If you’re a golf coach you have surely experienced ‘that’ student. You know the one. The one who is perceived to be a little… well… different. The one who seems to pester you and look for attention in the many different ways you thought were not possible. All the time. This is the student that no one wants to play with and a lot of the time no one wants to teach. So what do you do?
It is our duty as coaches, as the people who are responsible for the facilitation of learning, to engage, unlock and spark curiosity in these students. We can see that they lack many attributes. We are negatively wired. We are designed to notice what is wrong with everything. With the level of knowledge coaches have in this day and age it really isn’t difficult to find the flaws.
The failure we have, or have at least once been subject to, is the inability to create an addiction with our game. The breakdown of creating a devotion and dedication towards the activity of getting the golf ball in the hole in as few shots as possible is one of the reasons for the decline in our sport.
The biggest misconception, or one of them at least, is that we golf coaches ‘teach golf’. We don’t. We teach people. We must understand people so we are able to teach them better. When we understand people we can tailor our many brilliant techniques and strategies to them.
Let’s, for a moment, look at identical twins, the two people closest to each other (psychologically and physiologically). Both are still different, meaning they require different methods of teaching. Individuality – not conformity – is the key.
We coaches teach through our filters which are flooded with love, passion, desire and respect (amongst other things) for the game of golf. Therefore the meaning we attach to it is far greater than what the student does. Initially, If we take a professional golfer and remove his discretion to play golf for his living the effects would be extreme. But if we take a junior student who is relatively new to the game and remove their discretion to play, they simply find something else. In effect, and quite understandably, it doesn’t mean as much.
We have focused too much on the intensity without having the initial engagement. Remember that student that is a little… well… annoying? Engage them and make it fun. The rest will follow in good time.
A very wise man once said, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear” Gautama Buddha. Let’s keep reminding ourselves of that.