Ask good questions

The curse of excessive explicit instruction in golf is that it creates mental clutter and no self-reliance. One of the joys of coaching for me is not telling golfers what to do, but to help them solve problems themselves.


A great question regularly reveals that they had a solution already, and only when they really draw a blank do I need to answer it for them. Questions are not just for lessons, they are integral to your ability to self-coach as well.

Regular questions

My favourite questions include:

  • How did the ball behave (in relation to your intention)?

  • What did the club do wrong at impact?

  • Where was your attention on that shot?

  • How did you move compared to the rehearsal?

By asking these questions in a lesson, I am training my clients to ask themselves the same thing when they practice/play. If the enemy of learning is poor feedback, then a question like these frames the problem, and filters the feedback to be relevant and actionable.


Physical questions

Although golf might see itself as one of the more cerebral sports, ultimately it's a stick and ball game. The problems we face are predominantly physical problems.


I frequently use task-led learning to pose physical questions to my clients in order to draw out instinctive improvements in technique and skill.

Central to work on delivering the club effectively in long game is a concept I call "Collision ready". By applying resistance to the club through impact, the body has to self organise more effectively to cope with this extra weight. The question I pose might take the form of a foam roller, and the answer is almost always a much improved impact position without the need for explicit instruction.


Summary

Central to this way of looking at improvement is the idea that most of the tools you need to improve your game, you already possess. Asking the right question helps you coach yourself and focus your efforts.


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