Okay, I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here. Before I begin, I want to make very clear that the things I'll talk about probably existed and were simply edited out. They aren't the sexy or interesting parts of the lesson, but I'm giving Hank Haney the benefit of the doubt that they did in fact occur.
My hope is that by sharing this someone who is taking part in poor lessons with an instructor will seek a better instructor, ask more from their current instructor, or change the way they practice themselves.
In the televised version of the first episode, Hank fails as an instructor in three ways.
1. Failure to Answer the "Why?" Question
I almost always answer the "why?" questions without asking. For example: "I'd like to strengthen your left-hand grip because it will stop you from feeling that you have to roll your hands so much late to get the face where you need it to be, which will improve not only your clubface control but how and when you unload your wrists in the downswing." Change recommended and WHY the change is recommended.
Hank had Michael working on hinging the club sooner in the takeaway (but left his grip alone), and stopping his backswing shorter. We never heard "why" those things were being worked on.
2. Failure to Prioritize
One of the things I think we do incredibly well is prioritize things for the students. 5SK has allowed us to do this at an even simpler level that students all like, but at the end of the day 5SK is simply how we've always taught: golfers need to fix the biggest priority thing at any given moment to improve the fastest. These fixes are as varied as the errors golfers make, of course, but there's always one and sometimes two top priorities.
Michael Phelps was having a horrible time with contact issues. He was hitting shots fat and thin. If he were a 5SK student, we'd have probably let Key #1 go as it seemed okay, Key #2 was maybe 50-70% in place (we didn't see any good slow motion swings from face-on), and Key #3 was virtually completely absent. Michael Phelps was a 1-key student who would have fit right in on the scale the other day.
Hank had Michael working on hinging the club sooner in the takeaway (but left his grip alone), and stopping his backswing shorter. We never heard why those things were the priority. All we heard was that Michael was swinging "too steep" and that's why he was hitting the ball fat. Ignoring that a "steep" swing alone is not going to cause a fat shot (you can have a low point behind the golf ball regardless of the steepness of your swing), I don't know that Haney prioritized properly. And even if Haney had prioritized properly, I don't know that he told the student what he'd prioritized and again why he chose to prioritize that.
(Aside: my personal feelings are that by changing the backswing and the hands moving away from the start you'd naturally begin to change the end point of the swing.)
3. Work on Small Motions and at Slower Speeds
Swimming is, once you have the technique down, largely about conditioning. Building up your fast and slow twitch muscles to work efficiently. There's some technique work I'm sure, but it pales in comparison (IMO) to the technique required in golf. One stroke is one stroke - golf requires many strokes from varying lies, etc. (as the show pointed out).
I am a big believer in working on things slowly. Golf again is a complex motion that occurs very quickly. Yet we didn't see Phelps making any real slow motion swings, or swings where he'd chip the ball 50 yards with a 7-iron, or shorter swings at full speed. We saw the same with Rush Limbaugh with the board behind the ball that he kept hitting. No "why?" (because you flip and this will help train you to stop lining the shaft up prematurely), and no swinging at "the edge of his ability."
Again, I hope these things are being done and are simply being edited out.