By: Steve Williams, WGCA contributing writer
There is a communication gap between the typical golf instructor and their students. That gap is the perception of reality by the student. To illustrate this point, lets think about a chicken wing.
First, for clarity, let me give you my description of a chicken wing: Because of improper supination of the leading arm in the follow-through, the elbow moves away from the body and the arm folds in, instead of up. The next time you have a student who has a chicken wing, record their swing and let them see the severity of the chicken wing. Tell them that when they practice over the next week to keep the elbow close to the body in the follow-through, and make the arm fold up, instead of in. Give them a drill or two which helps them to correct the chicken wing. Tell them to work on it diligently but not to use video to help themself.
When they return in a week, record them while they hit a ball with a full swing. Then, both of you review the video of that swing. What I am about to say will happen 100 times out of 100 times. When the student sees the video of their new swing, they will see that they made far less progress during the week than they thought they did.
If what I said is happening 100% of the time is indeed true, what would that demonstrate? It demonstrates that a student cannot trust their feel if they are to make as much progress as possible between lessons. They simply must use video to show them what they are actually doing, instead of thinking they are making the correct move just because they feel like they are.
When it comes to change, “feel” is just like an adolescent kid. It will protest any new movement as being uncomfortable because it likes its comfort zones. It will complain (through discomfort) that you have made it change immensely, even though the change was in reality slight.
The funny thing about it is you will believe what your “feel” is telling you.
In conclusion, if practice time is to be as efficient as possible, the student needs to use video at the least, every few minutes, in order to confirm whether they are making the intended change or not. This will help them to make much more progress between lessons.