It seems like it has been forever since we played in a tournament, but I’m very excited to get on the road Thursday and head down to Bandon, Oregon, for the Bandon Dunes Championship. We’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of us with Bandon, finals week, and the Oregon Duck Invitational. The team has been working hard and I’m excited about how we have prepared. With three weeks away from tournament golf you might be wondering what do we do to get better? The answer is simple: we compete against one another.
Since I started playing sports at a young age I can remember one thing…being fascinated with statistics and numbers. For whatever reason I always wanted to know how I stood compared to my competition. In my neighborhood we played Wiffol Ball until the sun went down everyday during the summer and you better believe we kept track of who had the most HR’s and RBI’s.
When I began coaching seven years ago I was introduced to a statistics program that I have taken with me and used each year. We track everything and over time a few statistics have shown that if you can reach a certain standard at each event you will succeed. Nothing is more black and white and shows someone exactly where they need to improve more than numbers, they don’t lie.
But we also track everything we do in practice to compete against one another and put a score next to each guy’s name to continually push one another to get better. Typically each competition is paired with what some might consider a punishment for the bottom half of the team but I like to refer to them as an ‘opportunity to get better.’ When the team is presented with an ‘opportunity to get better’ the level of intensity and focus in practice instantly raises and we get great work done. I guess it falls under the same category as trying to understand why PGA Tour players make a higher percentage of their 10 footers when they are for par compared to when they are putting for birdie.
As part of my coaching philosophy, I believe constant competition and placing the guys in pressure situations as often as possible is the best way to prepare them for success in tournaments. No one can recreate the pressure the team feels in a tournament situation, but hopefully we can succeed enough at home under pressure that when they do start feeling the heat they know they can handle it.
As an extension of our statistics program I created the Beaver Golf Power Rating, which ranks each of our players 1-8 in every round of golf they play. Whether we are playing 18 holes for practice, qualifying, or a tournament, it is counted and they receive a win or loss and the stroke differential against every individual on the team. This is the first year of implementing the Power Rating. Each of the guys knows where they stand and perhaps eventually it may help me determine our starting lineup.
Beaver Golf Power Rating – March 7, 2011 (Spring Only)