It’s Time to See How this Stuff Works

June 20th, 2013 by John Graham Leave a reply »

The golf instruction industry has been going through some serious discovery over the last decade or so. This discovery has been on the subject of 3d motion, 3d ball collision, biomechanics and things of that nature. Some of this discovery is brand new and some of this discovery has been around for many years but with limited exposure or limited ways to verify its accuracy. I’ve really enjoyed being around when this wave of learning was/is taking place and I understand the necessity for accuracy of information.

However, now it is time to see what this information does to golfers. How does it effect beginners, club players and elite players? How does it change the way coaches convey information to their students? It’s time to see the application side of this new information.

As coaches, we will certainly be using this new information in our instruction. Some coaches may try to resist the new information or its application. How have you implemented it? Have you purchased expensive high tech machines to help with diagnosis? Have you learned the information for your own knowledge and then filtered the information you give to the student to keep it simple and understandable? These are just some of the options available to the coach and I know for sure that many of us are approaching this new information differently.

I think that is a good thing. Any newly attained factual information is automatically assumed to be better than the information before it. In terms of accuracy, this must be true. In terms of helping the player standing in front of you, the jury is still out on this one.

Everyone can show success from their particular strategy.

Everyone has seen failure from their particular strategy.

With this information out there, I’m curious to see how it’s application is utilized by the coaches and their players. I think it is appropriate to see which pieces of new information have actual real world application and value to the player. I don’t think you can just say because it’s new and proven that it therefore must be better. Like anything, now it must be tested for effectiveness.

One of the problems is, how do we know if it’s effective or not given that we are dealing with human beings? Surely it’s possible to give the player in front of you all the right information at the right time and for whatever reason, improvement doesn’t occur. Similarly, it’s also possible to give the person in front of you the wrong information and that student improves. Over time, given enough students, probability should work in the favor of the coach giving the right information at the right time but that doesn’t help the coach that has limited opportunities of exposure to players before a reputation is created.

A few weeks ago, I tweeted something about learning detailed, scientific, and accurate information and coaching. For me, I enjoy that idea. I want to dissect to the smallest minutia possible because that is what I like. That helps me understand the bigger picture cause I can see how all the pieces fit together. However, when I was teaching full swing, I would use very little if any of this minutia in my coaching. I am currently in the discovery phase of applying this detailed thought to putting and green reading. Again, this micro analysis allows me to provide better macro instruction.

With that being said, I don’t like to presume that the student in front of me can’t understand the minutia as well as I can. If I show up to my lesson tee to take a lesson from me, I better be ready to explain information in the detail I would ask for as a student. I owe it to all my current and future students to be ready to answer any question they may throw at me. It bothers me to know end to hear someone say to me, “Why ask that? You’re making it too complicated.” A search for understanding is not making anything complicated. It may be complicated information but that doesn’t mean that now I will not be able to hit the ball well because I’ve learned something complicated.

I don’t understand the idea that some have about how difficult it is to separate information from application. I think it’s quite simple. This is what I know to be true. This is what I must do and/or feel to get the desired outcome. How are these two things related?

Finally, I would highly recommend to all the coaches that currently believe that this information is the end all be all to keep looking for ways to prove its INaccuracy. I am very comfortable saying this. This is what I believe to be true at this time based on the available evidence before me. When and if new evidence becomes available that directly contradicts my currently held beliefs, I will throw out my old beliefs and replace them with the new.

In either case, the application of the information is what is upon us now and the true value of the information will be exposed.

Please consider sharing this around. Would love to hear players and coaches input on how they are applying the information and which information if any if having little to no value in terms of application.

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