Golf Croquet International Performance Development Strategy
The aims of the creation of the IPDS are reflected in the Director's remit:
- Be responsible for England's performance at International singles and team GC events.
- To create and manage a sustainable International Pathway to take talented players through to elite performers.
- To work with all parts of Croquet England necessary to ensure support of improved international performance.
The IPD(GC) Director also works with others to support and develop Elite Squad management and GC Pods. At the highest level, the focus is on the England GC Team; at all levels, including Elite Squad and Pods, the aim is to make best use wherever possible of existing resources and to introduce new elements with the aim being sustained excellence.
The purpose of the pods is to raise the standard of club play and to identify likely players for selection to the IPDS group. The Pods are intended to attract players of good B-class to very good A-class standard.
The aim is to cover federation regions within the Croquet England domain with Pods primarily based at clubs that are already recognised as having a reasonable GC following.
Coordinators and Coaches
Each Pod should provide a number of coaching sessions per annum depending upon demand and availability. The number may vary from club to club, and is entirely at the discretion of the coordinator or coach, as are the Pod course dates, which may be throughout the playing or non-playing season.
One or more coaches will supervise the actual coaching sessions. The coordinator/coach may need to recruit additional assistant coaches.
The posts of coordinator and/or lead coach may be held by the same person.
Pod coaches will be expected to produce their own coaching syllabus initially which is expected to be based upon the needs of the player intake. Coaches will be expected to share their coaching experiences, material and best practice advice.
Any particular players of promise should be recommended to the IPDG Director for inclusion in the next year's IPDS selection.
- To help aspiring international players gain the skills to graduate to the England Squad and be selected for top-flight international play.
- To provide squad members with individual goal-setting and motivation, mentoring, tactical discussions, on-lawn coaching, and guidance on which events they should be entering to maximise their experience.
- To create a collective focus on playing at the top international level.
- To arrange suitable theory and practical sessions to help extend the players' understanding of the more complex or subtle aspects of the game.
Management of IPDS sessions and other aspects is the joint responsibility of the Assistant Director and the Director.
By the end of January each year, the Director will invite those recommended by the Croquet England GC Selectors to take a place in the IPDS group's first pre-season session of the IPDS mentoring.
IPDS candidates will be selected by the GC selectors.
Candidates will be considered on the basis of:
- An improving grade profile
- A bias towards players who have not been playing long
- Their potential to reach the top flight, rather than their current playing standard
- Other criteria that the Selectors, in consultation with the IPDG(GC), decide are appropriate
The squad will meet twice each year, with an option for a third at a convenient club with adequate facilities.
The IPDS Course Structure
This is a two-year course, with two sessions a year. It should enable players to have either gained the necessary skills in order to graduate to international play, or have reached their natural ceiling below that level.
The two-year course is structured as follows:
Pre-season Induction Weekend with mentoring and coaching.
Midseason match play, mentoring and coaching weekend.
(To be confirmed) End-of-season mentoring and coaching. Review of the course.
Similar to year 1 covering alternative coaching topics, with additional improvements from the year 1 review.
The coaching weekends cover a variety of topics including mental, strategy and skills development. The mentored-match weekend is an opportunity to put what has been learnt into practice against strong opposition with the benefit of guidance and feedback from experienced players.
The target squad size is a minimum of eight and a maximum of 16 IPDS members.
A typical day session would include a short introduction inviting players to offer feedback and ideas for the next session and a session covering aspects of coaching. Elite players will be invited to take the latter.
The mentored match-play weekend is intended to reinforce whatever learning points are raised.
The format and content vary according to the needs of the squad.
Selected players will be expected to attend the induction weekend and at least two of the programme events each year. In most cases, to gain maximum benefit from membership of the squad, players should expect to play at least 40 ranking GC games per season. Coaching days will be free of charge but players will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs, although Croquet England Bursaries may be applied for.
The core players forming the Elite Squad would join the Squad with the inherent commitment to support mentoring and coaching of the IPDG Squad members. Additional players with lower grades may also be invited to mentor if it is felt that they have the necessary experience and suitability to become a mentor. An emphasis will be placed on inviting our younger Elite squad members to become Mentors.
Any convenient venue may be used and dates will be based primarily around the national and international events calendar.
It is expected the squad will cover a wide range of material, including, but not limited to items such as specific areas of tactics, playing Egyptians, coping with playing under pressure and other psychological aspects of the game, practising together, discussing video analysis of events/games, individual player CPA (Cowing Performance Analysis) results and more.
In preparation for an international event, any weekend session may take an alternative format, for example, they could be used for player evaluation of form and selection, trialling doubles pairings and any other aspects considered likely to contribute towards success at the upcoming event.