“A performance environment should not be designed for comfort but for hard work” – Rasmus Ankersen
My junior coaching philosophy is founded and grounded on the latest research around elite performance in young athletes. This research is academically peered reviewed and practically used.
My main belief is to promote a holistic view of the child, athlete and the player. I integrate models like Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and Côté’s DMSP guidelines. Although I never prescribe a ‘one size fits all’ ‘linear type approach’, such models, although different in nature, support and embrace the physiological, biological and psychological domains.
My Top Beliefs for Development:
- Physical talent alone is unlikely to lead to excellence.
- Fun is primarily associated with immediate success in young participants.
- Elite performance is underpinned by an array of factors (social, physical, technical, tactical and psychological).
- Social & economic factors and family influence affects participation and excellence.
- Fundamental movement skills and physical literacy are essential as they underpin technical development and the occurrence of injury.
- From a physical perspective, it’s important to train the 5 Ss: Skill, Speed, Suppleness, Strength and Stamina.
- Talent is not inherited.
- Early successes aren’t always a predictor of long-term success.
- There are windows of opportunity and trainability during development.
- Deliberate play and practice must be employed during stages of development.
- Praise effort over achievement to build a growth mind-set.
- Self-Mastery Goals are essential in development.
“Young players out there. Always give your best, that’s all you can do. You never know what might happen in this game” – Gary Player
The Assessment Process: Our 1st Hour together.
Don’t know how to improve your golf swing? Practising hard but handicap staying the same? Ripping your driver but scoring badly?
Our first encounter together will be a thorough 60-minute assessment that will show you exactly what is needed to improve your golf. The assessment is completely personalised to your standard and therefore suitable for everyone.
For me to help you improve your golf and achieve outstanding results I must understand how your mind and body works. I must see you game tendencies and your ball flight patterns to find that bridge, that missing link to fulfil your potential. As you know, your personality is unique to you, and it follows that you bring your own unique combination of core mental strengths and weaknesses to golf. Just by being you. After 60 minutes you will be presented with a suggested plan of improvement showing you the key areas of your technique and game that need improving to fulfil your potential and goals.
‘We now have clarity on today…who you are and what you do… and tomorrow…who you want to be and what you want to achieve’
Although every relationship with any individual will be different, here is what you can expect from me, but also what I expect from you.
What you can expect From Me: I will be totally committed to your personal success. My efforts will be to
- Understand You: My willingness to listen, not just hear
- Enthusiasm and Motivation: My passion for what I do will inspire you.
- Challenge You: To push you above and beyond your current skill level
- Advise You: Helping you to be the best you can be or being the best version of yourself…authentically and consistently.
- Fairness & Integrity: Everything is upfront and put on the table. There are no hidden agendas; honesty is one of my key values.
- Inspire You: Help you learn from your experiences and push you to find your own answers. There is no fear in admitting mistakes, let’s identify a solution.
- A Genuine Interest in You: Sincerity in moving you from one place to another
- Support you: With changes to the working environment we both have to be patient with clear explanations
- Communication: Communicating throughout is paramount. There must be no confusion on what the end result is to be and how we intend to get there.
- Getting to Know You and a Sense of Humour: It’s not all business; let me put you at ease by getting to know you personally also.
- Responsibility: If I’m willing to take the credit I will be willing to take the blame.
What I Expect From You: I have a responsibility, but so do you. You also must play a large in this relationship and any progress you are going to make is because of the investment of time you are willing to make. It is teamwork between you and me to produce the results that we are both looking for.
‘A master of anything was first a master of learning’ Michael Hebrom’
‘It takes great learners to make reputations for teachers’ Tommy Armour.
- Goal Setting: Be clear with what you want, once you’re clear I can plan. Put more focus onto your processes not your immediate outcomes.
- Expectation: Be clear with your expectations based around the games’ value to you and how much time/resources you can really commit.
- Honesty: Although I will get a sense for how you are feeling and thinking, I won’t truly know unless you tell me. Please be upfront at all time.
- Let’s work with fact not fiction: I have the tools to measure, avoid tips and advice from internet and well-meaning friends. This will only distract your focus on what we are trying to achieve.
- Accountability: You are accountable for the commitment to you goal from what we agree.
- Before a Session: Please do not be concerned about how you are going to look to me; you are not going to embarrass yourself. Please relax and enjoy yourself, and the lesson will go just fine. Remember this is not an exam; I am your learning partner, not an evaluator of poor outcomes.
- During a Session: When working with a new suggestion, idea or concept, try to avoid saying to yourself this feels funny or awkward’ as this will plant a negative thought. Instead just say’ well this feels new, and I will give myself some time’ or ‘when I have more experience, I will do this better.
- Bad Outcome: This is all part of the learning process. Try not to be too perfect, or let your expectations get too high during change. See any experience as feedback, not as failure or your lack of ability to do so. Trust that there is a better golfer inside. It’s like misspelling a word, we only remember by feedback from a mistake.
- After a Session: Although I don’t believe in the notion of ‘you have to get worse, before you get better’, there is a chance you will feel that you are not improving straight away. This is only natural. But if you are aware of this beforehand, you have started to understand the whole learning and coaching experience.
- Learning Environment: Whatever area of the game we decide to work on, suggestions made must be trained in a practice environment. The lesson is what you take away; it’s not the time you spend with me. Stick to your practice schedule and you will improve. I guarantee you that.
Russell has been coaching full time for 8 years. In this time he has accumulated nearly 10, 000 hours of coaching.
Within this time-frame he has continually reflected, researched, monitored and studied his coaching with the goal of being the best he can be for each and every individual.
Although he will never claim to know it all, the environment in which he has learnt has helped him uncover the truths from the lies, the effective concepts vs. the misconceptions the facts from the fiction.
Although the journey to self-mastery is never ending, he looks forward to what the next 10,000 hour will bring and will question and research every step to strive towards better performance.
“Researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” – Malcolm Gladwell
I am a TrackMan Level 2 qualified instructor. I use TrackMan to facilitate the understanding and awareness of a player’s ball flight.
Put simply, the ball is told what to do by the golf club, so therefore if you understand what your ball is doing; you can then understand what your club is doing. As a player, once you understand your impact conditions, you can build a road to improvement that is directly linked to your desired control over the ball.
TrackMan is the choice of the PGA Tour and the R&A for swing and ball flight analysis. It is the industry standard for accuracy, flexibility, reliability and ease of use.
“One thing is clear. We don’t have the option of turning away from the future. No one gets to vote on whether technology is going to change our lives” – Bill Gates
Physical and Technical Development– the Foundation of Effective
Long Term Player Development
It has always been my belief that swing patterns look the way they do because of the player’s concept of how they should swing (in their mind) and how their biomechanics allow them to move (body).
It is also my belief that there are certain corridors for effective swing techniques that are typical of the world’s best players. As a consequence to this, associations to certain swing faults and tendencies can have physical correlations.
If students have the inability to change or make specific swing patterns could we propose it’s because of their inability to physically do it? This may be due to a lack of body awareness, poor co‐ordination and control of body segments, decreased range of motion and flexibility or basic specific strength. In some cases, it could be a combination of a number of these issues.
‘Physical and Technical Development– the Foundation of Effective Long Term Player Development’
From a coaching standpoint I have the ability to diagnose possible physical limitations, perform screening sessions and physical competency tests and advise on basic preventions and interventions. Being a qualified Personal Trainer I also have the ability to set and design physical and fitness programmes. Through Cranfield Golf Academy we have a professional support team to assist in physiotherapy and biomechanics.
This physical approach is valid for all students who have as their goal the long term improvement and, ultimately, maintenance of their physical ability – irrespective of their developmental age or handicap.
I have a great working relationship with ‘Total Golf Analysis’ who provide me with a consulting service using the latest 3D biomechanics equipment.
The 3D technology delivered through ‘Golf BioDynamics’ offers expert, interceptive, real-time biomechanical reporting on body motions during the golf swing. The information gathered through this tool is converted into accurate analysis of movement pattern and highlights which areas of body motion need to be maintained or improved.