Mental Skills: Greeting Letter

2013 – Each one of us is impacted in some way by the daily pressures of modern day life, but each New Year nonetheless brings with it new excitement and new challenges.

Albert Einstein’s school teachers considered him to be of below normal intelligence (a little dim!!), yet he became one of the greatest thinkers the world has ever known. On paper, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela are not much cleverer than the rest of us — yet they proved to be two of the wisest leaders in the history of the world.

What allows otherwise “common” people to become uncommon thinkers, visionaries and leaders?

Research and experience shows that it is one’s ability to approach life and its problems with creativity and heightened emotional intelligence.

Individuals with enhanced emotional intelligence are able to deal more effectively with stress; to activate their creative thinking and to find new and inspired ways to address and solve problems. This translates into improved productivity, greater optimism, renewed passion and the fulfilling of relationships amongst other things — in both the professional and personal environments.

The ability to develop enhanced emotional intelligence is available to everybody — all it takes is a little training and regular practice.

At KeNako we started a new series of Mental Skills for our students and it has positively benefitted their lives, both with respect to golf and to life in general. We have learnt and, as with anything in life, we continue to discover what works most effectively as we teach our students; and also what their needs are as young adults facing not only the challenges and pressures experienced on the golf course but beyond the golf course in their development as healthy and balanced individuals.

In 2013 KeNako will be presenting two distinct training programs relating to mental skills. The regular mental skills program, which includes elements such as visualization, concentration and life skills (e.g. mental toughness and physical literacy), will continue to be presented. The fundamental course that the ‘older’ students were exposed to in previous years is available for all new students including students who joined KeNako Academy during the course of the previous year. For those students were previously exposed to and who completed this course, attendance at the ‘old’ course is optional.

The second mental skills program concentrates on more advanced integration of mental toughness. The heart of this course will be life skills such as personal development; controlling one’s emotional reaction on the course; and trained focus for sustainable concentration.

At the start of the new year all students have as always been tested in different psychological spheres, allowing for an in dept profile of each student. These profiles assist KeNako’s key professionals (such as Head of Golf Roger Wessels and Biokineticist Jan Fourie) to better understand the nuances of each individual that they are dealing with. It allows for faster and more effective integration into the academy program. Aspects such as individual strengths and points of motivation are quickly identified. Motivation is one of the key elements of success. The philosophy at KeNako is that each student must find his or her own motivation and as a team the professionals will help them then to channel their own inspiration and enthusiasm into successful

marietteMariette Le Roux