TJ McMullan, the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Sun Country PGA Section Jack Hardwick Teacher of the Year, is the PGA Director of Instruction at Cruces Total Golf in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
TJ McMullan on the importance of using video messaging to give yourself more free time:
As a stand-alone indoor facility, I couldn’t see my players nearly as much as I wanted early in the pandemic, as we were closed six weeks longer than golf courses were in New Mexico. I was giving my students things to work on, but I wanted to find a way to hold them more accountable for how they were practicing, and also to make sure they were doing it correctly. I came up with the idea of having individuals’ text me videos of them practicing, playing, or doing drills. I would either call or text them back with feedback. It was so successful that we’ve made it a permanent part of our business here. I work with the golfers on the proper way to film themselves, working to eliminate pitfalls that can happen via optical illusions due to how a video was taken. And because I’m conversing with them more often, I’m able to jump right into a lesson instead of needing to go through an update of how their recent rounds and/or practice sessions have been.
TJ McMullan on the business impact of using video messaging to give yourself more free time:
The videos are a really friendly way to keep in contact in between visits, and it’s deepened our relationships. My retention rate was already high, but it’s gotten even better through keeping in contact with these video exchanges. It creates more frequent contact and conversations and leads to more willingness to talk about things like playing lessons, clubfitting and other ways to improve and invest in their games now that they’re playing better and playing more. It’s also changed how I schedule my days. I used to book sessions from 8am through 6pm, but now I dedicate that 6 p.m. lesson slot to responding on videos, which is good for my mental state. That gives me dedicated time to get back to my players in a timely manner each day, and that’s one less hour a day that I’m coaching – and honestly, that last lesson of the day wasn’t usually my best lesson anyway. Now I have less burnout and I’m managing my time a bit better, and I’m actually interacting with more golfers than before. I feel like my players are getting better and I’m getting better as a coach, and that’s a win for everyone.
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