Making a Change of Golf Coach can sometimes be an agonizing decision to make. You can place blame easily upon others for your faults, imperfections, and failures. And there are times when that blame is rightfully placed upon an influencing source. Having sat in the shoes of a player and now currently sitting in the shoes of golf coach, I often times feel the frustration both players and coaches experience when faced with possibly making a coaching change.
Why Make a Change of Golf Coach?
There are many reasons why a golfer would make a coaching change. Some changes are easily made because of a relocation, a change of venue, a change in the golfer’s ability to afford the fees of instruction, or a total change in perspective about where golf fits into someones life. These are typically easy decisions to make. The harder decision is when the not so obvious reasons are present and the golfer, or the golf coach, is determining if the current coaching relationship is productive for both golfer and coach.
In the past I have had clients leave me to commit to another golf coach. And sometimes a golfer will start using me as their golf coach after having a coaching relationship with another professional. With 27+ years of coaching golf as well as playing and coaching other sports throughout my entire life, player performance and the results obtained from performance coaching I feel is fairly and objectively judged when the player uses a 2-way assessment of the coaching relationship. For the best overall results to occur from any coaching change, this assessment has to initiate from the player’s perspective.
Working with my clients both on and off the golf course is essential to continuing a healthy relationship for us both while serving my clients in ways not normally associated with a golf coach.
Thinking About Making a Golf Coach Change?
If you are thinking about making a change of golf coach, here are some helpful ideals and questions to ask yourself first and then questions to ask your golf coach to determine if a coaching change is actually needed.
Assessing Yourself as a Player
Keeping your current coaching relationship in mind, assess yourself from these perspectives so you understand if you are doing what is necessary to reach the potential you are striving to achieve:
Am I putting in enough disciplined practice time in the areas my coach and I have discussed as areas we need to focus on to achieve my desired results?
When practicing, am I putting myself in simulated conditions where my performance as a golfer will dictate realistic consequences I will face during a competitive round of golf?
Am I doing the things both at and away from the golf course that allows me to prioritize my life goals while keeping my golf priorities in order?
Am I communicating clearly with my Golf Coach so he/she understands my expectations as well as facilitating a dialogue with my golf coach versus a “my way or the highway” monologue?
Am I dotting every “I” and crossing every “T” my golf coach is assisting me with over a short-term as well as a long-term perspective?
You want to insure that you are doing everything within your power to reach your goals before contemplating a coaching change.
Maintaining proper communication with your golf coach of what you are attempting to improve as well as what your expectations are is essential for the coaching relationship to succeed.
Assessing Your Current Coaching Relationship
After evaluating yourself, evaluate the relationship you have with your current golf coach from these perspectives:
o Does my golf coach communicate with me in a way that I feel assured my coach completely understands my needs as a golfer and as a person?
o Does my golf coach communicate with me in a way that is easy for me to understand and retain?
o Does my golf coach communicate with me in a way that provides me guidance both on and off the golf course as a golfer?
o Does my golf coach care about me in a way that he or she supports my game in a holistic way and I can communicate with my coach when needed?
o Is my golf coach inspiring me to meet my goals?
o Does my golf coach have the skills, time commitment, and energy to support me along my entire journey as a golfer?
After looking at these points, and others you maybe thinking of, you should have a better understanding of the relationship you have with your golf coach and have a more confirmed feeling if you need a coaching change.
The proverbial “grass” is not always greener on the other golf course. The one constant variable within the entire process is the same person, you, determining the grass conditions and which grass will be better to walk through. Keep in mind that when making a change of golf coach, you could experience an entire philosophy and method change. Sometimes a player needs the change. Other times experiencing a 180* change in direction can will inform you that the grass you were walking through was pretty darn good.
If you are contemplating a change in golf coach, I hope these thoughts and possible assessment questions are helpful to you. With a simple introspective evaluation of yourself and a communicative assessment with your golf coach, making a golf coaching change is an easier process for you both.