Joe Rocha is the PGA Director of Instruction at Golf Country in Middleton, Massachusetts.
Joe Rocha on the importance of providing a post-lesson video recap:
Teaching at a stand-alone driving range, I see a lot of golfers, and my student base really has no limit, especially with the influx of new golfers that we’ve welcomed over the past two years. Things were good before COVID and have skyrocketed since. My days are full of lessons with students of varying skill levels, and the one thing they all have in common is the desire for continued engagement. They want to be seen as more than just my 10:00 lesson, and that our efforts to help them play better golf are important to me as their golf instructor. To ensure their satisfaction, I engage them in conversation at the outset of each lesson, inquiring about their recent practice sessions, and, if they’re a new student, about their experience in golf. This engagement with students shouldn’t end when the lesson time is up though, so what I do with some of my students is send a post-lesson video with suggested improvements and guidance for practice. This idea stemmed from my encounters with golf professional Ben Doyle, who several years ago had me send him VHS videos of my swing, which he would critique and respond to with feedback and instruction. I might cover basics such as posture and grip, or more detailed issues like the technical aspects of their golf swing or follow through. Either way, the content is specific to that individual. It’s not black and white as to who gets a video, however. If someone questioned something specific in our lesson, I might expand upon it in a brief video. If someone is tech-savvy and I know he or she may save the video and utilize it in his or her practice, they too may get a video.
I record the videos, usually 2-3 minutes (sometimes longer) on my Samsung smartphone and convert the files through the YouTube platform, which then provides a link that I can issue the student. Texting or emailing the videos didn’t work, since even these short videos rendered too large a file to send in this manner. This gesture is very impactful as a service and effective in reinforcing the content we discussed in the lesson. I often make the videos to further explain a concept that a golfer hears and it helps them understand more about the idea, because in teaching, there can sometimes be a big communication gap. Not only is it good for the student, but also for any teacher to hone their communication skills and their ability to clearly and concisely explain something to someone who is certainly not as knowledgeable on the topic as they are. It also keeps my notes for each student in order, as I can view the videos at a later date and recall where we are in our lessons together. Feedback is always stellar, as the students feel good that I took the extra time to do this. I like to say that there are a lot of videos for golfers to view online – in this case, my students appreciate that this one is all about them.
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