During Spring Break, I increased the amount of golf I had per week to two times a week. Normally my mentor and I would only meet on Saturdays from about 1-2 hours, but now I incorporated a practice session for just myself. My mentor actually let me borrow his 7 iron during the weeks, and this has definitely helped me increase my own skill when my mentor is not there. My mentor is putting more focus and attention in my swings currently to try and push towards the field for the end of the In Depth Project Night.
After my mentor and I finish our stretches, we go off to swing the first few balls. One thing I noticed was that I was getting increasingly tired, relatively fast. At first I thought it was just my stamina, but after a while my mentor noticed a problem in my swing. I was using only my arms to source the power instead of my whole body. My hips were not following through during my hit and therefore did not cause the back leg to turn, which is a key sign of my problem. One thing my mentor taught me to attempt to fix this habit, is the term “loosy goosy”. Basically, if my body is loose, it will follow through with my hit without any restrictions.
After this problem was quickly solved, I noticed a greater improvement within my swings. Not only did I have the power to hit all the balls in my bucket, but I also noticed a greater increase in distance. Before, I was swinging my arms as fast as I could, but even though now that I am slowing my arms down to work on my hip technique, the distance has increased dramatically. I am also noticing a lot of reduced stress in my left arm. The left arm has a lot of pressure during the wind up due to the straight position and twist it has to endure, but now that I’m swinging with more of my body, it has become less sore.
1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?
Every meeting, my mentor always comes up with one thing to work on in particular. It may be learning how to swing a new golf club, or a specific aspect of swinging, or putting, but he always introduces me to something new and exciting. Learning something new every week makes his lessons extremely enjoyable and efficient. It also helps that my mentor is patient with my difficulties and is also extremely supportive during his lessons which encourage me to learn more.
2. What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?
Every meeting, before we end, my mentor quickly asks me what I feel that I need to work on. With this question, I can either decide to learn something completely new, or I can try to improve on my previous knowledge. With this information, my mentor returns next week with a lesson plan. He talks about the things I know of that topic, and the things that I do not know yet.
3. What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?
During our golf lessons, my mentor really tries to help me learn by personalizing his tips. He would relate my problem to when he started golf and use the same solution to help me. He has also helped me avoid many problems by telling me ahead of time from his personal experience, and this has definitely accelerated my learning. Many would say that solving a problem on your own is more beneficial than getting help, but since golf is a new sport for me it’s more efficient and beneficial especially from my point of view to get that assistance.
4. When you get together what do you talk about?
My mentor and I talk mainly about golf. In particular we focus on his and my plans for improvement, my golf goals, and his views of golf. Aside from that, since we have a few minutes of free time before, during, and after our lesson, we talk about our personal lives. We mainly talk about school related topics, because we are both students and it is easier to understand each other, but we also talk about other topics such as dream vacations, dream careers and etc.
5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?
I find that the communication between my mentor and I is extremely strong. My mentor is easy to talk to not only because he is also a student, but because he has a kind and supportive attitude that helps keep conversations going. If our communication is strong, it it’s easier to teach and learn, and it is also easier to seek enjoyment within my golf lessons. I wish to keep and improve this strong connection throughout the duration of the project.
6. What are you learning about one another?
Aside from the obvious fact that we are learning each other’s skill capability in golf, we are also learning more about each others personality and personal life. Usually our conversations stray a bit off topic, and lead us into learning more about each other. I think this is extremely important because it makes me feel more comfortable around my mentor knowing each other more on a “friend” level than a “mentor” level.