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 beginners through to elite performers.
- To work with all parts of the CA necessary to ensure support of improved international performance.
IPD(GC) Director. Responsible for the above and Elite squad management.
IPD(GC) Assistant Director. Responsible for the IPDS management
FCOs, GC coaches and coordinators. Responsible for pod management.
The structure is similar to that already implemented by Ian Burridge, IPD(AC), with the exception that at the highest level the focus is on the England team rather than a GB team.
The structure is designed to utilise, wherever possible, existing CA resources and introduce new elements to ensure enduring sustainability and excellence going forward.
There are three levels: Pods, IPDS (International Player Development Squad), Elite Squad.
The purpose of the pods is to raise the standard of club play, and identify players of great promise 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 all federation regions within the CA domain with Pods primarily based at clubs that are already recognised as having a reasonable GC following.
Coordinators and Coaches
Each Pod will have a coordinator who will liaise with the club directly, and arrange a minimum of 3 coaching sessions per annum. 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 either 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 one and the same
Pod coaches will receive a guideline coaching syllabus that may be augmented based upon the needs of the player intake.
Any particular players of promise should be recommended to the GC Selection Committee for inclusion with the next years 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, practical and email sessions to help extend the players' understanding of the more complex or subtle aspects of the game.
Management of IPDS sessions and other aspects will be the joint responsibility of the Assistant Director and the Director.
The intention is to provide an annual crop of 8 players into the IPDS category.
By the end of December each year the Director will invite those recommended 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 current playing standard.
- Other criteria that the Selectors, in consultation with the IPD(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, or graduated 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
Mid season match play 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 covering 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.
A target size of 8 IPDS members would seem the most manageable in terms of involving mentors and offering a larger choice of clubs to meet at, since it is intended that there will be plenty of lawn time as well.
Coaching Material and Session Formats
A coaching document is being developed under the guidance of the Assistant Director, covering more advanced aspects of GC. 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 the coaching manual/document. Elite players will be invited to take the latter.
An annual mid season match play weekend is intended to reinforce whatever learning points are raised.
The format and content is intended to 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 days a 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. Training days will be free of charge but players will be expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs, although CA bursaries may be applied for.
The core of eight to ten players forming the Elite squad would join the squad with the intention that they mentor the IPDS 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 a mentor.
As far as is possible Mentors will be given the opportunity to select those players in the IPDS who they wish to mentor, with a positive bias towards pairing them up geographically. They may even be members of a common, local club facilitating informal meetings and skills development outside of the formal sessions.
As IPDS members graduate and pass through the system into the top levels of the game they and their mentors will be encouraged to maintain close contact thereafter and encouraged to contribute as an Elite Squad member.
Any convenient venue and dates primarily based around the international events calendar.
It is envisaged that the Elite squad weekends will primarily be self-driven by its members with a focus on making members better players. This is likely to involve drawing up a list of suggested topics of interest in advance, with members taking turns to lead topics to get the ball rolling.
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 SWOT analysis and loads more.
In preparation for and prior to an international event any weekend session will take an alternative format e.g. they could alternatively be used for player evaluation of form and selection, trialling doubles pairings and any other aspects considered likely to contribute towards success at the up-coming event.