A bit of a follow-up to the first episode in the junior series. An interview with a PGA professional that became the head of a successful junior programme, and, through constant improvements and development, took it even further.
Continous development of a junior programme
My guest – Thomas Devine (@ThomasDevinePGA).
Fun is an overly used term in golf coaching, but for me it’s a good acronym – Fundamentally Understanding Needs.
Thomas is FUEL Golf Junior Programme Director and a PGA Teaching Professional at Oulton Hall in England. Taking over from Phil Akers, previous guest of the podcast, Tom kept on developing the FUEL Golf programme, expanded it to another 5 facilities in the QHotels group, created a junior skills handbook, a parent’s handbook and much more.
Throughout the conversation, an interesting theme emerged – of change and continuous development. Thomas provides numerous examples of things he used to believe in regards to his junior coaching (or the way his programme is structured), but no longer does.
In this conversation we discuss:
- Tom’s beginnings as a junior coach
- His take on the Person first, Athlete second, Golfer third philosophy
- Moving away from physical skills-centred coaching
- Moving away from “just let them play” idea
- Moving away from age-divided groups and FUEL’s unique take on groupings (hint: flexibility)
- The programme’s 7-tier skills-based grading system
- An example coaching session
- Providing playing opportunities for juniors
- Managing parents’ expectations through communication
- Effective marketing strategies (and why that isn’t necessarily school coaching)
Listen to the episode
Listen to the episode below or in your favourite podcast app (I recommend Overcast).
If you are reading this in an email, access the player and all the links on the website.