Some time ago, I looked at the efficiency of a Talent Development Programme within a high-profile Olympic Sport. I wanted to know how many athletes ‘the Programme’ had transitioned to an ‘Elite’ senior level and how many super-talented athletes had failed to realise their potential along the way. What became clear was that the programme had failed to fully understand the factors that had supported successful transitions and the roadblocks that hindered talent over the previous 16 years.
As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”. I wanted to use those clues to direct the ‘right support’ at the ‘right time’ from the ‘right people to increase the likelihood of transitioning from a world-class junior to a world-leading professional.
The subsequent research showed certain coaches were super effective at specific transition stages. Similarly, attitude and application played a key role, and this was supported by training alongside world-class senior athletes.
Fast forward 10yrs, and I’m excited to be applying the same thinking to Golf. Trinifold Sports Management has embraced the philosophy that Long-Term Athlete Development isn’t linear. They’re using a unique funding model to remove financial and time pressures to win. This frees up the player to switch their focus from ‘Performance’ to ‘Progression’.
It’s all too easy to fall into silos and fail to recognise ‘Performance Parallels’. In the case of Golf, the trajectory to word-class was very similar to professional sailing. Both are highly technique centric sports delivered in uncontrollable environments. They share a high value on decision making, mental resilience and experience. Both sports require a longer transition period due to the need to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills (KAS) for sustained performance.
In Golf, individual players are relatively underprepared for the most challenging 4-7 years of their career. Having initially focused on developing skills around ‘performance planning’, we’re now looking to introduce the cohort of players to word-class Strength & Conditioning and Mental Skills coaches to supplement the players own technical Coaching Team. This Multi-disciplinary approach uses lessons learnt from Olympic Sport.
Over the coming years, it’s going to be exciting to follow the progress of the Trinifold and Golfing4Life players as we continually refine our approach to support their transition from ‘Elite Amateur’ to winning on the European Tour.