Boy do I wish there was, but unfortunately, there are no magic beans in the golf performance or the wider reaching sports performance industry.
Many practitioners will preach that they’re method is the “best,” or that they have the “answers.”
There are no experts.
We are all in the same boat of learning, growth, and searching for the solution, but yet, everything is context, individual and environmentally dependent.
If somebody is trying to tell you their way is the ONLY WAY… Run the other way.
A Coach's Responsibility
From a training perspective, coaches have the responsibility to constantly question their training methods and philosophies. If you looked at mine from 5 years ago, you wouldn’t even be able to recognize me.
From the training tool being used, the program being written, the exercise being completed, the language and communication being utilized with the athlete… it ALL matters. It ALL affects the outcome and the growth of the athlete.
As your coach, it is my responsibility to understand and learn from other coaches' training theories and experiences - combine it with my own - in order to create something that is stronger and more cohesive.
I don’t have the answers. Coach Joe doesn’t have the answers. Coach Hannah doesn’t have the answers.
But together, we can bridge gaps, and find interdependence, moving closer towards finding the solutions to best serve our athletes.
We all climb our mountains differently.
Many athletes have very similar training needs.
Most of our golf swings are fairly similar, if we compare it to the wide breadth of potential human movement.
Further, many of our golf-related goals bring in similarities.
Hit the ball further.
Hit it more consistently.
Post lower scores.
Play the game for a long time.
Play it healthily.
All golfers need to properly balance mobility, stability, strength and power. They need to have an efficient and effective swing. They need to have an underlying foundation of health and wellness. They need to be able to rotate, as well as resist rotation. They need to be prepared for the demands of their golf swing.
Because of all of this, one golfer's training program will VERY closely resemble others.
All of my golfers are going to squat, hinge, push, pull, carry, crawl, explore movement, rotate, resist rotation, etc.
BUT, every golfer's journey towards progress is going to differ greatly from others.
We all complete exercises and solve tasks in slightly different ways.
We all have different musculoskeletal structures that will cause exercise emphases to differ.
We all adapt in different ways to the same exercises.
We all explore our movement differently.
What worked for your playing partner Jim, may not necessarily work for you.
Therefore, it is my job as a coach to understand what makes you unique from an athletic lens…
Why are you training? And I don’t mean your golf goals mentioned above, I mean truly WHY. What is the underlying reason for your training? If we dig deep enough, we will land outside the world of golf. I am guessing it will differ from Jim’s, and that difference could create massive differences in your training compared to his.
How does your body adapt to various external stressors?
What do you specifically need that Jim didn’t from a physical development standpoint?
How can we best create a coach:athlete relationship that promotes growth, commitment, and motivation?
This question list goes on forever, but the point is clear:
Your journey towards progress is going to differ from Jim’s, and because of that, we need to avoid the one size fits all mentality.
Just like nobody has the answers.
One training program doesn’t either.
It’s not enough to plant seeds, you have to grow them.
Last summer, for the first time, I am maintaining a large herb garden.
And by large, I mean 6 pots on my apartment balcony, lol.
I thought it would be simple.
Plant the herbs, let them grow.
Between daily watering, clipping, weeding, yada, yada… these things take some work.
I am sure many of you maintain gardens way bigger than mine, so you understand where I am coming from…
It’s not enough to simply plant the seeds, or the herbs, or the flowers… you need to grow them. And our training, and the philosophies surrounding it are no different.
Of course, we should develop training philosophies (I most certainly have some of my own) BUT, that’s never the end of the life cycle.
We need to constantly adapt them.
We need to constantly seek better ones, and improve upon them.
We need to understand that we will never have all the answers, but the process of trying to find them is what will create growth.
Similarly, let’s say you buy a training program (maybe even a SCRATCH Golf Training one, find it here!) but that’s not enough. You have accomplished the first step by getting the program. You have planted the seed, now we need to grow it.
As you complete it, you need to attack the program with a relentless hunger.
You need to feel how the program is affecting you physically, cognitively, emotionally.
You need to be consistent, and understand that training is a process, and long-term physical development is the mission.
And, most importantly, we need to work together in order to mold the program and adapt it to fit your athletic profile.
We will work together to blossom that seed. We will work together to achieve interdependence, building a robust and adaptable body that is capable of thriving!
Wrap it up
Nobody has the answers.
No training program is ideal.
No exercise is perfect.
And a planted seed can’t be left alone.
But, a great coach will constantly question and seek improvement.
A great training program will continuously evolve, progress and adapt to the athlete (along with the athlete adapting to it!)
An exercise is simply a problem that an athlete learns to solve with their movement.
And, a great coach:athlete relationship, founded on trust, accountability, and communication will grow any seed into a blossoming flower (or thriving herb garden).
As a coach, my mission is to empower growth.
Doing so demands constant questioning, adapting and adjusting.
It requires connections and relationships founded on trust, accountability and communication.
But remember, I don’t have the answers...nobody does.
It’s those that continually try to find them that are probably closest.
So let’s keep searching together.
Let’s go low.
Carter Schmitz, CSCS, TPI