Her goals for the Knights this year include winning the American Conference Championship (UCF will move to the Big 12 next year) and making it through to the latter stages of the NCAA national championship. ‘The sky's the limit for this team,' she says. 'As I keep saying, expect the unexpected with them because they can compete with anybody, and that's pretty exciting.’
This much was evident at their recent home tournament, the UCF Challenge at Eagle Creek. Lining up against some of the best college teams and players in the country, UCF’s Anna Nordfors won the individual title and broke numerous records along the way, while the team also broke the program’s 54-hole scoring record and posted its highest ever finish in the competition. ‘Is it Clippd?’ she smiles. ‘I mean, it could be.’
After reviewing the tournament data on Clippd with the players, Coach Marron and Assistant Coach Summar Roachell sat down to talk about how Clippd is helping them to hit their targets.
You must be thrilled about your record-breaking performance at the UCF challenge.
Emily Marron: Yeah. The scores are always low, but when you see that type of scoring, to have a player shoot 64, 63 as Anna did, it's almost unbelievable. If you look at our team, Anna [Nordfors] is the player who has the most activities in Clippd. She just loves it. The details from Clippd have been really helping her. At the UCF Challenge tournament, I had two or three coaches say, 'Hey, I see you guys are using Clippd. Do you like it?' They were texting me from other schools.
What were your first impressions of Clippd? Do you feel that it has met your expectations?
Emily Marron: Yes. Visually, it’s exactly what the players need. For a coach, we kind of know what they need to work on, but to be able to show them exactly what they need to work on and to be able to get really detailed is very helpful.
Summar Roachell: A lot of the players have used different types of statistics systems with their national teams, but Clippd is just presented in a more visual way that I think they really like.
How often do you use Clippd?
Emily Marron: We're probably looking at it daily, or at least referring to it in our practices every day. We just walked to lunch and on the way there, I said to Summar, 'Tomorrow, the first hour and a half of our practice has to just be Clippd data.' The players are working on what they see from Clippd. Now we have more data in, so we can see more and they can, too. We can cater their practices around the specific things they need to work on.
Are you getting a sense of how much the players are looking at Clippd?
Emily Marron: They're definitely sitting around talking about it and comparing and asking questions. Even for me, even during a tournament, my mind is on Clippd. I'll see a girl from another team hit a shot and I’ll be thinking, 'That's probably about an 80 for Shot Quality.' One of our players, ‘Sandwich’ [Sisutham] made a great 25-footer for par, walked off the green and said, ‘That's probably a good quality score on Clippd.’ So it’s even while they're playing. It's fun at dinner, too. We sit there and say, ‘What was your lowest quality? What was your highest Shot Quality score?’
Summar Roachell: They're all looking at it.
Do you find the insights in Clippd easy to understand?
Summar Roachell: As you start to understand the player, you can see how different things connect. One of our players, she's not hitting it that far off the tee, so therefore the distances that she needs to practice are a little bit longer. Then, because she's having those long clubs in, her short game is really crucial, too. So, although her short game has been good, it's being able to connect it. It's important for them to be able to connect what they need to work on with what they specifically see in a tournament.
Now, we don't have to say what our opinion is. We just show them this is what you need to do.
Emily Marron: It’s very useful for players to get a snapshot of what they need to work on. Ryan Potter at Wake Forest told me that their practices go off the Clippd data. I'm starting to see that after only one tournament. Now, we don't have to say what our opinion is. We just show them this is what you need to do. I think what's helpful, too, is we're only two people and there's five of them, so we don't know every shot and we don't know every putt they hit. Now we're able to see that data.
Have you seen a performance improvement because of Clippd?
Emily Marron: We've used it in one tournament and I'd say yes. Anna has also worked extremely hard but I think Clippd has motivated her to work. As Ryan [Potter] said, it changes how you practice. These girls can put in their stuff immediately and they can see it immediately on their phones. They can send it to their teachers. They can send it to their parents or whoever is helping them. They have a snapshot of their tournament, of their game, their playing and their practice. So, I think it's pretty cool.
What does good look like for you?
Emily Marron: We ask our girls anonymously to write down what they think a successful team is. In this generation, we hear a lot of ‘I want to be supported’, ‘I want to get along with my team-mates’, ‘I want to do my best’, ‘I want to enjoy the process’. I agree with all of those things, but we're here to compete, too. So it's that balance, always making sure we're enjoying every day, enjoying the process, being grateful for the opportunity, and then just going and playing really hard. I think if you can combine those two things, that's when you're going to have success. We don't win a lot in golf, right? We can say we want to win. But even the UCF Challenge was a win for us. Our goal was to finish top-five and we did. Our goals shouldn't be based on other people. Our goals should be based on what we're doing here, and I think that's where Clippd helps. We can set some goals for these girls. For some it night be to increase their Player Quality score, which can take the focus off goals based on what other people do.
Finally, would you recommend Clippd to other coaches?
Emily Marron: Yes, but now I'm afraid that everyone's going to get it! I think that it's the best golf data app I've ever seen. It's so visual and it gives you so much detail. I don't think there's anything else out there like Clippd.