Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to be a great captain

Welsh golfer Nigel Edwards has just captained the GB & Ireland team to victory at the 2011 Walker Cup.
In our latest guest blog, he shares his key success factors that he shared with the team before they went on to triumph on the Balgownie Links of Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.
·         Golf is more often than not an individual sport. When we come together it’s important to build that team spirit.
·         I stress with the players that each person has an effect on the team so it is important to have a positive attitude
·         I make sure that the different pairings  socialise and spend time in each other’s company
·         Everyone has to be part of the team. The players need to feel part of the team. The very best players in the team have a role to play as well as those players who aren’t playing so well. Those playing well have a responsibility to lead the team and support those not playing so well and likewise those not playing so well have to support the others.
·         A player is rested not dropped – the players and management need to understand this process. The player that is rested has to support and cheer on the others for the good of the team. One player cannot win the Walker Cup. However, one player can ensure the team loses the Walker Cup.
·         Egos have to be left at the door – players will not always be able to do what they want to do. They won’t be able to practice on their time frame.
·         I ask players to play their own game and not to do anything different to any other week.
·         Expect your opponents to play well and hit good shots, expect them to hole putts but don’t be in awe.
·         Fit in to the team, accept you will have to do “other” things, this is not just about YOU.
·         I don’t expect any whingeing or complaints – whether it’s about hotel, food, missed putts etc

·         Handle the nerves, don’t be afraid of them, everyone will be nervous so be prepared for them and DEAL with them when they come. Accept the facts and hit one shot at a time and don’t get caught up in what’s going on around you.
·         Don’t let selectors and outside influences affect your play. Embrace it and prove your qualities.
·         Nerves help you to focus.
·         Nerves bring a clarity of thought.
·         Golf is not a game of Perfect by Dr Bob Rotella.
·         Discipline is being able to do simple things day after day, week after week, year after year.
·         Discipline is key to any professional athlete – training, nutrition, practice etc
·         Just focuses on the target
·         A great attitude is key to success – before, during and after a round or tournament.
·         Stick to your routine on every shot.
·         You should be fresh to go when you wake up.
·         This week will be one of the greatest experiences of your lives. You are in a very privileged position of being a Walker Cup player.
·         I want you all to have a great week, this is a really enjoyable experience and I have been privileged to have been part of four teams, two winning teams and I can honestly say that you will look back on this week with great memories. Friends you make on the opposing team and friends you make through golf.
·         There will be thousands of people out there wishing and wanting you to do well and wanting you to hit great golf shots, hole long putts and be successful.
·         Lads ENJOY this wonderful experience.
What do you think? How do you inspire and prepare a team?