James has high hopes as women face tougher foes

The Minnesota womenâÄôs golf team will face tougher competition compared to last weekend. The Gophers head back to Michigan to compete in the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich. The players will play 36 holes Saturday and 18 Sunday. Other teams include Kent State and Michigan State, ranked No. 15 and No. 19 respectively by Golfweek. âÄú[This tournament has] a very high standard of competition, much higher than we played last week,âÄù director of golf Brad James said. âÄúLast week was a wonderful start for the ladies. It was great to see [senior] Kelli [Berns ] shoot a score that she is more than capable of.âÄù Now, James said, Berns needs to work on the mental aspect of her game because all of the physical tools are there. If she focuses on things she has control of, she has a chance. âÄúA lot of the time, Kelli gets a little caught up in the aspects of a team, where a lot of things you really donâÄôt have control of. Kelli focuses on those a little too much, as do many of the players,âÄù James said. The way to learn mental toughness, James said, is through practicing and preparing in the same manner one would act and focus during a competition. Off the golf course, many players will compare themselves to other people and look at external factors that influence their decisions instead of concentrating on what they can do. This isnâÄôt what the coaches want their players to do, James said. The coaching staff tries to teach players that they have ownership in their life, game and schoolwork. James teaches players to not rely on others or look at others to do anything for them and to make decision on their own. The coaching staff wants the players to focus on what they need to do and things they have control of, which doesnâÄôt include the weather âÄî itâÄôs supposed to rain in Lansing on Saturday. âÄúIt doesnâÄôt matter what the weather is. Living in Minnesota, we tend to get it all. So, we tend to be more prepared than other programs,âÄù James said. MenâÄôs Golf After last weekâÄôs tournament, the Minnesota menâÄôs golf team is ranked No. 14 in the nation by Golfweek. The men are looking ahead to the Adams Cup next week in Newport, R.I., Sept. 22-23. The team used last weekendâÄôs sixth-place tie to focus during practice. âÄúI think last week was, in a sense, a good wakeup call. The kids have been working hard this week,âÄù James said. For the upcoming tournament, there will be changes, not only in the lineup or scores, but also playersâÄô attitudes toward their games. The team refocused in hopes of better results, he said. The team is practicing more efficiently and practicing how they play so they can perform under pressure and be mentally prepared. James said he canâÄôt see many major lineup changes, but wants to give younger players a shot. As far as better scores go, James isnâÄôt concerned. âÄúI look at the way the kids are practicing,âÄù James said. âÄúThose aspects are more important to me because I know the results will come if they do take ownership and do a good job with their preparation.âÄù