Nicola Stroud has been coaching golf for over 20 years. We found out what motivates the Welsh coach, who was the first female in Europe to graduate from the Professional Golf Studies course, as well as being PGA qualified.
What made you get into coaching?
“I was inspired by female golf coach Vivian Saunders when I was a child. As part of a national squad we were sent to her for weekends of coaching and I loved the idea of coaching other girls (for me golf had always been a very male dominated experience, so this was my first experience of women playing golf at a high standard). I wanted to help others enjoy golf as much as I did.”
What inspires and motivates you on a day-to-day basis when you’re coaching?
“Seeing the happiness and excitement from my clients when they achieve success, whether it is just a good shot, a putt going in the hole or having a good score. I love the immediate feedback their body language gives off and the fact that I have made a difference to their enjoyment of the game I love.”
Nicola is always looking for ways to improve her coaching techniques and give back to the game she loves. Further to her coaching qualifications, Nicola has completed a PGA Golf Psychology Coaching Certificate and is a Golf Union of Wales accredited coach, having also been awarded PGA Advanced Status for the “outstanding contribution” she has made to the development of golf in Wales.
How have your coaching methods progressed over the years?
“For over 20 years I have coached golf the “usual” way i.e. on a range for a number of weeks focusing mainly on technique. I had already started to move my coaching method more towards taking groups onto the golf course fairly early into their learning stage but I was still taking them onto the range for technique lessons first. Last year, I found out about the love.golf programme, which is a coaching programme developed especially for women based upon academic research and study into female participation in golf.
“I became interested because it just made sense to me: I learned golf on the golf course and by being part of a team of like-minded golf professionals, my coaching has been enriched through learning to coach in a more holistic way. I feel I have reconnected with learners and I now understand better how to get the best out of my clients.”
What’s your favourite success story so far?
“I have a couple: a woman who has only completed a six week programme, has gone to her holiday home in Florida with her keen golfing husband and entered a Texas Scramble competition. Her husband is ecstatic that they can share a hobby together. And after just nine weeks, the girls asked me to organise a golfing holiday to Portugal. We are going away soon with a large group of keen golfers and love.golfers. The women are building great friendships and the support they are giving each other, not just with their golf, but emotionally, is incredible.”
This coach story comes courtesy of love.golf