Originally Posted by mvmac
Erik and I were talking yesterday about the player I'm helping in this thread and how he's against doing certain things that I feel are important to making changes. When we firs met he wanted a miracle fix. From my experience there are no miracle fixes and what swing thought might work for one player could be disasterous for another. We got to talking about an improvement loop students go through, or need to go through in order to be successful.
The title of this thread, Improvement Loop, involves Knowing, Understanding and Doing. A student needs to Know what piece to work on, then Understand why they should be performing that piece, how it will change the picture, and then they have to Do it.
So, practicing with Joe has been similar to helping out my Dad. They both want an easy fix that will change the swing but not have it be "technical". They want to skip the understanding step. Why is that bad? It doesn't work because when they'e on the golf course or practicing by themselves and hit some poor shots, they don't know what happened. Just the other day when I was working with Joe he was telling me about the last time he practiced and said he was struggling with thin pushes. I asked him if he made sure his head was centered and he said, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that". Now I've literally have focused on two things for 3 sessions followed up by video summaries. Basically saying the same thing in each one and WHY not keeping his head centered leads to A, B and C on the downswing. He just didn't want to understand.
I feel that golfers like this think going through the understanding process makes it too complicated. In reality it simplifies things. Because not Understanding the basic geometry and physics of it all, that's when we hear golfer come up with excuses like, "got too fast", "didn't keep my head down", "didn't release the club", stuff that now drives me nuts to hear. The reasons you duck hooked into the woods isn't because you got too fast, it's because the face was aimed left and the path was too far out to the right. You Know you have a tendency to get the rate of closure too high on the followthrough due to losing your pressure points and Understand how that motion effects the face/path relationship. So you Do the opposite for a few practice swings, keeping your pressure points on the followthrough because you Know this slows the rate the club face closes.
The "Loop" changes for an instructor teaching a student or working on their own game. The instructor needs to Understand how the golf swing works so they can Know what to tell the student, or themselves what to Do. An example would be a student that struggles with slicing the ball because the weight is too far back at impact(P7). The instructor understands we swing on a circle, having the weight too far back results in slices due to the ball being struck on the front side of the circle, path too much across the ball. (If this sounds new or you want to learn more read below and check this out ) The instructor Knows to tell the student to flex his left knee forward on the downswing because they Understand to hit a draw, the weight needs to be forward, which helps the hands get forward so the ball can be struct on the backside of the circle, before the point of tangency. And in Doing it, the instructor can evaluate if the student is changing the picture enough or if they need to convey a different feel; belt buckle forward, slide your hips, hips to first base, crush the can, add palmar flexion, etc.
I believe you need all 3 to get better and keep improving. IMO the instructor's goal is to eventually have the student be their own coach because the student will have the Understanding of how the swing works and Know what to Do to change things. I'm not saying the student won't need to see an instructor from time to time but the student should have the ability that when they hit a poor shot that they can make some practice swing Doing what they Know is correct and get it back within one shot.