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Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I have been saying ever since Tiger Woods left Butch Harmon that he should seek help from the greats of the game. 

Choosing a coach who has not had the experience of winning at the highest level is a mistake.  Using someone to discuss the mechanics of the swing is fine, but Tiger has become so mechanical and trying to get his body into certain “positions” that it has hurt his body, and now he is paying the price.   Lee Trevino, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus have all offered to help Tiger at one time or another. 

Gary Player once said, “Give me 15 minutes with Tiger, and he’ll be fixed!”  I believe that!  Having people like Sean Foley and Chris Como, who are technicians, I think, has hurt one of the most incredible feel players the game has ever known.  A little bit like Seve Ballesteros when he went to David Leadbetter.  Too much information!  Tiger, get off your high horse and see Arnie, Jack, Lee, or Gary.  You won’t regret it!

I am not the only one with these feelings.   Alex Fortey of Athletic Golf Training points to the top players in the game of Tennis.  Most of them have former “greats” of the game as coaches.  They know how to win.  Winners breed winners!

Here is Alex’s view on the subject.

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

 A lot is being written about Mr Tiger Woods with his struggling form and the media’s portrayal of his demise and after several emails asking me my opinion, I thought I will chime in a bit here because I do believe Tiger will be back at the top again… I just hope (with the tips below it will be sooner than later)

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

There is nothing wrong with Tiger Woods’ swing.

First off, I am not suggesting Tiger goes out and hires a tennis coach, but I am asking for him and perhaps many other PGA Tour and LPGA players alike to learn from the tennis tour.

You see, even the very best best players in the world and dominant long term stars have had the sense to recruit as their coaches and at the very least consultants or mentors; former champion players who know how to win, deal with pressure, have a swing and game to deal with pressure and how to think to win.

At the end of the day, the object of professionals is to win.

So why oh why are golf professionals not asking for advice from world champion golfers instead of bio mechanists for example that have no clue about the art of winning.

Yes science and swing mechanics have their place in the scheme of things but you cannot be a complete player relying on it alone.

And there are many good coaches who understand how to play, like really play and understand the swing as well. All of the coaches we feature here on Athletic Golf Training are impressive on the course as well as in the teachings. Is a crucial aspect that we look for. It’s the same for me… I can walk the talk in swinging, playing and training so it means, I can say with confidence.. “this works” and the evidence is clear to see.

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

Tiger needs to play like Seve or Bubba.

Just the other day a reminder of the art that is golf came to me as I watched Seve the movie. What an amazing film! I urge you to see if you haven’t yet because it does a great job of depicting the Spanish artista in all is glory young and old, but the reason I mention it is because Seve Ballasteros played golf by feel, reaction and vision. He loved the art of it, not the science and he possessed one of the most elegant fluid golf swings and inspirational short game the world has ever seen.

Bubba Watson is another artist.  They play with feel and with natural creation of mechanics.

This is what Tiger needs to do for one thing, but I truly believe he needs to be coached, mentored by one of golf greats or a coach who understands the real way to play great golf is letting the brain be free and having a golf swing that feels as natural and kinetic as throwing a stone.

I think Tiger may have lost his way a little and his voice of reason when he lost his father.

I know all to well what that is like and it puts ones internal compass
all out of whack…

He misses his dads words of comfort, encouragement and wisdom. probably the only person on the planet who could say to tiger without any fear or motive…”what are you doing” and give him a slap.

Now Tiger has not gone off the rails, but I am saying too many people want a piece of him and are willing to say anything to him to get a pice of the Woods pie.

Getting back to the tennis players;

– Roger Federer (who Tiger is good friends with) for example… perhaps the finest tennis player and most successful ever to have played the game takes advice and coaching from Stefan Edberg; A fine champion of multiple grand slam events.

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

Great tennis players have great tennis players as coaches. Federer & Edberg. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Andy Murray had Ivan Lendl, now Mauresmo … Both very successful champions.

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl are a team.

Novak Djokovic has Boris Becker a multiple grand slam champion..

And so are Djokovic and Boris Becker.

And the list goes on down the ranks. But these are the best in the world and they are going to champions for a reason.

Because they know how to get shit done and finish the job.

Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

They know the heart of a champion, the mental strain, how really to play under pressure.. so their coaching allows for that.

A coach who reads 50 text books on a tennis serve is not going to help them.

Maybe a little bit yes, along with fitness trainers, physios etc.. But the heart of a champion and the drive can only be truly understood by a person cut from the same piece of cloth.

Imagine having your car repaired by a mechanic who never saw inside an engine or drove a car. Who only read about it in textbooks. You would not want them working on your car, would you?!?

So ..

Getting back to Tiger Woods…

I hope he sees the light and goes and asks someone like Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Nick Faldo  to help him clear the fog and find his heart the natural way and simply PLAY GOLF LIKE A CHAMPION!

Not in a laboratory but on a course and just trying to get that ball in the bloody hole.

So my advice to you Mr Tiger Woods if you happen upon this post;

1) Take a 6 iron out and do everything you can imagine with it with the ball… Become an artist and play the game.

2) Listen to those who have done it just like you, trust them, trust yourself and go and kick ass and inspire a new generation of golfer.

Hope you enjoyed my rant and why not comment or reply, we love hearing what you think and helping to solve any golfing or fitness headaches you may have.

Alex Fortey     Founder Athletic Golf Training

Pictures : Mariaane Bevis

Thanks for reading – Should Tiger look to Tennis to understand coaching?

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