Stuart Morgan is the Director of Coaching at the International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Environment + Challenge = Engagement and Learning
After having a great weekend with Team IJGA winning the HJGT Academy Cup, we are back to learning and improving to get better.
I noticed one of our students wasn’t hitting the ball close enough when she got within 150 yards. In practice today, she was hitting iron shots in-between the two arrows with zero purpose and zero engagement. This said to me IT’S TOO EASY.
I stepped in and changed the environment and the challenge. You can see the two flags in the distance.
Her challenge was:
* Hit six balls in a row in-between the flags with the correct flight and strike
* Use clubs 7, 8, 9, PW, 52-degree and 56-degree
* Any time it’s a poor strike, or misses the target, you start again
* The player is required to hit each shot as if on the course, going through the full pre shot routine
After a number of attempts, some frustration, some moments of getting down on herself and some moments of “it’s too hard,”she completed the challenge in just under one hour.
The keys for us to learn here are:
1) As a golfer wanting to improve performance on the course, let’s make the practice environment as close as we can to that environment
2) When I add a constraint to the task like “You miss the target, you start again,” it makes every ball important and that sixth ball like it’s a shot to win a tournament
3) Golf development is NON-LINEAR, so we need to help young golfers deal with adversity and difficult challenges to get through the tough times, dig deep and move forward. This is what competitive golf is.
Finally, when I watched her reaction, I know I have hit the sweet spot with regards to the task. She was challenged and engaged. By completing this challenge she has improved her mentality to what she is capable of.
Director of Coaching
International Junior Golf Academy
About Stuart Morgan:
Stuart Morgan, a Mid Wales native, played golf at the professional level and has been a PGA member since 1998. He has been a full time development coach since 2001 when he was asked to work for David Leadbetter. During his time with Leadbetter, Morgan was mentored by the father of modern coaching and spent time assisting him at two PGA Championships and at Champions Gate. Morgan has also established a personal client base on Tour and spent years traveling to tournaments with elite players.
Heavily specialized in player development, Morgan has trained with Dave Alred and studied from professors such as Dr. Richard Bailey, Dr. Martin Toms, and Tour player and lecturer Graeme McDowell on how to maximize results in a training environment.
Morgan’s Player Development redefines overall athletic training and incorporates a focus and understanding of each individual golfer’s unique needs. His approaches allow IJGA to remain at the forefront of training philosophies and technology.
Using select training methods he has helped develop junior players as young as eight years old to become international standouts and even juniors who have gone on to turn professional.
Morgan joined the IJGA in 2015 and will focus heavily on the development of talent within each junior golfer.