Over the years we have often heard that in order to be successful as an instructor you must have great communication skills and possess a talent to describe a highly complex motion in an understandable way to your students.
After twenty plus years on the lesson tee I cannot agree more! I have always tried to make the swing and its “repair” more comprehensible to the average player whether it be in an article I have written or within my day to day dealings with clients.
The goal of every teacher is to bridge the gap between giving the student too much information and just the right amount…
With the advent of Trackman we are now armed with an enormous amount of data to help us (the teachers) understand what is happening to the Nth degree.
While having this information at our fingertips is awesome it can also cause problems in the hands of a less experienced teacher when it comes to conglomerating all this data into a simple and understandable fix.
I know from experience that whenever you have more data it’s very, very easy to give the student more than what is necessary; however, I will tell you that if you truly UNDERSTAND the correlations within the data that this machine gives you it WILL make you a less technical teacher than ever before.
As with anything new there is always a learning curve in order to dissect all the data and assimilate it into your teaching style but that shouldn’t take too much time if you apply yourself and keep an open mind.
We tend to criticize what we don’t understand and using the new breed of technology will test you in the beginning, but I promise, once you have that “a ha” moment from that point on you are on your way to doing things on the lesson tee in a much more efficient way than ever before.
When there was only video teachers became too “position” focused and I think that has carried over to the current crop of young teachers using club and ball flight analyzers.
They tend to focus only on pleasing the machine and try and force each student into the perfect “numbers” for each of the categories above that matches what the boys on Tour do most often.
While it’s nice to see how better players move and swing it is not the ONLY way you can be successful. Using Trackman in this manner will easily boggle the minds of even the smartest of your students.
So how do you use the TrackMan in the simplest way possible?
In the past I was over critical of positions that I thought I saw on camera that might influence factors like the club’s swing direction or the club’s face angle at impact.
Now that I can actually see the club’s true path and the face to path relationship during impact with Trackman, I have found myself less focused on what things “look like” and more focused on what the swing actually produces consistently from the stroke pattern side.
No longer do I obsess over a student picking up the club on the backswing if the downstroke plane is within certain parameters at impact consistently.
It’s amazing that if you let the player have some freedom to do what it is that they tend to do naturally, it is much easier to “fix” them for the long term when you introduce a change.
As with anything there are exceptions to the rules, but generally if I see a decent player who’s path and face are under control to some consistent degree, I’m not overly concerned how they got there.
So what if their Angle of Attack is a touch down with the driver, as long as the player produces ample distance for their desired level of playability, and has adequate ball control from side to side then they will be fine.
What some teachers forget is that the numbers are only there to support or refute what the player is feeling or there to give the teacher feedback while making a swing change. The more I understand the data the better I will become at fixing the one thing that will affect the other seven categories that are a touch off. Find the cause and the effects will take care of themselves.
Over time you will find yourself not so worried about idiosyncrasies shown on video but more focused on the one simple piece of the “data pie” that will fix it all.
From there is all about how the player can improve his path, angle of attack, dynamic loft or whatever you as the teacher decide in the student’s own best way.
The best teachers use Trackman in a way that helps the player learn through self-discovery not by trying to fix every single data point individually as this would make things way to complicated.
Yes you need video in order to audit positions. Yes you need Trackman in order to audit the things you cannot see with video.
However the secret is conglomerating these two mediums into a simple thought in efforts to “fix” each student regardless of their ability level.
If you will focus on using your technology to fix the causes not the effects I will bet that your students will love your new approach!