Principles and Applications of Empowering Coaching

The education season is in full swing and the second of three events was staged in Otelfingen with the assistance of our partner Golfparks Migros, whose facilities offer an ideal environment to learn.

The psycho and social elements of golf are the theme this autumn and for our latest event, Dr Paul, Appleton (University of Birmingham) and Dr Olivier Schmid (University of Bern) delivered the Empowering Coaching Workshop.

The content is based on 30 years research that has been applied to many sports, as well as education and business. Without satisfying three basic human needs, namely Autonomy, Belonging and Competence, the person is likely to become unmotivated with the worst scenario of all, the golfer leaving the sport. The workshop challenged coaches to understand how all their actions as well as actions of club officials, the environment at the golf club and the experience of golf and with others will influence these three needs.

At a time where golf is struggling to retain players, this theme is current and very valid for the future of the sport. Typical golf psychology often looks at the skills you need to play well when it count, but there is a bigger picture and the experience that every golfer has, must be one that is motivating and satisfy key needs if we are to keep players in the game.

The discussions also covered the types and quality of motivation, extrinsic (prizes and handicaps) and intrinsic (that comes from within). Although all golfers will be different, there are potential pitfalls of extrinsic motivation and coaches could explore the potential barriers. The workshop based approach allowed delegates much hands on time to discuss these issues and work on practical solutions to implement going forward. The Swiss PGA is hoping its coaches will be able to apply this in the field and ensure the participation curve in golf starts to trend in a positive direction.