[styled_image image=”http://www.johnnyfostergolfacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/image1.jpg” w=”180″ h=”130″ link=”” lightbox=”yes” alt=”If Only…” rel=”tour” align=”right”]Recently whilst driving home from a long days coaching I started reflecting on my golfing journey. I reviewed the decisions I made and how I moved away from a game I loved to play, into coaching it.
During the first few summers when I started, I’d arrive at the golf club in the morning and head out to play 18 holes, always trying to beat yesterday’s score – even just on a particular hole. This was followed by 30 minutes on the putting green with friends playing all sorts of competitive games. After lunch, we’d go play again or spend more time around the putting green. It was creative, absorbing and most of all fun. I would go home at sunset looking forward to repeating the process the next day. I was learning and getting better steadily, loving every moment.
[styled_image image=”http://www.johnnyfostergolfacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/image2.jpg” w=”150″ h=”112″ link=”” lightbox=”yes” alt=”If Only…” rel=”tour” align=”left”]Unfortunately, as I grew older into my late teens I started getting obsessed with the idea of “grinding” and practicing. Upon arrival at the club, instead of going out to play I would camp out at the practice ground for hours, in the futile attempt of making my swing ‘look’ better. I needed to hit those ‘positions’, hit more balls and grind to get better!
As the work rate increased, the progression decreased along with my love for playing the game. I was working tirelessly, seeing coach after coach to get my latest dose of new information. But really all this grinding and coach-swapping was sending me further and further away from where I wanted to be – playing and enjoying the game.
As I drove home that night after coaching, I asked myself a question – how could I help build a programme to educate and develop junior golfers on how to holistically improve and practice properly?
[styled_image image=”http://www.johnnyfostergolfacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/image3.jpg” w=”200″ h=”120″ link=”” lightbox=”yes” alt=”If Only…” rel=”tour” align=”right”]I began to imagine how it would look…..In this ideal environment I saw driven young golfers being educated by a team of high performance coaches on how to effectively practice with a consequence. They would go through skill tests used at the highest level to measure their success. They would be totally into THEIR OWN PROCESS, not anyone else’s. The kids would know what type of practice was best for them, whether it be on course or on the practice ground.
Each lucky student would learn how to reflect on their practice and competitive rounds. They would learn how to manage themselves on the golf course, both tactically and emotionally. This would be a product of coaches observing them compete.
[styled_image image=”http://www.johnnyfostergolfacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/image4.jpg” w=”150″ h=”150″ link=”” lightbox=”yes” alt=”If Only…” rel=”tour” align=”left”]They would receive professional advice on how to shape themselves physically, in order to improve their games and their bodies. I’m certain this would develop the junior both as a golfer, but more importantly as an individual capable of making good decisions.
Does the traditional 30 minute lesson every few weeks still suffice? As the Development Coach at the Johnny Foster Golf Academy, I’m proud to say that we’ve begun engineering such coaching. I’m hugely excited to support the next generation of Ulster’s elite young golfers fulfil their potential.
If you’re interested in our junior coaching, please reach out and contact us. Golf is our passion, coaching is our expertise.
Thanks for reading,