Best Practices: Shawn Cox, PGA
By Brady Riggs, PGA at Woodley Lakes Golf Club
I have been extremely fortunate to help quite a few players progress from newbie junior golfer to play college golf and beyond. While there are the obvious countless hours spent on the lesson tee, short game area and the golf course the most important element of developing a player long term is to build trust.
Players trust coaches that are honest with them in all areas of their lives. This goes way beyond swing mechanics and pre-shot routines. When it comes to the competitive side of the game coaches who lie to their players about their ability constantly have to make excuses for poor performance….this can’t end well. Coaches that fail to give their players a subtle nudge on their backside about their practice habits or poor temperament on the course are living in denial and will eventually be without a client. Coach’s who fail to challenge their players to reach for more can’t get them to realize their full potential. Off the course the issues are far more important and the trust built between player and coach can see a young person through difficult times in their life. Helping kids deal with the expectations of others, school problems, parent problems and general life issues is a daily occurrence when developing players. Without trust your players will never come to you with their problems and the bond won’t stand the test of time.
As time moves on the decisions change from which tournaments to enter to where should I play college golf and finally what management group should I sign with. While the golf lessons are a constant over time, trust is the glue that holds the player/coach relationship together.
Just as the intangibles a player brings to the table will greatly impact their ability to succeed, a Coach’s willingness to listen and help their players through the dark times will greatly determine their effectiveness. In this generation of Trackman, high speed video and force plates it is ironic that the most important piece of technology a teacher can use is the heart.