December 27, 2021

Tim Conaway: Implement a Supervised Practice Program

Tim Conaway is the Owner/Operator of Conaway Golf Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Tim Conaway on the importance of implementing a supervised practice program:

All of my students who are currently in a long-term lesson program can come to a weekly one-hour supervised practice session at no extra charge. These sessions are not just about students hitting balls on the range with me walking back and forth behind them. Instead, I built my supervised practice program to model a CrossFit workout training program. We start with 10-15 minutes of stretching and physical exercises to get the body warmed up and loose. We do some squats, lunges or thoracic rotations to set them up for success and also avoid injury. From there, I have them hit some golf balls with little regard for form or result – this is simply a continuance of our warmup process. The middle portion of the session is based on skill-development. One example is compression of the irons. We use drills, in this case designed to work on bringing the golf club through the ball with your legs and your pelvis. We’ll do a drill ten times and I’ll have them hit four shots. Then we move on to drill number two ten times, followed by four shots, and then on to drill number three. The drills are there to reinforce what we’re trying to get them to do in their golf swing, and the subsequent swings are to apply what was learned through the drills. That’s considered one round – I’ll ask them to conduct three or four rounds in that same format. The final third of the session is geared towards a specific skill, shaping the ball, for instance. In this case, I’ll have them hit five draws and five fades with a 7-iron and then again with their driver. With a small, focused group of 6-8 students, we are able to provide personal attention to each individual.

Tim Conaway on the business impact of implementing a supervised practice program:

After a year of facilitating this program, I’ve found that my students have really taken to the format and structure. I believe that many golfers still don’t know how to practice, despite our ongoing efforts to guide them. The purpose of this supervised practice program is to get people to understand what it really means to practice properly – going to a practice session with a specific agenda and working on something that is measurable. Our sessions give them a focus on specific topics, and provide drills that are implemented with those goals in mind. Students can then replicate our efforts on their own as their schedule allows. But at the very least, they’re getting one effective practice session per week. In addition, this program is an ideal add-on to create greater value for the student. By increasing engagement with my students, it helps with student-retention and also serves as an additional selling point with new clients.

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