This is going to be the greatest golfing year of your life right? Well whether you are being sarcastic when you say it or not, this could really be the best year of your golf career if you approach it the right way.
When any of my students come to see me at Deerpath Golf Course in Lake Forest or Playin’ Thru Indoor Links in Plainfield, they usually come with a goal that they would like to achieve, but they have very little idea of what it is going to take to achieve that goal. That is why all my students will go through my E.P.I.C coaching process to make sure their improvement is on the right track the entire time they are in my programs. This is what that process entails:
The first step of the process is to go through an evaluation stage where me and the student will spend time looking at various aspects of not only the students golf skills, but their physical capabilities and how they think about playing the game of golf. I will also evaluate the equipment that is being used. I like to use a very holistic approach to my teaching, and if there is an area of your game that is not quite where it needs to be, then we must know about it.
Whether you want to go through a process like this or something else you might see, it is imperative to understand what your starting point is. Most people who are starting a weight loss program will measure themselves on the first day of the program, so when they measure themselves throughout the process, they can see the improvement.
You know your strengths and more importantly your weaknesses, now what are you going to do about turning your weaknesses into strengths? Developing a plan of action is vital to help motivate ourselves through the process of learning. If an individual is truly going to gain a deep understanding of new golf skills, there will be set backs, it’s called deeper learning. Through your mistakes you learn to perform a skill better. By having a plan, it makes it easier to get past these set backs you will experience by devoting yourself to completing the plan and letting the results speak for themselves when all is said and done.
When I give my students a plan, there will be a few levels to the plan, I want to give them a long and short term practice plan that will include how man reps to complete of a drill or skill and how much time they should be devoting to practice. One thing you will not see in my plan is that a certain score or distance or result should be reached. The plan becomes results oriented then and that is not the point, the plan should be focused around completing tasks and activities, the results will come.
There is not much of a secret to this part of the process, you have your plan, now put it into action. The most important thing is to stick to the plan that you’ve created.
One important aspect of this stage is to allow yourself a little bit of fluidity in the plan though. With my students, I will always build in some audible plays that they can call. This is a safety in the event of an injury, or the occasional extremely bad practice session. The audibles aren’t to be called all the time, but life happens and we need to account for it to some degree so we can stay on track.
This is the point in the program where the current plan has run its course and you need to look at how your game has fared. A lot of people in clinics when I ask what the “C” could stand for will say it means “Conclusion.” I want to be very clear that it is not the conclusion of the plan because that would imply that you are done with the process. Hardly. You are just checking on how your progress has improved thus far and what adjustments to the plan need to be made.
When I am performing this stage (and it is often), I make sure to use the same measurement procedures that were used during the evaluation to be consistent. Don’t measure your short iron accuracy by hitting 150 yard shots in your evaluation then hit from 100 yards during your check up, your results will be meaningless.
This entire process can vary in time frames but I would encourage you to cycle through it frequently. I try to perform all 4 stages every 2 or 3 weeks with a student for two reasons. First, I want my students to see that they are in fact getting better. More importantly though, if something is not being as effective as I would like it to be, I want to know about it and stop doing it before the student develops a bad habit.
Using a planning step like these, is very helpful in mapping out your improvement road for your golf game. I’ve seen it with hundreds of my students already and I’m looking forward to seeing more people having an E.P.I.C. golf season.