Gophers working on helping the team by helping the indivual

In professional golf tournaments, participants play as individuals; their score is the only one that counts toward their final result. However, in collegiate golf, things are a little different. Schools pick five competitors to play as a team, with four of those scores counting toward the teamâÄôs final score. The winner is determined by the team with the lowest combined scores, with teams having the ability to also enter golfers in the tournament as individuals. The Minnesota menâÄôs golf team focuses on not worrying about the final team results, as the team aspect can be an adjustment for first-years who are used to doing their own thing on the golf course. It also takes veteran golfers a bit to readjust to the team aspect in the fall after competing on their own in the summer. But the menâÄôs coaching staff wants to continue that individual-first attitude during the collegiate season. âÄúWe donâÄôt let [the players] get caught up in how their teammates are doing,âÄù menâÄôs associate head coach Andrew Tank said. âÄúWe stress to them that we want them to focus on their individual goals. If they take care of those, then the team results will take care of itself.âÄù The focus starts on Monday morning when each golfer e-mails their goals for the week to the coaching staff. After discussions of how to achieve them, the coaches serve as resources for the golfers to reach their goals. The overall goal for the menâÄôs golf team is to prepare golfers to move to professional play when they graduate. âÄúThat is why we brought them here. We think they have the talent and they have expressed the desire to play professional golf when they graduate,âÄù Tank said. During the season, teams train together but each individual works on different aspects of their game on their own. Coaches will give players specific drills based on what they want to work on. âÄúIâÄôll individualize what IâÄôm doing as far as drills and stuff for the players, but as far as the team goes, IâÄôm still teaching them the same things as far as the mental game and the course management stuff,âÄù womenâÄôs associate head coach Kristine Wessinger said. Training together can create a fun atmosphere but also more competition within each team. The womenâÄôs golf team gets along great, Wessinger said, but push each other every practice. And since golfers are competing for limited spots in the next tournament, the players push each other to do better. This environment makes for better play from the golfers, which in turn can result in better tournament play. âÄúEveryoneâÄôs fighting for a spot so obviously you push each other to get better,âÄù Wessinger said. âÄúYou donâÄôt want someone to take your spot.âÄù And that drive to stay in a top spot is something that Tank said really comes down to takings responsibility for oneself. âÄúWhen it comes down to it, youâÄôre the one out there hitting the shots,âÄù Tank said.