Play to Win
Primary focus: Learn how to win. At this point, the game feels like a full-time job. Major life decisions are made around the sport. It’s important that players feel independent and confident in the steps they are taking to reach the highest levels of competition. Training-to-competition ratio is 25:75.
Professionals – 20-35 events per year
Amateurs – 13-20 events per year
What the coach recommends: Joe Hallett has worked with players who have reached No. 1 in the world, played on Solheim Cup teams, won majors and even Olympic gold. The PGA Professional said this stage isn’t just about winning. It’s about putting yourself in position to win, learning how to handle defeat and making adjustments to get back there again. The best players in the world find an area that’s holding them back and immediately hit it.
While big-picture goals are great, Hallett said intermediate goals that are attainable are what keep players motivated.
One common mistake rookies make at this level is comparing their games to those around them. Imagine if Japan’s Ai Miyazato, one of the smallest players to compete on the LPGA, took one look at the competition and decided that she needed to change her entire game to gain more swing speed.
Every player who reaches the highest level of the sport has one or two things they can do that no one else can, Hallett said. The pitfall is believing that when things go south, everything must change.
Coach says: “Keep your strong points. Seek the help of others for the weakest areas.”
Athletic skills: Agility, footwork, dynamic balance, strength, endurance, speed and flexibility. At this stage the athlete should have a solid foundation in place.
Technical skills: full mastery of technical skills; set game plan and understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses.
Psychological Development: Accepts the need for rules, regulation, planning and structure. Also sees long-term pay off of hard work and goal setting.
Social Development: Self-actualization and self-expression are important. Major decisions about life are of significant importance during this time.
Practice: 44-48 weeks per years. 40 hours per week. 4-6 hour sessions.
Competition: Periodized planning based on the personal athlete.
Professional – 20-35 multi-round events per year.
Amateur – 13-20 multi-round events per year.
Equipment: Ongoing review and fitting based on sport science.
Where to play: N/A