You might be using “lack of natural talent” as your excuse for not improving beyond your handicap. But believe me embracing the “natural talent & fear of failure myths” is what could be keeping you from getting better, not your club head speed or backswing.
In the culture of golf, and sports in general, people think that some have natural ability and some don’t. So, when people try to learn something and they can’t do it instantly, they think they can’t do it or they don’t have the talent for it. Resulting in a resistance to try something because they might fail.
This is one of the main reasons I see why some players don’t get better, because they don’t think they can, so they come into lessons already defensive about their level of skill.
Also, this “self-consciousness” about their game sometimes prevents people from getting the instruction they need or from getting the most out of the lessons they are taking. “Sometimes when players come in for that first lesson and I ask them about their game, they want me to see them as somebody who plays pretty well, instead of being open and getting something that would actually help them improve.”
The main objective for players, in my opinion, is to try and treat golf like anything they’ve become good at. It’s a process of repetition, acquiring skills and becoming comfortable, not comparing yourself to others, which is natural in any sport that keeps score, as this is inevitably when the barriers to improvement start.
If you’re always trying to prove to other people that you’re good, or that you’re a great golfer, you’ve made the game very exhausting for yourself, especially if you haven’t been open to instruction/lessons. If you can break through that, you won’t get so frustrated when you don’t play well. The game will be more fun, and you’re going to enjoy the process of improvement much more.
I also believe the best coach’s break down those barriers with students by building a friendly relationship that runs parallel to the teacher-student one. My students need to feel like it’s OK to text and say, hey, this problem we worked on is cropping up again. What do I do? Without feeling like they don’t want anyone to know that it’s happening, or without feeling like they’ve failed.
It’s OK to fail at something while you’re learning it. It’s OK for it to be a process. If you know how to cook, how did you learn? You made mistakes and messed things up, but you learned. Keep the game in perspective. You’re learning, and you’re trying to get better.”