By Cole Golden, USGTF Member, Wichita, Kansas
I was recently asked by a student how often he should take a lesson. I usually let the student take the lead on this type of conversation to get a feel for where their head is at, and how serious they are about improving their game. I carefully considered the student’s question to provide him with the best possible answer. While I would love for a student to take a lesson every week so that I could carefully watch and help them, is that what is right for the student?
I told this particular student that I would like him to practice at least twice between lessons. There is a “method to my madness.” It gives a student time to work on the recommended adjustments and comprehend any positives or negatives from the previous lesson. Maybe we are working on containing a good spine angle, and after a couple of practice rounds they feel like they can’t get through the ball.
Or maybe we have been working on a certain shot shape and they get it down, ready to move onto the next.
Giving a student a chance to work on drills outside of a paid lesson is a more efficient and effective use of your time and theirs. If a student doesn’t practice, it doesn’t matter how many lessons they take. While you want to help them along, they must have time to work on things prior to moving on to the next lesson. Some instructors offer ten-minute lessons that are good for students who don’t practice a lot. This is a “quick look” type of lesson and it serves a purpose.
Having a well-thought out, personalized game plan with your students shows them that you care about their progress as a player. It also helps you manage your schedule more efficiently.