The 2014 Coaches Circle and Heads of Training Summit (CCHoTS) is developing a strong reputation for providing elite coaches and Heads of Training with a truly interactive forum, and 2014’s addition was no exception.
Taking place at Chervó Golf Hotel Spa & Resort in San Vigilio, Pozzolengo, for the second consecutive year, the 5-day event saw some of Europe’s best coaches and education professionals join together to focus intently on the transition period between being an elite amateur and a professional making their way on one of the Tours.
Director of Education and Membership for The PGAs of Europe, Tony Bennett (pictured below), expressed his satisfaction on the quality of engagement from the delegates, “Coaches Circle has always been about offering coaches the opportunity to really get an insight into the minds and hearts of our speakers.
“We have consistently brought experts to the event from the world of coaching who are happy to share their knowledge. The quality and quantity of questions from the floor was impressive and certainly speaking at Coaches Circle is not for the faint hearted, as these coaches really like to quiz our experts.”
This year’s Heads of Training was as very focused on the new European Education Level System (EELS) and it’s implementation across Europe and the wider membership. “EELS offers us a completely new way of assessing PGA professional education programmes”, said Tony
“The work we have done in the Leonardo da Vinci funded Golf Stand project, [which had 16 partners from across the industry], was the forerunner to the EELS document. We now have a very reliable set of standards and learning outcomes which, not only help assess the competence of Golf professionals but also help those responsible for education and training to develop or improve their existing programmes to meet industry needs.”
Highlights from the week included the Italian Women’s Skiing Coach, and much decorated skier himself, Michael ‘Much’ Maier, who spoke about the relative similarities and parallels between his work in skiing and the role of a golf coach; Ladies Golfing Union of Ireland PGA Professional, David Kearney, discussing how players can best move into the American college golf system; and European Tour caddie, Dominic Bott, spoke about how he worked with Professionals to get the best from their game.
Former European Tour winner and current member of the European Tour Board, Paul Eales, was twice in front of the delegates – once in a panel alongside former European Tour players Massimo Scarpa and Silvio Grappasonni, discussing their transitions from players to coaches, and again where he presented about the players’ transitions from amateur to professional golf.
Nicola De Pisapia, PhD. from neuro-science startup company, Neocogita, spoke about ‘mindfulness’ and the benefits of mental training for athletes, and even gave delegates the chance to be tested using their new systems and software for measuring the physiological response of the body to stress and stimuli, and explained the practical application of this technology within the game.
PGA of Spain Professional and Technical Director for the Royal Federation of Spain, Jesús Rodriguez, discussed how the Spanish Federation developed a high performance centre for their players and what are the key components that go in to creating successful players.
Highly experienced Sports Psychologist and former Lead Psychologist for England Golf, Brian Hemmings, spoke in both halves of the CCHoTS week discussing transitions of amateur golfers to professional golfers, as well as the move that playing professional make into the teaching professional world. Practical sessions for delegates also gave them the chance to experience some of the topics in action out on the practice facilities.
The Heads of Training Summit also gave the PGAs of Europe’s Tony Bennett and Education Committee member, Jim van Heuven, the opportunity to discuss the new European Education Level System (EELS) that is being brought into use across the Association’s member countries. They also carried out specific one-to-ones with other members of the Education Committee to work with each country to begin the process of recognition under the new EELS system.