Monday, January 16, 2012

Skills of a Good Golf Coach

Anyone can be a golf coach. There is no minimum experience or training required to call yourself a golf coach. But to ethically and conscientiously use the title golf coach, there should be a skill set present that qualifies you for the task. That skill set may either be defined by the individual or by the institution for whom the golf coach would be working.
Playing the Game
A good golf coach should be able to demonstrate the ability to play the game. At the least, the coach should be able, or have been able, to play at or better than the skill level he is coaching.
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Competitive Experience
If you are to lead a team in competition or coach an individual to success as an amateur or professional, you should have played at a level similar to the player you are coaching. Although success in competition does not correlate with success in coaching, institutions will look closely at a competition resume when selecting a coach.
Professional Training
Although most institutions do not require it, training, certification, and membership in the PGA of America or the Ladies Professional Golf Association Teaching and Club Professional Division is desirable in a coach. Membership in either organization requires a certain level of skill to be demonstrated; those skills include observation, knowledge, application of cause and effect, communication and the ability to work with different personalities and learning styles. Membership in either or both organizations provides tremendous credibility for a golf coach.
Formal Education
One way for a golf coach to improve his skills and knowledge is to complete a formal education in an appropriate field. A major in physical education, kinesiology, sport psychology, athletic training, coaching or sports management will directly increase the skill set needed to be a good coach. While all degrees are beneficial, choosing one that directly adds to your required skill set will make you a better coach. If completing a degree is not possible, most universities offer classes in coaching and related topics. These classes are most likely to be offered through the Kinesiology or Physical Education Department.
Coaching Experience
Few institutions will hire a coach that doesn't have coaching experience. If becoming a golf coach is a goal, start with working at the local youth level; volunteer if necessary. Obtain as much formal training and education as possible while working as a coach. Continue to take as many coaching opportunities as possible to gain experience.
The Goal is to Coach
If you have made the decision to be a golf coach, then you should do as much as possible to achieve the skill set that will make you a good coach. This skill set includes being an accomplished golfer with competitive experience, obtaining knowledge of the game and the ability to teach it and gaining experience in coaching.

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