READER INQUIRY: I thought for something new--on your website, a new category called "Coaches Corner." Everyone likes to give friendly advice, to fellow players, even though we may not understand why we are having trouble with a shot. We all learn watching other players and having another player help us when we ask. This part of the CroquetNation.com site could be an open forum to give advice and ask questions of our fellow players. As one high-priced coach was heard saying, “Whatever works best for you, go with it and enjoy the game.”

ANSWER: I like the idea of more teaching and coaching content. Should be a lot more of this going on. However, I don't think a new category works because you have to divide coaching by croquet type. And that would fall into the categories already set up.

READER FOLLOW-UP: My thought had nothing to do with either the 6 or 9 wicket game but rather how any player approaches the ball, how they stand, how they swing, their style of grip, the follow through swing, and why any of these things are not working. It has nothing to do with the strategy of a game.

ANSWER: Okay, shot technique .... yeah, I like that concept and I think it probably belongs in General. If it dominates the category, we can create a coaching forum for shot technique. I can re-categorize threads later.

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I like the "READER FOLLOW UP" response.

Okay, I’ll start the conversation.

I am not an “official” coach but I have noticed a lot of new players taking the side winder position, aka the golf swing. After you explain, to them, the advantage of the center style swing and that they have more control and accuracy they will usually take the “gorilla” stance, legs apart about three feet. This is not good. Their reason is that they don’t want to hit their ankles and I don’t blame them. It hurts!

The control of your shot and accuracy is your shoulders are square to your line of aim and horizontal; feet parallel on each side with your mallet and as close as possible. It is a fact that the Irish grip will give you greater accuracy on the follow-through swing. There are some tradeoffs to this grip but overall a new player will learn faster to swing straight with less problems than the Standard or Solomon grips. I am an Irish grip player.

Another advantage to the learning curve is the mallet. As Jack Osborn said, “your mallet should be a pleasure to hold, swing and look at, to fully enjoy the sport.” Mallet designs have come a long way since he made that statement. I like my mallet and believe it will shorten the learning curve of any new player or help someone who is having trouble shooting straight.

If you come to our court as a new player, I will hand you a “wishbone” mallet. I will show you the “V” stance and Irish grip. I can hear the reader asking, “What is the “V” stance? It is using your feet like a “Swing Coach”. Your toes are no more than two inches on each side of the mallet head and your heels are four inches on each side so you don’t hit your ankle bone. When you practice swinging, you are looking through the open center of the mallet to see the sight line on the mallet splitting the ball in half. This is your eye to brain training to check that you are swinging straight. Your heels are wide so you don’t have to worry about hitting your ankle bone. This combination; the Irish grip, V stance, wishbone mallet will shorten the learning curve and improve any players accuracy. I can attest to this.

I am going to shift this over to it's own thread here in this forum and I will comment there.

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