COVID-19 and coaching

COVID-19 and coaching

Covid-19 is already impacting the way people live their lives and this is likely to continue over the coming weeks and months. It is incumbent of us all to ensure we adhere to the guidelines as laid out by the Government as we try to mitigate the spread of this virus.

 

Our customers are starting to consider if they should play golf or have lessons.  PGA Members are already experiencing lesson cancellations or seeking refunds. It is, however, important to be proactive where possible during these challenging times. Reassuring your customers that you are compliant with the current Government guidance and making the environment as safe as possible will help you to continue coaching or at the very least, it will assist your business to recover as quickly as possible, once sanctions are relaxed.

It is important to remember that doing exercise, staying fit and healthy boosts the immune system. Included in the current Government guidance is the need to exercise, walking has been highlighted as a specific activity of choice. Golf, in an adapted environment, can help to meet the exercise commitment.

Below we have provided 15 things you may like to consider that may help you to provide a place for people to exercise and participate whilst minimising risk.

Addressing direct transmission, the enclosed environment:

  1. Promote coaching and play that takes place outdoors (reduce the risk to you and your clients, no coaching in a studio)
  2. Think about coaching on the course, again this encourages people to play whilst providing plenty of room to practise social distancing
  3. Much like coaching safety zones, create a 2-meter exclusion zone around the lesson that no one enters
  4. If you must move a player, use an alignment stick, which is easy sterilised after each lesson.
  5. If you can get hold of face mask, wear it, the advice to date states that this helps in preventing us from spreading the germs to another person, or have tissues at hand to catch the cough or sneeze. Remember that they are only effective for a limited period of time, usually less than an hour

Indirect transmission:

  1. Washing hands with soap and water before and after the session. Why? The soap loosens the bonds that hold a virus together making it easier to kill and wash away with water.
  2. Provide hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol) for you and your clients.
  3. Offer short game coaching sessions that allow the client to use their golf balls, that way they are not sharing equipment that other people have touched.
  4. Take flags out of the holes, again this is a shared surface environment.
  5. Think about drawing circles on the ground that people putt and chip towards rather than a cup that offers a hard surface for a virus to live on.

On the Range:

  1. Make sure the ball washer has soap in the machine
  2. Provide hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol) for people to push the buttons on a ball machine, or demonstrate the multifunctional role of a tee peg in pushing buttons
  3. Clean the baller dispenser surfaces frequently
  4. Coach on the side of the range that fewest people can walk past
  5. Make pupils use their own equipment

Communication

Ensure that you tell your customers about the measures that you are taking to provide a safer environment.  This will generate confidence not just in the present but also benefit the future when sanctions start to be lifted.

Government guidelines may indeed become more restrictive into the future, however regardless of whether you are able to continue delivering a service to your golfing cohort it is essential that you maintain communication.  Regular communication with your customers, who may themselves be experiencing extremes of isolation will assist in developing a community spirit that will serve you and the golf club well in the months to follow.

Please let us know of any successful ideas and initiatives as we look to share this practice amongst the membership. Membership@pga.org.uk

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