What CrossFit Can Teach Golf Coaches
If a guy, in our case, a golf coach, does CrossFit and doesn’t tell everyone, does he even actually do CrossFit? I can’t answer that (although research would seem to indicate a definite correlation.) I can, however, tell you what a golf coach can learn from CrossFit.
To begin, a golf coach can learn how to structure his or her practice and instructional sessions to better achieve success and development. In CrossFit, you must select a program at the beginning of your journey. You must select between a 3 times a week, four times a week, or unlimited plan. There are no options for single 1-hour sessions. For golf coaches, this is something that should be encouraged in the golf community.
Often, students and/or parents contact golf coaches the week of a tournament with the expectation of solving everything wrong with a swing in a single 1-hour session. Not only is it an impractical task, it’s irresponsible. Development, whether physically or of a skill, is a process. In golf, and in general, the coaching of a skill is the coaching of a motor pattern developmental journey.
Lastly, and perhaps, most importantly, CrossFit can help teach golf coaches to better teach from failure. While many golf coaches try to protect players from failure, CrossFit takes a much more cavalier approach, practically embracing and encouraging students to fail. CrossFit trainers often teach athletes of various skill levels during the same session, ranging from elite CrossFit veterans to elderly students that have never even done a pullup. Once a CrossFit instructor provides instruction on how to properly complete an exercise, students are then encouraged to simply try. If a student isn’t successful, CrossFit encourages the student to simply overcome the failure through commitment to the process, effectively allowing students to be their own best coach, to learn and challenge themselves to find their own optimal performance.
Many times, golf coaches risk sheltering students. Whether wanting to protect the student’s emotions and not risk discouraging further interest in the game, or not wanting to upset parents, or simply (though hopefully not often) not wanting to reflect poorly upon a coach’s own coaching ability, golf coaches have been known to not encourage weaker golfers, or golfers earlier in their developmental journey, from competing in competition. For golf coaches, the most important thing to be learned from CrossFit is to encourage a growth mindset, and value effort over outcome.