On 22/23 February the Elite Girls squad were reunited for another training session at Goodwood. Ryan Fenwick was our coach along with Karen Francis a sports psychologist.
We had a group discussion with Karen about how the brain works during performance; we found out that emotions, motivation, goal setting, visualisation and external influences all contribute to what decisions we make on the golf course. It was very interesting to find out many of us had similar mind sets trying to handle pressure. To help deal with pressure we learnt about breath control and visualising shots before we hit them as well as planning them in detail eg taking into account wind direction, undulations and placing of shots. Other techniques included body language, positive talks, initial trigger for a shot and storing the good shots not the bad with rewards so that the brain remembers them. We then did some drills and played nine holes to apply these new techniques.
That evening we had a lovely roast dinner followed by a game of Disney Monopoly brought along and won by Fenella with £12,000! We went to bed to recover from our busy and thought provoking day.
On the second day it was all about putting it into practice! We started off with a technical session with Ryan on chip and run shots, using 7 and 9 irons to get the basics of the shot perfected including where to land our shots. We then played thirteen holes in tough wind conditions. We all had to leave lob and sand wedges behind to make us experiment with different clubs around the green. Everyone managed to improve their scores and felt more confident deciding which shots to play.
Afterwards we had a presentation and feedback session. We discussed goal setting, making sure each goal is detailed but realistic. Finally, we spoke about the concept of our own individual ‘Critical Pathways’ that we need to manage, setting deadlines with check-ups with our ‘player buddies’ to help keep us on track.
On behalf of all the girls, thank you – we thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and gained a lot to help us for Counties Week. Many thanks to Ryan for coaching us, giving us tips and drills to enhance our performance. A massive thanks to Karen for the knowledge and understanding of how our brain works and helping us apply it to our own game. I would also like to say thank you to Pat, Sue, Brenda and Amber for giving up your time to be with us and we really enjoyed your company and support. We’re all looking forward to the next session in April!
Remember: Practice makes Permanent… Then Perfect Practice makes Perfection.
The Elite Squad: Penny Brown (Worthing) Chloe Burdon (Nevill) Fenella Buss (East Brighton) Hannah Duval (Highwoods) Jelina Fernando (Pyecombe) Rachel Gatcum (Cooden Beach) Lauren Hawkins (Beauport Park) Maddy Man (Haywards Heath) Zhane Mayo (Cooden Beach) Lizzie Price (Nevill) Brandy Rook (Royal Eastbourne).
They were joined by Jemima Attwood (Boars Head) and Anya Olsen (Worthing) from the Development Squad.