Coaching on the PGA Tour or European Tour is something many of us coaches have set as a goal for ourselves. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about one of the downsides of working with tour players that you can read here by clicking on the title: Coaching the Elite Golfer.
This post will provide you some information to help prepare you for discussions with your player when perception and reality don’t match. On tour, I believe many players don’t use statistical analysis in a very productive way. The standard programs for stat comparison simply don’t take into account how they played relative to the rest of the field. So, it doesn’t take into account how difficult the course was or the weather played in. Here is a picture and graph of a tour players stats before and while working with a new coach. The data in the next two examples are provided by tour coach James Ridyard and represents one of his experiences.
Basically, you can see that statistically speaking, this player was playing similar to the level he was before and during time with the new coach. But is this the true story? Let’s look at the data below from these events as it relates to this player relative to the field over the same time period.
Now, this data paints a much different picture of this player before and during the time with the coach. A very clear picture of improvement is shown relative to the other players he was competing against. Isn’t this how a coach and player should be evaluated? As a coach, it is critical to not only show the player how to improve their score (however that may be) but it’s also critical to show the player how they are actually performing relative to others. This gives the player and coach the best information to move forward and I think this second set of information is critical during renegotiation and evaluation.
Now this doesn’t stop the whispering that happens in the locker room but it may just quiet the little voices of doubt in the player or coaches head. This peace of mind and confidence from proven improvement may just be enough to allow them to play even better golf.
Now this isn’t designed to say that improved ball striking guarantees a players or coaches success. However, this can be the measuring stick that is used to assess the coaches ability. If a coach is hired to work on ball striking and the coach can show improved ball striking but the player still doesn’t have success, wouldn’t the coach/player want to know that. Once again, it helps with what area’s need further attention and provides a clearer pathway to lower scores.
Isn’t this what they both want?
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