Saturday, November 21, 2015
Hello Stanford Golf Fans,
It is that time of year where the dust starts to settle a bit and the team enters the "off-season". It is all relative though as finals are looming, an extra workout a week appears on the schedule, and the holidays are right around the corner! Our team ended the fall season ranked 5th in the polls and we had a lot of positives to take away from the events we played. Each and every guy made contributions and fun to see some great leadership by Senior captains David Boote and Dom Francks as well as Maverick McNealy pick up his 9th win in 16 tries! Rare air but more to come.
Our whole team discussion has centered around how to pull out the useful lessons from each time we teed it up to add to our preparation for what lies ahead. The goal is to have consistent improvement in all areas from each one of our guys throughout the year with the culmination being the NCAA Championships in the spring.
The only way to do this in my opinion is to effectively focus on areas where we can find marginal gains using a very holistic perspective. No stone is left unturned ... fitness, mental, nutrition, active rest, equipment, technique, and support teams are all addressed.
The other thing we have to look at after the fall campaign is data! Using Shots-to-Hole statistics we are able to dig deeper into where our guys can save shots in specific areas. Proximity to hole wins the game and strokes gained against the field from a certain distances is key. Statistics, if not careful, can become a "negative" we all want to be good at everything! We try and use the numbers to also illustrate progress and what our team is successfully doing too! Done right, stats build confidence not doubt.
As a coach, I also love this time of year because it is the ultimate view into human nature. Intrinsic motivation, work ethic, and priorities all become very apparent to different degrees with our team because the guys have a ton of choices to make. Do I get out for an extra putting session on my own even though the rest of the team might not be there? Is that extra 10 minutes on the versa climber something I am willing to tackle? Is there an extra event I can put on my schedule if I need some more reps under pressure? All good questions if you ask me and answered in different ways by different people. There are always surprises when we get back to practice in mid-January and I can't wait.
Big props to our guys, they are ultimate student athletes and it is easy to root for them. We are grateful to be so well supported and please stay tuned in the spring to Stanford Men's Golf! Happy Holidays everyone! Go Cardinal.