The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT

That Which Can Be Measured Can Be Improved

As we move into another academy year at GPC, we want to share a couple of messages to all.  
First, our philosophy of function dictates form is real and lives with us everyday. Why? We know that regardless of the activity you participate in, how well someone functions will ultimately determine their success in that activity. There are ways to compensate, but this typically leads to fleeting success, not long-term success.
Secondly, our PDS (Player Development System) that includes our Hat System and PDI (Player Development Index) allows each player to quantify improvements. This does not mean that improvement is linear. Improvement is a process of progressions and regressions; especially when we are dealing with junior athletes that are in continuous growth patterns.  It doesn’t mean that if a player doesn’t move up in a hat that he/she hasn’t improved.   This may mean that they progressed in some areas and regressed in others, but still on the improvement curve.  There tends to be the mistake of measuring improvement only to a score on the scorecard or from the spectator point of view. “I didn’t see my kid hit any good shots” or “They miss all their putts.”  The other perspective is from the player themselves. “I don’t feel like I am improving because I didn’t hit all good shots” or “I stink at driving the golf ball.”  We hear too often the tendency to measure results to others not relative to your own improvement or your son/daughter’s improvement.    
We have gone through pain-staking measures to ensure that you or your son/daughter’s improvement is the most important thing that takes place while spending time with us.  This has many levels, we call this our 5 Elements of Success.  It all starts with the player’s passion or desire to improve, having great coaching to help with golf skill development, understanding of the physical component how function dictates form, mental capacity to understand the task or the journey in competitive golf and having the fortitude, “grit” to continue the process even when it seems bleak or frustrating, and lastly making sure the equipment is the right equipment for the task of performing your best.
Golf is such a demanding game on so many levels, believing that it can be mastered in a few “lessons” is only setting yourself up for failure.  For juniors, a major component of becoming a great golfer can be a long and windy road due to the amount of growth, physically and mentally through their adolescent years.  Consider the enormous pressure in all areas of their lives, academically, athletically, socially, parental and coaches’ expectations, college coaches that they don’t even know and their own expectations. Parents, it isn’t all lost if your son or daughter is not “winning” or scoring in the 60’s by the time they are 16.  In fact, it only gets better as they continue developing their executive functions, enabling them to make better decisions.  Remember, junior golfers have a limited amount of capacity for logical thinking, most of their thinking is emotionally driven, hence the temper-tantrums or the inability to communicate well and the constant yo-yo of why their lives are so great one minute and not so great the next! Be patient, remember it takes 12 years for the typical young person to graduate from high school, it takes years of “stacking” information and skills to accelerate learning to a point of comprehension to proper knowledge and actions. Golf, unlike taking tests in school today, is like taking a test without a bell curve. All mistakes are graded and there is no extra credit for completing the homework assignments!  Golf is tough because the test is always changing. There is never the same shot twice!  For the young golfers this is tough, as a parent and bystander at a tournament, you need to understand they are not trying to make mistakes, the best of the best struggle, why the best are the best, they have  “stacked” enough information, skills and have the capacity for  logical understanding as to why they made a bad decision or what happened on a shot, therefore they can reduce their scores based on better decision making, better emotional control, and an accumulation of better skills.  
That which can be measured can be improved, the GPC’s Player Development System is meant to help with your or your son/daughter’s improvement understand how improvement happens in small increments.  The PDI is the best Index to show a player, parent or coach where someone is at a moment in time so that they can accurately work on their skills to mastery.  If you or your son/daughter didn’t move up in Hat in our Hat System doesn’t mean they haven’t improved, the PDI may show they have incrementally improved, inch by inch, foot by foot, yard by yard improvements over time.  Soon enough you or they will experience a jump in results and wonder how did that happen?!   It is like growing, we don’t notice that we are growing every day, but before we know it we have outgrown our clothes and classmates.
Enjoy Your Journey!