13 Mar 18
Gareth McShea made the most of huge parts of Ireland being brought to a standstill by Storm Emma by retreating to his study.
The 43-year-old is a dedicated disciple of CPD (Continual Personal Development) and structures his reading and research in just the same way that he manages his coaching sessions.
“I study all year round. If I don't get to read I can get a bit grumpy,” said the Edmondstown Golf Club professional.
“We should always be trying to develop as professionals. We need to stay up to speed with changes in, for example, modern technology.”
McShea has been head pro at Edmondstown on the outskirts of Dublin for 12 years. He played his early golf at Bundoran Golf Club and began thinking about golf as a career when he started working as a shop assistant at the club.
He turned pro in 1993 and wrapped up his training at Bundoran under David Robinson. From there, McShea spent some time coaching in schools and at clubs around Fermanagh.
He took up the professional's post at Rossmore Golf Club, Co Monaghan, in 2001, and moved to Edmondstown four years later.
Over the years he has carved out a niche as a performance coach with a special interest in how people learn.
“Anything you do starts with your brain,” he explained. “We can understand golf swings inside out and back to front but if we don't have some comprehension about how people learn based on current neuro science then how are we going to teach them. I don't think we can.”
He is currently retained as a performance coach for Aimpoint Golf and is trialling a new online platform that allows coaches to assign drills, and track performance called www.mygameforge.com.
In his own words, he is 'relentlessly pursuing further education' and is willing to go the extra mile in that pursuit. In 2011 he sought out US-based Hall of Fame coach Michael Hebron for a lesson and ended up shadowing him for two days.
“We struck up a friendship and I brought him to Ireland that year for a seminar. I'm hoping I can encourage him to visit again this year,” McShea added.
He's a regular attendee at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando and believes it's a valuable arena to hear about new concepts and meet people. This year he attended the PGA Youth and Family summit before taking in two days at the Aimpoint Senior Instructure conference.
He's heading back to the US in a couple of weeks and is hoping to spend some time with another iconic coach, Butch Harmon (pictured above left with McShea).
“I love coaching and performance coaching - I want to get deeper and deeper into those areas,” he said.
“This year I am being brought on site to present seminars both in Ireland and abroad. It's an area I really want to develop.”