Saturday, February 11, 2012

Game Planning For Your Students

"Game Planning For Your Students"
By Sean Mysel - CrossGolfPros:  MODERN GOLF

This was the trailer for the remade movie "The Italian Job" where a group of highly skilled thieves attempt to re-steal gold from one of their former associates.  In the movie there was a tremendous amount of planning that went into the caper so the chances of success would be enhanced.  Much like UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden said, "fail to plan, plan to fail" the same is true for teaching golf.

One of the missing pieces of many student-teacher relationships is the art of game planning a student's lessons.  Sometimes we focus so much more on the mechanics, ball flight and swing flaws that we forget that learning most anything is a process.  What is even more important is making the process enjoyable and proving that your method of teaching works.  How do you set up a game plan?  In my prior business managing baseball stadiums and housekeeping units for sports arenas, the most important aspect was to know your people.

What are their likes?  Dislikes? Goals? Ambitions?  If you have a student that can bomb a driver, don't spend time on it if they can't make a 3-foot putt.  There are two great reasons for this:  1) If your student does something that works for him or her then they have found a way through trial and error to do something successfully.  2) If that part of their game goes south, and it will at some point  you become the scapegoat and lose some esteem in their eyes.

Next, set up a schedule.  Let the student know that you have a plan to get them to the promised land.  This instills a sense of organization and skill to your student because your knowledge of the golf game.  It could look something like this:

Week 1 - Proper alignment, set up

Week 2 - Dynamic Balance and exercise

Week 3 - Short Irons, shot shaping

This can be whatever you want based on what your student expresses to you.  Finally, have your student give you scorecards if he or she has played recently.  Have them track fairways, greens, putts and any repetitive issues that come up.  By doing so, you can make adjustments to the lesson plans based on an urgent need from your student.