Learning From Others
I’ve invested many hours, both observing and working alongside world class coaches and players. I blend my instincts together with these different experiences to forge my own coaching principles. As a person, I like answers. I like to know how things work and why they work.
Initially, I learned a lot from Michael McGee, then from Seamus Duffy (both of whom I joined as a GUI coach) and then in the last few years from Andrew Nicholson (Senior Director of Instruction DLGA). Recently I have worked alongside both Phil Kenyon and Jamie Gough (pictured right) on the European Tour as we have shared ideas when coaching the same players.
I have also had the opportunity to learn from Dr Rob Neal (Golf Bio Dynamics), Jamie Donaldson (Aimpoint), Dr Karl Morris (Mind Factor), Prof Eric Wallace (University of Ulster), Neil O’Brian (Time To Fly), Sport Institute of Northern Ireland (SINI), Fergus Wallace (Performance Active) and John Kremer (QUB).
My Own Research
Curiosity has lead me to the best players in the toughest environment – The European Tour. I attend many European Tour events every year which provides me with some very unique knowledge and also a chance to develop friendships with many interesting people. These ‘research’ trips became my working environment as I began to coach players at the top level. My travelling schedule grows every year as my support of JFGA students means that as well as selected Tour events, I attend some of the main amateur championships and various Challenge and Europro events throughout the year.
As my own golf improved and allowed me to compete internationally, I formed some strong friendships with guys who would go on to either play or work on the European Tour. Through them I have been fortunate to spend time with talents such as Matteo Manassero, Shane Lowry (pictured right), Peter Lawrie, Rhys Davies and Darren Clarke. Brett Rumford has also been especially kind with his time. From all these wonderful players, I have learned. This unique experience has been vital in guiding all my elite players on their way.
Continued Professional Development
I have always believed that those of us fortunate enough to teach, should never stop learning. That is why over the last number of years, on top of my higher learning at university, I have taken every opportunity to develop my skills and attend as many courses and seminars as my schedule allows. Like a student learning a new shot, I always find these experiences challenging but out of them comes reflection and growth. I take professional pride in staying as ‘relevant’ as I can with my work. Below is an outline of my CPD:
- Sport NI’s Practitioner Development Programme for High Performance
- Introduction to PGA Level 3 seminar
- TPI Certified Fitness Instructor Level 1
- Biomechanics & Coaching Interface (UU)
- Trackman University
- Aimpoint Fundamentals
- Meeting of the Minds 2013 & 2014
- National Breakfast Club
- The Mind Factor
- Junior Golf Ireland seminar
- Science of Golf: From tee to green
- The Swing, the Body & the Mind
- Mike Hebron seminar
- Dr Craig Farnsworth Putting Clinic
- Passion for the Short Game by Gary Smith
- Excellence in Children’s Golf Coaching – entry level
- Junior Golf Coaching
- Biomechanical Analysis & Feedback (UU)
- D-Plane and Ball Flight Essentials
- Study of Motivational Climate in High Performance
- Sport NI: A Head for Talent
- ‘A Masterclass in Coaching’ with Neil O’Brien
- Application of Sports Science to Coaching
- Sport NI Talent Week
- Optimal Club Delivery by Frederik Tuxen
- The craft of developing skill
- PGA Level 3 Qualification
- Sport NI Talent Hub workshops
- Zen Golf: The Art of the Mental Game
- Wedge Seminar with James Ridyard
- Sport NI Coaching Connects – Excellence
- Andrew Rice Seminar
As I said, I like answers and I love the process involved in uncovering them with a player. I will continue to try and improve myself as a coach and mentor as long as it benefits the players that I’m helping. My own voyage of self improvement will continue with the same feelings of excitement and hope that my student’s have as we develop their game and search for their own answers.