Members in the spotlight
21.05.2021

Russell has spent his career dedicating himself to helping golfers in any way he can and spends much of his free time studying the game and travelling the world looking for answers from the world's best golf experts.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR CAREER PATHWAY?

Pretty typical to most, after my dream of playing came to an end, I stepped into PGA training. This was in the family business at Farnham Park in Slough under my father Paul, who is also a PGA Professional. In my third year of training, an opportunity arose to complete a season in Switzerland, purely coaching. Having completed my PGA exams and a further two years at Waldkirch in East Switzerland, I moved on to my current position at Golfclub Heidental, which is between Zurich and Bern. During this time, I have served on the Swiss PGA Committee in Education and recently completed the MSc in Sports Coaching at the University of Birmingham. I invested a lot of time and money in visiting many renowned coaches and the PGA position afforded me the opportunity to spend time with so many experts, some of which are still personal mentors.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE?

I have to wear so many hats. As business owner, I try to keep a long-term plan of growth and I am learning to delegate to those with better skills sets, such as marketing and accounting. As a head professional, I work closely with the club, developing hugely successfully weekly programmes that fuel participation and create a firendly social golfing community within the club. We also spend a lot of time on course with recreational golfers. Most practice little, so its makes more sense to create learning in the context they are used to.

I enjoy creating programmes for people who have a more long-term vision. Firstly, we try to measure skills with stats. Understand movement patterns with a multitude of technology and then bring it together with understandible activities and actions that the client can engage in, in their own time. These clients range from playing professionals to new golfers and concentrate on their individual needs, goals and time they have available for the sport.

I also have two roles within the national federation. Together with my fellow employee, we run camps, performance days and tournaments support for the top playing professionals and transitioning amateurs. Here we try to support the tough step to professional golf and be critical of all actions and behaviours to ensure they have the best chance of success. I also provide 3D analysis for many younger players to help guide their long-term development plan, working closely with other coaches. It is a challenge to keep changing the hats, but always having the other parties' interests in the picture, means it is possible to do a good job in different contexts.

Russell Warner 2

WHAT/WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR CAREER INFLUENCES?

I believe I have stolen the best bits from so many, but the MSc helped me to make sense of my experiences and knowledge and put it into a clearer holistic framework of the person. I think the most powerful learning experiences have been working or observing some of the best coaches in the world and asking them why they do or say the things they do. I am fortunate I can pick up the phone to so many great golfing brains.

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE BEEN GIVEN?

Whilst in the US, someone asked me years ago how much of my yearly profit did I reinvest into myself and my business. My answer was zero but that changed very quickly thankfully. Now I spend a good deal of time and resources on myself and my staff and it has been the reason for the ongoing success. One factor, I now try to understand when talking to potential staff, how likely they are to take action on their own development.

WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE?

I am going with two:

1. Think about and understand the needs of the person you are coaching or even serving in a shop or club. Why are they there? Why do they play golf? What is going to have the biggest impact on them? It's not always technique. If you are coaching coaches, then what are their needs? I have come across so much Coach Education that has been on highlighting what the presenter knows rather than addressing the learner.

2. Maintain relationships. People will want to spend time and money with you because of who you are and not just what you know.

THE ONE THING YOU WISH YOU'D KNOWN EARLIER?

I wish I had learned the ability to plan and stick to it. I still struggle to make and stick to plans but I know when I manage distractions, I do I get more done, have more success and also have more time for myself.

Article taken from www.pga.info | May 2021

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