An author, presenter and world-class coach, Rick Jensen, Ph.D., is the founder of Dr. Rick Jensen's Performance Center and is an internationally recognized performance consultant and sport psychologist.
year, for the past 20 years, I get together for a 4-day "coaching" retreat with
my best friend, Len Travaglione.Len and
I go way back, having attended graduate school together at the University of
Florida.Although we have the same
graduate degree, our businesses are quite different. Len owns and operates a
head injury rehabilitation center in upstate New York, and I coach champions in
sport and business.Different businesses, yet we have one thing in common: We both want to be the best at what
sole purpose for our annual retreat is to coach each other professionally and
personally.We have a couple of rules
for our coaching retreat – spend 50% of the time socializing (e.g., skiing,
hiking, dining, etc.) and spend 50% of our time coaching one another (e.g.,
business planning, life coaching).We've
held our retreats in Las Vegas, Yellowstone National Park, in the mountains of
Austria. As you can see we'll go anyplace that will inspire us.
retreats are the driving force behind our business plans each year.We leave each retreat with a set of goals to
which we hold one another accountable.Often, we assign rewards or consequences to the success or failure of
achieving a desired goal (e.g., "if you don't get your book published by this
time next year, you pay for the hotel for our next retreat").
others is a good portion of what I do for a living.Professional golfers hire me to provide
feedback and guidance on a host of issues ranging from their practice and
playing habits, their tournament schedules, and even their transition out of
the sport.And yet, the coaching that I
receive from Len each year is something that I certainly could not do on my
do you turn to for feedback?Who pushes
you to take on challenges that you might otherwise avoid?Are you open and willing to put yourself on
the receiving end of some direct and honest feedback from a friend, colleague,
supervisor, or professional coach?
a moment and consider the following questions:
type of feedback would be of greatest value to you at this time in your life?
do you know that would provide you with feedback that would be purposeful,
direct, honest, and actionable?
will you schedule your first coaching "retreat" with this person?
can you turn this retreat into a regular, repeatable activity?
Take a moment and recall a sport, other than golf, that you played
as a youngster: Football, basketball, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, field
hockey, soccer, any sport. How did you learn that sport? What was the process
that you engaged in to get better?
Chances are you attended structured practices during which a coach
provided you with instruction, feedback, and drills. Furthermore, your coach
was likely present on game day to provide additional guidance to help you
execute in competition what you were working on in practice.
Unlike other sports, golf is taught, and thus learned, differently. Instruction
is obtained via lessons provided by teachers, not coaches. During a typical
golf lesson, a teacher delivers knowledge about what you are doing wrong and
how you can fix it.
Learning a motor skill involves more than just knowing what is
wrong and how to fix it. It requires continuous feedback and training over
time – supervised practice, both on the course and off. Teachers should be
helping students transfer skills from the range to the course, make correct
on-course decisions, and manage their thoughts, their attention, and their
emotions under competition. Coaches do this, teachers do not!
Even at a professional level, where athletes are already quite
competent, coaches play a critical part in the learning process analyzing strengths
and weaknesses, customizing training programs, delivering instruction,
overseeing practice, providing on-going feedback, and facilitating
Today, elite players contract with their coaches to do much more
than show up on the range and provide a swing tip or two. Their coaches do
provide lessons, but they also spend significant time off of the lesson tee
providing supervised practice and on the course training.Now, compare the coaching on the PGA Tour
with what we see occurring at country clubs every day. Teachers stand on the
lesson tee and give 8-10 one-hour lessons per day. Once in a while they wander
over to the short game area to give a putting or pitching lesson. They rarely
give playing lessons, hardly ever supervise their players' practice, and once
in a blue moon observe their players compete.
To be fair, golfers are not lined up at the "coaching" door demanding
more from their teachers. Instead, they fall in line, book a lesson, and later
blame the pro for the fact that the lesson didn't work. Minimal effort results
in minimal gain. Why are we surprised?
Students must seek out golf coaching, not just lessons, from a
professional who is certified, qualified, and motivated to truly develop a
player's golf skills. Without a change to the status quo, golfers will continue
to struggle and to question, "Why am I not getting better?"
To improve your golf game, do what the pros do: Establish a coaching arrangement with your teaching pro, or contact a Certified Golf
Coach at the link below:
Over the years, I've had
the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from a number of top sales coaches.These management professionals can be
identified by one common attribute: They drive results.Like professional coaches from the world of
sports, sales coaches must know how to recruit, retain, motivate, and develop
The lessons learned from
these top sales coaches are applicable to any of us charged with the
responsibility of coaching others to higher levels of performance.Here are the takeaways from my experiences
with these top sales coaches.
responsibility for your team's outcomes.
Fill your bench with top
Spend time and resources
non-producing players off the team.
by transferring your knowledge to your players.
Hold team members
accountable and ensure that they walk the talk.
As you reviewed the above
lessons taken from the "sport of sales," you may have recalled your experiences
as a youngster with actual sports such as football, baseball, swimming, tennis,
etc.My guess is that your coaches in
these sports applied the same success strategies as did the sales coaches
described above.Coaches should be
applauded for the incredible value they bring to the performance arena whether in sport or business!
By Martin Hall, PGA of America's 2008 National Teacher of the Year
As a long-time
teaching professional, over 30 years in the trenches, I have seen styles and
fads come and go never to be heard of again. What hasn't changed over the years
is the need to apply proven and tested fundamentals to emulate not just the
style of history's masters, but more importantly, the substance of what they
did and what the world's best do this very day. What has changed is the way in
which, because of technology, we can measure and manage improvement.
It has become so very
apparent to me that the secret to improvement in golf, and I now believe in
just about any area in your life, is immediate and accurate feedback. We now
have computers and systems that will measure and give instant information on
club speed, ball speed, starting direction, side spin, carry, trajectory; just
about anything you could ever wonder about. We can measure body segmental rotational
speeds, the kinematic sequence, and center of gravity travel in your swing. We
have computers that could probably tell you what you had for breakfast!! Why
does this matter for learning? If each and every shot you take has some
feedback for you in the sense that "yes, you are getting warmer" or "no, you
are getting colder," then selecting appropriate thoughts and images and
abandoning that which clearly doesn't work because it's much easier.
been said "if at first you do not succeed then try, try, and try again until
you do." I could not disagree more! A much better thought to live by would be "if at first you don’t succeed, stop, think, re-evaluate, get some good
feedback and then resume effort." I wish I had known that 30 years ago! I hear
people say "he works so hard, he is sure to succeed." I ask "he works hard,
doing what?" Being really good at something that doesn’t improve your
performance won't help!
The most successful
people I see in my work tend to be the very best at asking the questions and
getting the answers that most unsuccessful people won't or don't ask! While
teaching people to be successful at golf is what I do, I have observed a
commonality amongst most really successful people, no matter what profession
they are in. They constantly ask for and take notice of feedback, they put
efforts into things that have a high payoff and won’t put time into something
that gives no return to them. The most successful people I meet in golf or life
indulge in "deliberate practice," a term coined by Geoff Colvin in his
excellent book "Talent is over-rated." A must read if you haven't already done
I am a Golf
Professional, I train champions, I use feedback with my students every day as I
understand the role of feedback in skill improvement. I have used it in many
other areas of my life with results that really I could only have dreamed
about. If just one person reading this commits to better more accurate feedback
from a trusted source, then it was worth my effort. If you are not using any
feedback, a personal coach, some way of tracking what you do on a daily basis
and you start to do so, you will be shocked what happens to you. It doesn't
happen overnight, but with sustained effort and over time it is incredible how
life can change for the better. I hope you get some feedback for your golf or
any other area of your life that you are looking to improve. Good luck, it's
worth the effort.
Martin Hall is the 2008
PGA of America National Teacher of the Year and is ranked among the Top 10
Greatest Teachers in America by Golf Digest magazine. Martin hosts his own
instructional show, School of Golf, each week on Golf Channel.His academy is located in Palm Beach Gardens,
Top performers are often promoted
into management positions because they have earned the opportunity for
advancement, increased responsibility and higher pay.All too often, such promotions are not
accompanied by sufficient training in the skills of management and
Below is a description of a seminar
that I designed specifically for professionals who have been charged with the
responsibility of coaching others, yet not received the training needed to
support their success.If you are
interested in how this seminar can be tailored to help those charged with
coaching your performers, contact me directly using the button in the right
hand column at the top of this newsletter.
Mastering the Essentials of
The Master the Essentials of World-Class Coaching presentation is designed for
managers and leaders who recognize the importance of leading an organization to
success. Through the analogies of professional sports franchises and coaches,
Dr. Jensen will provide you with the knowledge and understanding needed to
attract and lead top performers.
As you observe how top coaches in the world of sports utilize essential
coaching principles to take their teams to a world-class level, you will learn
how to apply these tools in your business. Through the use of video
presentations and sharing of first-hand experiences with champions in the world
of sports and business, Dr. Jensen helps you experience how world-class coaches
build and motivate champions.
The program will provide you with the tools to:
Create a culture that attracts and builds champions
Scout, recruit and retain champions
Develop actionable game plans for your "players"
Master the interpersonal skills needed for effective