Posts Tagged 'Coaching Conference'


Ever felt that your system has been pretty much emptied? I certainly do not have much to offer now as I sit down and reflect over the last three days that have included meetings with the EGU Coaching Committee, the Excel group (the EGU, EWGA and PGA staff involved in delivering the Elite end of English Golf), the England Lead Coaches and on top of that a two day Coaching Conference with 140 people from Counties, Regions and England Squads. Once the tension and the focus is gone it is like the mind, and the body, goes into some sort of hibernation, just as the laptop would when the battery is about to run out. In actual fact, I think that is what is happening with the human body battery as well.

Having just glanced through some of the feedback forms and listened to comments from people it would seem like the conference was a great success. Dave Alred delivered a fantastic opening key note that set many minds spinning. In a simple and direct way he explained how attitude and application multiply ability. Eddie Pepperell, the England International, then gave a capturing description of his journey as a golfer before the participants completed a SWOT-analysis for English Golf that was completed by an action plan on the Friday morning. Brian Hemmings, the EGU Sports Psychologist, on Friday shared his experiences from 15 years in English Golf and gave recommendations on how to take this area forward, while the University of Lincoln in a poster presentation delivered the latest golf-related research.

As the participants left Woodhall Spa this afternoon I think they did so with a lot of new found energy and inspiration. That I think is worth a bit of a lack in energy on my behalf…

Daniel’s formula

At a much appreciated appearance at the England Golf Coaching Conference in Woodhall Spa, Daniel Coyle presented on the ingredients of the talent hotbeds that he visited when researching for his book, The Talent Code. Daniel talked about two things as key factors in these talent hotbeds:
-Deep practice and;

The way he described deep practice is very similar to Anders Ericsson’s way to define Deliberate Practice. It is the very focused way of working to improve every little weakness in a systematic way. Very often this is done together with a coach that can see the potential (“there you go, but I think you can do better – try this!”) and help focus the practice.

While Anders describes deliberate practice as not always that enjoyable, Daniel illustrates how the youngsters that really come through from these hotbeds completely fall in love with what they do. There are stories about how Rory McIlroy used to chip golf balls into his parents laundry machine for hours and hours. Even though for an outsider that sounds like he would be close to ready to be picked up by the men in white coats, it was almost certainly something he loved.

Daniel’s key message is that talent is not something that has been passed on to a lucky few. It doesn’t come in the genes as a gift from above. On the contrary it is a result of doing the right things with a very clear goal in mind – to improve!

When I walk away from Daniel’s presentation I feel really upbeat for two reasons: 1) this journey towards improvement should never stop. Isn’t our biggest challenge to constantly find the next step on the staircase (and make sure that love is still all around!) for the developing players we deal with? 2) everything Daniel talked about is within our control and possible for us to influence.

That should be reason enough for all of us to never want to stop improving!

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