There is no better way to improve your game than with a coach who is dedicated to helping you. When the instruction and delivery is correct, magic can happen that allows for improvement far beyond what you’d think possible.

Coaches need knowledge in mechanics, natural learning, psychology, strategy and equipment. Timothy Gallwey, author of the Inner Game of Golf, says the very best coaches are those that understand natural learning – not just mechanics. I agree. He goes into some detail as to what he thinks makes up the perfect golf coach. Here are his five steps to coaching with my comments afterward.

1. Trying to figure it out on your own: this is a long and hard road. If you try and do everything by yourself then it’s going to be tough for you. You’ll almost always end up struggling and finding golf impossible.

2. Taking lessons from a golf professional who understands only the mechanics of the game: sadly, most golf instructors live here. The psychology of almost all teachers is that technique comes first and unless you have “perfect” technique then improvement is beyond you. This mindset is also likely to cause you to fail.

3. Natural learning without the help of a professional: You’d be here if you had a sound understanding of natural learning principles but didn’t seek outside help. It isn’t always easy to find a natural learning coach. There simply aren’t many around. By having some knowledge of natural learning you are most likely far better off than most others.

4. Natural learning plus the help of an inner game coach: If you ever get the chance to work with someone who “gets” learning and coaching then jump at the chance. The chances are you’ll be put on a path of learning and discovery that will change your golf game for the better.

5. Natural learning with the help of a golf professional who understands inner game techniques: This is the ultimate level of coaching you’ll ever receive and it will have a profound impact on your golf development. Here’s an excerpt from Gallwey himself;

The coach who understands the natural learning process, but not the mechanics of the golf swing, can still help the student get the most out of his or her own learning abilities. But the professional who grasps both the mechanics and the Inner Game can be even more helpful, since the student will be able to keep faith with his own learning capabilities while benefiting from the teacher’s experience

Next: Get proper coaching

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