GFAA Best Practice: Create a Team-Based Experience

Jason Baile, the 2018 Carolinas PGA Section Teacher of the Year, is the PGA Director of Instruction at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Florida.

Jason Baile on the importance of creating a team-based experience:

Getting buy-in from a student is crucial. When you have that, you have a player who’s “all in” and trusts the expertise and guidance he or she will receive from your team. The question is: Do you have the right environment to match that trust and exceed their expectations? After all, it is very important for coaches to focus on their students’ goals – what do they want to accomplish and what are they willing to do to reach those objectives? At Jupiter Hills, I’ve solicited the help of golf fitness experts who are on the tee and in the lesson bay with me and our students. We work as a team, each providing our expertise to create a checks and balances system for golfers. Providing this holistic approach lays the groundwork for substantial progress and improvement. Sometimes that means focusing less on technique and more on eliminating injuries. We may have a golfer come to us who is more of a “patient” than a student. In that sense, we’re trying to eliminate injuries, not create or aggravate existing ones. So, if they’ve had shoulder surgery, we’ll plan a program that includes motion enhancements that help the golfer swing freely without worrying about getting hurt. We’re turning the coaching experience from transactional – one lesson, once a month – to transformational, where we’re actually morphing the golfer’s swing into something that can work for them and leads to accomplishing their goals. We ask our students to arrive roughly 45 minutes before their lesson time to warm up with some stretching in our nearby wellness area. By the time our session is slated to begin, they’re ready to treat the issues in their golf swing and enhance their performance. To create a wellness area, you don’t need anything highly-technical. Establish a pad of turf with a stretching cage, medicine balls and something to throw them against, resistance bands and a stretching pole. The area can serve as a good base for students to use to warm-up. It can even be a place for group activities, where you can coach students on posture or proper pivot.

Jason Baile on the business impact of creating a team-based experience:

Golf fitness is one vital piece of the overall performance puzzle. Proper equipment, technique and mindfulness play a role in making a coaching experience transformational. Put those pieces together, and you can provide golfers with a holistic, outcome-based approach that’ll help them achieve anything they put their mind to when playing this game. When there’s an environment for success and improvement, it helps hold the student more accountable, too. That environment is often comprised of more than one individual whose goal is to help your students achieve their goals. Golf fitness is a topic that often requires a collaborative effort between golf and fitness professionals, each sharing his or her primary area of expertise. This will ensure that students get the most effective education from you and your staff as you create a team-based environment that gets the job done.

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