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Problem with your golf game? Get a coach on the line stat

Philip Michaels | Feb. 18, 2014
I have a horrifying golf swing. I bend my arm when I shouldn't. I have the follow-through of a lovelorn-but-unconfident teenager. My head bops up at the exact moment that years of golf instruction have taught me to keep it down. And while I may not know the precise direction the ball will fly when my club makes contact with it--if my club makes contact with it--I can predict fairly comfortably that it's not going to be the direction I think I'm aiming.

Still, there's some doubt on just how effective an instructor who's not even in the same room as you let alone the same part of the world can be when teaching you the finer points of a particular sport. Jordan Fliegel is CEO of CoachUp, a service that finds instructors for young athletes from a network of 10,000 vetted coaches through either its website or iOS and Android apps, and he sees in-person training as a critical part of that offering. "To really train, it needs to be in person," Fliegel told me. "You need to see someone's footwork, you need to correct their form." And that happens best for most sports he argues, when instructor and student are on the same room and not on opposite ends of a network connection.

Mobiplex's Nadkarni counters that mobile instruction has several advantages over hauling your clubs down to the local course and booking some time with the golf pro on the premises. For one, those in-person sessions usually require you to book an hour of time; MobiCoach lets you schedule 15-minute sessions with an instructor if that's your preference. (Longer blocks of time are also available.) You can use MobiCoach anywhere and at any time that's convenient for you, Nadkarni continues. And that frequency is the key to boosting your game.

Rates vary for MobiCoach instructors, who set their own fees, but pricing starts for around $25 for a 15-minute session. When you log into the MobiCoach website, you can review coach bios, rates, and schedule availability to set your training times.

Nadkarni sees MobiCoach's blend of sensors, apps, and remote coaches working for other sports, too, citing tennis and baseball as potential examples where an athlete's form can be corrected with the help of video playback and some distance coaching. For now, though, Mobiplex will focus on golf. With duffers like me, that market figures to be lucrative enough.


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