The Georgia women’s golf team has consistently worked with mental game coaches, physiologists, nutritionists, and individual swing coaches, relying on a solid support system behind them. Some players have had professional swing coaches while others have relied upon their parents to coach them throughout their lives.
However, once becoming a collegiate athlete, what is the transition like going from practicing with a coach back home — some players traveling from overseas to Athens — to having a new coach with the Bulldogs?
Head coach Josh Brewer answers this question by stating that he tries to be a “jack of all trades."
“I just want to be apart of that team. I’m the eyes and ears,” Brewer explains.
Celeste Dao a freshman from Quebec, Canada, revealed that her communication with her coach back home occurs regularly and remains very good. She also communicates often with her father, who has been her coach since she first started playing golf. In fact, he was the one who first put a gold club in her hand and showed her how to grip it and swing.
“My dad is more technical and my national coach is more game strategy,” Dao said. “If I have mental stuff I wanna talk about I’ll talk to my mom.”
Dao added that Brewer is one of the reasons she came to Georgia to pursue her collegiate career.
“Josh Brewer has done an incredible job so far. He’s such an amazing coach,” Dao said.
Caterina Don, a freshman from Pinerolo, Italy, delved into the specific things she works on with her coach back home, and also with Brewer at Georgia. Brewer is the first resource she consults because he knows what to look for in her golf swing.
“If I have some problems, I talk to Coach Brewer and we try and figure out a way to solve it together,” Don said. “If I’m going through changes Josh is the first one I go to.”
Having a coach that a player communicates with regularly can prove to be difficult because videos and FaceTime are not exactly the same thing as seeing a swing in person.
“I’m seeing it under stress, they’re seeing it in a controlled environment, my idea should be more well thought about” Coach Brewer said.
Don agreed, claiming that it is tough sending videos back home, and receiving the feedback because what her international coach sends back is not always going to affect her golf swing.
There are coaches for other aspects of the game, and Brewer said there could be a coach for swings, mental or just a general national coach. It depends on the player.
The mental part of the golf game is something that one can never perfect, and is an aspect of the game that takes consistent and focused practice. Gabriela Coello, a senior from Maracay, Venezuela, has worked with three or four people that helped with the mental aspect of the game throughout her golfing career.
“When everything else is good in my life it translates into golf,” Coello said. “I think coming from South America, mental health isn’t something you really talk about and athletes notice that first hand it affects your game. People don’t really tell you if you’re stressed out about school or life it really will translate into golf."
Coello continued that is is important that athletes go to psychologists and to rely on these resources.
“It is really really important. I think it's something that’s not talked about and it should be,” Coello said.
When asked about the mental part of her game, Don revealed that a round of golf takes a mental and physical toll on the player.
“When my body is tired, it's much more tough,” Don said. “I played four tournaments in a row, by the end your mind is overwhelmed your body is tired. I do a lot of self talking to myself on the golf course, but I think every golfer does.”
At the end of the day, the Georgia women’s golf team has a full team behind them working towards making them the best and most complete golfers that they can be.
“It’s our sports, we all want the same thing,” Brewer said. “We want the student athletes to perform at the highest level, and to me, it’s just adding one more piece, that’s all I’m trying to do.”