Alison Curdt, the 2016 PGA Southern California PGA Section Teacher of the Year and Women’s Player of the Year, the 2015 LPGA Teacher of the Year, and a licensed psychotherapist, is a PGA Master Professional and the PGA Director of Instruction at Alison Curdt Golf at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, California.
Coach the Mental Game to Develop Players
Alison Curdt on the importance of coaching the mental game to develop players:
Coaching the mental aspect of golf has always had a place in my instruction. However, about six years ago I decided to make it an integral part of my teaching philosophy and included it in all my coaching plans. In order to truly influence change in students, we have to go beyond the physical aspects of the set up and swing, and delve into what’s happening in their heads during a round of golf. To fully transform students into players, we must influence their thinking and their way of processing information. Coaching the mental game takes students to new heights in their development, whether that is through emotional regulation, relaxation, visualization and imagery, or goal setting. The coaching relationship exponentially grows when we impact our students’ lives through the game of golf, and that happens less through improving ball flight, and more through improving students’ minds. I went back to school and received specialized training in psychology so that I could better coach my players in the mental game. Whether it was a one-time lesson, or the start of a long-term coaching relationship, all my students now receive help on how to improve their mental game to fully develop their physical game.
Alison Curdt on the business impact of coaching the mental game to develop players:
When I first started to integrate coaching the mental game into my teaching practices I was unsure what financial impact it would have on my business. Since 2011, I have increased my lessons taught per year by three to five percent. Each year I have steadily increased my lesson load, and due to the demand for my golf instruction, was able to increase my lesson rates by 25 percent in 2017. This will result in an additional $10,000 in lesson revenue each year. Students now seek me out because they know I have a niche that is integrated into my teaching philosophy. They know they will walk away not only being a better golfer mechanically, but a better athlete mentally. I take into consideration my own mental game theories as I prepare for tournament golf as well. Having played in two LPGA Tour Championships and the 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, and in preparation for the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, I strive to attain a reliable mental game to alleviate the pressure that comes with playing tournament golf. As an instructor, adding a mental coaching aspect to your business can separate you from your local competition, as you’ll have something deeper to offer students than just swing advice.