PGAs of EuropeVideos – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:55:30 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 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
Robert Kalkman Foundation | Ryder Cup European Development Trust Project Focus http://www.pgae.com/ask/robert-kalkman-foundation-ryder-cup-european-development-trust-project-focus/ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 09:03:32 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19146 The Robert Kalkman Foundation supports children across the Netherlands by encouraging them to find a new passion in life by playing golf...]]>

The Robert Kalkman Foundation was established in 2007 by former Dutch international footballer, Robert Kalkman, and is designed to support children with cancer and/or a physical limitation by encouraging them to find a new passion in life by playing golf.

The Robert Kalkman Foundation has received funding from the Ryder Cup European Development Trust in order to continue providing opportunities to children across the Netherlands and allow the Foundation’s clinics to increase in size and frequency.

Golfing World caught up with Robert at the Foundation’s golf day to find out more about the great work being done…


To Find Out More About the Robert Kalkman Foundation visit www.robertkalkmanfoundation.com.

For more information on the Ryder Cup European Development Trust visit www.RCTrust.info, and follow @RyderCupTrust on Twitter.

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Robert Kalkman Foundation | Ryder Cup European Development Trust Project Focus
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
VIDEO – How to Balance Projects With Jason Glass http://www.pgae.com/ask/video-how-to-balance-projects-with-jason-glass/ Tue, 09 May 2017 14:22:17 +0000 Golf in the Life of http://www.pgae.com/?p=16618 Learn from Jason Glass about how to balance projects and do them all at a very high level. Great info for the entrepreneurial coach...]]>

Learn from Jason Glass about how to balance projects and do them all at a very high level. Great info for the entrepreneurial coach.

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VIDEO – How to Balance Projects With Jason Glass
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
Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-health-project-launches-to-highlight-how-golf-can-benefit-all/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:48:50 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=16996 The recently launched Golf & Health Project will academically research and highlight how the game can benefit peoples’ lives, and ultimately help to grow golf]]>
  • New and unique project aiming to assess the health and wellbeing benefits of golf has launched around the world
  • An academically rigorous methodology examines pre-existing research
  • Innovative new research will fill knowledge gaps and show golf’s role in health and wellbeing

(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., USA) – World Golf Foundation (WGF) – the non-profit organization developing and supporting initiatives that positively impact lives through the game of golf and its traditional values – announces the launch of the Golf & Health Project, academically researching and highlighting how the game can benefit peoples’ lives.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, led by Dr. Andrew Murray and under the supervision of leading international academics, Professor Nanette Mutrie and Professor Liz Grant, have conducted the largest, most comprehensive study of golf and health, with the results shown in a Scoping Review published in the world’s leading sports medicine and science journal, The British Journal of Sports Medicine. In total, 5,000 papers were reviewed to provide a comprehensive view on the impact of the game on health, illness prevention (and management) and associated injuries (infographic).

Key benefits include improvements in life expectancy and quality of life, as well as physical and mental health benefits. Golf is expected to decrease the risk of more than 40 major chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, colon and breast cancer. Current research shows that golf has positive impacts on cholesterol, body composition, metabolism, and longevity.

golf-and-health_infographic_main_webThe Project launches with support from all of golf’s major organisations, along with an initial eight ambassadors from around the world with more than 30 majors and 350 wins between them – Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Annika Sorenstam (Sweden), Brooke Henderson (Canada), Gary Player (South Africa), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Ryann O’Toole (USA), So Yeon Ryu (South Korea), and Zach Johnson (USA).

“I am delighted to be an Ambassador for the Golf & Health Project and wholeheartedly support the work they are doing to prove the health and wellbeing benefits of golf,” explained Gary Player, nine-time Major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member. “The systematic and academic confirmation of the physical and mental benefits golf gives people will be of great use to us all to spread the word to institutions, governments and the entire world!”

Current information from the Scoping Review and future research findings will continue to be available through the Golf & Health website – www.golfandhealth.org. This information is designed to be practical and usable by golf’s stakeholders to help develop the sport around the world.

The project also aims to show existing and future benefits that are identified are applicable to individuals of all ages throughout society, not just a specific sub-section of the population.

The WGF and the major golf organizations represented on its Board of Directors, along with partners such as the PGAs of Europe and the University of Edinburgh, academic collaborators and supporters from the University of California at San Francisco, and various other organizations, are working together on the Project with a view to sharing its work around the globe.

“The importance of the Golf & Health Project in the development of the sport is vital, not just for the WGF’s partners, but everyone involved with golf around the world,” said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “This Project is something we can all get behind, as it is universally agreed that golf is good for you. It is going to provide real, tangible resources that can be used by governments and politicians, professional tours, governing bodies, golf businesses, PGA Professionals and more – all to the sport’s benefit.”

The Project is planning various research-led activities to further prove areas of interest and also expand into currently under-researched areas such as the mental health benefits of golf, physical benefits in older players and the positive effects of spectating.

“For a number of years we’ve felt we’ve underplayed the likely benefits of golf on peoples’ health,” added Golf & Health Project Executive Director and European Tour Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roger Hawkes. “Over the last two or three years, there seems to be an interest from various bodies and we’ve been able to bring together that interest to actually study this area.”

Further information, news and features on the Golf & Health Project: www.golfandhealth.org, @GolfAndHealth on Twitter and ‘Golf and Health’ on Facebook.

For queries relating to the Project, contact info@golfandhealth.org and for media queries contact media@golfandhealth.org.

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Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All
Lance Gill: What Golf Instructors Should Know About Fitness http://www.pgae.com/ask/lance-gill-what-golf-instructors-should-know-about-fitness/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 18:51:38 +0000 Golf in the Life of http://www.pgae.com/?p=15165 Lance Gill explains how we’ve placed the wrong expectations on fitness, with no ONE result from fitness.]]>

We’ve placed the wrong expectations on fitness. There is no ONE result from fitness. This is just one of the concepts Lance, Lead Instructor for TPI Level 1 and Level 2 Fitness Seminars shares during this conversation.

Myth #1 – Fitness pros are out to steal your client.

A client doesn’t have to choose golf instruction or fitness. In fact Lance uses the term “pit crew” quite a few times to suggest the idea of a team effort.

Myth #2 – It takes 6 weeks to make a change.

“I’ve never built the same program twice”

Myth #3 – We’re going to ruin your golfer.

It’s all about making a plan getting closer to goals. Not just bulking up. Golf fitness and beach fitness are TOTALLY different.

There is no ONE result from starting a fitness program.

One thing Lance asks of instructors is to become educated in his world. Meaning that by understanding the body you’ll be able to better understand the role and needs of fitness in a training program. Fitness professionals are learning about the golf swing shouldn’t instructors be doing the same?

The biggest issues with certifications and continuing education is how are you going to make your money back. Lance covers a FANTASTIC concept you can easily implement. Who you should market it to. How you should run it. And what you can expect. (this is about 15 minutes in).

If you’re a golf instructors Lance believe you should go get help for you and your game from a TPI professional.

We also got some great questions from the Young Teaching Professionals group on Facebook. (great group by the way hosted by past guest Andrew Rice)

Some of the questions we cover

  • Do students get longer when working out?
  • How effective is transfer training when hitting a golf ball well?
  • How often is injury and pain due to physical issues rather than technical?

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Lance Gil is the Co-Director of the Titleist Performance Institute Fitness Advisory Board and the Lead Instructor for TPI Level 1 and Level 2 Fitness Seminars globally. He has personally taught over 10,000 experts in the fields of; Golf Fitness, Golf Instruction, Medicine, Junior and Biomechanical proficiencies.

He is the President of LG Performance, a private Golf Performance based company specializing in the betterment of golfers (from tour professionals to junior development) in the areas of; Fitness, Screening, Biomechanics, Instruction, Mental, Nutritional, Programming, and Life Coaching. Find out more at www.lgperformance.com.

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Lance Gill: What Golf Instructors Should Know About Fitness
Inside The Ropes at The Ryder Cup… http://www.pgae.com/news/inside-the-ropes-at-the-ryder-cup/ Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:07:47 +0000 PGA of Great Britain & Ireland http://www.pgae.com/?p=16769 A career as a PGA Professional can lead to many places and for Mike Walker it's led inside the ropes of the Ryder Cup...]]>

The Yorkshire, UK, coach, along with mentor and PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Master Professional Pete Cowen, is at Hazeltine National Golf Club working with six players.

During two practice rounds, Walker has been a familiar figure alongside the groups of Chris Wood, Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick, analysing and assessing and stepping in with input if needed.

Reflecting on his role at the 41st Ryder Cup, Walker admits much of the groundwork has been laid prior to arrival but he’s is on hand to fine-tune if required.

“It is a funny week, I saw Dan with Pete at the range last week, and that’s where you do the work really,” said Walker.

“Matt I had seen him in Italy the week before but he had come to America to practise. I saw Chris Wood as well and you kind of get it all off your chest then on what you’re doing.

“Really, when you are here, it is reiterating what you’ve worked on and dealing with anything that crops up – whether it is shots they hit on the course, how they feel or whatever it is. You might not be used that much but it’s just in case.”

They are also a sounding board – not just for the players but for European captain Darren Clarke and his vice captains too.

“I’ve been to one Ryder Cup, Pete’s been to 11 so they tap into that a bit, we speak to vice captains about how they are playing and feeling, also acting as a middleman between them. It’s quite diverse but the lion’s share is shots and how they are feeling and what’s happened if they’ve missed it in a certain direction.”

Doing your work under the eyes of thousands of spectators could potentially be pretty intimidating but Walker takes it all in his stride.

“You definitely get more accustomed to it, even just going to major championships, there is a novelty to it but like anything else you just get used to it, you’re less fazed, calmer and you have dealt with difficult situations in the past which helps you deal with them in the future. I’ve got some experience, not as much as Pete or David Leadbetter, but enough.”

Working with elite level performers brings its own set of challenges – not least because they are so good – but it’s a role that Walker relishes.

“It’s harder to see things because it is much more subtle, but a lot of principles cross over and you self-perpetuate. The more you do it, the more you get an eye for it, the more experience you have, the more you handle situations better.”

And like any person seeking to improve there is no resting on laurels. It’s very much a case of always learning and building the knowledge base.

“I don’t think you can afford not to,” added Walker. “We are lucky to be exposed to elite level players and the more you are exposed the more you learn, you almost gain a competitive advantage in a way. The day you stop learning is the day it’s time to hang up your boots and do something else.”

For any aspiring coaches, Walker has some sage advice.

“You have just go to love your topic. In my experience I’ve always been motivated when I’m interested. If you lose your interest that is dangerous, I’d say Pete (Cowen), like myself, is obsessed with golf and coaching and that’s the key.”

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Visit the Ryder Cup Coach Hub at: http://eur.pe/RyderCupPGAPros

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Inside The Ropes at The Ryder Cup…
Club Pro Enjoys Surreal Ryder Cup Moment – Paul Mitchell http://www.pgae.com/news/club-pro-enjoys-surreal-ryder-cup-moment-paul-mitchell/ Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:15:23 +0000 PGA of Great Britain & Ireland http://www.pgae.com/?p=16773 'Pretty surreal' was Paul Mitchell's initial thought on seeing his pupil and friend, Chris Wood, stride the fairways of Hazeltine at the Ryder Cup...]]>

‘Pretty surreal’ was Paul Mitchell’s initial thought on seeing Chris Wood stride the spectator-lined fairways of Hazeltine during the first official practice of the 41st Ryder Cup.

 

And no wonder. The Bristol and Clifton Golf Club head PGA Professional first coached Wood as a teenager so to see him scale the heights of one of sport’s greatest events is definitely something to cherish.

But if Mitchell did give it much thought, it was only fleeting because he had serious work to do – helping the 28 year old Wood get prepared for what will arguably be one of the more nervy first tee shots of his career to date on Friday.

Wood has broadened his coaching team and it also includes fellow PGA pros Mike Walker and putting specialist Phil Kenyon who were also patrolling the fairways and greens.

But while both have experienced Ryder Cups before in a coaching capacity, Hazeltine marks Mitchell’s first involvement in the biennial clash and focus is the buzz word of the day.

“I think it goes back to your professionalism as a club pro,” he said.

“You could easily get a bit side-tracked, and start looking at the other players but you are there with a particular player and your job is to look after them. And to be honest, you are so in your own bubble. It’s like when you are playing golf – you focus while you’re out there and it’s the same when you are coaching at an event like this.

“OK, now and then, you might think ‘bloody hell I’m talking to Rory’ when you are walking down the fairway but you are focused on your player and they’ve always got to come first.

“You want to make sure your player is in tip top condition, and everything you could have done is ready by Friday morning. That’s what I’m focusing on.”

Strategy off the tee is set to be key at Hazeltine and day one gave the players the opportunity to see what challenge the Minnesota course offers. Wood was playing with Rory MclIroy,  Sergio Garcia and Andy Sullivan.

“A lot of the time it is more about getting the tee strategy right,” added Mitchell. “The par four 15th was a perfect example. It’s a dogleg left. We’ve hit driver while everyone else has hit 3-wood and actually they’ve ended up with a really difficult second shot to the green. If you hit driver, it’s actually a bigger target once you get past the trees. It’s just working things out like that – devising your own strategy. I noticed that with the players today – they were all doing their own thing which is important.

“I think there are some key holes. There is a particularly difficult hole on the front nine (the seventh) which used to be on the back nine.

“It’s where you have water on the right, you drive over water, and have to hit driver really because it is into the wind. The second shot is to a really narrow green with water all around and today it was into a 15mph cold wind!

“That is a particularly difficult hole  and the par threes are long – 250 yards. But you realise when you come out here and see them hit three and four irons, you realise that they are at a different level with long irons. iI’d probably need to use my driver to reach!”

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Visit the Ryder Cup Coach Hub at: http://eur.pe/RyderCupPGAPros

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Club Pro Enjoys Surreal Ryder Cup Moment – Paul Mitchell
Coaching Experience Expectations http://www.pgae.com/ask/coaching-experience-expectations/ Fri, 16 Sep 2016 09:31:55 +0000 Dr Richard Bailey http://www.pgae.com/?p=9939 Here Dr. Richard Bailey gives his thoughts on how his expectations of the coaching experience changed from when he was an athlete…]]>

Here Dr. Richard Bailey gives his thoughts on how his expectations of the coaching experience changed from when he was an athlete…

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My expectations of the coaching experience have changed considerably since I was an athlete. Of course, this was quite a long time ago!

I was lucky to have competed at a relatively high level in a number of sports, including rugby and cricket, before settling on fighting sports like Karate and Kickboxing.  In all of these sports the coaching would be best described as mixed.

Some coaches were knowledgeable, supportive and kind; others were not.  Some were role models; others were raving lunatics!  I tended to accept the coaching that was on offer partly because that was all I knew, especially if those coaches were judged to be successful.  And I figured that these coaches were strong in specific areas, so there was always something to learn from them, even if they were limited in other areas.

In some cases, the coaching was harsh, even brutal. In the case of fighting sports, made sense at the time, as it was obviously necessary to cope with pain and injury of a regular basis.  So I regularly trained with broken bones, recurring injuries and exhaustion.

Sometimes, it was just comical.  I remember the coach of my last cricket team insisting that none of his players used first names, and that we never socialised together, as he wanted to generate a ‘professional’ attitude among his team that was not diluted by the jokey friendliness of most of the opposition.  We were all under 16 years old.

Continue the conversation in our LinkedIn Discussion Group: http://eur.pe/1C9g9Tz

Things have moved on considerably since then.  I have seen a radical transformation in the perceptions of what makes a great coach.  Two changes, in particular, seem particularly significant.

The first is the movement towards an ‘athlete-centred’ approach, in which the interests and needs of the players are at the forefront.  In other words, the athletes are ends in themselves (their development is the whole point of the enterprise); not just means to someone else’s end, such as the coach ego or club’s success.

Athlete-cantered coaching need not be soft or easy.  On the contrary, it should be appropriately challenging, and my own understanding has been transformed by working with coaches who manage to balance the requirements of competitive sport with the simple fact that they are dealing with human beings.

The second change has been the slower emergence of evidence-based coaching.  Sport continues to be dominated by tradition.  But more coaches are recognising that ‘we’ve always done it that way’ will not do.

Common sense is a feeble justification for practices, especially when those practices can risk the health and well being of players.  Academically validated qualifications are part of the picture. More important, though, is the wider acceptance among coaches that a scientific mind-set lies at the heart of professional, athlete-centred coaching. Tradition and authority have little value here.

Science, alone, offers a candle in the dark!


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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Coaching Experience Expectations
The Junior Golf Hierarchy of Needs http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-junior-golf-hierarchy-of-needs/ Mon, 05 Sep 2016 09:28:47 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=11121 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs famously organises drivers of human motivation from the most fundamental physiological needs to a higher order of ‘growth’ related n]]>

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs famously organises drivers of human motivation from the most fundamental physiological needs to a higher order of ‘growth’ related needs.  The theory being– once a basic level of needs is met, a person will seek to fulfill the next levels in pursuit of constant growth and betterment.  A similar representation of needs may be helpful to coaches as we strive to grow the game and engage young athletes in golf.

The topic of engagement and retention has never been more relevant in our sport.  As participation numbers decrease at an alarming rate, it’s time to take a closer look at how we can engage young athletes and prompt them towards a journey of development and sustained involvement.

Not only do our jobs depend on the generational influx of new players, but more importantly, the game that we have devoted much of our lives to is in danger without it.  As the generation of Baby Boomers that have sustained our sport for so long begin to pass the torch to a new wave of players and their children, devoting our efforts to engaging new players is of critical importance.

From a personal and more immediately rewarding perspective, a further examination of these motivational factors could result in more activity on our lesson tees and the opportunity to do more rewarding work– work that matters.

Improving our ability to motivate will obviously help us develop more skilled players, but it also helps us fulfill a more meaningful mission– it allows us to impact the personal and social development of young people.  We’ve all encountered a coach or teacher early in our lives that made that massive impact on us.  A person that makes us wonder ‘Where would I be if I hadn’t met this person?!’

So what ingredients make up a young athlete’s criteria for involvement?  What factors should we consider when introducing golf and how do we continue to foster that initial interest into a desire to improve and eventually excel?

Based on our experience and research, there are some key motivational milestones to consider. We believe motivation to participate starts with positive peer and coach CONNECTION, which leads to a fun environment that allows skills to develop through PLAY, which then builds CONFIDENCE, and ultimately provides enough motivation to ‘stick with it’ long enough to grow expertise and SKILL.

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CONNECTION

Motivation to participate starts with a connection– it’s the most basic need of a young athlete.  If I don’t feel like I belong, I’ll never stick around long enough to find out how much fun the activity is or that I might actually be good at it.  So this is our first priority.  We have to facilitate positive connections with peers, connections with coaches, connections with parents, and ultimately a connection with the game.

Think back to your own childhood hobbies– in all probability your willing participation was heavily hinged on how many of your friends followed suit.

Or maybe you were drawn to an activity because of the warm and nurturing connection offered by the coach– a non-judgemental connection that made you feel safe to explore, experiment, and learn.

When connected, early childhood psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Hallowell, says, “children develop a feeling of security and safety, which, in turn, instills courage and the desire to take risks in the world.”  So to combat the initial nerves inherent in encountering a new activity, we have to earn their trust and show that the learning environment we’ve created is a safe one, free of judgment or criticism.

We were turned on to Dr. Hallowell’s work by one of the most brilliant minds in junior golf, Kate Tempesta.  Kate expanded on this concept when she told us, “It is paramount that we, as junior coaches, create an engaging and supportive learning environment. We must teach to the whole child and not just simply to their developing physical skills. This is the key to long- term success! Children are social, emotional, creative, spiritual and cognitive beings that need all of these domains nurtured and supported.”

Once a safe environment has been introduced, we have to facilitate the social bonds amongst peers that motivate participation.  These early social connections lead to the first tipping point in the development of a young golfer.  All of a sudden, the young person in front of us begins to identify themselves as a golfer, a key milestone to igniting a lifelong relationship with the game.

“Social identity has been defined as the part of an individual’s self concept which derives from his knowledge of membership in a social group with value and emotional significance attached to that membership.” (Tajfel, 1981)  When we encourage these friendships around golf, we are nurturing feelings of connection and a sense of belonging that comes from feeling similar to the others in the group.

ACTIONABLE:

To fulfill the basic motivational need of connection, we need to promote positive feelings of association with peers and coaches, along with a sense of belonging and the ‘fit-in’ factor.

  • Remain ‘Connection Conscious’ throughout your group sessions.  Be vigilant about noticing how each individual is interacting with the group and how their motivation to stay involved could be affected.
  • Develop skills through small-sided games.  Split groups into small teams and have them complete challenges or competitions.  Not only does this begin to fulfill the need for ‘Play’, but it fosters stronger social bonds among team members.
  • Promote a Growth Mindset.  We often use the phrase ‘Not getting it is part of getting it’.  To open up in a way that allows for meaningful connections with peers and coaches, the kids need to know it’s safe to make mistakes.  Nothing can kill participation faster than a humiliating experience caused by a poor performance or perceived incompetence.  Reminding athletes that mistakes are acceptable and a natural step in the learning process reinforces a judgement-free environment where positive connections are more easily made.

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PLAY

Fun is the single biggest factor for athlete retention and sport participation.  If an activity ceases to be fun, the likelihood of an individual sticking with it over the long term, diminishes greatly.  That being said, as easy as it is to say that ‘fun’ holds the key to everyone’s success in growing the game, fun remains somewhat of an elusive deliverable.  Here is Dr. Hallowell on the topic of play in sports,”Many parents, teachers, and coaches don’t realize that fun sets off a cascade of positive events.  If you make having fun the goal, and your child achieves that goal, then it is likely your child will also achieve all the rest: practice, discipline, mastery, and the other intangibles that sports can so wonderfully instill… Play that is fun leads to practice and practice leads to mastery.”

For a better idea of how we can deliver this level of fun, a perfect model of the play that leads to sustained participation can readily be found at recess and after school during a variety of ‘pick-up’ games.  Look for a group of screaming and laughing ten year olds playing outside.  These environments are void of technical instructions and instead rely on the kid’s creativity, autonomy, and social connections to deliver the ultimate form of play.  Kids have to be pulled away from this type of play.  School bells, dinner time or sunset are the only things that can suspend the action.

This informal environment has to be inclusive so as to achieve active participation from a variety of competitors and they have to come up with rules that maximize fun given the available resources.  No one is concerned with the ‘right way’ to execute a skill, they just look to the top performers to serve as a model to follow.  While skilled performance can eventually come as a result of this play, the sole intention is fun– not improvement like so many of the activities that we design for them.

ACTIONABLE:

  • Promote autonomy by allowing juniors to be active participants in the learning design.  I’ve haven’t seen anyone do this more effectively in golf than Kate Tempesta.  The video below is one of many in which she shares the practical application of this idea– this is one of my favorites.  A cardboard box and a coach who is willing and able to nurture creativity and autonomy as a means to develop skill and inspire participation.

CONFIDENCE

Moving past the primary igniters of interest – Connection and Play – expanding an athlete’s confidence becomes critically important to sustaining motivation and participation.  Moreover, as coaches, confidence represents an exciting possibility, as it’s a factor we have a significant influence on.  Specifically, the way in which we communicate and interact with young athletes has a significant impact on their self-efficacy, self-esteem, and experience (fun or not fun).

What we want to focus on is Self-Efficacy.  In its most basic form, self-efficacy is an individual’s perception about their ability or competence.  Although there are many different sources from which athletes can increase their self-efficacy, the most powerful are instances in which an individual has to overcome a mild form of adversity to achieve a goal.  Jane McGonigal calls them ‘epic wins’.

“The most effective way of creating a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experiences. Successes build a robust belief in one’s personal efficacy… Some setbacks and difficulties in human pursuits serve a useful purpose in teaching that success usually requires sustained effort.  After people become convinced they have what it takes to succeed, they persevere in the face of adversity and quickly rebound from setbacks. By sticking it out through tough times, they emerge stronger from adversity.” (Bandura, 1994)

Coaches should leverage gamification and challenge point framework to help design appropriate activities – activities that require the learner to dig in (just enough) such that they have to extend themselves to accomplish the task.  What they get is a quick shot of ‘I can do this’ and consequently, their self-image and level of confidence, increase.  Additionally, the feedback you give to the athlete should focus on the effort they are making, and should provide enough encouragement to help them push past the challenge that the activity provides.  This one-two coaching punch paves the way for growth and accelerates ignition.

ACTIONABLE:

  • Ensure that you scale the task demands and difficulty to the skill level of the learner.  Be very aware as to how much success or difficulty participants are having with a given activity and modify tasks accordingly.
  • When giving feedback, praise effort, reinforce the positive aspects of what they are doing, and provide them with one thing that they can do differently.  This also helps to promote a growth mindset.
  • Celebrate success! Allow young golfers to get excited when they experience success.  As much as you want to get them to persevere through the right amount of difficulty, ensuring that they get to enjoy their ‘mastery moment’ makes it more likely that they will continue such behaviors.  It also tends to lead to a little more fun for all!  Fist pumps should be HIGHLY encouraged.

SKILL

Rather than a final stage of motivation that we have to fulfill, SKILL represents the top of the motivational pyramid that represents a by-product of sustained participation.  As with Maslow’s Hierarchy, ‘one must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.‘  Well, in the Junior Golf Hierarchy of Needs, self actualization is replaced with Skill.  Once we have met the young athlete’s requirements for connection, play, and confidence– in all likelihood they are inspired to participate long enough to develop some level of skill.  This could be enough skill to continue a lifelong recreational relationship with golf, or for some, those previous steps have motivated them to work hard enough to develop a skill level that leads to more competitive pursuits.

A junior will learn the skills when they are ready to.  By taking an interest in growing their motivation, we, as coaches, can set the stage for continued participation and eventually, skill development.   More importantly, however, are the effects of sport on the rest of their lives.  By making a point to help each child grow their self efficacy, establish positive social connections, and develop a sense of mastery, such characteristics transcend golf and filter into other areas of their lives, ultimately leading them to become better learners and people.  As such, this is work that matters– to ourselves, the golfers we encounter, and the game we love.

— Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson

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The Junior Golf Hierarchy of Needs
Olympic PGA Pros Q&A – Peter Wolfenstetter & Thongchai Jaidee http://www.pgae.com/news/olympics/olympic-pga-pros-qa-peter-wolfenstetter-thongchai-jaidee/ Thu, 11 Aug 2016 07:09:41 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=16260 Coach to Thongchai Jaidee, Peter Wolfenstetter, answers the Olympic Coach Q&A...]]>

PGA of Germany Teacher of the Year, Peter Wolfenstetter, has worked alongside Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee for over 12 years and is travelling to Rio as the Thai Team Coach.

Explain a bit about how you began working with your athlete and when that was.

PW: 12 years ago there was a friend of mine whointroduced me to Thongchai when he was playing the BMW tournament in Munich and then we started working together a little bit and after that we started our partnership.

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What are the key things you are going to work on to prepare your athlete for the Olympic Games?

PW: What we want to do is to play every week the best we can and I think we will not do anything special.  But the week before I will fly to Asia and we will be practicing together.

When he is good and in form there is no need to change a lot but we will make sure he’s playing his best form when he’s in the Olympics.

I think it’s definitely a special event – 100 years I think since it was in the Olympics and it’s special and we have been talking a lot about what we are doing, what’s going on, how we are working and now we have made a plan and I think we’re on a good path.

How will you stay in touch with your athlete during the Olympic Games?

PW: I am very happy that the Thai Olympic Committee have involved me so I will be going with my player and I am very happy about this.

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What does it mean to you to be working with a potential Olympic qualifier?

PW: I think it’s very special and there’s not too many players and not too many coaches that can go to the Olympics…for me it’s bigger than a Masters or a major.

You meet a lot of different sports and athletes and you can talk with all the coaches and I think it is a totally different atmosphere than when we go to the Open Championship or something like that.

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What do you think the impact of Olympic Golf will be?

PW: Most of the time I see him between the end of Novemeber and then at Abu Dhabi again. But during the year I think I am in contact with him most of the time and he sends me videos.

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The PGAs of Europe Olympic PGA Professional Coach Hub is a first-of-its-kind Olympics page (http://eur.pe/OlympicPGAPros) that aims to and celebrate coaching and shine a light on the PGA Professionals from around the world that are supporting, or have supported, the 120 male and female potential qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Each Player-PGA Professional section contains details about their relationship, key links to find out more about both the potential Olympic qualifier and their associated PGA Professional, along with interviews and features with many of them.

For more information on the PGAs of Europe Olympic Coach Rankings visit http://eur.pe/OlympicPGAPros

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Olympic PGA Pros Q&A – Peter Wolfenstetter & Thongchai Jaidee
Olympic Coaches – Phil Allen & Joost Luiten http://www.pgae.com/news/olympics/olympic-coaches-phil-allen-joost-luiten/ Tue, 09 Aug 2016 08:50:02 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=16005 Our Olympic Coach Q&A shines a spotlight on the Netherland's Olympic Qualifier, Joost Luiten, and his coach Phil Allen...]]>

PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional, Phil Allen, and European Tour Member and the Netherland’s Olympic Qualifier, Joost Luiten, have been working together for over 16 years and have developed a working relationship that brings both the seriousness of competitive play and technical knowledge together with fun and friendship to build a successful team.

Here Joost and Phil talk more about how their relationship developed, how they work together on a day-to-day basis, as well as more about how they both feel about Olympic Golf and its potential impact on the sport.

PGA PROFESSIONAL COACH: PHIL ALLEN

Explain a bit about how you began working with your athlete and when that was.

PA: I started working with Joost 16 years ago – his father asked me if I could have a look and we started talking about him as a golfer.  I saw him once and we looked at the mechanics and I said if you want to become European Tour [level] then certain things need to happen.

He was actually hypermobile so I worked together with a physical coach to tighten him up and make it easier to produce a golf swing.

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What are the key things you are going to work on to prepare your athlete for the Olympic Games?

PA: For the Olympics then we’re going to look at base level fundamentals for putting and the short game – the weaker areas of the game.  We’ll make sure balance is correct, eye-line is correct, especially for the putting scenario to keep a consistent strike on the ball.  For the short game then understanding the arc of the golf club, the strike on the ball and the reaction around that.

We’ll treat the Olympics the same as a Major and I think it is very important we look at it as a major event because it’s something big in the golf world and the first time, and I want to [make sure] we get our chances to get a medal.

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What advice will you be giving them about competing on a wider global stage than perhaps ever before with an approximate 3.6billion viewers across the world?

PA: There are globally a lot more people watching the Olympics than a standard tour event or major, but at the end of the day it is a camera that is going to be behind Joost.  It’s the guys out there that are giving the cheers and the screaming and shouting, that’s what gives a golfer the goosebumps, especially in a tournament on the final day coming down the last stretch if you’re leading.

But if Joost stays Joost and stays in his moment then I don’t really see that being a big difference – at the end of the day it’s still a golf event that we train and train and train for…to get to this moment.  I’m quite confident that if he can keep passive within himself then it’s just going to be the same as if we [would] win a major; it’s going to be great.

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How will you stay in touch with your athlete during the Olympic Games?

PA: I’ll be present at the Olympics, I’ll be in the village together with the other coaches of Team NL and with Joost, and so we’ll be pretty much the same as every event.  We’ll be looking at what’s happening in the other events to see how they prepare – it’s not just using this as an event but I want to see why/how certain sportspeople warm up and prepare and maybe adopt that into our future training and preparations for events.

Being present there is a key as well because we’ll be doing something for the first time together, especially after 16 years of working together.

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What does it mean to you to be working with a potential Olympic qualifier?

PA: It has got to be the biggest kick there is – I’ve already had in Holland a coaching dinner where I met other coaches and asked so many questions out of curiosity about what they do in their sports.  You still can’t think it’s a reality…you won’t realise it until you’re there and you could say it’s like a dream until it happens.

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What do you think the impact of Olympic Golf will be?

PA: Because it’s going on unpaid television then we’re going to hit more viewers – for myself then it’s getting the sport out there more.

We’ve got to look at Rio as a first and if it continues it will be great, but we’ve got to get the sport growing again.  We’ve got a lot of golf pros out there and not enough golfers so I really hope we can get a positive out of it…if the globe works together to promote our sport then everyone wins.

OLYMPIC ATHLETE: JOOST LUITEN

What does the prospect of being able to represent your country and make history at the Olympic Games mean to you?

JL: For me it’s an honour to be the first Dutch golfer going to the Olympics…hopefully we can have a good week there and try and get a medal.  I think it would be great for golf in Holland and great for the general sport.

For me personally as well it’s something you dream of – as a kid when you’re watching the Olympics you want to compete yourself.  We could never compete in the Olympics because golf wasn’t an [Olympic] sport but now golf is in there so I’m really looking forward to going there, trying to get a medal and do something good for the sport.

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What makes your relationship with your coach a success and a benefit to your game?

JL: I think we became friends over the years that we worked together.  When I started working with him I had this click together and we have a lot of fun together.  I think that’s the key, you need to have fun together.  You can be very serious but you can also be two little kids fooling around on the putting or chipping green.  That’s what I really like about Phil you know; you can always have a good laugh with him.

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How important have they been in your existing/current development as an athlete?

JL: Very important, when I was 16 I came to Phil and I was a good golfer but I wasn’t very good technically, I was all about feel.  Phil really started to work on the technical side, getting the positions right in the golf swing and really preparing myself for playing European Tour golf.

I don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t have met Phil back in the day because he really made sure that my game went forward and I prepared myself for professional golf.  Before that time I was a good player but I was nowhere close to making it as a professional.  That’s still what we do – work on the technical things, the positions in the golf swing and a lot of the stuff that we worked on then is still the stuff we work on now.

How are they going to help you prepare for the Olympics?

JL: I would say it’s business as usual. Yeah of course it’s a bit different because there is more stuff going on around the Olympics but the preparation for the golf will be the same. We will work on the same things, do the same things on the practice days – because it’s the Olympics you don’t change it, if you can change for the Olympics then you can change for every week. We’ll do the preparation and be ready for Thursday.

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What are you most looking forward to about potentially competing in the Olympics?

JL: I’m most looking forward to seeing the whole thing around the golf. The golf is the golf – 72-hole strokeplay – but I am very curious to see the other sports, the Olympic Village, just everything around it. I want to really take in those experiences like the opening ceremony – that’s something very new for us and something I really want to enjoy and see.

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What impact do you think golf being in the 2016 Olympics will have on the sport?

JL: I think it’s massive for golf to be an Olympic sport because a lot of people will watch the golf that have never watched golf in the lives, so I think it could let them pick up the game as well.

For Holland, I think it’s a big thing because it’s not a very famous or known sport by the people [there] and hopefully by me being in the Olympics then they will see what it is and hopefully start following it and enjoying it – that’s the most important thing in Holland is getting the young kids into golf and hopefully the Olympics will help big time with that.

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What does it mean to you that your coach is a PGA Professional?

JL: I think it’s important that Phil is a PGA Professional because it’s by far the best education for a teaching Pro and you learn a lot more than just a golf swing – you learn about the body as well, the muscles you use and that’s a big thing as well when we’re out on the driving range – you want to know what you’re using…and Phil knows about that stuff as well and that’s because he’s a PGA Professional.

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The PGAs of Europe Olympic PGA Professional Coach Hub is a first-of-its-kind Olympics page (http://eur.pe/OlympicPGAPros) that aims to and celebrate coaching and shine a light on the PGA Professionals from around the world that are supporting, or have supported, the 120 male and female potential qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Each Player-PGA Professional section contains details about their relationship, key links to find out more about both the potential Olympic qualifier and their associated PGA Professional, along with interviews and features with many of them.

For more information on the PGAs of Europe Olympic Coach Rankings visit http://eur.pe/OlympicPGAPros

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Olympic Coaches – Phil Allen & Joost Luiten
The Glitch – Resisting Change & Opportunities http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-glitch-resisting-change-opportunities/ Fri, 10 Jun 2016 09:36:15 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=15722 We are hardwired to resist amazing opportunities to grow. Few people understand this, even fewer know what to do with it.]]>

We are hardwired to resist amazing opportunities to grow. Few people understand this, even fewer know what to do with it. And frankly, most of us let the resistance win.

Lets’ change that.

Our environment changes about a million times faster than we do.

Think about it – in just the past few thousand years our world has been revamped again and again. What’s important changes. The way we structure society changes. How we get food. The way we teach. The way we learn. The way we get around. The things that are important to get good at. What we do for a living. It’s all changed SO much.

This is all GREAT. I can only speak for myself here, but I love that we have wifi instead of covered wagons. But there’s a big glitch in this system. And it’s us and our brains.

We don’t change, update, and evolve even close to as quickly as our environment. The world is like on version 987,988,900, we’re operating with damn close to the original system (version 1.4 if we’re generous), and our iPhones are even on version 6s.

Our current system was designed to keep us alive back when we literally lived in the wild – when had to hunt for lunch, and worry about becoming lunch to a saber tooth tiger.

We found that the best way to do this was to listen to our fear, to avoid taking risks, avoid making mistakes, avoid the unknown, and avoid standing out at all costs.

Because…
New or unknown = danger = death
Mistakes = danger = death
Standing out = getting kicked out of the tribe = death

Obey, play it safe, fit in, do what you know, live.

Again this approach was highly effective for that environment but is far less useful today.

And that is the glitch.

Today our environment/society favors connection and learning. Those who think differently, who love the unknown, enjoy challenges, thrive outside of their comfort zones, and don’t mind sucking and stumbling on the path to growth.

And our 1.4 software is built to resist all of those things.

This is why we:

  • Hate doing things we’re bad at
  • Hate public speaking
  • Hate getting called on
  • Hate asking questions
  • Hate trying new things
  • Hate doing things that might not work
  • Hate the hard conversations

and

  • Love doing things we know we’re good at
  • Love our comfort zones
  • Love fitting in
  • Love the sure thing
  • Love playing it safe
  • Love small talk

In other words we resist the things that lead to more connection and learning while steering towards the things that hold us back from connection and learning.

So we’re faced with three options:

  1. Wait a few million years for our software to catch up
  2. Continue on resisting and avoiding the good stuff
  3. Learn how to function/override the software
  1. nope – we aint got time for that!
  2. no – hell no
  3. yes – and let’s talk about that

You may be thinking something down the line of: “ok hollllld up – how do i beat this glitch? how do I conquer it? how do I turn it off? And when I first learned about all of this I was asking the same exact same thing, my friend. I even have video evidence…

Here is me asking my hero those questions + plus his brilliant response:

Boom.

The resistance, the “lizard brain”, that feeling in your chest, that fear – it is all a sign that you are in the RIGHT place. And as long as your life isn’t in danger you should do the exact opposite of what it tells you to do!

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do… The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch. He takes on the assignment that will bear him into uncharted waters, compel him to explore unconscious parts of himself.” – from Steven Pressfield in The War of Art

The fear is not going anywhere. We can’t let it run us. We can’t get rid of it. But we can USE it.

The best marathon runners don’t learn how to not get tired – they just learn to run with the pain. Just like the best performers don’t learn how to not get nervous – they just learn to dance with the fear.

With practice, we too can learn to lean into the fear, to dance with the fear, to use it as a compass that leads us to the opportunities and experiences that will help us the most.

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For more on this topic:

How fear impacts our ability to learn – video
Growth and resistance – article
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – book (one of the best you’ll read)

Support the cause…
The Train Ugly Shop
The info and content on our site will ALWAYS be free – but we might try and sell you a fresh T-shirt or poster every now and then;)

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The Glitch – Resisting Change & Opportunities
Breathe Your Way to Success – Golf Performance, Anxiety & Breathing http://www.pgae.com/ask/breathe-your-way-to-success/ Fri, 10 Jun 2016 07:24:42 +0000 Dr. Brian Hemmings http://www.pgae.com/?p=11953 Though I have never had the good fortune to meet Tom Watson and talk through his career, my guess as a psychologist is that the quote suggests in the early days]]>

Dr Brian Hemmings explains how breathing can be the key to controlling a player’s emotions and teaches you a technique for your students to help them control their anxiety and emotions when it counts…

“When I learned how to breathe, I learned how to win”

Tom Watson

Though I have never had the good fortune to meet Tom Watson and talk through his career, my guess as a psychologist is that the quote suggests in the early days of his career he often felt too uncomfortable on the golf course in winning situations, or let frustration undermine his game.

In my work I find that many players think the top professionals must be doing something unique mentally; which isn’t the case at all.  For instance, controlling breathing is one of the simplest, most efficient ways for all standards of golfers to self-regulate high arousal/tension on and off the course and is straightforward to learn.

“You have to control tension.  Just a couple of times I got nervous but I kept it under control.  We all get taught certain breathing techniques by the Swedish Federation to help keep calm, its basic stuff”.  Niclas Fasth

In my time at England national training over the past fifteen years, great emphasis has been placed on teaching individual players simple breathing skills.

For example, focused breathing is great in that it can act as a distraction from negative thoughts, lower heart rate, and act as a positive behaviour in pressure situations.  However, players must be aware that although breathing itself is a natural automatic process, as soon as we shift to controlling breathing it becomes an acquired skill that improves with practice.

To fully obtain the benefits of focused breathing you need to impress on players the need to practise regularly.  This technique involves counting breaths, which also prevent negative thoughts as the mind is occupied by the counting involved.  Simply inhale slowly (normally, not deeply) through the nose to a count of 4, and then slowly exhale through the mouth to a count of 7 – the longer outbreaths induce a more relaxed state.  This is also sometimes called ratio breathing and a player may complete several cycles of this to remain composed.

If practised, a player will soon become proficient at using the technique in pressure situations or when frustrated after errors.  I find that many players like this technique as it is very subtle, and will go unnoticed by playing partners.  Coach your players this technique I am confident they will benefit hugely.


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“This online course has to be the best value for money training I have seen from the PGA. I use the activities with my clients and have seen improvements in their game of golf. Working with players and …understanding now more about mindset makes it easier to coach and enhance performance….”

Phil Allen, PGA of GB&I Professional, Holland

Check out the fully online Golf Psychology Coaching Certificate course that is approved by the PGA of GB&I (135 CPD points) and the PGAs of Europe, and has been completed with great reviews by over 350 PGA professionals and coaches worldwide. Go to www.golfpsychologycoaching.com for full details.

The course is full of practical activities and information on assessing mental skills, goals and motivation, attention control, confidence building, and anxiety reduction techniques for the PGA professional to guide players through improving their mental game. The course is endorsed by some of England’s best coaches.  You can complete the course at home so you will have no travel costs or time away from your work.  All you need is a player to work with and the time to complete the course activities.  For a price reduction type in the discount code PGAE to reduce the price from £295 to £215.

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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Breathe Your Way to Success – Golf Performance, Anxiety & Breathing
To Lift or Not to Lift? These Are the Questions… http://www.pgae.com/ask/to-lift-or-not-to-lift-these-are-the-questions/ Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:35:38 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=15645 Dr Ben Langdown & Jack Wells explore some key questions about fitness for golfers, specifically when it comes to strength training...]]>

Strength Training, Athletes, and the PGA Professional

In the past few years the area of strength training has been a bone of contention in the golf world with many players attributing improved performance and increased successes to this type of training, whilst others have been critical about the impact it may have on their game.

We ask experts Dr Ben Langdown and Jack Wells from the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland some key questions about fitness for golfers, specifically when it comes to strength training.

How can strength training help a golfer improve performance?

BL – There are various ways – strength, stability, mobility, the clubhead speed is probably the obvious one and therefore distance and that’s potentially what most golfers are looking for when they come and do some strength and conditioning work.

Although others are just looking for – can they get into certain positions within the swing that their coach is trying to work on, and therefore we’re looking at the specific restrictions or limitations that they’ve got in their body and using strength and conditioning to aid that and improve their mobility and their stability.

Who should be taking part in strength training and how does a coach determine if a student should start strength training?

BL – Anybody can take part strength training – and the best way to find out as a PGA Professional if your client actually wants to, or needs to, take part is to ask him or her.

Do they want to see quicker benefits from the training that they’re doing, so not just practicing on the range but also can they reap the rewards of doing strength training in the gym? Basically anybody can do strength training as long as there’s no underlying health issues or injuries currently in place.

JW – This has to be guided by them [the athlete] really, and it might be a conversation that you bring in. If they’re looking to increase their driving distance and you feel that technically you’ve done quite a lot but actually they probably need to increase their clubhead speed through different areas, then engaging in strength & conditioning might be something that you approach with them. If that is something they want to do you can seek out an individual that will help them with that.

What strength training should people be doing?

BL – Strength training should be targeted to each individual. People can go and do a generic programme but they’re not necessarily going to get the maximum benefit from doing that. If you can target that strength training programme or strength & conditioning to that individual then you can hit the needs of that golfer and therefore they’re going to get maximum reward.

Does strength training limit a golfer’s ability to be flexible and mobile?

BL – No, is the short answer. There’s research out there that demonstrates that golfers who do strength training correctly can actually increase their flexibility and their mobility through doing their training.

There was this myth in the past that golfers should stay away from all sorts of strength training because it would of limited their movements in the swing, but actually that is a myth and there’s evidence out there now that shows flexibility can be increased.

How can coaches incorporate strength training into their teaching remit?

BL – The best way to do this is to work with a team – PGA Professionals, unless they’ve got themselves an additional qualification, they’re not insured to provide fitness or strength & conditioning advice. Therefore if they have done an additional qualification and they’ve got insurance on the back of that, then that’s fine, they can deliver the whole package themselves if they wish to.

Otherwise PGA Professionals can do some basic physiological or musculoskeletal screening that are looking for any restrictions in the movements that they want a golfer to do but in terms of providing correct exercises or strength & conditioning advice, that’s where they need to refer out to a specialist.

JW – Golf coaches who actually want to get into this field need to start to seek out professionals. But what a coach can perhaps do is start to incorporate things like warm-ups…and that will hopefully help them be suitably potentiated to hit the golf ball but also to bring in some movement patterns that will help them going forwards.

Who should a PGA Professional work with to carry out strength training with athletes and how can they incorporate them into an athlete’s performance mix?

BL – There’s always this, again, maybe a myth that the strength & conditioning coach or the physiotherapist is going to try and pinch [steal] the golfer. But PGA Professionals shouldn’t be afraid of working alongside a fitness team. So they’re the people that should be doing the full assessment.

There’s no reason why a PGA Professional can’t look at certain movements and positions. But then it should be the strength & conditioning coach or the physiotherapist who actually puts a programme together to develop that golfer as an athlete.

JW – So if they work with someone who has a good understanding of the fundamental movements that are involved with the swing then actually that is a good grounding for working with a specialist.

BL – Maybe give them some free golf lessons in exchange for some free fitness advice or physiotherapy sessions in order to up-skill the team that they’re working with.

Are there concerns with injuries in strength training? What are the warning signs and what should a PGA Professional do?

JW – I think with any sport there is always a risk and a concern of injury. If we look within golf we see that the in the amateur side there’s a lot of lower back injuries whereas at the top end of the spectrum it’s wrist and elbow injuries.

Actually engaging in strength training might help these individuals – so amateurs could be a little bit more robust to cope with the dynamic patterns of the swing. But also in terms of the elite end of the spectrum, a lot of the injuries involved with the wrists and elbows are potentially through overuse.

BL – Done in the right way, there shouldn’t be any concerns with injuries. Under supervision from a strength & conditioning coach or physiotherapist then actually we should be building athletes that are robust to injuries.

If people are going off into the gym doing there own thing and using incorrect techniques, maybe using too much load when their body isn’t ready for that load, then potentially there could be an increased risk of injury.

JW – If they [the PGA Professional] start to see a really bad ball flight and the player then says they’re struggling with this shot because they’re feeling pain in their left should or hands…then these are warning signs that perhaps hitting a number of golf shots is not going to help in the long run, and actually might potentially make that injury worse.

So it may just be discussing with them [the athlete] verbally or it might be something that occurs through performance. Sometimes it might involve a little bit of digging and learning a little more about the person in-front of you and trying to find out what’s going on.

BL – If the PGA Professionals spots any signs of over-training [or injury], first of all sit down with the golfer and just get them to outline what they’ve done in the past few weeks. If the PGA Professional doesn’t know how to deal with this then seek advice from maybe a sports scientist, strength & conditioning coach or physiotherapist.

Is it safe for juniors to engage with strength training?

JW – Absolutely – There’s so much research supporting the notion of actually getting juniors to engage in strength & conditioning. The golf swing has more force going through it than any form of lifting really so actually swinging a golf club is potentially, you could argue, more injurious than engaging in strength training.

BL – Again this is another myth that has been out there that juniors shouldn’t be doing any strength & conditioning work, lifting any weights, should stay away from the gym because it’s going to cause them injuries or cause them long-term problems.

Juniors should be in the gym if they want to be and if they need to be in terms of their goals and their development. Even things like fundamental movement skills can be done within a golf environment or they can be done within a gym. So developing those movements that are going to be able to create them as an athlete rather than just a golfer. Things like hopping, skipping, throwing, catching, running, dodging, or jumping – all of those fundamental movement skills that eventually lead to them becoming a robust athlete, and therefore cope with the demands of the sport a lot better.

JW – Other things that juniors will do naturally like climbing trees, learning how to walk, picking up their bike out of the garage, jumping over walls – these are effectively strength training. Engaging in that sort of activity naturally is the same almost applying a bespoke strength & conditioning programme.

Why are there golfers winning majors that do not engage in any form of fitness training?

BL – So this doesn’t help our cause as sports scientists or strength & conditioning coaches, but there’s always exceptions to the rule. There are going to be players out there that potentially aren’t engaging in strength & conditioning work currently, but you’ve got to ask what have they done in their youth, in their development period. They may have engaged in a lot of different sports as they were growing up and therefore they’ve developed these fundamental movement skills to become a golfer.

JW – Strength training is just one vehicle to successful performance, obviously the strongest golfer doesn’t necessarily win every tournament because there are other important parameters such as what’s going on at impact, to the mental side of the game.

BL – Occasionally you’re getting someone winning a major or a tournament that hasn’t engaged in strength & conditioning, but the ones at the top week-in, week-out are the ones that are athletes that are training. Putting in the hours in terms of not just practice but in the gym as well and working with that team around them.


Author-Circles_Ben-LangdownAuthor-Circles_Jack-Wells

Dr Ben Langdown is the Training Executive for Sports Science at the PGA National Training Academy at The Belfry. Alongside this Ben also works with many elite amateur and professional golfers providing strength and conditioning support. Ben has a PhD in the field of golf biomechanics, studying strength and conditioning for golf and movement variability in the swing.  Follow Ben at @BenLangdown.

Jack Wells is Education Officer (Golf Coaching & Sports Science) for the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @Jackwells009.

 

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To Lift or Not to Lift? These Are the Questions…
Learning – And How to Do it Better http://www.pgae.com/ask/learning-and-how-to-do-it-better/ Fri, 06 May 2016 14:07:34 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=15398 Brains, Skills, Learning & Lizards: The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Butt Kicker]]>

Brains, Skills, Learning & Lizards: The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Butt Kicker

FIVE KEY POINTS

  1. Our brains are built to learn the best when we’re operating at the edge of our abilities, outside of our comfort zones, and when we make a lot of mistakes.
  2. Understanding that we can improve our abilities (having a growth mindset) is the key to learning. The most successful people in the world have this all figured out. They’re master learners, or as we like to call them – “Butt Kickers.”
  3. Most of us struggle with learning because of our fear of failure, looking bad, and resistance to change. This mostly comes from a part of the brain called the amygdala aka “The Lizard Brain.” The Lizard Brain acts as an internal force driving us to have a fixed mindset.
  4. The Lizard Brain is the brain of a wild animal. It’s hardwired to seek safety, avoid risks, and to fit in. This protected us back in caveman times, but now it keeps us from learning as much as we could.
  5. As much as we would like to, we can’t kill the Lizard Brain. However, we can learn to dance with it and use it as a compass to show us we’re on the right path.

SPECIAL THANKS

We would like to give a HUGE shout out to Seth Godin for helping us out with the interview. He’s been one of our biggest inspirations through all of this and it was an absolute honor to speak with him. Thanks Seth!

Also, he just published one of the most unique and inspiring books I’ve ever read. Grab a couple of copies of Your Turn HERE – You’ll absolutely love it!

FREE POSTER

Screenshot it, download it, copy and paste it – it’s yours! Use it as a reminder of how learning really works. Feel free to post on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter!

Learning Poster

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Learning – And How to Do it Better
Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries – Part 1: The Wrist http://www.pgae.com/ask/physiotherapy-and-golf-injuries-part-1-the-wrist/ Mon, 04 Apr 2016 07:33:01 +0000 European Tour Performance Institute http://www.pgae.com/?p=13262 In the first of a special series, the experts at ETPI.com look at the effect of repeated large forces on the body that can lead to different types of injury...]]>

In the first of a series of articles on injuries common in golfers of all abilities, ETPI.com’s Nigel Tilley – a Consultant Physiotherapist on The European Tour – examines potential wrist problems and recovery routes.

Golf is a sport with many health and well-being benefits. It is played across the world by people of all ages including into their 80’s and 90’s with a reported 60 million participants.  The health benefits have been widely reported in recent years with an 18-hole round representing somewhere between six to eight kilometres of walking and often requiring physical exertion across variable outdoor terrain.  This can burn more than 1,500 calories as well as requiring more than 8,000-12,000 steps.

A recent Scandinavian study of more than 300,000 golfers showed that people who play golf on a regular basis have a 40 per cent decreased mortality rate compared to their peers, which equates to a five year increase in life expectancy – regardless of gender or socio-economic status.

Another study found that walking 18 holes of golf was the equivalent of moderate-high intensity exercise for the elderly and moderate for the middle-aged.

But it isn’t just physical benefits to be gained from playing golf.  The sport suits participants of all ages, abilities, sex and age, who can all play together providing unparalleled socialisation opportunities and psychosocial benefit.

Golf is much more than just walking and can be very demanding, requiring strength, endurance, explosive power, flexibility and athletic ability to perform a movement which produces some of the fastest club head and ball speeds of any sport.

However. the effect of repeated large forces on the body can lead to a number of different types of injuries. Due to the biomechanical requirements of such an asymmetrical swing, these are often specific to certain areas and sides of the body in golfers depending on their lead side.  For instance, right handed golfers, wholead with the left side, are more likely to suffer from Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) injuries on the left wrist and Dorsal Rim Impaction Syndrome DRIS injuries on the right wrist.

A wealth of research has been conducted on the types and likelihood of injuries experienced by golfers with the back, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hips appearing the main areas of the body prone to problems.

These injuries are generally caused by acute trauma, poor technique, a lack of physical conditioning, the accumulated effect of repetitive movements over many years or a combination of these factors while, interestingly, the occurrence of certain pathologies differ between amateur and professional golfers.

Now, in the first part of our series on golf injuries and physiotherapy, we look at the wrist, potential injuries to the joint and associated soft tissue, and how physiotherapy can help in the treatment and rehabilitation of an injury in order to fast-track recovery and help return you to activity as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Wrist Injuries

There are a large range of common wrist injuries in golf but in this brief study we will concentrate on one commonly seen in a variety of golfers. – the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) injury.

What Is It?

The ECU is a skeletal muscle located on the ulnar side of the forearm which acts to extend and adduct the wrist.  It has to work very hard during the golf swing and so is highly prone to injury in golfers.  ECU pathologies include tenosynovitis of the tendon sheath, tendinopathy, tendon disruption and tendon instability.  These injuries can occur in isolation or combined and can be caused by high force trauma, such as hitting a tree root or thick grass, rapid increase in loading, continued excessive loading and technique faults. This can lead to a variety of changes at the tissues depending on the stage, severity or structure affected including cellular tissue disruption, thickening, matrix breakdown and increased vascularity.

How does physiotherapy treat this type of injury?

The key aim of physiotherapy is to attempt to clearly identify the injury and its cause.  This greatly helps direct the golfer’s treatment and management.  Often this type of injury will require ‘load modification’ with more traumatic sudden onset injuries requiring immediate removal of load and PRICE protocol (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) or POLICE (protection, OPTIMAL LOADING, ice, compression, elevation).  The aim here is to reduce the bleeding and swelling from the injury site if severe tissue disruption such as a partial or full rupture has occurred.

In presentations that have a more gradual non-traumatic onset, a reduction rather than removal of load is often required.  This reduction in load can be achieved by encouraging the hitting of less balls or avoiding hitting from hard ground or mats – which often increase the stress on these tissues.  There are several strapping techniques which physiotherapists use that can also help to stabilise the wrist and give support to the structures.

In layman’s terms if your problem is a slow gradual onset of pain and symptoms in the outside of the wrist a reduction in the amount of balls that you hit or stopping practicing on hard winter matts may help to reduce symptoms and allow recovery  In situations where a sharp and sudden onset occurs after a specific incident (like hitting a tree root or when hitting out of heavy rough) you may need to stop playing golf immediately for a period of time and see a physiotherapist of wrist specialist for a detailed assessment of your injury.

The rehabilitation of injuries to the ECU and its associated structures depends on the exact injury and the severity of the tendinopathy.  But where no severe tissue disruption has occurred – as opposed to partial and full ruptures, which could require surgical opinions or interventions- the aim is to gradually restore the tissues ability to tolerate load through load management, isometric and eccentric exercises and graduated return to play.  As with so many injuries in golf it is key that technique and playing habits are reviewed to help identify solutions to poor technique and practice faults which can often lead to excessive stresses on certain parts of the body. For example, reduced ability to separate your pelvis from your upper body during the back swing is often associated with a higher incidence of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries, due to the poor swing techniques these limitations create.

A golf-specific physio such as those that work at the ETPI in Terre Blanche and Jumeirah Golf Estates will be able to help you with these sort of biomechanical adjustments or conduct a joint assessment with a golf coach or instructor.

For safety, optimum treatment and to reduce the risk of re-injury, players and patients should visit and complete a full assessment of all injuries and receive treatment and rehabilitation under the guidance of a chartered physiotherapist.

Part 2 of this series on ‘Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries’ will look at ‘The shoulder’ and will be out next week.

To see an in depth guide for sports physicians and physiotherapists on examining the wrist and assessing its injuries you can watch this video by European Tour Chief Medical Officer Dr Roger Hawkes and Consultant Wrist & Hand surgeon Mr Doug Campbell:

The European Tour Performance Institutes in Terre Blanche, France and at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai have highly qualified and expert physiotherapists, osteopaths, medical staff, biomechanists and support staff that are able to help you with your injury assessment, diagnosis, treatment and improve your golf performance.  To arrange a visit or book an appointment with them email:

Terre Blanche –  Email: info@biomecaswing.com

Jumeirah Golf Estates – Email: ETPI@jumeirahgolfestates.com

Glossary of Terms

Isometric – is a type of strength training (muscle action) in which the joint angle or muscle length do not change during the muscle contraction.

Eccentric – Is active contraction of a muscle occurring simultaneously with lengthening of the muscle.  The muscle elongates while undertension due to an oppossing force greater than the muscle generates.

Concentric – A concentric muscle action is a type of muscle contraction where the muscle is shortening while generating force.  This occurs when the force generate dby the muscle exceeds the load opposing its contraction.

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Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries – Part 1: The Wrist
Block v Random Practice: Read, Plan, Do – How to Optimise Your Practice with Motor Learning http://www.pgae.com/ask/block-v-random-practice-read-plan-do-how-to-optimise-your-practice-with-motor-learning/ Mon, 01 Feb 2016 11:31:00 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=11149 Every time you do a skill in a game, regardless of sport, you have to read, plan, and do. We call this process the “total skill.”]]>

Expert Interviews

For this V-Essay we interviewed two incredible coaches:

John Kessel

Director of Sport Development for USA Volleyball.

He’s one of the smartest cats around and an expert in motor learning.

Tom Black

Head Volleyball Coach at Loyola Marymount University • Assistant for Coach USA Volleyball

We were having a discussion with Tom about mindset and he dropped some key insights dealing with the whole block v random argument. Tom is the man.

Shortcuts:

Kessel – (1:03-1:33), (2:44-3:27), (12:53-13:58)

Black – (9:40-10:51)

Research Studies

Summaries about a number of block v random practice research. Fancy animated graphs + explanations.

Shortcuts:

Block v random practice: effects on skill acquisition – (8:01-8:40)

Block v random practice: baseball study – (8:41-9:06)

Block v random practice: basketball study – (9:07-9:16)

Article-Header-Images_Train-Ugly--Block-v-Random-Practice

Key Points

Game skills are complex

Every time you do a skill in a game, regardless of sport, you have to read, plan, and do. We call this process the “total skill.”

It’s all about transfer

Transfer is the word motor learning scientists use to describe real learning. When they study practice and how it impacts skill acquisition they always look at what the people can do the next day rather than the improvements they can see during the practice stage.

Transfer = How much of the improvements made in practice actually show up the next day or in the game.

Block Practice

A traditional approach to practice that involves getting a high number of reps repeating the exact same movement over and over and over again (hitting 10 putts from the same spot).

Random Practice

A practice approach that randomizes reps – you never do the exact same thing twice (hitting 10 putts from different spots on the green).

Random leads to wayyyyyy more transfer – why?

In all of the studies we see a huge difference between block and random practice during the transfer test (the one that measures real learning). This happens because during random practice (when we never do the same thing twice) we are forced to read, plan, and do before every single rep.

During block practice we simply repeat the previous movement and the reading and planning are eliminated from the equation.

Block is easier to do, obviously, and will make us look better in practice. However, if we want to prepare to perform in an actual game, random is the better option.

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Block v Random Practice: Read, Plan, Do – How to Optimise Your Practice with Motor Learning
Ignition To Learn http://www.pgae.com/ask/ignition-to-learn/ Mon, 25 Jan 2016 21:17:55 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=11087 A Ferrari without fuel isn’t too much fun – Just like the best lessons, drills, and workshops are totally useless unless the students are ignited to learn.]]>

A Ferrari without fuel isn’t too much fun – Just like the best lessons, drills, and workshops are totally useless unless the students are ignited to learn.

Let’s talk about a great source of ignition and how (sadly) we’re really great at squashing it.

Take 2 min, check this out, then we need to have a quick talk.

Sweet, huh?

What I want to focus on is young Rory’s reaction and mindset when he saw Tiger taking the PGA tour by storm.

When Rory was watching Tiger he adopted the powerful belief that: “If he can do it, so can I.” This attitude is one of the most effective sources of ignition in a young student or athlete and a great display of a growth mindset. He saw someone great, was in awe, realized that the greatness came from years of work and dedication, and believed if he too worked that hard he could get better. IGNITION.

growth-mindset-reaction

Unfortunately the more common reaction to this is to look at the situation with a fixed mindset.

fixed-mindset-reaction1

As parents, coaches, and teachers we can help the situation. Watch performances, concerts, and games with your kids. Point out a great musician, athlete or singer, and explain how that person became great.

Greatness comes from years and years of hard work, mistakes and stumbles, and tons of grit and effort.

As one of my favorite musicians, Macklemore said:

“The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint – The greats were great cause they paint a lot.”


For more on ignition and it’s role in the learning process check out The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.

For more on mindset research click here.

For more on learning and how it really works click here.

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Ignition To Learn
The R&A and PGAs of Europe – A Harmonious Partnership http://www.pgae.com/news/the-ra-and-pgas-of-europe-a-harmonious-partnership/ Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:33:09 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=9163 'Working Together' has been a phrase used in and around the PGAs of Europe for a number years - a 'mantra' in some ways showing that the collective energies and]]> ]]> Coaches Circle: Ingredients for Junior Player Development http://www.pgae.com/news/coaches-circle-ingredients-for-junior-player-development/ Sun, 05 Jul 2015 10:45:44 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=12040 Martin chats with Tony Bennett about his session, 'Ingredients for Junior Player Development'.]]>

PGAs of Europe Education Committee Member, Martin Westphal, will be presenting at the 2015 Coaches Circle from 27-28 July at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort. Here, Martin chats with Tony Bennett about his session, ‘Ingredients for Junior Player Development’.

For more information on the 2015 Coaches Circle Visit the Event Hub Page: http://eur.pe/2015CoachesCircle

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Coaches Circle: Ingredients for Junior Player Development