With a five-year undefeated streak in CCS, the girls varsity golf team hopes to regain the sectional title again this year.
Coach Doyle Knight said most of the original players who helped the team win CCS in 2019 have graduated, so he aims to rebuild the team starting with the freshman and sophomores.
“(The new recruits) are kind of like our future,” Knight said.
While the newer players may lack the experience that the upperclassmen have, Knight said his main goal is to get the team ready for the league tournament.
“If we qualify for the tournament, we should have a really good chance of getting to CCS,” Knight said.
Part of preparing includes working on the players’ mental health, assistant coach Ron Driscoll said.
“We really have to work on the mental approach,” he said. “(In golf), it is important to maintain a positive approach, so that you don’t talk yourself into bad shots.”
In order to help the team improve performance during matches, Driscoll said he helps players create coping mechanisms for anxiety such as regulating breathing patterns, repetition of still exercises and finding at least one good thing about a play rather that focusing on the negatives.
“It is important that the girls play with confidence and do not doubt themselves during games,” Driscoll said.
Having a strong connection among teammates can also help with building a strong positive mindset. Freshman Kensie Palo said the team has this connection.
She said, “The thing I like most about playing golf at Paly are my teammates.”