broadie explores his Strokes-Gained metric that has entered the public consciousness through use of Strokes Gained – Putting on the PGA Tour, and the overall research that has led to a fundamental change in our understanding of how important the different areas of the game are.

IGPN: The Strokes Gained statistic is really a completely different way of assessing the performance of a player on the course – how did you come up with the concept for it?

MB: I started by asking ‘what separates an ‘80’ and a ’90’ golfer – where do these 10 strokes come from?’ Another question was how to grade a golfer in different areas; long game, short game, sand play, approach shots, driving – how could you compare all those things?

There are a lot of ways you could do this – such as how close do they put approach shots to the

“About two-thirds of a 10-stroke difference comes from shots outside of 100 yards and about one-third comes from shots inside 100 yards…that’s pretty robust across hugely different skill levels”

hole? If you have a large enough data set then you can see that this person’s average score might be 80 but they’re hitting their approach shots like a scratch golfer, or they may be hitting relatively poor approach shots like a ‘90’ golfer.

The problem is that these measures still don’t answer the question of where do the 10 strokes between and ‘80’ and a ‘90’ come from? In order to answer that question you need to be able to compare drives that are measured in yards/meters with something like greens in regulation which is either ‘yes you hit it’ or ‘no you missed.’ You have all these different ways to measure golf but they don’t answer the question about where that scoring difference comes from.

In order to do that you need to be able to measure say driving distance and driving accuracy on a scale that’s comparable to sand play or to putting, and it turns out how to do that is to measure everything in strokes – and that led to strokes gained.

The idea was that you could measure the quality of every shot from a drive to an approach shot, or a sand shot to a putt in this consistent unit of strokes gained – it allows you to measure all parts of the game together.

IGPN: And the PGA Tour have used the putting element of your research…

MB: I had written an article and then presented at the World Scientific Congress of Golf in 2008 with some early findings on this notion of strokes gained applied to the entire game. A couple of years later I was at a conference with a group from MIT [The Massachusetts Institute of Technology] and the PGA Tour was there just letting academics know that this is what their ‘ShotLink®’ data is and how it’s available to academics through their ‘ShotLink® Intelligence Programme’. So we presented our work there…[and] that sort of crystallised things at around the same time that the PGA Tour internally was saying ‘we need to come up with a better putting statistic because putts-per-round’s deficiencies were obvious to them.

What the PGA Tour implemented in 2011 was just the ’Strokes Gained – Putting’…I had been looking at short, medium and long putts [to] break it down into sub-categories, but the PGA Tour’s reaction was ‘no, no, the problem is we have too many stats’. They have putting from four-feet, five, six, seven, eight, etc. – so in a way they have too much and too little.

Part of the reason for this book is to let people know that this analysis applies to all parts of the game and that the PGA Tour’s aim has always been to roll out more strokes gained stats in the future. They are planning on rolling out ‘strokes gained – tee to green’ next.  On a TV broadcast or leaderboard at a tournament… you could have ‘total stokes gained’ broken down into tee to green play and putting. That would allow you to see on why somebody is leading or why somebody is only in 10th or 20th place.

Strokes Gained – Putting Example from the PGATour.com:

Putts gained(From given distance) = PGA Tour Average putts taken Actual putts taken to hole out

The statistic is computed by calculating the average number of putts a PGA TOUR player is expected to take from every distance, based on ShotLink® data from the previous season. The actual number of putts taken by a player is subtracted from this average value to determine strokes gained or lost. For example, the average number of putts used to hole out from 7 feet 10 inches is 1.5. If a player one-putts from this distance, he gains 0.5 strokes. If he two-putts, he loses 0.5 strokes. If he three-putts, he loses 1.5 strokes.

A player’s strokes gained or lost are then compared to the field. For example, if a player gained a total of three strokes over the course of a round and the field gained an average of one stroke, the player’s “Strokes Gained Against the Field” would be two.


IGPN: Your research revealed that when you look at all these areas together the relative impact of each area of the game was actually different to traditional thinking – the differences between ‘80’ or ‘90’ golfers, or even between good tour players and the best players, were more because of the long game…

MB: Roughly about two-thirds of a 10-stroke difference comes from shots outside of 100 yards and about one-third comes from shots inside 100 yards and that’s pretty robust across these hugely different skill levels.

There are definitely differences amongst individuals – I’m talking about a typical ‘80’ golfer versus a typical ‘90’ golfer, or a typical professional golfer versus typical top-10 professional.

IGPN: So the traditional emphasis on putting, or at least the general tendency towards ‘drive for show, putt for dough’, is not accurate – what sort of reaction have you had to that?

MB: I’ve heard more from the people that agree with the findings in the book – people are saying ‘finally, I’ve thought this all along’ – and probably a little less from the people that disagree.

I tried in the beginning of the book to figure out what are the strongest arguments that people have for the importance of putting – I tried to say why I thought the arguments fell short, but I’m certainly interested in trying to speak to anyone that has a different view.

A lot of people have pointed to Tiger Woods and have said that the main factor that explains his success is his putting. The reason that seems plausible is that he’s such a good putter – the data bears that out, but he’s also good at everything else, it’s just approach shots where he really dominates. He’s great at everything but really great at approach shots. It’s a surprise to a lot of people but not someone like Sean Foley, his coach.

“Tiger’s approach shots are where he really dominates, he’s great at everything but really great at approach shots.  It’s a surprise to a lot of people but not someone like Sean Foley”

The other thing I’ve found is that when you look at PGA Tour winners, the explanatory power of putting is higher.  Using 10 years of data, I find that putting contributes about 15% of the scoring advantage of the best Tour players compared to average Tour players.  If you look at tournament winners then putting contributes about 35% of the scoring advantage during their wins.

Part of the reason is that when you look at tournament winners, then there’s a different one every week, and whoever wins that week is someone who’s playing well above their norm.

That’s part of the reason that people tend to believe in the importance of putting – they see putts going in from all over the planet when they watch the highlight reels of someone winning a tournament but they don’t show the shots that get them there.

IGPN:  You spoke recently at an MIT Conference with Tiger Woods’ and Justin Rose’s coach, Sean Foley, about how he and other coaches can turn the data produced using strokes gained into actionable data and also on the statistical approach coaches should have – what do you think are the main ways a coach can use this type of information?

MB: It’s definitely easier for coaches whose pupils are PGA Tour golfers because of the ShotLink® data that’s available…the PGA Tour records all of the shots of all of the players at all PGA Tour events.  You can break down a golfer’s strengths and weaknesses fairly accurately [using strokes gained] and that allows a coach like Sean Foley to focus his instruction on what will give the biggest bang for the buck.

It would be ideal if amateurs went to their instructors with strokes gained reports, which detailed their trends, strengths and weaknesses.  It is possible for amateur golfers to collect data on their own shots, using lasers or yardage books, and then use the tables in the book to do the strokes gained analysis on their own.  We’re working on an app that I am hoping will be ready for beta-testing in two or three months that will make it even easier for individuals to do it themselves.

You want to make it as painless as possible for golfers to record their shot information – the PGA Tour pros have it great because someone else is doing it for them – but for amateur golfers data entry is the hurdle.  The good thing is it’s really not that painful for an amateur to record their own data  – I’ve been doing it for years and the app will make it even easier. In my database of amateur golf shots, it shows that putting contributes about the same to scoring differences as it does for the pros. But every golfer is unique, and having strokes gained report for individual golfers would be, I think, quite useful for coaches.

The book shows how you can go out to the practice green or short game area and test your skills by hitting a bunch of putts and shots.  There are tables in the book where you can compare yourself to pros and amateurs of various levels.  It’s fun and you can do it in a short period of time, an hour or so, though it has the disadvantage that it’s not in tournament play and it’s not in the changing conditions that you might get on the course.


In EVERY SHOT COUNTS: Using the Revolutionary Strokes-Gained Approach to Improve Your Golf Performance and Strategy (Gotham Books, March 10, 2014, Hardcover, eBook) Broadie explains the simple idea behind strokes gained and shows how it applies to all golf shots. He uses it to answer many questions of golf performance: What does it take to win a PGA Tour tournament? What is the secret behind Tiger Woods’ success? Which skills separate amateurs from pros? How much is twenty extra yards of driving distance worth?

EVERY SHOT COUNTS also uses this new data to analyze golf strategy: Lay up or go for it? Play an aggressive or conservative shot off the tee? Not a book about swing mechanics, EVERY SHOT COUNTS uses data and analytics to better understand golf performance and golf strategy. EVERY SHOT COUNTS reveals truths that will change the way golfers of all handicaps look at and play the game.

For more information visit www.everyshotcounts.com and to purchase your copy of EVERY SHOT COUNTS visit the Amazon Bookstore here http://eur.pe/PA76cZ (includes a short preview of the book).

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Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes-Gained Statistics to Improve Golf Performance & Strategy
[PODCAST] David Leadbetter – Coaching Through the Generations http://www.pgae.com/ask/david-leadbetter-coaching-through-the-generations/ Tue, 02 May 2017 03:02:24 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=15332 David Leadbetter explains more about his thoughts on the modern game and his reflections on coaching from past experiences...]]>

David Leadbetter has been at the forefront of the golf coaching psyche for as long as we can probably remember. Or around the mid-80s depending on how old you are.

His work in carving out a place in history for England’s greatest golfer, Sir Nick Faldo, has helped him build a reputation around the world for being at the forefront of coaching some of the greatest players to play the modern game.

He could also arguably be credited with the development, if not creation, of the ‘tour coach’. A coach that isn’t just with a player for sporadic swing check-ups, but one that forms a key part of the athlete’s team and spends significant time with them both away and at tournaments.

At the 144th Open Championship at St Andrews, the PGAs of Europe caught up with David in his natural habitat – strolling the golfer-dense driving range of a major championship, checking in on his myriad of athletes’ competing that week. Where better to pick his brains about the past 30 years…

“Just the time flies by and you see a whole host of different players now and a new generation of young players…”

Leadbetter’s viewpoint has been one that is only shared with a handful of names in the coaching world – a behind-the-scenes look at what was once one of the sport’s best-kept secrets – the inner workings of a tour professional. A perspective that has enabled him to see the game evolve first hand:

“It’s gone by in a flash really…1990 was when obviously Nick Faldo won here and that was 25 year ago and obviously he had his little swansong here at St Andrews this week and it’s incredible really.

“Just the time flies by and you see a whole host of different players now and a new generation of young players. If you think just this week there’s five amateurs making the cut…it just shows the gap between the professionals and the amateurs is getting closer – we’ve got an amateur leading the tournament…it’s amazing really where the game’s come from and where…it’s going to go to.

“I guess it’s progress – you’ve got better athletes, better equipment – these players are looking like it’s a real job now, it’s a business – there’s always been somebody with a lot of talent to show up and play well and it was almost by happenstance that they were successful.

“But now it’s sort of a plan from a very young age where you know you’ve got junior academies all over the world, you’ve got players from a multitude of countries.”

“It’s really interesting to see how well trained these young players are and how focused they are…”

Leadbetter was very much a trailblazer and was not afraid of adopting new methods and technology in his work, regardless of how it might have looked to his contemporaries:

“It was rather the exception than the rule back in the day when players had coaches – I was sort of a phenomenon from the standpoint of I had a video camera and people were looking saying wow. Nick Faldo lead the way as far as creating better work habits shall we say and having a coach, looking at workouts and looking at nutrition, sports psychologists. Now you have teams of people around, like Jordan Spieth always refer to it as ‘we’ – ‘we are doing this and that’. A swing coach, sports psychologist, the fella that works with him on his physical training.

“Obviously when you’re talking about the amount of money that they’re playing for – Tiger Woods has been a big factor in this – it’s no wonder that you’re seeing people with talent that are pushed to the limit.

“It’s going to be interesting in years to come – one of the things that we’re seeing, especially in the women’s game, is how long careers last. There’s a lot more emphasis on how really putting the reps in at a young age – you’re seeing injuries with these young players that we haven’t seen in the past so that is a factor.

“Just look at Jordan Spieth who’s 21 and a whole host of young players stateside and also in Europe now and in the far east too, who are exceptional players at a much younger age through better coaching and all the rest of it. From things in the past it really is progress in many ways.

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“It’s really interesting, looking at it from my perspective, to see how well trained these young players are and how focused they are. Golf is a game where there’s no team aspect, apart form the Ryder or Presidents Cups, but it really is a one-on-one situation and so there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform at the highest level.”

Whilst the elite and tour golfers have kept him busy for much of his career, Leadbetter is no stranger to teaching a range of golfers. He continues to coach all types of players himself, and, together with his small army of Leadbetter coaches and Academies, has many touch points with the sport across its many and varied ability levels.

This permeation across the sport and his inclusion of many PGA Professionals into his fold has again given him a perspective that few others can have really seen on the ground…

“I think the standard of coaches has definitely improved through the PGAs worldwide getting together with seminars and experts in their field talking to individuals.

“It’s interesting – we do live in an age of technology and all the aspects there are that we’re able to ascertain what’s going wrong with peoples’ swings. We can analyse to the nth degree – as I like to say in the old days when we didn’t have video cameras and it was just our eye and our instincts as teachers and coaches, it was just our opinion which was the main factor. These days we can actually prove how bad people are when we look at Trackman and we look at biomechanics and we can see all these numbers.

So the secret is still how to transmit that information to the average player in a simple fashion where they can out and play. Because we also have to remember that the issue here really is that although we have all this technology which in some ways makes things more complex, people have less time to play and practice than they ever have in the past so if anything you’ve actually got to get the message across in a more simpler fashion so people can have immediate improvement.

The old theories back in the day where you’ve got to work at it for six or nine months with a grip change and this and that and just be patient. But people aren’t patient these days they want it now and if they don’t get it from one source they’ll get it from another.

“I’m glad in many respects that I grew up in the era where we didn’t have the mod cons because you have to use your eyes, instincts and intuition to teach…”

“You can go on the Internet and there’s a million and one ways to fix things so that is a danger. I think it’s important from the teacher’s standpoint…I’m glad in many respects that I grew up in the era where we didn’t have the mod cons because you have to use your eyes, instincts and intuition to teach.

“Where I think a lot of young teachers unfortunately because of the advent of all this technology they tend to rely on that purely so that is a danger.

“But I think it’s nice to know that if you have this detailed knowledge as a teacher, to be able to put it across in a simpler fashion and having the knowledge of maybe not being a sports psychologist as such, but having a psychology approach where you can get people to clear their mind. Those are the things that need to be taught as well to players if they are going to fulfil their potential.

Leadbetter has also been known for his role in developing the golf coach into more of a commercial entity and could arguably be termed the first ‘branded’ golf coach having developed the Leadbetter brand around the globe with over 20 academies and selling millions of books and videos.

But he has also produced a number of theories or swing systems for golfers – most recently his ‘A Swing’ has been the focus of his attention and the development of this approach with his players.

“I’ve written a number of books through the years and instructional videos, and I thought about this for a long while and I really wanted to bring out something that was a little bit different and something that was hopefully a bit simpler.

So this book, ‘The A Swing’, which stands for ‘alternative’, is really an alternative way to swing the club from the standpoint of making a simpler backswing because that’s the area that I think most amateurs get confused by.

They spend so much time and energy trying to create a nice backswing they never really get into the issue of trying to make contact. If you think of cricket or tennis and everything’s about going forward, making contact, hitting the ball towards a target. And yet in golf it’s almost an after-thought – ‘oh yeah look, the ball went down the middle of the fairway.’

I wanted to bring this out and it’s a fairly simple approach and really it’s been out in the States for five weeks now and the feedback has been really good, from people at all levels from beginner to tour level. I’ve got 20 test students and it’s been a couple of years in the making shall we say.

“The essence of this ‘A Swing’ is really helping people to synchronise their body parts – essentially synchronising your arm swing with the body rotation because I think that’s where people really have an issue. If you got someone to do a mini pivot drill without a club, just fold their arms and put the club behind their shoulders or hips or one of the many variations of a pivot drill, you could get them to make a pretty reasonable movement in a very short space of time. But yet you put a club in their hand and that looks nothing like it – it’s almost as if the body is reacting to where the club is – so out of sync with the swing.

‘Synchronisation to me is a big word, regardless of whether you use the ‘A Swing’ or whatever you use. To me when players are really on song, and even amateurs, it’s as if the timing of the swing if you will, where the clubhead is relative to where the body is, you know they really match up well.

“I think Tiger Woods was a perfect example of being out of sync, especially when he gets on the first tee and the first tee shot is inevitably a push shot, and it’s a little bit nervous and the synchronisation is an issue.

“This book’s been well received as I say, there’s some simple drills, and the thing about it is it’s not really a method, I would like to call it an organic approach because it doesn’t have to be perfect – there is a model that you can work towards, but as we all know what you work towards and what you achieve can be two different things.”

That’s the great thing about this game, you continue learning…and if you’re not learning then you’re going backwards instead of forwards…”

“I could keep doing what I’ve done, which has been fine and some of the stuff I taught back in the nineties is still a factor in my philosophy shall we say. But if you remember the old mobile telephones, those big clunking things, compared now to the iPhone, there’s a big difference.

“It would be strange to say you haven’t gone forward or had any sort of progress in your philosophy or your outlook. So I would say essentially a lot of it is very much based on my original thoughts of the dog wagging the tail syndrome where I really believe the bigger parts, certainly you’ve got to understand how the hands and arms work, but your power, your balance comes very much from how your torso moves and so I haven’t really changed in that so I haven’t really had an epiphany and said ‘ok, whatever I’ve taught the last 40-odd years has been wrong’, because it’s a continual learning process.”

So with this experience and knowledge constantly building up, where does Leadbetter think coaching is going in the future…?

“I think that in many respects golf instruction needs a little bit of a shake-up, the instructional business shall we say.

“The thing I think we’re really got to be careful of in this day and age is that we don’t over complicate things for the masses. When talking with tour players, they can get into it to a certain extent so far as ground force pressure and how exactly what is taking place with the angle of attack and the track, the flush squareness of contact. But the average amateur really probably couldn’t give a hoot, it’s like ‘hey just show me how to hit the ball more consistently, I want to lose fewer balls, have more fun,’ and if we can do that to people there’s an excellent chance of people staying in the game and more people getting into the game.”

Click Here to Listen to the interview in Full (http://eur.pe/1VrKafJ)

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[PODCAST] David Leadbetter – Coaching Through the Generations
The Difference Between Winning & Losing with Jon Stabler & Dr. Deborah Graham http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-difference-between-winning-losing-with-jon-stabler-dr-deborah-graham/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:53:32 +0000 Golf Science Lab http://www.pgae.com/?p=18636 Golf Science Lab, Jon Stabler & Dr. Deborah Graham look at personality traits and what we can learn by separating those that win and those that don't...]]>

We’re going to take a look at personality traits and see what we can learn by seeing what separates the elite golfers (who can win) and those that don’t. Our guests have done the testing only directly with players on the LPGA, PGA, and Champions Tour players.

We keep treating people like a machine, and we don’t address the controller.

If you don’t have control of yourself, your thoughts and your level of arousal, you have no chance.

The 8 Trait Study

Dr. Deborah Graham set out to see if there was a difference between the frequent winners and the other LPGA tour players in terms of personality traits.

She had them take the Cattell 16PF personality test and then took data on each players’ career record. Creating groups of the ‘frequent winners’, and then she had a ‘near champion’ group, who had won once or twice but been on tour for a while, and a ‘non-champion’ group who’d been on tour a long time and never won.

Then using statistical analysis software she analyzed and compared the groups and compared them by personality traits. The analysis said that on eight of the personality traits, the ‘frequent winner’ group was different from the other two groups, and the level of statistical distinction was at the 95th percentile and above. On the 9th trait compared, the level of statistical distinction dropped down to the 60th percentile.

The difference between the champions and the other players is night and day. The champion group lines up on these traits and the other players do not. Those eight traits existed; Dr. Deborah discovered them.

A Case Study

(From Jon Stabler) Gary McCord had known us for quite a while, in fact he had us consult on Tin Cup. When he turned 49, he’d been commentating already for a while, he liked it, life was good but he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity the senior tour presented. He wanted to play, but he didn’t want to change his life. He didn’t want to give up the commentating, he didn’t want to go into a major effort to get ready and came to us for help.

A little back story on Gary, he played 376 PGA tour events in his PGA tour career, he made 242 cuts, no wins.

After we got the results back of his assessment, it became somewhat obvious where his challenges were. He only lined up on two of the eight champion traits. He was off the mark on the other six, but there were two of those, one in particular that was the most damaging.

He measured very high on the abstract scale. The frequent winners on tour do not. They only measure slightly above average on the abstract side of the scale. His biggest challenge is quieting his mind and making a decision he can commit to in a short amount of time.

The old cliché is ‘paralysis by analysis.’

On tour, if you are the first to hit, you have 40 seconds by the time you get to the ball. You can’t think about all the options. You have to come to a decision pretty quickly and play the shot. If you are over the ball and still thinking about what you are supposed to do and what you need to do and think about whether you have the right target or whether you have the right shot, or making adjustments because the wind just came up, there is no way you are going to hit the ball well.

Once he understood that, he was able to keep it simple, game plan the night before, so all the thinking is done when in a more relaxed state. Secondly, listen to your intuition. What we found is that people high in the abstracts scale have really good intuition or first impressions. Go with the first impression. Don’t over-think it. Thirdly, on the putting green, read the putts from behind and below the hole and then stop. Don’t second-guess it, don’t go to the other side of the hole, it will just give you too much information, you’ll get confused.

With that work and basic mental routine information, Gary was able to go out and win in the rookie year on the senior tour.

He won 2 out 17 events with the same guys he couldn’t beat on the regular tour.

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About Jon Stabler

Jon Stabler is co-founder of GolfPsych. Along with being a co-researcher and co-author in the personality study of golfers and the resulting book, “The Eight Traits of Champion Golfers”, Jon has developed and conducts our GolfPsych group schools and Instructor training programs. He has worked with numerous competitive juniors, pros and college teams including TCU, SMU, A&M and Baylor.

Jon invented the Mind Meter used in GolfPsych schools & programs. It enables GolfPsych clients to quickly learn to manage emotions and attain optimum tension levels for golf shots.

About Dr Deborah Graham

Dr. Deborah Graham is a licensed Counseling Psychologist specializing in golf performance. Working with professional and amateur golfers from around the world, her client list includes over 380 players on the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours, 21 of which she helped guide to 31 major championships. She was recently chosen by Golf Digest to their first Top 10 Sport Psychologists in Golf list!

Beginning in 1981 with a study of LPGA players she determined the statistical differences between champion and average players on tour, collecting data with the assistance of LPGA hall of fame member, Carol Mann. The findings helped earn her doctorate and discovered 8 critical personality traits for success in golf. This study was duplicated on the PGA and SR. PGA tours with the assistance of her husband, Jon Stabler, again finding the 8 champion traits and forming the foundation of the GolfPsych mental game training system. These studies and their Tour experience resulted in their book, “The Eight Traits of Champion Golfers”, published by Simon and Schuster in 1999.

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The Difference Between Winning & Losing with Jon Stabler & Dr. Deborah Graham
5-Star Walker Receives Prestigious PGAs of Europe Award http://www.pgae.com/news/5-star-walker-receives-prestigious-pgas-of-europe-award/ Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:30:02 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=18693 PGA of GB&I Master Professional, Alan Walker, has received the 5-Star Professional Award in recognition of his outstanding career as a PGA Professional...]]>

PGA of GB&I Master Professional and EIGCA Golf Course Architect, Alan Walker, has received the 5-Star Professional Award from the PGAs of Europe in recognition of his outstanding career as a PGA Professional.

“It is a tremendous honour,” said Walker.  “I feel very privileged and proud to be holding this trophy when I think of all the famous names that have won this award – it signifies the peak of my career, so I’m really pleased.

“It means everything to me.  You have to be proud that you are a PGA Professional because the status that it gives you in life, and the opportunities it affords you are things that people look up to you for.”

 

Nominated by the PGA in England and selected by the PGAs of Europe’s award selection committee, Walker’s 5-Star Professional Award acknowledges the highest level of standards across the many and varied areas of expertise and activity that he has been involved with.

“I think it goes back to when my father used to say to me “if at first you don’t succeed then try, try again” and that’s really all I’ve been doing ever since I was a boy.  I just enjoy every facet of the golf industry.

“I wake up every day and believe it’s not work, it’s a hobby. It is a great privilege to be a Golf Professional and a Member of the PGA of GB&I.”

Having previously been on the PGA of GB&I’s Board of Directors from 1983 to 2001 and its Captain between 1999 and 2001, Walker is a PGA Master Professional and Honorary Member of the PGA.

He is the Director and Proprietor of Garon Park Golf Complex in Essex, England, a course he designed himself in 1994, which was awarded the prestigious title of GolfMark Club of the Year in 2013.

Walker has continued to give back to the game through his selfless work on various Boards and Committees, helping to improve and develop the game as a tutor for the PGA of GB&I and the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, as a rules official for a number of years across PGA, European Tour and Ladies European Tour events, and as a Golf Development Professional for The R&A in Botswana and Peru.

For More Information On All This Year’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2016AnnualCongress

“My advice for PGA Professionals out there is to look at every opportunity, never say no, and make sure that you put something back in.  It is no good sitting there thinking because you’ve qualified and you are a member that everything is fine – it is just a starting position for you and you have to work as hard as you can.”

Throughout his career Walker has always focused on helping young Professionals and individuals in his businesses and in particular as an educator, passing on his vast experience and knowledge, whilst always remaining sympathetic to the upholding of the traditions and values of the PGA.

He continues to advance his career and business interests, running his own golf consultancy and golf course design business, as well as with his leadership of Garon Park.

For More Information On All on the Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2016AnnualCongress

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5-Star Walker Receives Prestigious PGAs of Europe Award
Karl Villwock (PGA of Germany) – SNAG Teaching Experiences (Part 1) http://www.pgae.com/ask/karl-villwock-pga-of-germany-snag-teaching-experiences-part-1/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:01:26 +0000 SNAG Golf http://www.pgae.com/?p=18671 Our fantastic partners at SNAG Golf EMEA & India spoke with PGA of Germany Professional, Karl Villwock, about how Karl uses SNAG equipment in his coaching...]]>

Our fantastic partners at SNAG Golf EMEA & India spoke with PGA of Germany Professional, Karl Villwock, about how Karl uses SNAG equipment in his coaching with beginners and juniors…

How does SNAG create interest and fun for playing golf?

Using the bigger clubface and balls it is easier, especially for kids to start playing golf. The bigger targets help a lot, with the ball sticking to them children are very excited to try to hit the target. Generally the simplified equipment makes the students success rate much higher to start, so they have more interest.

Click Here to Read the Full Q&A…

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Karl Villwock (PGA of Germany) – SNAG Teaching Experiences (Part 1)
Lessons That Matter – Junior Coaching & its Meaningful Impact on Young People http://www.pgae.com/ask/lessons-that-matter-junior-coaching-its-meaningful-impact-on-young-people/ Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:10:28 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=18628 The Curious Coaches discuss whether it is a requisite or just a coincidence that those seemingly naturally happy coaches gravitate towards junior golf?]]>

As I meet more and more coaches, I have begun to notice a common denominator among a certain group – junior golf coaches.  All the best ones seem to be relentlessly cheerful while radiating their passion for growing the game and working with young athletes.  Why are they so positive and upbeat all the time?!

Mull it over for a second.  Think about the best junior golf coach that you know and test my theory.  I’m pretty confident it holds up.

Is it a requisite or just a coincidence that those seemingly naturally happy coaches gravitate towards junior golf?  Or perhaps it’s a result, a natural by-product of the positive work they do making a meaningful impact on the lives of young people.  These coaches do work that matters.

Everyday they connect with an impressionable student at a critical time of their development as people and golfers.  Subsequently, it seems that these expert junior coaches adopt an approach far different than what is common from their adult instructing counterparts.

Because the typical adult student seeks instruction with very specific directives concerning a fix or a flaw, the attention and efforts are focused there– say, fixing a slice.  But a junior golf coach is tasked with much more than fixing.

Their curriculum extends beyond ‘How to Golf’ and encompasses a far richer set of topics:

  • How to learn
  • How to deal with adversity
  • How to win
  • How to fail and it’s impact on the learning process
  • How to interact with others and it’s impact on performance, enjoyment, and learning
  • How to practice
  • How to play by the rules and value sportsmanship
  • How to play, not just on the course, but to deepen learning and increase enjoyment

The list goes on, an expert junior coach could expand upon that list for days.  And that’s not to say that some coaches don’t implement similar curriculum in all their lessons, its just that these types of lessons are especially expected in developing young golfers.

About half of my coaching time is spent with young athletes.  While I love coaching all golfers, my time with the juniors is certainly the most gratifying.  I feel like I’m making a difference and living up to every coach’s most paramount mission: enriching lives. So as I’ve pondered the fundamental differences in coaching these two groups, I have begun to ask myself a question — ‘If it’s so gratifying, why have I not been approaching EVERY golf lesson with the same mindset?!’

As soon as I leave the juniors and begin a lesson with an adult golfer, my mindset shifts drastically.  Instead of striving to serve as LIFE ENRICH-ER, I too often become ‘INFORMATION TRANSFERRER’.  Not quite the same ring to it.

Can a lesson in which the teacher acts exclusively as a transferrer of information ever really matter? The slice or the hook might disappear, but the precious opportunity to make an impact on another human may be lost.  If all we do is spout our vast knowledge of the golf swing and its various subtopics, is it possible to really make an impact?  Does your time spent coaching really matter?

Maybe the shift in mindset occurs because expectations from our adult students are so different.  Both coach and student have many years of indoctrination of what a lesson should look like.  But while the pupils may come with different life experience and expectations, what would a typical lesson look like if the ‘Junior Golf Mindset’ was applied?

What if the goal was always to enrich a life, not just fix a slice?

Here are a few concepts that allow a great junior coach to make a lasting impact on students.  To me, they represent cornerstones of what I see as an effective Junior Golf Mindset.  As you read through the various elements, ask yourself if you approach things the same way in every lesson or if it changes depending on the age of your student.

Connection. 

If you visit your favorite junior golf coach on the lesson tee, you might have to lower your eye level.  They know that getting down on the same level as the junior golfer is an effective way to connect and communicate.  While the adult golfer may not require the same kneel down manoeuvre, too many coaches fail to make an authentic connection.  Connection can be sacrificed for credibility.  With kids, your authority is assumed, it comes with the title.  So for some, with an adult it’s more important to be seen as the authority than to make the authentic connection that creates trust and acceptance within the learning environment.

Discovery and Empowerment.

Because nothing will bore a group of 10 year-olds quite like an hour-long lecture on ball flight laws, we are forced to get creative with young athletes.  Instead of telling them, we show them.  We have them experiment and explore.  Their shorter attention span forces us to allow students to experience new concepts, not just be told about them.  This experience lends itself to a deeper understanding that empowers them to self-coach.

Failures and judgement.

When a fragile young ego is on the lesson tee, we approach failure far different than we do with adults.  We frame failure as a positive part of the learning process.  They’re young; we expect them to mess up as they go.  Yet for adults, failures can sometime seem unacceptable.  Our interactions lack the same compassion that seems so much easier to exhibit for our younger students.  We don’t deal with failures as delicately, yet adults are just as affected by the judgement and disappointment accompanied by a perceived failure.  Too much emphasis is placed on immediate results without respecting or embracing the role of failure in the developmental process.

Fun and Games.

I end every one of our junior sessions with a game.  For the juniors, it’s a light and fun way to apply the lessons of the day.  But it’s also an essential step in bridging the gap between understanding and performance.  The benefits of implementing challenges and an opportunity for ‘play’ in all lessons are abundant: maximize the enjoyment factor, increase the likelihood that students transfer new skills to the course, and introduce effective practice habits.

Long Term Learning.

Obviously we approach juniors with a more long-term approach.  After all, we have more time, right?  The sky is the limit and skill and ability seems so malleable at that early phase of growth.  We focus on establishing a solid foundation of fundamentals from which our juniors can develop skills.  Emphasis is placed on educating the golfer about an effective learning process, not on urgent solutions that are often unsustainable for golfers who seek a quick fix.  What if we approached every student with the same sense of possibility and hope?

Simplification.

With a 6 year old, you don’t have many options when it comes to demonstrating a new motor skill.  Every concept has to be distilled down the most fundamental idea.  Instructions have to be succinct  but vivid.  The possibility of overwhelming students with a litany complex instruction and information disappears simply because it’s no longer an option.

Think back to that happy-go-lucky junior golf coach.  Maybe they’re so happy because they approach each lesson with the fascination and creativity that is inherent in working with young people.

After examining these ideas, it’s easy to see that those coaches are on to something.  While they leave it to the rest of us to argue and trivially debate the finer technical points of the golf swing, they go out and make a difference everyday.  And the very same mindset that allows them to enrich lives, makes them more effective coaches!

If the same attitude is applied to coaching students of all ages, more effective lessons are inevitable.  And it’s more fun to boot!  Instead of just spewing information, each day is approached with creativity and passion.

Every lesson would matter.

Maybe the concepts above are unique to my own experience.  I’m anxious to hear thoughts from others on the subject, I have a feeling that I’m not alone.  Please feel free to leave comments describing your own experience.  I look forward to exploring the topic more.

– COREY LUNDBERG & MATT WILSON

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Lessons That Matter – Junior Coaching & its Meaningful Impact on Young People
Isn’t Coaching the Same as Mentoring? http://www.pgae.com/ask/isnt-coaching-the-same-as-mentoring/ Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:57:58 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=18603 "Downey’s Spectrum of Coaching Skills gives pause for thought as we consider whether one can be called a coach if learners are told what we would do..."]]>

Downey’s Spectrum of Coaching Skills gives pause for thought as we consider whether one can be called a coach if learners are told what we would do in their circumstances. The quick answer is that if you make a proposal then you are closer to mentoring or training.

Coaching is about using the appropriate questions to establish whether the learner can find their own solution to a need or problem. As Downey says, the most important distinction in the spectrum is between directive and non-directive coaching. It is dangerous to assume that when one is told something then one knows that something. This is too often not the case.

‘Occasionally, as part of a training programme to develop coaching skills, I take the participants onto the golf course. The purpose in this is to get them to deepen their non-directive coaching skills, the theory being that if they do not know the techniques involved in playing golf they cannot resort to instructions’.

Many golf coaches, professionals, teachers, trainers and facilitators, have come across similar situations; Downey puts it down to being ‘trapped in teaching’ and suggests that, ironically, we do not always consider that teaching might not have too much to do with learning.

The Nature and Role of Coaching

What is coaching?

  • The key which unlocks the potential to ultimate performance.
  • Facilitates SMART (Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound) learning to set achievable goals.
  • Encouragement of self belief and positive internal interactions in order to realise potential and achieve goals.
  • A two-way process where an individual’s performance is improved through reflection on the task and analysed through conversation and questioning with their coach. Both agree on a plan of action, set SMART objectives and then act to achieve their goal. The coach monitors progress at agreed intervals and gives decisive feedback.
  • A recognised style of leadership.

What does a learning Coach Do?

A learning Coach:

  • Provides support, guidance, coaching and mentoring to learners to help them plan their own learning
  • Creates student ownership – allows student to identify their own learning strategies
  • Maximises progress in a variety of areas of intelligence, including emotional intelligence
  • Identifies goals
  • Develops action plans
  • Monitors, reflects and records progress.

Twelve Principles of Coaching

To provide opportunities for others to learn about their own performance, their limitations and their solutions, it is crucial that the coach creates an environment for learning. People see benefits from coaching in a place where it is safe to disclose information and share ideas that, perhaps, have never been disclosed before. Trust must be built, therefore the following principles apply:

  1. Non-judgmental
  2. Non-critical
  3. Believe that students have all the answers within them
  4. Adjust ‘big goals’ into achievable steps
  5. Hold a genuine willingness to learn from their students
  6. Respect confidentiality
  7. Build and maintain self-esteem
  8. Be positive
  9. Challenge students to move outside their comfort zone and habits
  10. Believe that there are always solutions to issues
  11. Attentive to recognising and pointing out strengths
  12. Believe that self-knowledge improves performance

Change of Thinking

To excel as a learning coach we may need to fundamentally change our thinking. A learning coach needs to drop their own agenda to resolve other people’s problems and develop a more open-minded approach, resisting the temptation to guide individuals towards solutions. Coaching is about a principled, trustworthy and honest approach to support people in finding their own solutions…learning coaches can but rarely advise.

Learning coaches grow the belief in students that if they think an issue, problem or concern through, then they will know the next step in resolving the situation; all they need to do is to take action and follow it, which will lead to improvement.

Do you:

  • Complete other people’s sentences in your head before they have finished? Move on in your mind to the solution that you would choose for the person?
  • Use closed questions to direct people?
  • Use leading questions to guide others to a specific solution that you have identified? Almost instantly believe that you know the answer they need?
  • Make up your mind on one way to resolve a problem or enhance performance and push that idea?
  • Become annoyed if your solutions for others are rejected?
  • Find that your ideas are not implemented and then the same individual returns with other problems for you to resolve?
  • Secretly acknowledge that you do not have the answers to all the problems of others?

If any or all of the above apply to you, then coaching could be a way of relieving frustrations, dissipating annoyance and taking the pressure off yourself to come up with the answer. Coaching will allow you to promote independent thinking in others. A key skill required of a teacher!

The fundamental rule in non-directive coaching is that we do not step ahead of the student and plan the path to a solution for them. The coach must silence their inner agenda to solve the problem ahead of the student. When coaches give advice or guidance they remove from the student any understanding of the process. If the student does not understand the process, then they return again for advice. Coach them, and they get the answers and the process to use next time.

Learning Coaches are curious..

Learning Coaches ask questions..

Learning Coaches support students to learn about their situation fully. Learning Coaches are more than problem-solvers, they encourage others to understand their perspective and amend their behaviours to allow optimum performance.

“Alfred Korzybski in 1933 explained the concept that ‘the map is not the territory’. In other words, what we experience of a situation is not necessarily how our student experiences it and vice versa” (Thomas, 2005, p.15).

“Only the student fully appreciates the complexity of their current situation”.

Time for Reflection!…

When did you last experience something that seemed very different for another person?

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Isn’t Coaching the Same as Mentoring?
How to Provide the Right Golf Experience for Women http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-provide-the-right-golf-experience-for-women/ Wed, 05 Apr 2017 10:56:48 +0000 Golf Business Monitor http://www.pgae.com/?p=18590 GBM's Miklós Breitner explains why he thinks PGA Pros have to make the female golfer the heroines of the game...]]>

I like the proverb of Confucius who said:

“Tell people – and they may forget….show them – they may remember…involve them and they will understand”

In the last couple of years, I have seen many initiatives that tried to foster women’s participation in golf:

  • Golf For Her: This is dedicated to women and girls, but a very simple program. It needs some pushing.
  • Get Golf Ready: by the PGA of America: probably the most advanced golf program. 107,485 men and women participated in this program in 2015. But it is not dedicated to women.

I think all of us went through that tiresome learning process (in my case it was very technical) on the driving range before we got our HCP what we call the basics of golf. We could hardly see what will be like playing on a normal golf course, except those few instances when we were taken by our PGA Pro on his golf cart around the golf course or when we looked out from the balcony of the clubhouse.

If this is not annoying enough for you as a golfer then let’s add to this what Syngenta found about women‘s expectations from golf.

They want a fun social golf experience. Yes, golf coaches and PGA Pros equally have to understand that they have to provide lessons not just based on the golfer’s knowledge and skills, but they also have to consider the other needs (e.g. to socialize with other people; cheerful conversations instead of preaching) of the female “want-to-be golfer”.

PGA Pros have to make the female golfer the heroines of the game to succeed and keep up these women’s engagement with the game. This will not happen on the driving range that is for sure.

To activate 36.9 million latent female golfers and “want-to-be” female golfers, I think the golf industry needs a much more focused approach than the above-mentioned initiatives. Any future initiative should not only be a program of a couple of lessons, but rather a series of lessons that are building on each other. So the female golfer will not stop and get lost after the “intro lessons”.

What comes close to my ideal solution is the love.golf program (supported by Syngenta) in the UK. It is a fun social golf experience designed specifically for women. The lessons are happening in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. This could be implemented also for men. What is more interesting that the participants are learning the game in real life environment, on the golf course and not on the driving range. What a difference!

It is also promising in this program that the female golfer can get follow-on programs.

I cannot agree more with Syngenta Golf Ambassador Carin Koch, who said last year:

“While love.golf has been designed specifically with women in mind, it’s actually a great way for anyone to learn the game and it was nice to see male and female work colleagues getting out on a course and enjoying their first taste of golf…”

It seems like the knowledge and insights of love.golf is valuable for other players in the golf industry. Love.golf is cooperating now with the TGI Golf Partnership and its network of more than 450 PGA Professionals. These PGA Professionals will learn how to sell golf equipment more effectively to women.

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How to Provide the Right Golf Experience for Women
PGA Professional Spotlight: Adam Kritikos (PGA of Greece and GB&I) http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-adam-kritikos-pga-of-greece-and-gbi/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 09:03:04 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=18310 Adam Kritikos is a PGA Professional coach at Costa Navarino in Greece assisting with the growth of golf in the Messinia region and Greece as a whole...]]>

Adam Kritikos is a PGA Professional coach at Costa Navarino golf resort in Greece and is one of the PGA of Greece’s leading lights, assisting with not only the growth of golf in the Messinia region but also throughout the country with his educational role with the PGA of Greece itself.

Our PGA Professional Spotlight is cast over Adam and we find out more about what he gets up to on a day-to-day basis and how he got there…

IGPN: How did your career as a PGA Professional first begin?

Adam: Following my years of representing the Greek National Team as an amateur, and having completed a BA(Hons) degree in Golf Management at the University of Central Lancashire, I was approached by Costa Navarino to take on the role of Assistant Professional and to also grow the game in our local region.

IGPN: How did you end up in your current position?

Adam: I got a job offer from Costa Navarino to work as the Pro properly – I was lucky as my reputation as a player was known and then my qualifications from the UK with the PGA of GB&I.

IGPN: Explain a bit about your business that you run now…

Adam: As the PGA Pro at Costa Navarino I cater to giving lessons to customers, as well as organising club competitions and other operational needs of the club.

I am also in charge of the ‘Costa Navarino Junior Golf Academy’ – a scholarship programme aimed at developing local kids into elite golfers. After 5 years, the programme has reached 55 junior members.

IGPN: What does being a PGA Professional mean to you?

Adam: For me a PGA Professional is an ambassador for the game in every sense. Things like dress code, behaviour, playing ability, attitude and work ethic are things that being a PGA Professional is all about and I’m very proud to be able to say I am a PGA Professional.

IGPN: How important is it for PGA Professionals to strive to continually improve their skills, knowledge and development in general?

Adam: It’s important to stay up to date with the ever-developing trends and skill-sets in today’s job markets. Being up to date with social media trends, equipment news, technology, like Trackman or FlightScope, and CPD, like workshops, are important to add value to your profile as a PGA Professional.

IGPN: What would the biggest top you could give a PGA Professional looking for a news job or trying to develop themselves and their skills?

Adam: Attention to detail – and make sure the service you provide is the best possible.

IGPN: What would your advice be to someone looking to work abroad?

Adam: Do your best to adapt to the local way of life and try to learn the local language – both of these things help you integrate more with colleagues and customers and ultimately you will enjoy yourself more and get more from it if you can do that.


For more information about Costa Navarino visit www.costanavarino.com.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Adam Kritikos (PGA of Greece and GB&I)
The R&A and the USGA Publish Research On Driving Distance in Golf http://www.pgae.com/news/the-ra-and-the-usga-publish-research-on-driving-distance-in-golf/ Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:01:18 +0000 The R&A http://www.pgae.com/?p=18156 The R&A and the USGA have published their annual review of driving distance, a research document that reports important findings on driving distance in golf.]]>

The R&A and the USGA have published their annual review of driving distance, a research document that reports important findings on driving distance in golf.

Introduced last year, the review examines driving distance data from seven of the major professional golf tours, based on approximately 285,000 drives per year. Data from studies of male and female amateur golfers has also been included for the first time.

Key facts noted in the paper include:

  • Between 2003 and the end of the 2016 season, average driving distance on five of the seven tours has increased by approximately 1.2%, around 0.2 yards per year.
  • For the same time period, average driving distance on the other two tours studied decreased by approximately 1.5%.
  • Looking at all of the players who are ranked for distance on the PGA TOUR and PGA European Tour, the amount by which players are “long” or “short” has not changed – for instance, since 2003 the 10 shortest players in that group are about 6% shorter than average, while the 10 longest players in the group are about 7% longer than average. The statistics are not skewed toward either longer or shorter players.
  • The average launch conditions on the PGA TOUR – clubhead speed, launch angle, ball speed and ball backspin – have been relatively stable since 2007. The 90th-percentile clubhead speed coupled with the average launch angle and spin rate are very close to the conditions that The R&A and the USGA, golf’s governing bodies, use to test golf balls under the Overall Distance Standard.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “In the interests of good governance and transparency it is important that we continue to provide reliable data and facts about driving distance in golf.

“Driving distance remains a topic of discussion within the game and the review provides accurate data to help inform the debate.”

Mike Davis, Executive Director/CEO of the USGA, said, “We appreciate the collaboration we have received, industry-wide, to access and review this data to benefit the entire golf community, which can be used to both educate golfers and advance the game.”

The 2016 report can be viewed at www.RandA.org and www.usga.org or downloaded here 2016 Distance Report.pdf

The R&A and the USGA published the Joint Statement of Principles in May 2002, which confirmed their commitment to the fundamental notion that skill, not technology, should be the primary determinant of success in the game. The Joint Statement acknowledged the benefits of equipment technology for golf but noted that any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level were undesirable.

Since then, The R&A and the USGA have continued to monitor equipment technology’s effect on the game, and considered the effects of other factors, such as course set-up, athleticism and coaching. When appropriate, new Rules have been introduced after discussions with equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders, in accordance with the Equipment Rulemaking Procedures produced in 2011.

Click Here to Download the 2016 Distance Report [PDF]

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The R&A and the USGA Publish Research On Driving Distance in Golf
Looking In the Mirror – A Coach’s Catalyst for Change http://www.pgae.com/ask/looking-in-the-mirror-a-coachs-catalyst-for-change/ Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:18:30 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=18144 The team at Curious Coaches explain why self-reflection is an essential activity for coaches who are driven towards continuous learning and improvement...]]>

With the start of a new year it’s natural to use this fresh start as an action to take stock on our annual accomplishments and disappointments.  In the past, we’ve formulated a couple of ways that you can go about formalizing this annual evaluation process.  We see it as an essential activity for coaches who are driven towards continuous learning and improvement.  Looking back at our personal ‘annual reviews’, it’s fun to see how this process has sparked ideas and projects that ended up creating significant results for us.  While we’ve focused on this reflection process in a macro view of our coaching business and development, this year we want to share our thoughts and experiences related specifically to contemplating our coaching skills and how we can improve.

‘Are you getting by, or are you getting better?’  This is a question that we have heard a mentor pose to clients on several occasions.

It’s a seemingly simple question that is inherently complex and thus very difficult to answer.  Why? You have to answer it yourself through reflection. While it’s often uncomfortable to look at oneself from the perspective of the third person (nobody wants to see what they don’t want to), or to question and think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it– it’s an essential and enlightening process.  It brings us full circle and cuts to the essence of why we are all here: we don’t know what we don’t know– and we have a strong desire to change that.  We are infinitely curious.

Despite the fact that we haven’t been writing, we’ve still been learning – quite a bit, in fact.  How? Reflection.

Reflection is the primary means through which we grow and evolve. Our practice is informed by our experience, and we need to invest the time and energy to look at said experience with a critical eye.  A thorough examination of our choices and behaviors helps us identify and reinforce the actions that correlate to success, and therefore the things we should keep doing, as well as the actions or choices that led to the opposite result.  As coaches, it is our job to evolve.  Given that 2017 is upon us, we want to dig a little deeper into this topic, and provide you with an example of the result of some of our own reflection, so that the entire coaching community (ok, we digress–any readers that have endured the prolonged break) can hit the ground running in the new year.

Dr. Wade Gilbert, a professor of Kinesiology at Fresno State University (and regular guest lecturer in Matt’s Coaching Effectiveness class at UBC), is one of the world’s leading experts on coaching science.  Much of his research focuses on how coaches develop their expertise.  Through his years of research, he’s identified that informal learning is a primary means through which expert coaches grow and develop.  Much of that informal learning is triggered internally, by reflection.  All coaches think about their experience, but only the experts try to understand why and how they can improve on it.  In other words, experts are curious about their performance, and have a desire to do it better.

We know that having experience and learning from that experience are catalysts for growth.  So, what are the mechanics of the process? How do you process that experience and make adjustments to your behavior?  How do you integrate it into what you do? While, we’re still trying to answer those questions ourselves, we have been following these two practices to help us get improve: Reflective practice and critical reflection.  Yes, they sound similar (which they are), but they are inherently different.

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE V. CRITICAL REFLECTION

When we think about reflective practice and/or reflection, the image that comes to mind is a steady stream of thought on a car ride home.  These are the relatively short, internal conversations that we have with ourselves, daily, that don’t require significant effort.  They’re mental ‘notes’ that often focus on problems we encountered, or about things that went particularly well in a given instance.  Sometimes, these conversations lead us to discover a different way to go about addressing a situation.

Critical reflection, on the other hand, is much more significant.  These are the reflections that force you to take a step back and consider the beliefs that underpin your actions and behaviors. They often represent an internal inventory-taking of your coaching skills and beliefs, and facilitate a deeper dive into self-improvement, often involving interacting with third parties, and other members of your coaching network for answers.  These are critical, evolutionary moments that identify gaps and signal action towards closing them, ultimately leading to relatively permanent change in behavior.

Reflective Practice Critical Reflection
Constant process; daily Event-specific endeavor; not scheduled
Identifies smaller, specific problems Identifies the origin of problems
Develops minor solutions Develops major solutions
Reasoning of behavior Questioning of behavior
Surface learning Deeper learning
Very little behavior change More significant behavior change

The point we want to make is that over the last 6 months, we’ve been thrust into opportunities that have illuminated the shortcomings we have as coaches.  The fleeting thoughts about an occasion that didn’t go as planned are often more frustrating than productive.  Critical reflection elicits more intrigue than frustration, it actually moves the needle.  Through continued reflection – both in the daily and critical sense – we’ve given ourselves a chance to grow and improve.

ACTIONABLES

  • Keep a journal. Logging your days and jotting down your thoughts helps you become aware of any patterns that exist.  The notes serve as an informational foundation for critical analysis and eventually, change.
  • Budget time to be critical. Going deeper into your reflections to create understanding, and ultimately change, takes time and effort.  Ensure that you are setting aside time either monthly or quarterly, to be self-critical, such that you can get a plan in place to close any gaps that you perceive to be apparent.
  • Be vulnerable. Seeing yourself in action is a great way to understand your behavior.  You’ll become aware of a number of great things, as identify a few areas to improve.  Also, it is OK to not know.  Seek the opinions of others, as it’ll help close your knowledge gaps and make you aware of new solutions.  Yes, it is an uncomfortable process, but very much worth it.
  • Remain as objective as possible. It can be far too easy to grade your paper against unrealistic standards. This can be done with film (as you’ll see below), or through a trusted friend/advisor who is invested in your success.  360 degree reviews or anonymous surveys are also helpful tools that can inform you of blind sports in your practice.

AN EXAMPLE FROM MATT

One of my biggest challenges is staying sharp, mentally and physically, day in and day out.  I feel very strongly that my effectiveness, and behavior, is directly related to the amount of energy I have available.  Over the past few weeks, I felt ineffective, but couldn’t quite figure out why.  Physically, I felt fine. And mentally? I thought I was sharp.  Still, something was missing – I was getting by, not getting better.

In the offseason, we do a lot of instructing and a heavy emphasis is placed on refining techniques and building skills.  When doing a lot of ‘teaching’, I find it easy to get into a pattern that is very directive and very generous with the provision of feedback in an effort to guide the learner to the desired outcome as quickly as possible.  It is as if we work extra hard to reduce the amount of mental effort required on behalf of the learner such that we can make the learning process ‘easier’.  In attempting to accelerate and simplify the learning process by reducing the amount of cognitive energy invested by the learner, pre and post movement, we end up having the opposite effect; we severely limit their learning.  They end up relying on our guidance to make corrections rather than making adjustments based on their evaluation of both the intrinsic and extrinsic feedback they receive from the movement, relative to their kinesthetic concept of what they are trying to learn.

I felt ineffective because I had it backwards.  I became overly concerned with WHAT the athletes needed to do, and didn’t place enough energy into HOW those interventions were carried out.  As a result, what needed to happen (their learning), didn’t.

So, what did I do to make the corrections?

To start, I set different goals for the day.  The goals focused on the learning environment we created, as opposed to the specific content that was to be learned.  My aim was for the client to be more cognitively engaged than in sessions past.  My plan to achieve that goal was twofold.  First, I wanted to ensure that I was cultivating the athlete’s capacity to accurately detect error.  The goal was to provide them with the opportunity to contrast what they did vs. what they intended such that they could calibrate their sensory feedback accordingly.  Second, I aimed to optimize the provision of feedback, delaying it until after the athlete had the chance to evaluate their intrinsic feedback, as well as establishing a bandwidth, outside of which prescriptive feedback would be provided.

Next, I wore a GoPro and filmed the day to gauge how successful I was in executing my objectives.  I wanted to see what the environment was actually like.

Below is a video excerpt from a session where we worked with an athlete on developing their control over the speed of their putts.  As stated prior, my objective was to provide the client with a better learning environment; one that challenged them cognitively, technically, and physically.  I structured the activity with the end goal of expanding the capacity of the learner to accurately assess the result of their movement in the absence of feedback, and in improving their ability to detect, and correct, error.  I wanted to help them close the gap that existed between what they think happens, and what actually happens, when they act on a decision.  Check out a brief snippet of the video below to get a better idea for how I ended up delivering feedback in this session.

Was it perfect? No.  But it doesn’t have to be.  I learned more through this critical reflection than I had an any number of traditional educational activities.

What will you do to generate a similar experience?

We’ll give you some time to reflect…

– COREY LUNDBERG & MATT WILSON

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Looking In the Mirror – A Coach’s Catalyst for Change
Community of Practice Summit (COPS) 2017 – CPD http://www.pgae.com/ask/community-of-practice-summit-cops-2017-cpd/ Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:28:44 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=18140 PGA Professionals are invited to attend the 2017 Community of Practice Summit at North Hants Golf Club in the UK.]]>

PGA Professionals are invited to attend the 2017 Community of Practice Summit at North Hants Golf Club in the UK.

The sessions will be facilitated by PGA of GB&I Fellow Professional, Kevin Flynn and features a range of diverse speakers:

  • David Todhunter – 4D Motion Sports
  • Scott Fawcett – Playing Lesson
  • Terry Hashimoto – BODiTrak Sports
  • Graeme McDowall – Constraints Led Practice
  • Adrian Rietveld & Mark Thistleton – Club Fitting
  • Nigel Tilley – European Tour Physiotherapist

Date: 2 & 3 March 2017
Venue: North Hants Golf Club, UK
Cost: £195

For more information contact Kevin Flynn @ kevin1flynn@hotmail.com

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Community of Practice Summit (COPS) 2017 – CPD
John Jacobs: A European Golfing Legend http://www.pgae.com/news/john-jacobs-a-european-golfing-legend/ Thu, 19 Jan 2017 23:03:31 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17651 The world of golf lost an icon and legend this week as John Jacobs OBE, one of the world’s most recognised and revered PGA Professionals, passed away aged 91...]]>

The world of golf lost an icon and legend this week as John Jacobs OBE, one of the world’s most recognised and revered PGA Professionals, passed away at the age of 91.

Jacob’s influence on the sport was widespread across his native United Kingdom, but also across the whole of Europe, particularly in the advancement of the education programmes that PGA Professionals undertake in their own countries.

Initially playing and teaching as a PGA Professional, Jacobs retired from competitive golf in the early 60s, turning his focus squarely towards the technicalities and intricacies of the swing and technique. His coaching prowess earned him the nickname ‘Dr. Golf’, and it was not long before he was viewed as a modern-day icon of golf coaching.

This high level of expertise and, perhaps more importantly, vision as to how the profession could evolve, made him world-renowned and a key figure in the development of a formalised training manual for the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland.

Many of the principles he instilled in those manuals still exist today and formed the blueprints of each and every PGA’s professional training programme. His involvement with the PGAs of Europe and his work in various continental European countries helped spread this ethos and expertise to wider climes such as France, Belgium, and in particular Spain where he shared his technical knowledge and worked with the likes of Jose Maria Olazabal.

This international and forward-thinking approach ultimately means that Jacobs has positively impacted upon the development of every single PGA Professional in the past 40-50 years across the PGAs of Europe’s Member Country PGAs and more.

“It was always about teaching people; it was always about the flight of the ball; it was always about realising that the only function of the golf swing is to deliver the club head…”

John Jacobs

PGAs of Europe Chairman, Sandy Jones, added: “John’s role in the development of golf across continental Europe cannot be understated. He was a natural choice to follow Christer Lindberg as our second Honorary President in 1999-2000, recognising his position as a key figurehead of not only professional golf but also golf as a whole through the huge number of coaches he has influenced.

“Jacobs’ legacy will live on in the PGAs of Europe history books as each year a PGA Professional who, like Jacobs, has excelled as a coach of any level of golfer is recognised by the Association with ‘The John Jacobs Award for Teaching & Coaching’ – the highest European coaching accolade for a PGA Professional.”

Previous winners of the Award have included Michael Bannon, Dominique Larretche, Lee Scarbrow, Salvador Luna and Neil Manchip, showing the high calibre of PGA Professionals that have been acknowledged in his name. The award will continue in Jacobs’ name as a marker of his enduring legacy in coaching and sport of golf.

Jacobs took up the role of ‘Tournament Director-General’ of the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland on the 1st October 1971, effectively marking the birth of the PGA European Tour. With a small team and a big task ahead of him, Jacobs established the inclusion of prize money and points from European events within the overall tournament Order of Merit and very quickly began to build a schedule that has ultimately grown to be a global heavyweight of Professional golf.

This involvement with the tournament side of golf that included two spells as Ryder Cup Captain in 1979 and 1981 when the first continental European players competed, along with the creation of international competitive opportunities for professional golfers, has resulted in the exposure and subsequent development of golf in countries where otherwise it may never have ventured.

Board Director of the PGAs of Europe and Jacobs’ successor at the European Tour, Ken Schofield, describes Jacobs as “…Quite simply, a great man – a giant in the game of golf. Champion player – Ryder Cup international in his own right – but will be defined as one of THE great sport coaches of our time – through his teaching of the game at all levels and in all corners of the globe. We will miss him – but his indelible link will remain large.”

“It would be perfectly valid to compile a list of the Five Most Influential People Behind the Rise of European Golf, but in practice it would be no fun. It would have to read: (1) John Jacobs, (2) John Jacobs, (3) John Jacobs, (4) John Jacobs, (5) John Jacobs.”

Peter Dobereiner, Golf Digest 1994

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John Jacobs: A European Golfing Legend
PGA of Sweden Teaching & Coaching Summit – The Leading Edge http://www.pgae.com/news/pga-of-sweden-teaching-coaching-summit-the-leading-edge/ Sat, 14 Jan 2017 15:40:31 +0000 PGA of Sweden http://www.pgae.com/?p=17629 The PGA of Sweden invite all PGA Professional Members to their PGA Summit from 8-10 March at Hotel Tylösand in Halmstad, Sweden...]]>

Halmstad, 8-10 March 2017

The PGA of Sweden invite all PGA Professional Members to their PGA Summit from 8-10 March at Hotel Tylösand in Halmstad, Sweden.

The theme for the day is “The Leading Edge” and refers partly to the blade, technology and leadership. You will be able to meet a number of interesting speakers who will share their knowledge in a variety of areas that you find useful in your professional role.

Speakers include:

  • Cameron McCormick
  • Anna Wilson
  • Christer Olsson
  • Maria Möller
  • Anna Iwarsson
  • Viktor Gustavsson

The course fee for the PGA’s Summit 2150SEK +VAT and includes lunch on Wednesday – Friday and Annual Meeting Dinner.

The price is valid until February 8. Thereafter, the fee is 2500SEK +VAT. The PGA Summit is open only for PGA members and specially invited guests.

Click here to find out more and register your place: http://eur.pe/2h7cLtW

PROGRAM

WEDNESDAY

09:00 Coffee is served
10:00 to 10:15 Event Opening

Introduction: SGF, GAF and PGA

10:15 to 12:00 Courage to lead both themselves and others (Joint session with GAF)

Anna Iwarsson

12:00 to 13:30 Lunch
13:30 to 15:00 Journey to High Performance Ignition to Achievement

Cameron McCormick

3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pause
15.30.17.30 From knowing to doing

Christer Olsson

Thursday

09:00 to 10:00 Communicative Leadership

Anna Wilson

10:00 to 10:30 Pause
10:30 to 12:00 Continued… Communicative Leadership

Anna Wilson

12:00 to 13:30 Lunch
13:30 to 15:00 Lifestyle and fitness trends

Anna Iwarsson

3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pause
15:30 to 16:30 Thesis presentations
18:30 PGA Annual Meeting
19:45 Annual Meeting Dinner

Friday

09:00 to 10:00 Golf facilities as an attractive workplace

Maria Möller

10:00 to 10:30 Pause
10:30 to 12:00 Training to High Performance

Cameron McCormick

12:00 to 13:30 Lunch
13:30 to 15:00 Player Development, an exciting journey

Viktor Gustavsson

15:00 Termination year Summit

Claes Björklund and Johan Hampf

Click here to find out more and register your place: http://eur.pe/2h7cLtW

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PGA of Sweden Teaching & Coaching Summit – The Leading Edge