Peter Parker was once told "With great power comes great responsibility"
As a TrackMan owning golf coach, the same certainly applies. The coach has an ability to either constructively or over inform the player. I take my responsibility to constructively inform the player very seriously.
As an older millennial, I have an advantage of being very comfortable with technology. In my ecosystem, devices are utilized to simplify, not complicate. The following 3 points are how I utilize this technology to best help the player.
1. The Player Determines If/How Technology is Utilized
I coach the player as a unique individual, and the player determines how a device like TrackMan is utilized.
All of my coaching programs begin on the golf course. The player and I will often spend one to two hours on the golf course. I do not play, they do, and we talk. I get to know them as a person, player, and how I can best help. This is a player centered environment and the player's feedback will determine how we proceed.
2. Create a Binary Response
As humans we have been conditioned to operate in a binary environment. People most often operate in a yes or no environment. There are very small percentage of people who can operate in between. Following the on course session an action plan for our learning sessions is established.
The first and most important aspect a player can learn, at any scoring range, is the need for efficient quality of contact. The below picture is a representation of the feedback a player will receive. Smash Factor is a representation of quality of contact.
This feedback is only provided during the self discovery portion of any learning session. In this case the player was discovering a movement with 1.3 and above being the "yes" and below 1.3 being a "no" response.
Unfortunately, there is a tendency to over inform the player. This creates an environment of over information, intimidation, and confusion. A player will see a screen similar to the below, with a similar reaction.
There is a tendency for teachers and coaches to allow, a device intended to provide feedback, to change their own practices. Teaching professionals more commonly are either so excited or confused by the amount of data collected that they tend to over inform the player.
3. The Feedback Must Have Context
Can the player relate to the feedback and understand why it influences their outcome?
Story: A player came for a session because he was curious about TrackMan. The man is a land surveyor by trade. He had a fairly pronounced "over the top" move toward the golf ball. We discussed how he could control the club face, but he related to the video feedback well.
He asked. Do I want the red and blue line close together? Yes. He self regulated accordingly to make his contact more efficient, ball flight toward his intended target and a 25 yard increase. The most important thing he found was confidence in knowing why he was experiencing a certain outcome.
Technology utilized effectively can simplify seemingly complex concepts. I feel the most important fact is to coach the player. Each player relates to different feedback, the coach holds the key to filtering the feedback to constructively inform to help the player perform well.