A golf lesson worth mentioning
Dean came in for a lesson on Thursday. He had told me over the phone that he hadn’t been playing long (about 6 months) and was looking for some guidance.
I was assuming that Dean would be a beginner and when he told me that he usually scored between 70 and 80, I thought this would be for nine holes.
As usual, we chatted for a few moments before getting into it. When Dean made his first swing I knew I had wrongly assumed the talent of the man. His swing was powerful, fluid and technically very good. He was so good that I couldn’t believe that he had been playing for such a short time.
It turns out that Dean is a gifted athlete, having played first grade rugby league in Sydney and then later nearly becoming the first person to make the switch from league to AFL. He narrowly missed out, but spent a few years playing AFL in the lower competitions.
I was dealing with a special talent here and it was a privilege to watch a sporting genius at work.
While watching Dean smash shot after shot into the back of the net, I remembered a story I was told by Kendal McWade. While working with Kendal he ask me what I would do if I was a school teacher and had a young Albert Einstein in my class. Kendal wanted to know what I would teach him and how.
I wasn’t sure, (Kendal asked a lot of questions like this. Including what does GURU mean?) so after thinking about it for a while this is what he told me. (I’m paraphrasing because I can’t remember exactly what he said 🙂 )
“Cameron, a poor teacher would jam as many rules, regulations, equations and theories down his neck. A good teacher would pick up on his obvious talent and inspire, motivate and help him grow”.
I was dealing with a modern sporting Einstein here. I didn’t want to bombard Dean with too many instructions. So I was keen to help build his passion for the game and open his mind to playing remarkable golf.
I took him through my automatic process which showed him a method for dealing with pressure and playing his best golf out on the golf course. We then had some fun time hitting weired shots and exploring the possibilities that he may not have experienced before (because he hadn’t been playing long).
I asked him to hit high and low shots and even hit his 6 iron like his wedge. By pushing him to explore different shots and getting him to open his mind further, I think this will help Dean become an exceptional golfer. There is no question of his talent – it is a question of allowing that talent to grow and develop over time.
The lesson was won of the best that I have given. I learned as much as Dean (hopefully) did. I’m glad that I didn’t fill his mind with technical theories, but rather, increased his enthusiasm and potential to learn even more.
I will was also a wake up call for me not to assume anything. I valuable lesson indeed. The human potential is incredible if we allow it to learn naturally and coaches and players shouldn’t assume anything!
Before I forget – Kendal’s definition of GURU is: Gee, You Are You! You ARE the talented one!