By Mark Harman
There was a video recently of some European Tour players deliberately teaching nonsense to some unsuspecting golfers – think golf’s version of a prank television show. Some of the things the players were “teaching” were so outrageous that they were truly hilarious, and yet the “students” never questioned the veracity of such advice.
Being a student can be an intimidating thing, because to a certain extent they are opening up their vulnerabilities for scrutiny. The teacher, being an authority figure (that authority being bestowed on them by the student), is seen as infallible to some. As a result, during the lesson, the student pays rapt attention to the instruction and takes to heart everything that is taught.
Once, while taking a lesson myself, the teacher tried to get me into a position that I knew I simply could not achieve dynamically, and I said as much. I was told that if I practiced it enough, it would become possible. However, having a better kinesthetic golf sense that is highly developed through years of practice and play than the average golfer, I knew it would not be possible.
You don’t have to be an expert golfer to develop this same sense. If your teacher is trying to get you to do something that you can sense will not work or is not right for you, speak up! Most teachers actually want this feedback, because they want the student to improve. And most teachers today know that if a student is too uncomfortable with a suggested change, the change itself won’t take. So if it doesn’t feel correct, say something. Trust me – the teacher won’t be insulted, and will be glad you did.
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