The Instructor, Consultant, Client Collaboration: A look inside a session
Graham Cunningham, PGA Professional, and I began working together last winter, and have recently developed a teaching model that is a collaboration between instructor (Graham), consultant (myself), and our client. Graham is a skilled teacher, and understands his students, their needs, and how to best make his message heard. The clients I work with who are taught by him all speak to his ability to make difficult information easy to understand. Adding another layer to the lesson (including the consultant), if done correctly, can add to the speed and ease that the new, often confusing information, can be absorbed by the client. The goal of our collaborative work is simple, to help the client through the process of change. The instructor takes the data, diagnoses the problem, and provides suggestions to help the student change. The consultant, working alongside the instructor, can provide a framework for the client to work within to help with the assimilation of the new movements, as well as provide support for the client as they embark on their journey to make the change permanent. The following is a recap from one of our recent collaborative sessions.
The lesson began with a simple question to the client: What do you hope to get out of this session. While he wasn’t prepared to give an answer, his main goal was to make a few swing changes become routine in the shortest amount of time. This was not something we were prepared to accomplish in one session, but it gave both Graham and I a framework to work within.
The next part involved Graham giving me a brief rundown of the physical changes that he and our client had been working on. They were as follows:
- Keeping the head steady
- Having the head move forward through impact to keep from falling back
- Maintain postural depth through the swing
Graham briefly showed me the three drills they had been working on to incorporate the move, and then the client verbalized the swing thoughts he was using to help him incorporate the changes while hitting shots.
From there it was my job to create a customized preshot routine that the client could use before hitting shots. The goal here would be to provide some consistency during the difficult process of change, in hopes of helping him better assimilate the new moves.
Once a routine was developed, using attributes from the new moves, the client would incorporate it into the session before hitting each shot. He was able to rehearse to himself phrases that would remind him of the new move, quickly visualize what the new move looked like, then step in a hit the shot. Technology provided Graham with the data to confirm if the changes were producing the desired ball flight, and immediate feedback was provided to the client.
Working together, we were able to diagnose the issue, prescribe physical changes, develop a simple routine to help the client incorporate the changes, and finally give immediate feedback. This process helps to provide a consistent foundation for the difficult task of making and then recreating important swing changes.
The next installment to the series on ringing technology to the course and promoting change will include the teaching professional’s perspective on the collaborative lesson.