This is a story of a man named Sam who had the desire to learn how to pole vault. At this point you may be wondering what this has to do with a golf tip.
Please read on.
After a quick search, he found there were three pole vault instructors in town. The first instructor was a nice person who greeted Sam with a smile. They proceeded to the practice area where the instructor began to tell Sam how to grip the pole, run and place the pole in the ground in order to propel himself over the bar.
Then Sam was turned loose to unsuccessfully try again and again to do just what the instructor had very clearly explained. Unhappy with his results, but still wanting to learn to pole vault, Sam decided to go and try the next pole vault school in the book.
At this appointment he was greeted by a hot-shot instructor who was full of the confidence Sam would love to have, the perfect model for a pole vault expert. Sam became excited as they proceeded to the instruction area, thinking he would learn this time for sure. The larger-than-life instructor sat Sam down in a chair and proceeded to show, on a video tape, a slow motion review of tapes from the instructor’s own medal-winning performance in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. After viewing the gold performance at least 10 times, breaking down each important point, the instructor took Sam out for his next miserable and painful experience trying to do exactly what he had been told and shown to do. No doubt, he had understood what they had told and shown him. It just wasn’t getting through. He started to doubt his own athletic ability, not to mention his hope for learning to pole vault. Sam, starting to lose all hope of soaring over that bar, resolved to try the third and final choice of instructors.
The price for instruction was a little higher than the others, but this was going to be his last attempt. Right from their first meeting did Sam have a different feeling about his new instructor. After being asked about his past attempts to pole vault and whether he felt there were any physical limitations, he knew that this his best interest was a concern. The instructor also explained that this would be an investment of time and effort. There would be no short cuts. Wanting more than ever to learn to pole vault, Sam readily signed the dotted line.
The instruction began by asking Sam what his interpretation of pole vaulting was. Did he understand the concepts that had been previously presented? It wasn’t until there was a clear picture did they proceed. Then Sam was given a shorter pole and asked to assume his position for beginning. After all, how he was holding the pole and even the foot he began the first step with was important. These were the fundamentals, according to the instructor. The next week they would actually begin to put these into action. He was encouraged to repeat these new ideas in front of a mirror every day for practice. Only after working with the way it felt for Sam to hold the pole properly and run to the jump with proper timing was he able to see himself doing it. And not until he learned how it felt to propel his body in the air did he challenge himself with reaching even a silver medal height. Sam was finally on the way to his dream of really pole vaulting.
Sam’s experience is probably not unlike many of those who are wanting to learn or improve their game of golf today. To learn from Sam’s journey, identifying and understanding what needs to happen before attempting to actually do it comes first. Then doing the skill at a level that Sam could be successful and rewarded was an important point. The point that should be made most clear, however, is that not until the proper movement was experienced did Sam begin to put all of the pieces together.
The first instructor told Sam how to do it. The second instructor showed Sam how to do it. Finally, the successful instructor coached Sam to feel how it should be done through related drills and exercises in addition to the other learning styles.
Learning golf, or any other physical activity, is no different. All effective instructors will include the following in their lessons: 1. Begin with sound fundamentals; 2. Take the activity in less challenging doses, making the reward of success a motivator; 3. Incorporate kinesthetic drills or movements that support the activity to promote the movements required; Analyze your current golf improvement program to determine if you are satisfied with your progress. If not, maybe Sam’s story can help you understand why and get on the track to your greater enjoyment of the game.
Take your game to one of the finest and most experienced golf instructors in the Tampa Bay & Clearwater area. We will work together to achieve your golfing potential.
Visit www.villagegolfpro.com or www.tonysimpsongolf.com for more golf tips – or visit Tony at Chi Chi Sports Complex in Clearwater, Florida across from Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club.