GFAA Best Practice: Stay in Your Lane

Damon Goddard
is the Founder of Goddard Sports Performance & Nutrition in Dallas, Texas.

Damon Goddard on the importance of staying in your lane:

In developing my sports performance business years ago, I was initially working with athletes from several different sports – football, basketball and many hockey players. Eventually, I took on my first golfer and soon realized that I had underappreciated what these athletes do to perfect their craft. Not only are they dedicated to being better with each new day, but they will do most anything you ask of them in the name of strength, performance and increased power. I conferred with some of our area’s top golf instructors and shadowed their lessons to increase my knowledge of the golf swing, so I could help my golf students move better in a way that would improve their swing. I spent three months studying the golf swing and was able to understand the correlation between the body and the swing, and the impact they have on each other. After years of helping golfers play better golf and live overall healthier lives, I’ve touched players on virtually every tour – PGA, LPGA and Korn Ferry – as well as some very high-level collegiate and junior athletes. In recent years, I have put much of my efforts into the educational side and bringing golf fitness awareness to others through articles and even a curriculum I wrote with Technogym. I host seminars at clubs to help bridge the gap between golf instruction and golf fitness. This starts with collaboration between professionals that manifests into gaining the trust of your members. When emphasizing the significance of developing that trust, I stress the importance of “staying in your own lane” – working within the scope of your expertise. Engagement was bolstered about a decade ago, when golf instructors and fitness professionals really started learning about the other’s role in making their students better golfers through movement, flexibility, balance and so much more. This continued education and broadening of knowledge only goes to serve our shared clients better through a commonality of language. The relationship is enhanced when everyone offers his or her own, individual expertise.

Damon Goddard on the business impact of staying in your lane:

We should all understand how our piece fits into the overall puzzle. At the end of the day, I want the golfer to move efficiently and enhance their experience with the golf instructor. After all, freedom of motion is freedom of mind, and this will lead to a more in-depth and expediate process in getting the student from A to Z in the golf swing. But we should ensure that we don’t overstep our scope of teaching. Golf fitness professionals shouldn’t be giving detailed swing instruction, and golf instructors should not be providing in-depth fitness information. Each side should be referring the student to the other to ensure a holistic approach to making the student better. My scope is to get them to feel better and move better, and not necessarily to teach them about the golf swing. If I can get my student to move better, I know he or she will have a better experience with the golf instructor. The golf instructor will recognize the benefits of his or her students working with the fitness staff at the club and now you have a mutually-beneficial relationship. Seek a really cool symbiotic connection where everyone can say to themselves, “I’m good at what I do, and I can refer my students to someone who is really good at what he or she does.”

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