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When Dinosaurs Die Off

iacas

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This is the AFTER golf swing of a guy in my PGA classes. The player was hitting the ball a bit low (I wasn't able to record an initial video, but I didn't see a lot of axis tilt and someone told me he had reverse axis tilt at A4…).

The instruction he got? Go to the top by not rotating his hips, but by "loading" into his trail side, from the top "stay behind the ball" and throw the clubhead at the ball.

With the ball on a tee, this raised the ball flight. Absolutely. On the shots where he didn't hit several inches behind the ball.

The instructor mentioned Johnny Miller as a sort of role model for "keeping your weight behind the ball." Johnny Miller had one of the most powerful leg drives forward ever. His pressure and weight are both well forward.

Clue: if you have a pet theory, go on YouTube or load up your stored swings in Analyzr or V1 and see how many pros actually exhibit the thing you're thinking about. If it's none, as would be the case here (with irons, anyway), perhaps move on to something else instead of making it a core piece of your instruction.

Dinosaurs don't do that. Not every old instructor is a dinosaur, but dinosaurs eventually died off. I just wish it would happen much sooner in golf than it appears to be… I'll be dead and we'll still have dinosaurs out there roaming the lesson tee. Fewer than we have now, but they won't be extinct.



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7 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Instructors should use launch monitors, pressure plates, cameras, and all the tech we have to learn more themselves. Too many coaches use old-worn out feelings and phrases that may/may not work for their students. Using tech that can measure what the student is doing builds validity and trust between the coach and their students.

I don't disagree with anything there, but…

5 hours ago, ncates00 said:

I don't think you're getting a "real" lesson if tech isn't used.

That's completely invalid. Not for nothing, but it completely rules out, for example, a playing lesson, where you talk about strategy. It rules out mind work, or work on your pre-shot routine, or planning, or a session dealing with how to practice. Tournament prep. Etc.

5 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Just watching 2D video and looking at positions isn't ideal for golf.

I was one of the first to own a SwingCatalyst. We have the latest FlightScopes for years. Etc. We love our toys.

But you absolutely do not need - and often it can be counterproductive - to attempt to use too many tools for any given lesson.

Video is great.

5 hours ago, ncates00 said:

The golf swing is a motion.

Yes, hence… video. Not polaroids.

5 hours ago, ncates00 said:

The old guys who just look at video aren't getting the whole picture. I think a real lesson is one where it utilizes all the technologies we have available.

I don't agree.

5 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Only then can you accurately measure what's going on in the motion and have reliable data to show your student.

You don't need the umpteenth level of accuracy the vast majority of the time.

If the video shows a student flipping and not getting his weight forward, it'll also show improvements in that area. Also, the student doesn't often get to take "all the technologies available" home with them, so how are they to practice effectively on their own, if they're relying on a machine to tell them whether they've improved or not?

Most students have a high-speed camera, and if they know what they're looking for, can practice on their own quite smoothly.

3 hours ago, ncates00 said:

To convey it, sure.  But to measure it- no.  Feel and real are different most of the time.  You're guessing in my opinion.  Maybe you have video evidence for some of it, but it's hard to quantify that to a student without evidence.

You said it right there - the video is the evidence.

In one video the shaft at impact looks like \, and in the next it looks like /. There you go - you got better.

3 hours ago, ncates00 said:

If I'm paying you for lessons, I want every penny worth of it and I want measurable proof of what I'm working on and why.

I might give you the best lesson you've ever gotten with a rubber band being the most advanced tech I break out that day. You're making far too sweeping a generalization without much of an understanding, IMO.

Furthermore, if you're working on something, you're often - at first especially - doing it at slower speeds, because that's how you learn. So what "proof" do you really get? It's not like you're making full-speed swings immediately and comparing the results to those from before.

3 hours ago, ncates00 said:

I disagree.  In today's world and tech, you should have it.  If nothing else it's a receipt for your student- that is, your rationale for why the student should use their hard earned money on your expertise.

That's stupid.

I have the tech. I don't use it in most of the lessons. Most of them involve the camera.

And trust me, I like my tech. Hell, I'm a software developer with degrees in computer science and chemistry (and French). I know and like my tech. I'm a geek.

You're actually doing a disservice to students to "bust out all the tech" all the time.

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36 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's completely invalid. Not for nothing, but it completely rules out, for example, a playing lesson, where you talk about strategy. It rules out mind work, or work on your pre-shot routine, or planning, or a session dealing with how to practice. Tournament prep. Etc.

You’re cherry picking. The assumption would be a “standard” lesson and you know it. Cmon man lol. 

 

Fair points on everything else. For the record, I never advocated every single lesson. If you have a longstanding relationship with your coach and both of you know your flaws, you may spend time on video, training aids, developing feels, and the like. I know I’ve went to lessons with my coach and we’ve used just a pool noodle. I’m simply saying those things should be a part of a lesson if nothing else to show the student concrete results by way of the numbers and shots they can see on the tech and the ballflight. That’s not stupid, that’s smart and keeps the student engaged. I’m saying you have to dispense all the knowledge to the player if you feel they can’t handle it. Some guys like all the details and some just want to hit better golf shots. 

41 minutes ago, iacas said:

video

Is only a 2d representation of a 3d motion. Not the best evidence. Can be useful for looking at shaft lean, steady head, and few things. I’m not arguing against it. I’m just voting for a holistic approach to instruction. 

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16 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

You’re cherry picking. The assumption would be a “standard” lesson and you know it. Cmon man lol. 

No, in the majority of my lessons, I don't use "all the tech I have to offer" (paraphrased). In a lot of short game lessons I don't even use my camera. Sometimes I just use a training aid.

16 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Fair points on everything else. For the record, I never advocated every single lesson. If you have a longstanding relationship with your coach and both of you know your flaws, you may spend time on video, training aids, developing feels, and the like.

You keep adding these qualifications.

I don't bust out all of the tech on the first lesson. Again, one of the bigger reasons is when that the student leaves, he ain't taking that tech with him.

16 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I’m simply saying those things should be a part of a lesson if nothing else to show the student concrete results by way of the numbers and shots they can see on the tech and the ballflight.

That's often not at all possible. Again, they may be hitting shots at 30% speed, or doing a drill, or exaggerating. So the tech isn't going to show them anything that they're accurately doing, yet that's still the way they should improve.

Plus, again, the shaft going from \ to / is "concrete results."

16 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

That’s not stupid, that’s smart and keeps the student engaged.

I said your statement was stupid. It is, IMO. The student is coming to me because of my expertise, not because of my tech. If I choose not to use tech in a lesson, that's an expression of my expertise.

And… you don't know how well my students are engaged.

16 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I’m saying you have to dispense all the knowledge to the player if you feel they can’t handle it. Some guys like all the details and some just want to hit better golf shots.

I don't know what this means. Ultimately everyone coming to me for lessons wants to hit better shots, and it's up to me to determine how best to help them do that. More often than not that means less tech, not more.

Tech is valuable, but it's a tool, and you have to know how and when to use it.

16 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Is only a 2d representation of a 3d motion. Not the best evidence.

Plenty great.

16 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Can be useful for looking at shaft lean, steady head, and few things. I’m not arguing against it. I’m just voting for a holistic approach to instruction. 

No, you're arguing for "bust out all your toys all the time."

Here's another thing: you can use the toys and use them to the detriment of a student, too.

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Buddy-You are a 10 telling a great teacher how to teach. A teacher who I think has tech at his disposal-Maybe think about why he is saying he does not use it all the time even though he has paid for it and owns it?

You are arguing for the early days of word processing and desktop publishing when everyone used all 12 fonts they had because it was the first time they could do it.-Did not make for prettier posters. Made them look ugly.

God some of those posters-Ug-ly.

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I have l practiced with radar with all the features and it's TMI to be honest. I wound up depending more on 240 fps video. You can tell whether you're in to out or not, guesstimate well enough. Same with AoA if FO. To be honest, I'd rather send my pro a copy of the whole session with some swings to see what he makes of it. It's nice to know your baseline numbers though.

Hell I have a Mevo and initially thought it's not enough info and I don't use it as much as I thought I would (no short game facilities). I think that's good in a way I'm concentrating on just a few things than focusing on the numbers. I think I get more passed to me indirectly from what pros have learned from high tech. 

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

No, you're arguing for "bust out all your toys all the time."

I don’t think you’re understanding a thing I’m saying or you’re choosing not to. Maybe you’re one of the dinosaurs you speak of. I don’t think you are, as I sense you appreciate tech to some degree. I can add qualifications on what I say because you’re not getting it. But you’re missing the vital point to my argument: tech validates teaching. I want tech for my own sake as a student so I can see for myself what numbers I’m producing. This tells me that what I’m working on is actually helping me and you’re not just spouting off crap. I have seen too many range pros with their students telling all kinds of BS to their students with nothing to validate what they’re saying. Many of these pros are on the ranges and don’t even use video. They just teach the same things to every student  one pro in particular I can sum up his teaching as I’ve seen the same thing every student: take the club back with the left hand and fire the knees. But I digress. 

 

If you’re not using some tech I think you’re missing out. You mention little drills and partial shots, that comes after you’ve measured their baseline to see where they are. Then you can work on the drills, probably with just video and feels. I get that. Tech is really useful in seeing the change. I envision a lesson kinda like 

1. Arrival, hit with tech to see what’s going on and discuss the issues the student is having. Explain the game plan and how to fix the issue  similar to how a surgeon explains a complex surgery to patients in simple terms

2 work on the problems with tech and try a feel. Measure it. 

3. If needed, prescribe drills, slowmotion swings, etc. periodically check the new thing in full speed to see if the student can achieve it. 

4. See the final progress at full speed. Go over the key points and what the student needs to work on. Create a voice memo at the end of the lesson or let the student record the entire lesson from the start to take home. 

 

Surely you cna agree with this 😃

13 minutes ago, Phil McGleno said:

Buddy-You are a 10 telling a great teacher how to teach. A teacher who I think has tech at his disposal-Maybe think about why he is saying he does not use it all the time even though he has paid for it and owns it?

You are arguing for the early days of word processing and desktop publishing when everyone used all 12 fonts they had because it was the first time they could do it.-Did not make for prettier posters. Made them look ugly.

God some of those posters-Ug-ly.

No I’m not. He spoke of good and bad teaching. I agreed with him on his premise about dinosaurs and their poor teaching without evidence. I just took it a bit further than he liked I suppose. I think great teachers are happy with using tech to validate their work is all. They don’t have to go into all the details if they think the students head will blow off, but some students like the details and it helps to ensure they’re working on the correct things. I don’t think you really understand anything I’ve said. I’m just pushing for accountability on the teachers part. Use tech and give me my proof of purchase. 

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I guess I’m different. I’m the guy who wants to know what he mechanic does to my car, what the dentist is doing, what the doctor is doing, etc. I’m paying you for a job so I have the right to ask questions and pester you for giving me a service. I’m not telliff you how to do your job, but I want to know what you’re doing. If you can’t handle that, I’ll find someone else that can do a good job and give a rationale for it. All good professionals use tech to explain/give rationale and use simple terms for their clients. 

 

I didnt think this was that hard to grasp lol. 

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55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I don’t think you’re understanding a thing I’m saying or you’re choosing not to. Maybe you’re one of the dinosaurs you speak of.

Really? That's your tactic?

The dinosaurs are the ones with bad information. Not "without tech."

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

But you’re missing the vital point to my argument: tech validates teaching.

It can. It doesn't always. Particularly during a lesson, when the player may not be swinging at speed. Furthermore, time spent futzing with tech can take away from time spent learning or diving deeper into the topic, and it can distract, too, as @nevets88 hinted at.

You know what "validates" my teaching? That my students get better. That they see the changes they seek. That they are happy with their lesson. That they understand how to practice what we've worked on.

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I want tech for my own sake as a student so I can see for myself what numbers I’m producing. This tells me that what I’m working on is actually helping me and you’re not just spouting off crap. I have seen too many range pros with their students telling all kinds of BS to their students with nothing to validate what they’re saying.

You don't seem to be capable of detaching "tech" from "BS."

You can have a ton of tech and still be full of BS. I watched a guy teach a lesson trying to get a guy to stop swinging out so much… had a Trackman going the whole time. Not only did he royally screw up the cause of the pattern, but he misinterpreted some of the Trackman numbers during the lesson.

What I say during a lesson makes sense, and my students see results. They trust that I'm not "spouting off crap" and that I know what I'm talking about because I'm a smart dude.

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

If you’re not using some tech I think you’re missing out.

I've never said that I don't use tech. I own a ton of tech. I use it often to research things, or to test things. I don't use it the majority of the time during a lesson.

Tech is a tool. As with any tool, it's up to the instructor to best utilize the tools at his disposal. Which tools he uses depends on the person, the situation, etc.

A carpenter has a ton of tools. Just because he's got a nail gun, though, doesn't mean he's got to use it on every job.

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

You mention little drills and partial shots, that comes after you’ve measured their baseline to see where they are.

So a guy comes to me. He sways back, doesn't turn well, leaves his weight back, and flips, resulting in chunks and thins.

You're suggesting that I should hook the guy up to a K-Vest or GEARS, a BodiTrak or SwingCatalyst, and a FlightScope or Trackman, in addition to getting video?

Awesome! And by the time I've gotten him hooked up and looked at all of his data from two or three swings… his time's up and the lesson is over. And… here's the kicker… that was all unnecessary.

The student can see validated results when he starts hitting it better later that lesson while doing some drills or changing his mechanics via the feels we try out with him. And a week later when he shoots his best score ever. And as he continues to improve, by the increasing quality of his shots.

And he can take that stuff with him. He doesn't have his own GEARS/Trackman/SwingCatalyst.

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I get that. Tech is really useful in seeing the change. I envision a lesson kinda like 

1. Arrival, hit with tech to see what’s going on and discuss the issues the student is having. Explain the game plan and how to fix the issue  similar to how a surgeon explains a complex surgery to patients in simple terms

2 work on the problems with tech and try a feel. Measure it. 

3. If needed, prescribe drills, slowmotion swings, etc. periodically check the new thing in full speed to see if the student can achieve it. 

4. See the final progress at full speed. Go over the key points and what the student needs to work on. Create a voice memo at the end of the lesson or let the student record the entire lesson from the start to take home.

Step 4 is funny. 🤪 And no, I odn't agree with that.

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

No I’m not. He spoke of good and bad teaching.

No, and maybe this is where you go wrong. I spoke of those who fail to teach well because they're stuck in the past, with old understandings and outdated information.

I didn't say they had to use tech in every lesson. Hell, the only tech I mentioned in the post was that if you can't even validate your theory by looking at what pros are doing on YouTube swing videos, you may be a dinosaur (or a new theory).

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I think great teachers are happy with using tech to validate their work is all.

You don't (always) need tech to "validate" your work. Rarely, in fact.

55 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

They don’t have to go into all the details if they think the students head will blow off, but some students like the details and it helps to ensure they’re working on the correct things. I don’t think you really understand anything I’ve said. I’m just pushing for accountability on the teachers part. Use tech and give me my proof of purchase. 

Some do. Most don't want the details, and sometimes those who want them are better off not knowing them. Sometimes, as an instructor, you've gotta tell a student "let's just focus on this one thing here…". For their benefit.

Tech is't your "proof of purchase." Improvement is. If I can improve a student the most using chewing gum and three broken tees, using the correct, valid information that I've accumulated by various means, I've done my job. Not only that, but I've done my job well.

45 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I guess I’m different. I’m the guy who wants to know what he mechanic does to my car, what the dentist is doing, what the doctor is doing, etc. I’m paying you for a job so I have the right to ask questions and pester you for giving me a service. I’m not telliff you how to do your job, but I want to know what you’re doing.

Yes, you are.

45 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

If you can’t handle that, I’ll find someone else that can do a good job and give a rationale for it.

Tech isn't always (or even often) needed for either of the bolded words!

45 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

All good professionals use tech to explain/give rationale and use simple terms for their clients.

False.


All I'm saying:

  • You've grossly misread the OP. Dinosaurs are not "instructors who don't use tech in nearly every lesson." A dinosaur is an instructor who refuses to grow, advance, gain new insights and understanding, and question his method of teaching in search of constant refinement and improvement of his craft. Tech can help with that, but ultimately…
  • … tech are tools. Good instructors know what tools to use and when.
  • Students vary. Sometimes the same lesson will work best without tech for one student and with a piece of tech for another student.
  • Tech has downsides, too, which you're failing to acknowledge. It takes time. It can distract. It can clutter/confuse.

Again, the OP isn't about tech at all. So, I ask you kindly, please stop. Cool, you won't be coming to me for a lesson. I can live with that, because I'm pretty damn comfortable with the lessons I give, my use of tech, my ownership of tech, etc.

Today I gave two putting lessons. One used a SAM PuttLab. The other used a string and a felt board. Both were great lessons. The SAM PuttLab lesson was not "better" because it used technology.

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22 minutes ago, iacas said:

You know what "validates" my teaching? That my students get better. That they see the changes they seek. That they are happy with their lesson. That they understand how to practice what we've worked on.

This is what I appreciate. I may not agree with much else, but this right here is what I want to hear. I’d prefer you show me some data to back it up, but at the end of the day, if I’m hitting it better- I’ll buy what you’re selling. I’m an analytical guy so I like the ins and outs of it. 

 

One question and I’ll kindly bow out. What was funny about #4? Wouldn’t you be willing to give the student some sort of way to remember what you worked on? Like you said, feels and things can change. Also I’m busy, so  I would like a reference point to go back and look at or listen to. I may not remember everything we did or how it felt. That could be why I fluctuate from a freaking 7.5-10 all the time. 

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5 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

This is what I appreciate. I may not agree with much else, but this right here is what I want to hear. I’d prefer you show me some data to back it up, but at the end of the day, if I’m hitting it better- I’ll buy what you’re selling. I’m an analytical guy so I like the ins and outs of it.

If you're that type of person, I probably have both.

5 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

One question and I’ll kindly bow out. What was funny about #4? Wouldn’t you be willing to give the student some sort of way to remember what you worked on? Like you said, feels and things can change. Also I’m busy, so  I would like a reference point to go back and look at or listen to. I may not remember everything we did or how it felt. That could be why I fluctuate from a freaking 7.5-10 all the time. 

The hilarious part of #4 was "at full speed."

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7 hours ago, mvmac said:

I gotcha, I'm all for verifying.

I'm just saying that not having thousands of dollars to spend on tech isn't an excuse for saying the start line of the ball is mostly determined by the direction of the path or that you have to roll your wrists to hit a draw or that you should have your butt out and chin up for good posture.

Exactly. Yet the instructor I had (no longer of course) taught all those things while having a beautiful TrackMan set up. Real shame. Young guy who I guess just wants to crank out lessons and doesn’t want to do any research of his own. Shame because he primarily teaches kids and runs the summer golf camp. When I pointed out that the hip bump/slide toward the target is seen in just about every good golfer he said ‘ Oh that’s just Michael Breed BS.’ 

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