Talent Hotbeds

About time to start the New Year! Lots of golf is already underway. The European Tour is out in South Africa, along with the England Boys who start their season with a triangular match with SA and Canada. Follow these matches on Brian Roake’s excellent England Boy’s Golf News blog (see the links section on the right). Way out west the PGA Tour have reached Hawaii for the traditional opening event of the year. Two England Internationals, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Haines are about to leave for Australia and the early year swing with tournaments like the Masters of the Amateurs, the Lake Macquarie and the New South Wales Championships. A busy season ahead no doubt!

Having spent the holiday season in a very wintry Stockholm I find myself (again!) thinking about what it takes to nurture talent. Next week, the England Golf Coaching Conference will feature Daniel Coyle as a speaker at the National Golf Centre in Woodhall Spa. Daniel is the best-selling author and worldwide recognised speaker behind “the Talent Code – greatness isn’t born, it’s grown”. In his research for the book Daniel visited what he then came to call Talent Hotbeds in various corners of the World. He found many commonalities in the places that seemed to grow talent to a greater extent than others. After a couple of weeks under snow I start to understand how important the environment is. The Stockholm area has not had a proper winter in years. Even though it has been fairly cold there has not been enough snow to go skiing and very few of the outdoor ice rinks have been open. This year it is different and the number of youngsters you can spot outside doing winter sports is amasing.

One of the challenges that sport and pretty much every other activity wanting to attract kids face today is that the home environment is very attractive. This is where the computer is and with that games, friends and Facebook. The Stockholm winter this year has drawn kids away from this and out in the open air. And it is all thanks to the snow and all the fun that the activities in the snow can bring. So the next time we blame the computer and video games for the lack of interest in other activities – perhaps we should try to look within instead and find out what we could do to be more attractive!

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