One of the most highly desired traits of junior golfers is coachability. Coaches want to know that a player is willing to listen, learn, practice and put into play what they teach them. Being coachable isn’t just for college-level play. Ask your swing coach how receptive you have been to their directions. Do they feel that you are a coachable student? If not, ask how you can improve on that.
Ask questions of your mentors and others around you who have had success. You may not relate to everything they say, but you can always learn something! Not everything they do will help you as a player since there are hundreds of ways to approach almost every part of the game, but be gracious for their efforts and always say thank you.
Check out six key ways to be more coachable:
Be willing to learn from others who have more experience than you. You don’t need to copy someone’s every move, but learning from others does mean you can identify your weaknesses and find ways to improve. A big component of being coachable means that you have a desire to learn from others and apply that to your practice.
Be respectful of your coach or instructor. They have the skills you want to acquire, so give them your full attention. Your coach’s methods may not be the only way of doing things, but being coachable means you are willing to try something different and put your full effort into making it work for you.
Be ready to check your ego at the door. While on the golf course, it’s important to maintain your confidence and desire to win. However, during practices, lessons, meetings and workouts, you must be willing to listen to your coach, learn and act. College coaches will tell you one of their biggest turnoffs is a player with an ego. Having an ego prevents that player from trying new things and seeing the bigger picture of what the coach and team is trying to accomplish.
Be willing to absorb what your coach is telling you and practice. If you are not willing to do things outside of your comfort zone, then you will take twice as long to improve as another player who is coachable. You must be willing to put the time into drills, tasks and assignments in order to see the results, even if you don’t feel it is something you should be doing.
Be willing to accept criticism. A willingness to accept criticism is easier for some players than others, but all athletes must be willing to accept critiques and work on their weaknesses. Mistakes are going to happen; it’s how you handle them and what you learn from them that determines if you improve or not.
Be gracious and humble. When it’s all said and done, being gracious to the person who is trying to help always demonstrates coachability. At times, there may be something you just don’t feel is good for your game, or you are really struggling to make the changes your coach has asked of you. Rather than accuse them of being wrong, thank them for their time and energy spent trying to help you. Be humble enough to accept that you don’t know everything, be willing to try new things, and be gracious for all of the lessons and skills you’ve learned.
Wherever your golf journey is heading, let’s get you there. There are nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals ready to help. Find yours at pga.com/journeys