Coaching is an instrumental part of Sport Development in the province. Traditionally, golf has been taught by golf instructors. Instructors are individuals who spend the majority of their energy helping to improve a student’s technique. This approach to learning golf has been beneficial for certain types of golfers, but those athletes who want to maximize their performance must understand that there are many other performance variables, beyond technique, which ultimately dictate their success as a golfer. In other sports there is typically a distinction made between the roles of a technical instructor and a coach , and each role supports athletes in very different ways.
The role of a golf coach includes:
Analyzing multiple performance variables
Coaches give constructive feedback on technique and game management. They identify strengths and weaknesses in all facets of the game with the goal of optimizing performance. True coaches factor in variables touching on technique, tactics, physiology, strength and conditioning, mental skills and the role of nutrition.
Planning and executing golf practice / training sessions
The coach schedules and organizes activities within a practice that are well structured, adapted to the participant’s age and ability and reflect the timeframe within the given sport season. The activities throughout the practice are based on a thoroughly designed lesson plan which is tailored to the particular needs of a given athlete.
Providing support to ensure “long-term learning”
The golf coach has a good understanding of motor skill development and has an appreciation for different athlete learning styles and age appropriate coaching strategies. Golf coaches guide, explain, demonstrate, focus, encourage, and show possibilities – they are able to make their students coach independent. Coaches interact with students by acting as a clear, non-judgemental mirror that reflects what is really happening, rather than as a source of knowledge that attempts to show what should be happening.
Communication with athletes is key, however, there are also important conversations needed with parents, administrators, other coaches, and tournament organizers. While not all factors are controllable, maintaining positive, open relationships supports the environment affecting the athlete and influences performance. A good coach will set expectations for an athlete’s “supporting cast” and keep them informed.
Coaches design programs based on periodization plans which ensure that a player’s performance peaks at appropriate times throughout the season. Plans are designed with an understanding of the developmental principles outlined in the RCGA Long Term Player Development (LTPD) guide.
Making Ethical Decisions
Coaches will often have to deal with a wide variety of issues through interactions with players in a group or individual setting. Coaches understand the implications that their decisions and actions have on the development of their athletes and thus apply a step by step approach to making ethical decisions, consistent with the decision making models outlined in the NCCP coach training.
Coaches assist athletes and parents in designing age and skill appropriate competitive tournament schedules. A properly designed competitive schedule will ensure the player is competing in the right environment and is competing in an appropriate number of events.
Supporting athletes in competition
The coach observes players in the competitive environment and provides feedback from their observations. Coaches in all sports recognize the importance of watching their players compete, rather than focusing all of their attention on the “practice range”.
Building personal development through sport
All high performing individuals set clear goals and can manage time appropriately. The competitive junior golfer will have many different demands from sources such as peers, school, family, and golf training which need to be managed accordingly to ensure their success. The coach understands how this can impact golfing performance and therefore teaches transcendent skills such as goal setting and time management.
Uses specialists in various fields
The coach will have a supporting staff which can evaluate proficiency in areas such as physical, technical, mental, emotional, and social components of performance. Coaches will also have a good knowledge of equipment and club fitting skills.
Coaches utilize performance analysis and other reporting tools to help players / parents understand what areas are strong and what areas need to be developed. Statistical analysis tools such as Shot by Shot provide great information to the coach and the player.
Randy Robb – CDC Trained, CPGA Class A, 10 years with Alberta’s elite competitors
Dean Spriddle – CDC Trained, CPGA Class A, 10 years with National Women’s Team, 3 years with Alberta’s elite competitors
Kent Fukushima – Canadian Tour Member, Sky Caddy consultant, 10 years of yardage guidebook developments
Grant Cammidge – CPGA Class A, Edmonton Petroleum Club GM
Jay Myren – CNC Trained, CPGA member, Strive for Excellence Program Instructor, Golf Canada Centre Director of Instruction
Jason Haley – CNC Trained, CPGA member, Strive for Excellence Program Instructor, Golf Canada Centre Teaching Professional
Jamie Reimer – CNC Trained, CPGA member, New Competitive Player Program Instructor, Golf Canada Centre Teaching Professional
Todd Halpen – CNC Trained, CPGA member, Golf Canada Centre Teaching Professional
Luke Workman – CNC Trained, CPGA member, Pinebrook Golf and Country Club Teaching Professional
Adam Werbicki – CNC Trained, CPGA member, Derrick Golf and Winter Club Associate Professional, 2011 Canadian Junior Leader of the Year
Cam Martens – CNC Trained, CPGA member, Windermere Golf and Country Club Teaching Professional
John Deneer – CNC Trained, CPGA member, Bearspaw Golf and Country Club Assistant Professional
Mitch Walz – CPGA member, Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club Assistant Professional