Grandpa Photo by sparktographyBy Bob Wyatt USGTF National Coordinator, Port St. Lucie, Florida This article was first printed in Golf Teaching Pro in the Spring 1995 edition when the magazine was known as American Golf Pro. This is another in a series that looks back through the archives of our member publication. How many times during the course of your golfing experiences have you been tempted to throw a club? I’m sure there are not too many of you that answered “never.” I’m not a doctor of psychology, but I do feel that after 25 years teaching golf, together with 40 years of playing this great game, I understand human nature. As a junior player, I was determined to become the best player I could as quickly as possible. This immature approach always carries with it a host of potential emotional problems, as you might imagine. As well-balanced instructors, we must not forget for a minute how much of a role emotions at any level can become prevalent in a student’s success or failure. There is an old cliché that goes, “The faster you go, the further behind you get!” I’m convinced the person who came up with this little phrase must have been a golfer. Teach your students the value of pacing themselves on the range, as well as on the golf course. This will go a long way toward reinforcing the understanding of the emotional and mechanical balance necessary when playing a good game of golf. As instructors, we should always be thinking of the emotional aspect of our game. How would you feel if, when taking a playing lesson, your golf instructor kept losing his temper? Your students, especially juniors, will watch you and attempt to emulate the image you project on the course. With this in mind, always strive to keep your personal profile in a strictly professional, organized, and, above all, emotionally controlled manner. You will perform more effectively, and so will your students.
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