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Discovering the Art and Philosophy Behind Elite Golf Coaching with John Dunigan and Justin Tang

November 22, 2023 Jesse Perryman Season 3 Episode 102
Discovering the Art and Philosophy Behind Elite Golf Coaching with John Dunigan and Justin Tang
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Flaghuntersgolfpod
Discovering the Art and Philosophy Behind Elite Golf Coaching with John Dunigan and Justin Tang
Nov 22, 2023 Season 3 Episode 102
Jesse Perryman

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Ever wondered how to simplify the complexities of golf and strive for improvement with every swing? Look no further! We sat down with PGA master instructor, John Dunigan, and had an enlightening conversation about the art of golf coaching. John, known for his unparalleled ability to break down intricate golf concepts into digestible lessons, shares insights on club face control, technology in teaching, and the pivotal role of mental preparation in the sport. 

Then, we delved deep into the philosophy behind golf coaching, primarily focusing on the importance of knowing "what to do" versus "how to do it." As John narrates his transition from a tour player to a top-notch teacher, we get a sense of his dedication to continuous learning in the field of golf. We also reflected on some of our own experiences, learning the hard way that forcing students into positions that their bodies can't execute is not beneficial. Our mentor, Mike Adams, and his bio swing dynamic approach greatly influenced our coaching methods. 

Lastly, we ventured into the realm of motor learning and effective golf coaching. We discovered the value of a guided discovery approach and how understanding how people learn can significantly impact the teaching process. We also touched upon the importance of reactive neuromuscular training and proprioceptive priming. Wrapping up, we presented the concept of the Skill Coaching Alliance, a robust network of coaches committed to learning and improvement. So, tune in to our podcast as we share our passion for coaching and all things golf! Please remember to rate, review and subscribe !

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Send us a Text Message.

Ever wondered how to simplify the complexities of golf and strive for improvement with every swing? Look no further! We sat down with PGA master instructor, John Dunigan, and had an enlightening conversation about the art of golf coaching. John, known for his unparalleled ability to break down intricate golf concepts into digestible lessons, shares insights on club face control, technology in teaching, and the pivotal role of mental preparation in the sport. 

Then, we delved deep into the philosophy behind golf coaching, primarily focusing on the importance of knowing "what to do" versus "how to do it." As John narrates his transition from a tour player to a top-notch teacher, we get a sense of his dedication to continuous learning in the field of golf. We also reflected on some of our own experiences, learning the hard way that forcing students into positions that their bodies can't execute is not beneficial. Our mentor, Mike Adams, and his bio swing dynamic approach greatly influenced our coaching methods. 

Lastly, we ventured into the realm of motor learning and effective golf coaching. We discovered the value of a guided discovery approach and how understanding how people learn can significantly impact the teaching process. We also touched upon the importance of reactive neuromuscular training and proprioceptive priming. Wrapping up, we presented the concept of the Skill Coaching Alliance, a robust network of coaches committed to learning and improvement. So, tune in to our podcast as we share our passion for coaching and all things golf! Please remember to rate, review and subscribe !

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome again to the Flag Hunters Golf Podcast. I am your host, jesse Perryman, along with my good friend and sometimes podcast host, and I can get them off the lesson tee at the Tanamera Golf Club in Singapore. His name is Justin Tang and together this week we've got a man who is a PGA master instructor. His name is John Dunnegan of the John Dunnegan Golf Academy at White Manor Country Club in PA, pennsylvania Folks, john, notably, is a multiple PGA teacher, section teacher of the year. He's been voted golf digest best in state and he is a teacher that both Justin and I have a lot of belief and faith in, because he teaches from a holistic sense.

Speaker 1:

You know, teachers that have a wealth of knowledge and are able to simplify and streamline the information that they pass to their students is really an art. And John has this in spades, and in this conversation we talk about that very phenomenon. We talk about club face control, a little bit techno babble here and there. Good stuff, very, very good stuff. But one thing I love about John is he really explains things at the simplest level that can be understood, and what's understood can be learned and hence replicated, which is what we all want to do at the end. So, on this Thanksgiving week, I want to give thanks to all of you for listening. I want to give thanks to John for coming on. I'm sure we're going to have him on again. You can reach him easiest at john dunigancom. That's wwwJohnDunigan All one word J-O-H-N-D-U-N-I-G-Ncom. You can also find him on Instagram. He posts regularly on there under the same name John Dunigan.

Speaker 1:

You can find me at flaghunter's golf pod and you can find Justin easiest at elite golf swing. And there's one thing that I am doing I'm accepting one-on-one clients for some consultation if they want to talk to me, if you all want to talk to me about your golf game, helping streamline the easiest ways for you to improve. I have a special knack for that to help folks. I'm writing a pilot program, so the first few people that hit me up, I'm going to severely discount it and let's see if we can drive down to the right rabbit holes Much in alignment with the mantra of the podcast and help you sift through anything that you may be confused about so that we can simplify and have you working on or and working with the right coach for what you're looking for. And once again, you can hit me up easiest at flaghunter's golf pod on Instagram. Just send me a direct message. All one word flaghunter's golf pod and please remember to rate, review and subscribe.

Speaker 1:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Make it a great week. There's a lot to be grateful for as we play this game and we're. I know that we're heading into winter, so I've got some exciting people coming on to help you at least contemplate what we're going to do this off season and maybe put together a plan to help you come out next spring smelling like roses. Cheers everyone. Once again, happy Thanksgiving. Hello, my name is Jesse Perryman and I am the host of the flaghunter's golf podcast, along with my cohost. His name is Justin Tang. For those who are unfamiliar. He is in Singapore. He is one of the instructor extraordinaire at the Tanahara Golf Club in all of Asia, one of the more educated humans I know. And today our guest is a very special one. His name is John Dunnigan. He's from the Philadelphia area. He's a golf magazine golf digest, top 50 teacher. He collects all the boxes with his educational background. So thanks, john, for coming on. We really appreciate it. Justin, thank you pal.

Speaker 2:

Thanks, Jesse, Thanks, coach. It's really an honor for me to be speaking to you because when I was learning how to teach in 2005,. Lo and behold, I got your video, professional impact golf. So we've come full circle and back in the day I was, I'm a natural fader of the ball, and then you've got this video. I'll drop the club down the line. I just followed that simple instruction and then I started hitting a push draw and back at that time of my career I never really understood how to hit a push draw on command and that video really resonated with me. And 20 odd years now, here we are speaking. That's very the wonders of technology.

Speaker 2:

So, can you give us a listeners?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, sorry, go ahead. I think it's really cool that we can do this around the world, so it's very fun for me anyway.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we spoke earlier before the show, that I spent some time with our colleague Johnson Klin.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I think John is. He is one of the folks that I go to when I have questions. I think he's just one of the smartest guys on biomechanics and technology on the planet Earth. He's also a great guy, so I'm a big fan. In fact, I'm gonna try to get down and visit him this off season. If I can have an off season, it'd be great, but I'm gonna try to get down and spend the day with him.

Speaker 2:

From what I understand, you don't have an off season, neither does he. He's booked. I know you guys are booked solid like six months in advance. So that speaks volumes. Speaks volumes of your method, if you will. So, despite all the technical stuff that John is so proficient in, I had a little lesson with him. He never once used all the technical stuff on me. He just said do this and that, and I saw immediate changes. It will be for your students.

Speaker 3:

If you use the proper queuing to a person and the person is paying attention, that's, I would say. I just had a brand new student before our podcast tonight and I told him that you know, my job is to help point her spotlight of attention in the right place and also that, well, I can't do any good for you if you're not paying attention. And at the very end of the lesson he came around and said listen, if you don't pay attention, at this point now I've got to have to tell you you're not trying and that's. You know. Sorry, right, and I gave the example of she's not quite driving yet, right Another year, and I said well, okay, fine, drive in the car and texting at the same time, and just to listen, this is miss me getting started, so don't get me started talking. You should know better, okay, do you find it curious that the phrase is pay attention?

Speaker 2:

Hey, you need to pay something for it.

Speaker 3:

There is a cost to your attention, right, and the cost is you only have so much attentional capacity, right. Therefore, you need to focus your attention on this and probably only this. So I would tell you, when a person's texting and causes an accident that's the air quotes for folks that can't see it that's not an accident, that's called negligence. You weren't paying attention, you were more interested in your phone than you were driving your car and you crashed. Hopefully you didn't hurt somebody when you did that. Well, golfers very often aren't paying attention. So I asked the young lady what are you paying attention to? Well, I'm just trying to get my backs and back like this, but I keep coming over the top. She said she would go back and take it more and more. She had her arm very low across her chest at the top of the backswing not too low, but in the Matt Kutcher realm and she would still come well, okay, on the track man 10 degrees outside in and hit kind of weak slices, which is why she was in. So we changed what she was paying attention to, because the rules are if what you're paying attention to, provided you're paying attention to it, isn't working, it's the wrong damn thing, right, or you're failing to execute. So we delinked the backswing from the forward swing for a bit. We brought out the tennis racket and said, hey, listen, you're slicing across the back of the golf ball from right to left, outside in, if you will, let's slice across the exact opposite way. And we brought in I'm sure you've heard it there we're spreading the love that the golf, the greatest golf teacher that ever lived, is Goldilocks, right? So show me as far exaggerated toward the too hot realm. And she actually was able to change the shape of her swing within a couple of swings. And I said, because it's how I am, wise guys like well, no offense, but you're holding it, you could do whatever you want with the thing, but are you paying attention? She hadn't been paying attention to anything on the downswing. That's why she wasn't able to change it. And it was. She's been having the same flaw for her entire career so far. She says my whole life. She says and she was able to do something different.

Speaker 3:

Now I call that just so we're clear. There is nothing learned in a golf lesson. And that is a performance change might be proof of concept, right? Hey, when I do this, my path gets going the right direction. But I said that and I said that you know, that's all you do. That's called obedience. Right, you followed instructions nicely, but you haven't learned it. And I tell you, well, who do you think the teacher really is here? And you know points at me and I'm like, yeah, no, I'm not the teacher. I might be the guide. You have to take this session and glean the lesson from it and go learn that lesson, which is attention and club control, and that's basically.

Speaker 3:

I just summed up my entire approach to golf instruction right there. Now. I'm pretty well versed in the biomechanics. I'm pretty well versed in the ground reaction forces and all that stuff the fancy, the fancy rulers that we would call it in the skilled coaching lines program. That's my coaching program with Dr Will Woo, the PhD in motor learning. It's fancy ruler, but then you can bring it down to something so beautiful, like John might have done with you hey, take that golf club of yours and do this, and sometimes, if I get somebody paying attention to the golf club, I'll get their kinematics, their movements, to improve rapidly without mentioning those. Does that make sense?

Speaker 2:

So it's where do you make the?

Speaker 3:

person. Look. So you are kind of a golf geek like me, jesse, we don't know each other. Are you also teaching golf?

Speaker 1:

No, but I'm one of the bigger golf geeks on the planet, so I'm right there with you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so you can have all this cool golf knowledge that, if we're doing this right, let's us simplify the coaching down to something like ridiculously simple when can I interject?

Speaker 2:

Yes, a lot of what you're saying is basically this simplify the complex. But a lot of coaches they do the opposite. They make the simple complicated.

Speaker 3:

It's easy to do, isn't it? It's really easy to do. You would kind of go like this you would go I'm not sure that our job is to teach people how to move. I think they'll figure out how to move. We might cue them and hey, you know what? Point your belt. Buckle back this way a little bit more. That's a what to do, not a how to do it. You with me, that difference what to do, not how to do it is a really big deal. But you have to know all that golf geekery stuff. To make it that simple again.

Speaker 2:

I kind of feel that Jesse go ahead.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, no, no. I was going to say. I mean, justin, you and I talk about it all the time, and what I tell people to get intentional with who they want to see for a coach is to. You know, that's one of the directors I give them. You know, one of the great things that I know about coaching although I don't coach is that you all you two in particular have a wealth, a library of information for those of us who want or are seeking to get better. And you could break it down. I'm going to take a term from my wife which she says all the time break it down to the ridiculous. They could break it down to its simplest form so that we, the student, can understand it and we can actually insert it into our action without overthinking or without too many complex thoughts. And I think that's great. I think that's the mark of a great coach, a great teacher. Continue, sorry, I had to interject that.

Speaker 3:

No good, I do think that sometimes golfers well, it's unfortunate, but they want to say that I'm thinking too much, right, well, okay, I'll ask them then. Okay, well, what were you? And I say this it's not really a think, it's take the stick and do something with it. Okay, that's not a think you take, like, when I raise my hand up, I don't think about raising my hand up, I don't think about how to raise my hand up, I just put it up there.

Speaker 3:

Now, if there was a golf club in that hand, it doesn't matter, right, I'm just going to move the golf club over here like this. And if that constitute thinking too much, you better have some ingrained phenomenal patterns in your movement. Okay, which I just? It's just not true for the lion's share of people. You're doing something that's causing. I tell people all the time okay, every single shot you've hit is perfect. The ball goes exactly where your club told it where to go. That ball you just shanked. You did everything with that golf club, perfect, they just shank. You're going to have to do something differently with your club, but no, they're going to give me I'm thinking too much. In fact, maybe we go.

Speaker 3:

Okay, well, what's the facts about it. The facts are, the club was over here one half inch too far out toward the target line. You need to bring it one half inch less. Do it. If I can get them to do that, I could. Basically speaking, I can change a person's club delivery very quickly. And again, that's when you're teaching normal people I teach a large percentage of mine is competitive juniors and college peoples and you know I have more time with them when you're teaching normal people right, teaching them about external trail shoulder rotation, and oh my God, you're just killing people. You're killing them by getting them that focus on body parts. Just don't do it. That's my opinion. I'm sticking to it and you're welcome to it.

Speaker 2:

That's great. So, coach, you're a PGA master professional. You're a golf digest stop 50 teacher. You're a golf magazine top 100 teacher. Three times Philadelphia PGA section of the year teacher. Maybe we'll stop there. Okay, all your accolades. When you left playing the tour, did you have a plan to? Did you say, hey, I want to be a top 50 teacher?

Speaker 3:

No, did you have a plan when it comes to teaching.

Speaker 3:

Good question, I had no, I was teaching and then one of my students said I got, I got you covered. You're going to play because I could hit the ball really good, but I didn't really know anything. I didn't know anything about. So you know, we all get all involved with this, the the physical acts of swinging the golf club, and I will tell you that I believe that that stuff is like that's kindergarten. It's the mental approach to playing the game and preparing the game right that I spend the most of my time on, and I just didn't have a good handle on that back then.

Speaker 3:

So I didn't, you know, I hit 14 greens regulation putted like Ray Charles, and I practiced putting up to five hours a day except to no, none, zero improvement, turns out. I couldn't see very well. So when I quit playing golf, right, and I didn't go to teaching because I wanted to, I didn't have a choice, right, I didn't have a job and need to eat. So I got back into teaching and and I do, I do actually love it, I really do. I love helping people. I love I'm kidding around with them, right, having fun, laughing and learning, love all that stuff, love to see them develop. I will tell you the truth I don't really care about the golf digest and the golf magazine. I'm not on golf guys anymore I was, but it doesn't never influence my business. How about that? One Did not ever make an impact on my business, but helping people enjoy the game better, play better, perform better in tournaments has done a hell of a job for my business. That's all I care about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, what really impresses me and inspires me is despite all those accolades, you're still on this journey of learning. So the great American, the great American librarian, john Cotton Dana, said this those who dare to teach must never cease to learn. Oh yeah, and you're, you're okay.

Speaker 3:

There's no day that goes by without me reading something. I might watch something and I I all kinds of stuff. I think it's, I think it's maybe a disease. Right, I wish I could stop, but but I do, I just, and it's me trying to get better for my people. You know, I just maybe it sounds like an exaggeration, but it's not. I mean I'm just trying to. I woke up last night three o'clock in the morning and I'm like, wait a minute, I missed something in that golf lesson. It's my last lesson. I missed something in there. Right, I totally, and that's the kind of stuff Like that's what keeps us up at night is that I could do better. Yeah, that's that's what I guess. That's what motivates me. I don't. Yeah, no, that's that's it. Man, just helping people, I guess that's you're in that serving others capacity, and I did that. I really do.

Speaker 2:

I know you and I both share history and the golfing machine with our friends Lin Blake and Chuck Evans, but I wanted to ask you what was your early teaching philosophy like? So?

Speaker 3:

the early philosophy was still based on the golf club Right. It wasn't based all that much on the body at all, it was very much on the golf club Right. We need to make the club do this. My biggest error was in getting the path before the face Got me, turns out. You know, now that you know I've had the track man for 13 years or more, it turns out that actually, by improving the face condition, I will rapidly and almost automatically change the path. So the face leads the way. But I had it. I did have it backwards, back back in the day I was teaching. Look at, look at how much more beautiful this club is coming down. Here's the design of the golf club. You're doing that and the balls are going off to the right or off to the left. You know, then I made a switch toward right. It is all about that. So that's what we sing. It's all about the face, about the face, about the face.

Speaker 1:

No, actually wrote two verses of that but I never really completed it.

Speaker 3:

But I'm going to have to make that song up, so that was that was the biggie. I really have always had that club as the boss, ever since the very beginning, you know. And then the body stuff serves to help move the club better.

Speaker 2:

So, talking about the body, I know you and I also share a mentor in Mike Adams. How big of a an impact is the bio swing dynamic stuff on your current teaching?

Speaker 3:

Understanding that. So so, number one I nicknamed Mike Adams the godfather yeah, so that's what I call, and what he was able to do is to make sense of a lot of times we would try to push people into positions which that's not my style at all. We try to make them move, in a way, because we're teaching movement which we probably shouldn't be doing, and we get them to try to move in a way that their body can't execute. Well, we got a war going on now, right, so what he's done is given people a reference structure around. Okay, so this, this person tends to swing this way. This fits with that, which is that's helpful to every golf instructor on the planet earth.

Speaker 3:

You know that's there are, there are mechanical reasons why people swing the way they do. Now that that said, right, sometimes I will. I'll say that people move the way they do, not necessarily the way they can. So I'll have them explore movement in a, in a well, it's an external focus of attention, they won't be talking about body parts, hardly ever, ever, ever and see what they can do, because sometimes people move in a way that they're not restricted to. They just don't know any better. All right, so then I'll get in there and try to move them differently. But like when you have a golfer that's trying to do this and you make the grip more neutral, like this and they need a stronger grip and their grip looks good. So you look like Roy McElroy but you swing like this and I've just ruined the golfer that's Mike's. Helped us avoid that trap a whole bunch.

Speaker 2:

So can you talk a little bit about your evolution as a coach, what you've done over the years and what young aspiring coaches should do to make their, their knowledge and their business subsequently their businesses that the, that if student right.

Speaker 3:

Well, way back in the day I had the ball fight laws backward. You remember those days, yeah, I mean you might not be old enough for that, but I remember those days, right. Yeah, I do, why? Why, I was teaching the path first. Duh, we didn't know, right I?

Speaker 3:

had, okay, I had this book over here, or this book nobody's ever heard of, and I went with the book everybody's heard of, that's okay, that's okay. So I would say that the biggest deal was a 25, I honestly, honestly, I cannot remember when I started studying the. My wife thinks I'm a weirdo, which is likely true, but she married me idiot.

Speaker 1:

As she, you know, for fun.

Speaker 3:

I read textbooks, you know, and I started studying motor learning. Right, that's again my partner will. That's my boy.

Speaker 2:

Gabrielle Wolf, I guess was on your reading list.

Speaker 3:

She was. But then you know, for me, I am skeptical about everything on the planet. So when I look at this piece of research, I'm going to look at the whole thing. I want to see the way that they set up the test so that I can call bullshit when the test set up. Like block versus random practice, right, well, there's as many research studies that show that block is better than random. Did you know that? That'll drive you nuts? But what they do is it's either or because they're trying to test something.

Speaker 3:

But we would say can this go co-gents? That's the wrong damn question. It's not even the right question. Which is better? It's what mixture do you use? And, by the way, random practice for most people is. So if they do true random practice, people don't know what that means To do random. The golf rest should not know what's coming. When's that going to happen? Right?

Speaker 3:

Anyway, I started studying the motor learning science and I started changing the way I did things. I did reach out to K Anders Erickson. He is the development of expertise, that's his field and I read on God that man. His books were so hard to read I want to kill myself, but I read him and I emailed him and he sent me papers to review and I said I am a golf pro moron and he said something really interesting. Yeah, but I'm in the ivory tower, you're out there actually putting this to use. That's what we do.

Speaker 3:

So I have a certain research-based approach toward coaching that's been informed by the biomechanics and by the motor learning, because once you understand how people learn, or something about it anyway, you start to teach a radically, radically different way. And it's not by the way, it's not self-discovery that is a tragic flaw but it's a guided discovery, with some nudging from the coach, plus an approach toward hey, look it, you're going to miss shots, sorry, you're going to miss shots, it's okay to miss shots. So it's a mental approach to learning and performing that you have to have, I think, really, if you're going to be a young guy or girl getting into this job. Number one, know your ball, flight backwards and forwards, you got to know that cold. And if you stick to, hey, you're doing this with your golf club. Let's try this. Okay. Okay, not working? Go straight to the setup. What adjustments can we make? There's your mic atoms. What adjustments can we make to setup to help you deliver the club better. If you just do that, you can help anybody in the world, including a professional golfer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so basically, what you're saying is this coach have a string algorithm, something that we went through in the Skilt Coaching Alliance course. I find that a lot of maybe the more rookie coaches they don't have that they just parrot what someone else taught them or what golf digest is talking about this month. This month, what a major champion said help him win this week, and you know what. As we speak about the Skilt Coaching Alliance, can we talk a little bit on how it started? What inspired you to begin the Skilt Coaching Alliance?

Speaker 3:

Well, the Godfather invited me and Terry Rolls was there, and Scotland from Swing Catalyst I use Swing Catalyst Mark Brody was there, who I really like a lot, and Will Woo, who I did not know at that time, was there. I think this was 2015. And we went over to Philippines. I did a golf clinic with all the juniors there. It was a riot. We had a blast. Then we had this whole coaching thing in the biodynamics Fantastic.

Speaker 3:

Well, will and I meet and of course, I'm going to bug the living crap out of him with questions, because that's my style. We're sitting in the back on a break and Scotland we're about to come out of the break. Scotland says shut up, take the microphones, get on stage and continue the discussion. And that was when Will and I hit it off pretty quick about questions on coaching and motor learning. So after that, it took us two years to develop. We built a program that weaves in my 42 years of coaching experience dealing with people, building connections with people, with all the technical knowledge that I have, with his background in motor learning, science, skill acquisition, how people learn to learn, if you will, how people learn to improve, how people perform better when it counts. So that was the whole gist of it. It took us two years and now we have coaches from around the world there's 175 or more, including a bunch of top 100 golf teachers, which is super gratifying.

Speaker 3:

The deal was I'm just trying to give back. Golf has been way, way too good to me, way too good. My family that's like. This is awesome what golf has given us. So it's my give back, but also and you guys will know this that golf pros don't make a lot of money, especially when they first get into it.

Speaker 3:

So I wanted to get these people on the ground running where they could gosh. How are you going to get out of college and make $32,000 a year as an assistant pro and pay college loans and rent, let alone eat? But if you can teach golf and if you teach someone well and they actually are able to transfer it, that's the key to an on the golf course condition with their buddies. Guess what that turns into more students, and it is exponential how fast you can grow a book and then make, to be honest, a very fine living as a golf coach. But you've got to be able to coach all the aspects of the game fine, and if you can't do the job, you're going to get found out really quick. I don't give a crap how good you are on Instagram when people actually show up. If you can't get the job done, that's going to get around just as fast as the guys that can get the job done.

Speaker 2:

Hey coach, remember there's this old saying like oh, you're going to get worse before you get better. I always laugh at that, because if my doctor told me you're going to feel more sick before you get better, I'll fire that guy.

Speaker 3:

But I have had my doctor say look, this is not going to kick in. For two days I've had doctors say that.

Speaker 1:

but I will say this Well, yeah, what I'll tell people is this look it this is what I know.

Speaker 3:

You're going to have to do something different and it's going to feel uncomfortable. And if it feels comfortable, guess what? You have slipped back into the old ways. So don't be comfortable being uncomfortable, expect lack of comfort while you're learning right and realize that well, okay, fine. Every single one of us who teach this game should be able to improve somebody's motion or club delivery, more important, right in the golf lesson. But I have this. I'm against. Before and after pictures.

Speaker 2:

And video. This means a very disciplined, very obedient student. That's all that is not weird.

Speaker 3:

That's not what we're looking for. We're looking for a person that can take it and learn it. So that's a very big deal. But if you as a coach, if you get the person to take this on the golf course right, so you start to get them to point their spotlight of attention in the right place, maybe you keep an eye on them about the and they know in their back pocket they have their adjustments that they make. If the ball's doing this, here's where to look. Hey, these are your tendencies. Those sucker when the poop hits the fan. You tend to do this.

Speaker 3:

If we do that, we have prepared them to make on the fly adjustments, which I think is like Nicholas said, that's when he became a great golfer, when he could fix the stuff on the fly. So that's what I'm trying to do at the very least, and I'm hoping that I'm getting. What I want is a legion of coaches that make a better living by making people better, and they make their golf clubs better for it. What a deal. Everybody wins. That's what I'm about Exactly. Thank you for that.

Speaker 2:

So you mentioned a lack of comfort. So that was one of the modules that we went through in the course where Dr Wu was talking about cognitive energy. And then over time a short period of time post the lesson the string pattern kind of reverts back to where it was before. And we understand that that's because the brain doesn't want to spend cognitive energy in trying to remodel a movement pattern, right, right, and I think a lot of coaches don't really understand that aspect. And then the student kind of goes like two steps forward, two steps back. Well, they can do that.

Speaker 3:

They can do this, so we call it the regression to the mean. Yeah, so your brain has a stable preferred pattern. This is, whether you like the pattern or not, this is what your brain is used to. We could even call it a habit, if you will. But listen to me, when I went to Ireland on my honeymoon with my lovely wife, I had a whole lot of money and, by the way, I had to drive on the wrong side of the road, but I was able to do it because I know how to use a steering wheel and a gas and a brake. Now I'm really glad that somebody taught me into driving a automatic, not a manual, shift, cause I might have killed somebody if I had to layer down that level of complexity to it.

Speaker 3:

That might have been too much all at once. But guess what? I would have figured it out. But I may have had to go a little slower. All right, I may have had, and I don't believe in slow-mo swings whatsoever unless you're trying to stretch. That's a beautiful way to stretch. Give me a one minute swing, you'll be sweating after it. But as far as learning, it's too damn slow. It's a whole different. It's not golf anymore and we have a saying if it don't look like golf, it ain't Well. So you can simplify the test by slowing it down somewhat and then, as you're able to do it, speed it back up. When you start to revert toward the old, slow it back down again, and that's called progression and sophistication. That's a really cool way to get people to be able to do what you want them to do, but they have to be in. This is why, if you're teaching normal people and you're trying to get them to move their hot bodies in a new way, good luck with that.

Speaker 2:

No, it's gonna work man.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, man, they don't have the discipline to do that. I'll tell you that 99% of them don't have the discipline to learn a major league different motor pattern, like the motor pattern. I didn't know I could say it like that Because, hey look, I can take my golf clubs with the outside in or inside out. I can take my shirt buttons and turn them a little bit, or I can turn them a lot. Well, I can't turn them that much because I don't have that range of motion. So either I develop the range of motion that's months, not days, and again, I'm a golf-reversed swim trainer to stretch out those muscles, maybe, and build that up. But that's not, you know, that's like saying I'm gonna go in the gym and get in shape today. Has not worked for me yet.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh like what Dr Wu used to talk about the gym. You go in, you lift all the weights or you lift none of the weights, like a lot of coaches take this black and white approach. Where Jesse and I talk about this, it's really 50 shades of gray or more. It's messy, it's messy.

Speaker 3:

But that's one of my favorite parts about it. It's messy.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I love it. Problem solving at its finest. Yeah right, that's what golfers are expert problem solvers by design, Unless they want to yeah, so I've done the skill coaching alliance and I don't wanna give too much away, but would you say a very helpful elevated pitch, is it? This course helps you understand how people acquire skills, retain those patterns and then repeat it and ultimately, for the coach, it's gonna translate into faster results and a longer list of clients 100%.

Speaker 3:

But then there's the connecting piece, like the coaching side of it, right, the practice side of that, all crucial stuff. But yeah, you go through that, you will have a different approach to coaching. Well, often a terribly different approach to coaching. And some of our folks Martin Hall, you know, martin would say he gave the greatest thing, like now I know why that was working for me. So I would say, now I know why that wasn't working for me. Because the approach to teaching it was, you know, less than listen. There's no exactly right way. But there's no exactly right way. All right, you hear what I'm saying there.

Speaker 3:

Like that sounds very cryptic, but you embrace that there's no exactly right way. But you know where to look. Yes, you know where to look, but you got to understand the ball flight. You got to understand how the body moves to influence that club delivery that's causing that stupid ball flight. You have to have people's attention in the right place and you can often. I got a text by the way just before we got on. Here's a text. This is a handy, a handicap golfer. This is the text I got just today. I had a five iron around a tree today we were working on hitting draws and called it 190-yard draw for birdie. Last three scores on the golf course 74, 75, 73. That's called transfer. That says something might have been learned. Now is it automatic yet, and I think that's what people are looking for automatic. Good luck with that. All you have to do is sleep weird and your field changes drastically, right? Well, it's knowing how to use the tool. So I preach tool use and I'm telling you you can help anybody in the world with that.

Speaker 2:

That's basically the approach that the great John Jacobs took.

Speaker 3:

By the way, I still can't stand and tell where the ball went without looking at it.

Speaker 2:

I remember exactly which seminar you're talking about. He was very, very effusive about it. I guess if the ball kind of strikes, at least for the older clubs, if it's strike the heel, strike the toe. It was a distinctively different sound, but that account was quite amazing to hear.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, now I think that the old school guys had some really cool ideas. You remember the hold up the pizza tray image, yes, right. So this is a fantastic external cue for externally rotating the tray. Sure, right, beautiful. I'm not sure they knew it that way, but that was super effective. But then we thought, hey, if I use the words externally rotate, I might sound smarter.

Speaker 2:

I want to get into that. You really hit a nerve there, so earlier I mentioned this.

Speaker 2:

Ding, ding, ding. Yeah, coaching is complexity simplified. Yet a lot of lesser coaches complicate the simple. You think that's a result of them trying to look smarter in front of the students. If I use all these fancy anatomical terms, if I use terms like zero out, vertical, horizontal, frontal plane, sagittal plane, transverse plane, abduction, abduction maybe, john, it makes me look smarter in front of my students, but I don't see great coaches like yourself, like John Sinclair, use those terms ever. You use simple terms like get the shirt buttons over the right foot or the left foot, as the case may be. Let's dive into that.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think that there is some element to that. Especially if you're newer and you're not real certain of yourself, you may want to try to sound smarter. If you're newer to the job, you might want to try to tell people how much you know. I think that that is part of the evolution of a golf teacher, but I would also say that it's a misguided approach. You don't need to do that. If you make that person hit better golf shots, if you help them hit better golf shots, you're in.

Speaker 2:

They don't care, they don't care.

Speaker 3:

They don't care. If you say cornflakes and they hit it better, they could care less. The more shit you have in your head while trying to hit this golf ball, the vastly worse you will perform. Anyway. If a student of mine says I go, what are you doing? Why is that so good? They go like this. I'm just going like this. I'm like cool, Keep doing that. You could explain a thing out of existence. You know what I mean. It's what to do, not how to do it again. I might say that way too many times this evening, but it's what to do. No, that's spot on.

Speaker 2:

I used to.

Speaker 3:

If you don't have enough. Well, to the young folks out there, please don't take it the wrong way. You don't have to do that. Now I'm going to tell you something you better know your stuff. And if you don't know your stuff then you just stick to the damn golf club and maybe set up stuff. If you know your stuff, then you can start trying to move people's bodies around, and again, like I'm talking about, I don't mention body parts when I'm doing that, but if you're going to get into what their body's doing, you better know what the hell you're doing, because you had just opened up a hell of a can of worms.

Speaker 2:

I like what Mike Adams used to say he who does the work does the learning, and Dr Scotland, I believe he labeled it reactive neuromuscular training.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that was me so cool. Oh, that was you.

Speaker 2:

Okay, that was, that was Whoever does the work does the learning. But yeah, yeah, that was so cool, man, when I heard that. I'm like, damn, now I know what I'm doing works because of that. So I used to make students.

Speaker 3:

Oh, by the way. So Scott and Will have a little argument which I love to bring up all the time. I'm not calls it RNT, reactive neuromuscular training. Will says no, that's not right, it's proprioceptive meaning, feel, priming, priming the feel. I go like this just do this Right and that's good. You can call corn flakes if you want.

Speaker 2:

But, that's where.

Speaker 3:

I'm pulling a person into the error. So let's say somebody is has, oh, one of our favorites, right, you're early extending. That's no good. Okay, you got to stop early sending. You need to create more pelvis bend in the transition. Now your readers can't see that. I just did that. No, here's what you do Roll eyeball, that's what. I said Eyeball roll, that was a fancy eyeball roll with a smack of the head.

Speaker 1:

OK.

Speaker 3:

Folks, no, no, no. What I'm going to do is I'm going to pull somebody into early extension. I might shove them into it so they have to activate the neuromuscular system to do exactly the opposite, and then we prime the field with that activity. If I have somebody do that, I'll put them on my uneven lie station, on a ball below the feet lie, because if you early extend with a ball below the feet lie, you just shank it so we can control the task, alter the task as necessary, prime the field as necessary. Rather than pushing somebody into position, I'll pull them out of it and make them fight to get back into the right one.

Speaker 2:

Very cool, and I think just from this session alone. If coaches understand that Goldilocks is our test teacher and what you just talked about reactive neuromuscular training or proprioceptive priming a lot of coaches would have just gone to the next step of their teaching ability.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it'll improve their level of coaching. It'll improve the transfer that the golfer has to the golf course, and then they will fill up their book to be able to raise the rates and people will happily pay for it, which is really cool.

Speaker 2:

It's a pretty good deal. So the Skilt Coaching Alliance can be found on wwwskiltcoachingalliancecom, and where can our listeners find out more about the services that you provide?

Speaker 3:

Well, it's all on the website. There's all the syllabus is on there and all that good stuff. And we do post not nearly enough on Instagram. I hardly ever use Twitter. I have a feeling that social media is not good for us. There I said it.

Speaker 2:

Actually not Coach. So what I really like about the Skilt Coaching Alliance is our Facebook group, and we've got this every two weeks. We've got this off this hours. I think that's really, really useful. Even though I don't participate in it because of the time zone difference, just listening to it it helps me feel that there's a support group behind me.

Speaker 3:

If I've got any questions, it's just so useful If you read down the two years of posts, in that you will see zero of the BS that you hear all over the internet. It is a group of coaches that are absolutely adamant about trying to help each other, which is that's why we did it.

Speaker 2:

No egos involved.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, everybody's just trying to learn and you'll get a top 100 teacher post. Hey, I'm looking for help with this guy. Any ideas? Everybody learns. How cool is that? How cool is that? Very cool, very cool. So I just think it's. I'm super, super, super gratified about the way it's turned out and I actually feel really good about it. How about that? Because, for me, feeling good about anything I've done has always been a difficult thing for me, but I'm really happy with that program.

Speaker 2:

And for guys like me out of the States, we're so appreciative. We don't have we don't have coaches, we don't have enough coaches like you in the region, and this is a real game changer for us, especially with how technology has advanced. So a big thank you to you from Singapore.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Speaker 2:

So obviously this is an introduction to our listeners about Mr John Donegan. I believe we've barely exhausted the depth of your knowledge and we'd like to have you come back for two, three, four podcasts. As long as you're willing to come on, we're happy to host you. I've got so I've still got so many questions to ask you, but I guess, Jesse, we'll have to reserve that for another time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I do too as well, john and Paul. I'll tell you on behalf of Justin and myself. You know, justin and I have a lot of conversations about coaching. We have a lot of conversations about he's a coach, I'm a player, what would I want from him, what would he want from me, type thing. We bounce a lot of ideas off each other, and when we come across coaches such as yourself, john, it's a real treat, it's a blessing to all of us, not only Justin and myself, but just the game. So we appreciate all that you do, turning the complexity into simplicity and allowing us to learn to the best of our ability and you facilitating that. A big thank you to you Well that's terribly nice.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much, and I appreciate what you guys are doing, trying to get info from coaches out to other coaches and players. You know I think we can all get together and maybe help actually improve the worldwide handicap for the first time in the history of the damn game. Wouldn't that be cool.

Speaker 2:

I think on the right track with skill coaching alliance.

Speaker 1:

That's right, and one of the driving reasons why we started this thing, john, is to not only change the narrative with coaching, but to get folks to have to find their proper resources so they have actionable things that they can do to help them get the ball in the hole the least amount of times, because that's when everybody's happy when you're hitting golf shots out there and you're shooting your best scores and you're having a great time. That's a win-win for everybody.

Speaker 3:

Well, I do have tons of videos 200 or so on YouTube but I don't believe they're the normal videos. They're videos for a smaller tribe, if you will, that wants to learn rather than just get the latest quick tip. So I'm teaching people how to learn because that's my deal. I'd rather have a million followers, but I don't. But if you want to actually learn, go there, folks. It's all free. Get on it, go try it out.

Speaker 2:

If it's OK, fine, Can we share those videos oh?

Speaker 3:

yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I'll make sure to post the link to your YouTube and all your resources as well. Definitely.

Speaker 3:

All right, yeah, whenever you want. Man, this is cool with me, I'm in.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, coach. Thank you so much, man. How are you guys Really good to put a face to the name now? Good Wow.

Speaker 3:

Yes, sir, all right, Thank you, take care, fellas. Have a good night, thank you, thank you, bye-bye music.

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