I received an email the other day from an assistant professional at a private golf club who had a great question. A question a lot of instructors have to face in their growth cycle, and at the time, it almost seems impossible.
Here’s the email I received..
It is my first year here and my problem is finding members that want to get lessons from me. They have no problem asking one of the other pros that have been there for numerous years. I understand that I am new to the club, but I guess my question is what is the best way to establish some credibility in the teaching industry? I will be leading junior clinics this summer and I already have a teaching program with an 11 year old, but I’m more interested in teaching older individuals. Do you think I just start with juniors and work my way up?
To break it down:
- How do you build credibility?
- And teach serious adult players?
So I emailed some great instructors (and past guests) to see what they had to say.
What to do: Do free playing lessons and find out what the membership wants.
Why: You get 2 to 4 hours to build the relationship and also assess their needs and offer some help to the players in your group.
Referrals and building a great network are always key to growing a thriving lesson base. This is a brilliant tactic to do that in the private club environment. Non invasive. And you’re actually adding value to the people you’re playing with (at least I hope you are 🙂
It takes time.
Watching good teachers, improving your knowledge base, volunteering for junior clinics with the First Tee, staying connected with social media, are all good ways.
There is no more powerfully way than to have success with your students. Your students improving and spreading the word is about as powerful as it gets. To do this you have to be not only good but effective. It takes time, but staying focused on the process of being a better instructor. Watching good teachers (and sometimes the bad ones) reading, watching videos on YouTube…creating your own YouTube channel and creating some videos, video yourself giving a lessons and watch it to see what you can improve.
Hope this helps… key words is be patient, passionate, determined and really care about your students and future ones.
Two fundamental things I’m picking up:
#1 – Continue to LEARN
#2 – Listen to what your students want
One thing I want to mention is that becoming a “high quality” instructor takes time. On average we’ve seen instructors spend 5 years in an intense learning period. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. It’s a part of learning and if you don’t think you make mistakes… you’re not improving.