Coach Jim Hardy Is Back For Coaches’ Training Ahead Of The NCBA Kenya Invitational

Coach Hardy explaining a point to Flavia Namakula. PHOTO/ NCBA

NAIROBI, Kenya- US Kids Golf coach Jim Hardy is back in the country for a series of coaches training ahead of the NCBA Kenya Invitational tournament for players between 15-18 years old.

Hardy already had a three-day refresher course with a group of coaches that went through the US Kids coaches training in the last three years. Since Monday, December 11, 2023, Coach Hardy has been busy with a new training program for another group of coaches from Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya.

“When we are teaching kids, we want to make sure that the coaches understand that you can’t teach a kid the same way that you teach an adult. We use a couple of keys, we teach very lightly and then we play a game that increases the skill that we just introduced,” he explained.

Coach Ali Khimji of Windsor in action. PHOTO/ NCBA

The training at Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club took the coaches through class sessions and practicals out in the field, using the same methods and techniques that they are expected to use in the kids’ training.

“You just watched us play what we call the cow pasture pool which is a great way to learn distance and direction control of a ball rolling along the ground, struck by a putter. It may sound complicated, but when you explain it to the kids, it is fun,” said the coach.

The game is all about how you hold the putter, how you stand next to it, and how to play pool not on the pool table but on the greens.

Flavia Namakula, Uganda’s National Coach in action. PHOTO/ NCBA

In the first year of the program, 40 coaches were trained and a few more were added in the second year.   With 37 new coaches joining the training in 2023, the total number of coaches has increased to over 100 coaches.

“Part of what we are trying to do (as US Kids Golf) is create a grassroots movement at the different clubs throughout Kenya and the surrounding areas so that we can get kids that start in golf that fall in love with golf, that become very good in golf so that within the next six or seven years we have golfers that can qualify to play in the Olympics for Kenya and we have golfers from Kenya that may win the Kenya Open. That would be fun!” elaborated coach Hardy.

Coaches watching. PHOTO/ NCBA

The ultimate goal of the training of coaches is to make them bring up kids that will fall in love with the game and from the different groups, one or two of them will rise above the rest at the age of 19 or 20 years and become very good.

Playing with different colored balls as part of the games in training. PHOTO/ NCBA

“If I teach them very technically, I will probably turn them into a soccer player because they will think it was supposed to be fun because of the stick and a ball but you’ve made it sound quite complicated, so I think I’ll go play something else,” warned the coach.

From the coaches in training, they have a combined total of over one thousand kids that they are looking after back in their clubs. They are being trained in the same way for the short game in chipping, putting, and bunker, as well as with the full swing.  

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