Thursday 11th August
Northamptonshire County GC 5pm till 7.30pm.
16 juniors in Attendance,
This Coaching session was mostly about body language and how to be more relaxed on the Golf Course. We pointed out how Darren Clarke looked whist winning the Open. How his body language and calm dam mina helped him perform so well. The importance of good body language can help fellow team mates believe that you are playing well and can give other team members a lift. We also asked the players to remember when they played their best golf and what sort of frame of mind they were is.
It’s important to re create that frame of mind to get the best out of your golf.
How your react to bad shots is also important. When Darren Clarke hit a poor shot at the Open he just smiled and got on with it. A bad reaction to a poor shot can be carried onto the next shot and even onto the following holes. This reaction to one poor shot could have a downward spiral to you game and match.
Shane Warne the greatest bowler who ever lived once said the best lesson he was ever given from the Coaches for the Australian Cricket team was on body language. How positive body language could have an effect on you opponents.
We then spent some time checking the players swings and getting them to work on there ball flight. The previous day was the Inter Club County event at Farthingstone. A number of the players struggled to cope with the windy playing conditions. This was a great opportunity to have the players understand the different ways in which to control ball flight and to find out which method works best for them.
The Coaching session didn’t go without incident when one of the group passed out!! An ambulance was called but, after some checks, it became apparent that junior had been golfing all day, had only had a bowl of cereal and a sandwich but not had anything to drink. His blood sugar levels dropped causing him to pass out. A lesson to be learnt for all the players.
Northamptonshire is having one of its most successful years on the golf course. We want to make sure that this continues.
The NGU pledged its support financially to the Northamptonshire Golf Partnership some 4 years ago. This was a huge financial commitment to structured coaching within our county. We are beginning to see the results from this coaching though better results within the 1st and 2nd team squads. I know of 6 players that are involved in the county squad that will have been part of an Academy Coaching programme within the last few years. These players have developed and have become better golfers through the Academy and County Junior coaching programme.
We currently have a structured pyramid to our Coaching programme within Northamptonshire. This starts at the bottom with Coaches and Clubs being involved with schools and schools kids as young as 6. These kids are taught to play golf within schools and then taken out of the schools to the clubs. The talented ones are then selected for Academy Coaching. We currently have 11 Academy Coaches coaching 60 odd kids within Northamptonshire.
The success of this coaching structure has highlighted one significant flaw in the system. Once a young player reaches the age on 18 he will then move out of the coaching programme and is left to fend for himself. We have a few 3 handicap golfers who are just about to turn 18. These players are likely to disappear if they are not looked after. For this county to continue to succeed we need to keep developing our talents and improving the talented golfers playing standard.
To complete the pyramid we need to have in place a County Elite Coaching programme. This programme will include all County 1st and 2ndTeam squad members, plus those young players who are on the fringes of playing for their county. We now have a county 1st and 2nd team squad programme in place. This is due to start at the end of September. This will then complete the pyramid, hopefully keep Northamptonshire at the top of its leagues.