A young man known to be an excellent ball striker was interviewed when I was watching The Players at Sawgrass. He was on the leaderboard for the first time in his professional career. Here are his words: (roughly).
“I believed I would come out here (the tour) and win many events because I was such a good ball striker. I didn’t win anything and was in for an unpleasant awakening. I didn’t have a good enough short game, chipping, wedges, bunker shots, or putting. How talented these guys are astounded me. Two years ago, I started putting a lot of effort into improving every area of my short game, especially chipping and putting. I believe I am currently only beginning to catch up.”
Two decades! The truth is what it is. It takes time, is ongoing, and must be pleasurable in and of itself for improvement to occur. It must be an enjoyable journey where you test your abilities, follow a plan, and perform consistently.
There is just too much impatience in training, with athletes hoping for immediate results in weeks and months rather than years and decades like the pros. (who also put in far more time than you can allocate for your development because they are “doing their job”). The issue with setting unrealistic improvement time frames is that they usually result in disappointment when the intended improvement is not achieved quickly. Despondency and a lack of faith in numerous things result from this. I’m not talented enough to do this; I’m not good enough. I don’t believe it’s my fault if what I’m doing doesn’t work for me or if THE COACH IS CRAP.
Choose a coach who will be honest with you while still respecting your goals and the capacity of people to succeed in the face of adversity if you don’t have the talent to do something. I strongly detest telling people they can’t do anything because I firmly believe that motivation and perseverance are more important than talent in achieving goals.
Talent will almost always come in second to desire and perseverance. But if you claimed you had a 20 handicap and planned to win the Masters the following year, I would likely leave my ambiguity and issue a diplomatic warning. But, in most cases, the problem isn’t one of aptitude; instead, it’s one of belief and setting reasonable goals.
Perhaps the actions you are taking are ineffective for you. The likelihood that they will succeed is high if they are implemented with patience and diligence. Yet, you don’t quit if you give a strategy a realistic shot and it doesn’t work. You alter. You try a different approach and keep looking until you find what works.
If your coach believes you have given it your best effort, but the desired results are not occurring, they will work with you to make changes. Remember that you can only benefit from failure if you keep trying until you achieve. Failure is simply a sign that you are doing something incorrectly; do something else as a result.
“It’s not my fault; the coach is terrible!” Blaming the person who is teaching you is the simplest thing in the world to do. We all know this, but it is incredibly detrimental to your goals. Be brutally honest with yourself. Are you practicing everything they ask you to and for the recommended period? Do you stray and make decisions on your own? See another coach if you think yours is lousy.
Your coach must truly care about you as a person and a golfer and have your best interests in mind. A coach is merely a guide; the work is up to you. It is your obligation to learn; it is not the coaches’ job to instruct you. The coach owes it to you to share information with you in a way that is as personalized to you as possible and that you can understand. The coach must learn new things continually. If your coach rarely attends courses and only reads one or two books yearly (or worse, NONE!!! ), RUN A MILE!
Let me explain my view of the coach/client relationship in case you are still having trouble with the idea that learning is your duty, not the coaches. The coach can direct you to the water, but she or he cannot make you sip. A skilled coach will pay attention to how you drink and adjust the water to suit the person better until they are happily chugging away. A good coach will adapt to your needs, but you must still consume alcohol.
Can your coach play the shots you wish to practice? It’s okay if they are and can explain machinery, tools, and thinking. Perhaps you should ask them to study less and practice more if you want them to be able to play the shot flawlessly ten times out of ten. Would that be of any use? In other words, if their primary focus is coaching—where it belongs—rather than playing, don’t expect them to perform at the level of tour players. I know many excellent golfers who cannot teach a dog to beg for a juicy bone.
Finding a coach who is okay with you becoming a better golfer than them is the final step. When the customer can teach the coach, that person is a good coach. The primary line is that a coach should be more interested in learning how to coach than understanding the game and showcasing how great THEY ARE. It might sometimes be challenging for coaches since ego gets in the way. Honestly, I couldn’t care less how skilled my coach is at going up and down and shooting poor percentages. If I put in the necessary effort, I want him or her to demonstrate how. I like the coach to LEARN MORE so they can teach me more and have a more comprehensive range of information! That may seem ungrateful, but it’s what I would expect from a coach. I don’t care about their ego; I want information.
Be cautious when selecting a coach, and be realistic about change and growth. Take ownership of your education by setting a constant improvement path to see how good you can become. Your coach should be an experienced mentor who is interested in you as a person before a golfer. Have a deep drink!
If this article piques your curiosity, visit the website to learn more about improving your game and even ask the author questions. [http://www.golfmindshop.com] Why not know how to use the four corners system to enhance your golf significantly? Mind/Body/Swing/Equipment.
FIRs, GIRs, and clear skies are for you.
The Golfersmind, Mark
PS: By clicking on The Golf Mind Store Links below, you can acquire your FREE copy of “Bring your golf scores to life.”
Find out what is HOT and what is ROT. Online golf training program reviews are now available, allowing you to learn more about a program before determining if it’s correct. [http://www.golfmindshop.com] Sports psychologist and Master Coach Mark Wright. You can contact him through his website, requesting free golf swing or mental game assistance.