Case study

How Seattle University Women’s Team used Clippd to make history

Words by
Head Coach Marc Chandonnet
How Seattle University Women’s Team used Clippd to make history

Seattle University Head Coach Marc Chandonnet reveals how Clippd helped his women’s golf team to claim a first ever Western Athletic Conference Championship, and why he's now upgrading his goals.

My women’s team played some incredible golf last season. They're starting to compete at every event. There were some tough teams to beat in the WAC Championship in Arizona, which is outside our comfort zone in terms of the type of courses we normally play. We tried to play there a ton in the spring and we were rolling by the time we got to the conference championship. I expected them to bring that energy right into the event. 

We finished seventh, fourth, first and second in our last four tournaments before the WAC Championship. Aarayanna Morris shot nine under par at the GCU Invitational, which was a program school record. In our next event, the Red Rocks Invitational, the team tied for first place. Rivekka Jumagulova, who was a junior, then shot 12 under at the Montana State event to lower the record again and be individual medallist. The team lost by one to GCU. 

Rivekka Jumagulova (center) shot a program record score to be individual medalist at the Bobcat Desert Classic

From day one, our women's team bought into Clippd. They were disciplined in adding the necessary information to see both their strengths and weaknesses. As a coaching staff, our favorite feature, and the thing we saw players utilize the most, is What To Work On. By using the Quick Wins filter, they can see how they can improve in between events.

Even more important, once they knew the areas where they could improve on quickly they could record practice drills in Clippd to ensure that every session was quantifiable. I want to infuse emotion and test skill levels in practice to create experiences that allow your practice to transfer to competition.

Seeing the numbers in Clippd going in the right direction builds confidence — 100 per cent

Rivekka is a fantastic player who was WAC Freshman of the Year. She’s had some ups and downs health-wise but she's feeling great right now and able to play at a high level. Secondary to that, her short game has really improved. Our facilities have helped with that but so too has Clippd. 

Being able to go into the app and see what to work on and what areas of the game are really hurting her, and then being able to utilize the drills, has been huge. The women's short games really, really improved last season. 

The thing I love most about my women's team is they're present. They seem to handle the pressures of performing well because of that. They do a good job with their practice, their confidence and what they've done to create feels. Then they just go play golf and the emotion doesn't really get dragged along with them. 

Practice needs to be challenging, rewarding and measurable. Clippd has definitely been a big support

My women have got life figured out and they know how to have fun. They're able to disassociate who they are from their result. They're very coachable, they're open to everything that we teach them and ask them to do, and they do it without issue. They don't seem to internalise things or beat themselves up on the golf course. They're really in tune with what they have to do regarding the process. 

The team tied for first place at the Red Rocks Invitational

Prior to using Clippd, we always preached that practice needs to be challenging, rewarding and measurable. It has to provide feedback. Being able to see that feedback tangibly in Clippd has definitely been a big support. 

The women do a great job with collecting the details during the round. I see them writing it down, which has been very helpful for them to enter the rounds afterwards in Clippd. Not one of them has ever complained about the time it takes. The buy-in from players is a big deal for a coach. Part of the reason that they're having success is because they see the value in it.

I try to teach them is that you can practise less and gain more. It's the old simplicity versus complexity adage

Winning a conference championship and moving beyond to post-season play is always the goal but I want to ensure that's not as far as they're dreaming. Hopefully they're pushing themselves to where they can be at regionals and compete there and maybe move on to nationals. I think that drives your habits in a different way. 

My goals are always based on how I can get the player to communicate better with me. How can I get them to communicate better with their teammates? How can I get them to understand that the things that they do daily will actually have an impact long term, especially if they can find some peace in their life? I don't set concrete goals for each individual's golf game. I just want to see them progressing. 

Seeing the numbers in Clippd going in the right direction builds confidence — 100 per cent. You can feel it, you can see it, and it makes them want to go out there and do it more, knowing that the way they're practising now actually makes a difference. 

If a potential recruit came to me with a really detailed Clippd profile, it would be incredibly useful

What I try to teach them is that you can practise less and gain more. It's the old simplicity versus complexity adage. If we're efficient and intelligent about how we do things, you can actually become a better player quicker. It’s not about practising less, it’s about practising more intelligently so that it transfers. We're seeing that. I'm almost blown away at how good they've got in their short games.

I'm probably one of the only coaches out there still who's running both men’s and women’s programs. On the women's side, I have players from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Japan. I've had players from Germany, the Philippines over the last couple of years. 

On the men's side, we have guys from Slovenia and China and we have another kid coming in from Japan in the fall. We've got a nice eclectic mix of people from all over the world and always have had. We plan on continuing that. My hope, honestly, is to start to build some more connections in Europe and find some players from over there, too. 

Marc Chandonnet coaches both the men's and women's teams at Seattle

If a potential recruit came to me with a really detailed Clippd profile, it would be incredibly useful from a recruitment perspective. Any time I can get in there and look at where they stand in all the categories, that's a huge deal. 

Not only would it give me some context of where their game is, but it would allow me to ask very specific questions about who they're working with, what they're being taught, how they're practising, and how they think it's impacting their game. When you ask those questions, you can really tell a lot about a kid regarding their intelligence around the topic. That can make or break whether or not a connection can be made and how far you can see these players potentially going. 

Coaches want a high fidelity view of potential recruits, not only their game, but also their approach to practise and doing the work that's required to become a successful collegiate golfer.  Colleges use these systems and for juniors wanting to go to college, collecting data means they coaches can get a better jump into building them into a better player. 

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