Who do you consider to be a great coach?

The argument can sometimes be a controversial one, especially when football and rugby rivalries come into play. Yet, have you ever heard of a man called John Wooden? I suspect if you are from the USA the answer will definitely be yes, from this side of the pond maybe no.

John Wooden was named by an admittedly US focused website called sportingnews.com as the greatest coach of all time. He was a basketball coach nicknamed the “Wizard of Westwood”. He won ten NCAA national basketball championships in a 12-year period as Head Coach at UCLA, including a record seven in a row. No other team has won more than two in a row. During this period, his teams won an NCAA men’s basketball record 88 consecutive games. Wooden was named National Coach of the Year six times!!

The reason I mention him in this article is because of a couple of his quotes I read recently which I thought were magnificent and applicable to any sporting endeavour.

The first one from John Wooden was, ‘It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen’.

So often, we are drawn into the ‘big picture’ which is all well and good to want to reduce your handicap, play for the County or get your Tour Card. But, what are you going to DO today? What are the specific actions and steps are you going to take in the next twenty four hours? That simple action of actually picking up the phone and booking a lesson with your Coach or actually finding a coach for the specific part of your game that needs to improve. Taking action today may be the first step in having your best season ever. Going to the practice area today with a specific plan of how to improve your distance control with your wedges may lead to numerous more pars and birdies when the summer arrives. Checking your posture in a mirror on a regular basis. Making sure you actually do those stretching exercises you have been given. Getting into the habit of giving yourself that ten minutes to warm up before you play instead of flying to the first tee like a madman and then wondering why you start with six bad holes. Little, seemingly insignificant actions that over a period of time do add up.

What small steps could you begin to take today that would make a difference?

The other quote was, ‘All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.’ I couldn’t agree more. I often say to players that part of becoming the best player you can be is to ‘embrace the chaos’. The game of golf (and life) is inherently unpredictable. We had the ball on a string yesterday and yet today it feels like we couldn’t hit the proverbial cows behind. This is the game of golf. You have it, you lose it and you find it again. When we accept this, we tend to be able to keep playing and finding a way of getting the ball around the course in a decent number. The very best in the world hit the ball sideways at times but they find a way of getting it round, scrambling, digging in when the swing feels awful. The real danger comes from an overly perfectionistic mindset that will not allow anything less than perfect shots.

The final pearl of wisdom from Wooden was, ‘success comes from knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming’.

  • Base your appraisal of yourself on the effort you have put in.
  • Be honest with yourself on this.
  • We can’t always win, we can’t always get the results we want but we can make a commitment to be the best we can possibly be.

For me, this is the value of good coaching.  A good coach will help, guide and support you but also motivate you to becoming the best version of yourself. Find that person and spend time with him or her, it will be a most valuable investment.


Winter can be a time when you let the days drift by and do nothing towards improving your game.

You hit a few balls here and there. You play a few holes now and again. You get the picture!! We all know what hoping does! Or, you can get to work this winter on your game in a NEW way. A way that engages both your technical and mental game. The Winter Game Improvement Programme is a new programme I am really excited about. It gives ME the opportunity to work with YOU privately on a ONE to ONE basis and put in place some patterns and habits that will provide the platform for a great year next year. At the very, very least, you will have a purpose to your golf game through the long winter months.


MIND FACTOR Player Profile
1 to 1 initial meeting either in person* or on Skype to personalise your programme
The Ultimate Players Programme Audio Download – a complete audio programme to accompany our work together
3 months of weekly e-mail support
2 further Skype sessions to monitor progress
Personalised Practice Plan
Final written REVIEW and then plan for the season ahead