Swapping golf clubs for a frying pan, an apron and oven mitts might seem a strange way to train a budding golf superstar at a High Performance Camp, but for National Coach NSW Dean Kinney, it's all part of the plan that will hopefully turn Golf NSW’s finest young talent into more rounded, complete athletes.
Cooking nutritious meals for themselves however is something that’s something a little new to most of them.
“We’ve had a dietician in before, but this lesson is more simplistic,” says Kinney. “We thought we could show them what they need to be eating in a performance environment – What’s going to fuel them better, what they can do when they’re travelling and how to prepare it themselves.”
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The cooking class was a part of a recently completed Golf NSW High Performance Camp held at the Riverside Oaks Golf Resort.
Nine of the State’s finest amateurs attended the two-day session to learn about topics ranging from cooking and nutrition, to bio mechanics, physiotherapy, emotional intelligence and psychology.
While no stone is left unturned in trying to prepare these athletes for what they are going to face when they get out in the big world, it’s the variety of topics that are covered during the two days that’s pushing them further.
“We try to tailor the program as the athlete evolves to what they need.”
“It means looking at every way of improving them comprehensively to ensure they understand what's necessary to be an elite athlete. It’s all encompassing.”
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Keeping a fresh approach to what and how the athletes are taught is a challenge that Kinney relishes. Whether it's through a cooking class or bringing in motivational speakers and elite performers from other sporting disciplines like Herb Elliott and Guy Leach.
“I think one of the goals for myself as a coach is to try and make it more engaging and different.”
Kinney also likes ensuring that the athletes are challenged in new ways whenever they are brought together.
"They don’t know what to expect when they arrive and that’s what I want. One of my mottos in HP coaching is to keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone all of the time.”
“We’re trying to produce top 100 players in the world. That’s our main focus.”