Betrayed

By Neil Connolly, in Sport, Golf · 04-06-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

For the first time today, in the longest of time, I found myself getting very annoyed with a player during a lesson. It normally takes a lot to annoy me but I found this morning that it came very quickly to me.

Let me explain, I have a very talented sports player who I have been giving lessons to for the last six weeks. He doesn’t realise just how good he is, and he really needed his confidence to be built up while also needing a serious decluttering of his mind. If there was a poster child for the saying, “paralysis by analysis,” this would be your guy.

He came to me in his first lesson having never been on a golf course, yet with hundreds of lessons logged whilst watching YouTube, yet no experience of what it takes to hit a golf ball actually on the golf course. All I got him to do on his first lesson was change his grip a little, and then get him to just hit the ball as smoothly as possible, almost immediately control came back to his game, the ball was in the air flying pretty straight and a smile was coming back to his face.

I asked him to go away and practice that, a couple of days later he came to the Academy and wanted three baskets of balls, I sold him 2 and told him that quality trumps quantity. The next lesson had to be abandoned because he had over practised, and flared up what was looking like a really good golfers elbow.

A couple more lessons into his allotted six, his putting and chipping were coming along really well, and his first round of golf was upon him. I really was looking forward to hearing how the game went. All the signs were that he was going to have a really enjoyable day especially since he was playing with two really nice guys.

Apparently the front nine was a bit of a mess with him rallying to a very respectable 16 points on the back 9. I was delighted, I asked whether or not he enjoyed the experience and the answer was a resounding yes.

All of this was chatted about before his penultimate lesson had begun. Coach was very happy with the development and player had enjoyed his first excursion onto the golf course.

Then it happened, he started hitting some shots, couldn’t get the ball in the air or anywhere near straight. Hitting it off every part of the club, except the grooves. Then looking at his stance I asked whether or not he had any back pain or problems with his feet because he was standing totally lopsided on his left side.

Quizzically he looked back at me as if I was mental, and then I asked why all of his weight was on the left side because I’d never seen him this out of balance at address before, to which he said, “ohh, I’ve been watching videos on YouTube, about the Stack and Tilt system and I thought I’d have a go!”

I was stunned, I could not understand how somebody could pay for six hours of coaching almost get to the end of the sessions on an even keel, clearly improving, and then turn all of that on its head by watching a stranger giving a lesson to anybody on the Internet that would listen. For the first time in my coaching career I felt as if I had been betrayed. An over reaction I know, but probably more of an insight as to how involved I get when coaching.

Still trying to make sense of the world in which I live, about an hour later I went down to our nice and private hitting area to find a husband who plays off around 15 giving his wife who is a beginner a golf lesson. Normally that would get me gently shaking my head but today it didn’t even faze me.

Rant over hope you guys are playing great golf!



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