by SYDNEY CLIFFORD and SPENCER HOWE
WESTFIELD, Ind. (Sept. 29, 2018) - Day long tournaments. Three hour scrimmages. Practices off campus. Individual lessons. Weight room days. All add up to a sport that requires extreme focus and immense mental strength for success.
“Golf is the most mental sport there is,” 2018 State Champion Jocelyn Bruch (11) said. “Because it’s such a technical sport and emotions play such a big part in it. You just always have to be positive in order to compete and play your best.”
A variety of factors went into developing a mental edge. Mental training days on Fridays helped the team cope with different situations out on the course.
“One of the things we talked about was that you have ten seconds or ten yards and after a shot to be mad or be frustrated,” Megan Barker (12) said. “You can be as frustrated as you want for those ten steps, ten yards, ten seconds. But after that, we have to be done. We can’t be mad about that shot anymore. That was something I had to work on a lot, and obviously it was not doable every time. But it was helpful.”
Beyond that, the preparation, positivity and drive developed uniquely for each girl. While some thought about the holes ahead, others wanted to emphasize what was going on at the moment. Each preparation style was different.
“I think of Chick-fil-A,” Allie Hildebrand (9) said. “My coach promised me that for every birdie I get, I get a Chick-fil-A meal. So every time I have a good shot, I’m like ‘This means Chick-fil-A tonight.’”
Besides the the mental aspect, the team atmosphere motivated each girl to do her best. Deeper relationships helped connect the girls and pushed them to improve.
“You get to be with other people who are older,” Brette Hanavan (9) said. “They’re very inspirational to each other.”
Despite the team’s numerous accomplishments in recent years, they received little recognition from the student body. Sports concentration generally focuses on football in the fall despite success in other sports, particularly Lady Rocks Golf.
“I think supporting all the sports is really important,” Barker said. “I think you should go to cross-country races. I think you should go to swimming, and obviously a lot of people go to football. I just think it's important to watch your teams because as a school that's how you make a community: it is by watching your teams and supporting them.