10 things every teacher wants their student to know

Being a better student will help you be a better golfer, too.

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I love meeting new students on my lesson tee, not just because I get to meet a new golfer, but hopefully because I’ll be able to help them solve any frustrations they may be having. For students, first lessons can be nerve-wracking — but they don’t need to be!

Here’s a list of things good teachers want you to know that will hopefully put you more at ease.

1. We don’t care if you hit bad shots

There’s no reason to be nervous about your performance during golf lessons. While I do watch my students’ ball flight, I’m also looking at the swing so I can understand the cause.

Whiffing a shot, or hitting a bad one, isn’t cause for embarrassment. All it does is help us understand what’s going wrong, sooner.

2. We like it when you have specific goals

Arriving at your lesson and knowing what you would like to accomplish is extremely helpful for teachers. Great teachers want to give students what they came for, so be honest and direct with them so they can best help you.

3. Open and honest communication

When I teach, I pride myself on not using fancy words. I want to be understandable, and sometimes, I’ll say something a few different ways until I see it clicks. If you’re getting confused or don’t understand, be honest. Ask lots of questions. Every piece of advice you get during a golf lesson should make sense.

4. Tell us if something hurts

All great teachers want to ensure your safety and health above all else, which is why you should make them aware of any injuries or soreness you may have before your lesson. If at any point during your lesson something starts to hurt, your teacher wants and needs to know. Do not be afraid to speak up. A great teacher will be able to help you avoid injury and play great golf.

5. Change is uncomfortable but necessary

One of the greatest challenges to improving your golf game is making with peace with the idea that sometimes, things will feel uncomfortable. For example, if I change a golfer’s grip, I know the clubface will change during your swing — for the better — even though it may feel strange at first. A great teacher has made similar changes with many students previously so now is your time to take a leap of faith with your teacher. We have your back.

6. Do the drills we suggest

One of the quickest ways to integrate technique changes come by following the drills your teacher gives to you. Follow these practice drills, and your swing will get better, faster. Often it can take some time to succeed at your drills, but continue to add them into your practice time and this will help you more and more over time.

7. There are different solutions to the same problem

The goal is to get your swing into better shape than where it started, and the results should speak for themselves. If you’re not seeing any improvement after a reasonable amount of time and effort, communicate this with your coach. The best teachers will use their experience to provide you a different solution.

8. We’re always here for feedback

Your lesson may only be an hour, but most top teachers are always available to answer questions and provide feedback afterwards. My longtime students know they can always reach out to me whenever they need. It can be a simple text question or a video; the top teachers never want you feeling lost or confused.

9. We want you to know how to fix yourself

Along those lines, a big goal for teachers is to help you understand cause and effect. We want you know know why things go wrong when they do, so you can now how to fix it. Often i’ll ask my students: Why did your golf ball do that? When they can answer quickly, I know I’ve done my job.

10. Look for the best information

When you find a top teacher that you enjoy working with, soak up their information. For example: I’ve got videos on Amazon Prime, have written three books and teach digital lessons through Skillest. Many top teachers will often do schools which can be a less expensive way of getting great golf instruction. If you’re looking to improve on a budget, ask your teacher if they have content you can watch or read beyond their golf lesson.

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