During a lesson, be committed as a learner. This means:
1. When the teacher is talking, listen. Don’t trade ideas on swing theory unless the pro asks you about it. You’re there to listen to someone who knows (the pro), not someone who doesn’t (you).
2. When the pro says to do “this,” then do “this” to the best of your ability. It might feel uncomfortable, but new movements are uncomfortable – that’s part of learning.
3. Take yourself out of the lesson. If you do what you’re told, but add something else of your own, you won’t know what caused the results you get.
4. When you don’t understand, speak up. Ask briefly for clarification or for a demonstration. But then listen to the explanation and watch the demonstration. Focus on being able to do what the pro wants you to do.
5. When you learn a new movement you’ll probably hit some clinkers. That’s all right. Keep trying to do what you’re being asked to do and let the pro be the one who decides what, if any, corrections to make.
6. When the lesson is almost over, ask for a few drills that you can use to practice the points you have been working on, if the pro hasn’t given you some already. Drills are vital to learning new movements. You’re retraining your subconscious mind to make a new movement correctly. Drills isolate that movement so you can repeat it until it’s learned.
7. After the lesson is over, there should still be some balls in front of you. Hit them all. Work on what the pro taught you. Work on your drills. Work on getting the ideas you were given into your head and into your body while the instruction is still fresh. Practice again every day for a week or so in order to remember what you learned. Without constant practice, you’ll ease back into the old habit you’re trying to replace.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it completely in your half-hour lesson. It might need several lessons on the same point for you to learn what to do. When we have a habit, our mind pulls us in the direction of that habit regardless of our best intentions. That’s why lessons are hard sometimes, and need to be repeated.
Finally, remember that in a lesson the pro just points the way. The responsibility for improvement lies with you.