Support4Sport VIP Coach – Craig Faulkner

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Craig Faulkner – Bio

Where are you from?

Born and raised in beautiful Nova Scotia and currently reside in Middle Sackville.

How Long have you been coaching golf?

I approached the Oakfield Golf and Country Club in 2016 about the idea of starting a golf program for the Special Olympics Sackville-Bedford region. The general manager discussed the program with the membership, and they wholeheartedly embraced the program and have given me their full support.

Today I have twelve golfers and four additional coaches to support the golf program.

What do you coach?

I started in 2016 as a Special Olympics Assistant Coach for Soccer & Athletics and currently, I’m the Head Coach for Golf and Floor Hockey.

Why do you love to coach?

Coaching Special Olympics is a very rewarding experience and a great opportunity to share my love of sport.  I’m proud to be a voice for inclusion and an advocate for the many golfers in the community who have an intellectual disability. 

The most important lesson I have learned as a coach is being aware of individual differences in golfers.  Every golfer is different, and has different ways of receiving information, dealing with stress, anxiety, and the rate at which they improve.

Building trust between the golfer and coach is of paramount importance. It is essential that the golfers know you care about them as a golfer and a person.

I always focus on the being is positive, enthusiastic, and supportive cheerleader for every golfer. The bottom line is simple; it must be fun for everyone involved.

Everyone has similar goals and dreams, regardless of your situation in life and the Special Olympics golfers demonstrate the importance of having a positive attitude when presented with new and seemingly insurmountable challenges. 

I enjoy watching the golfers develop problem solving skills that will help them throughout their personal lives.

To break down golf into its simplest terms, you have a bag of sticks with a wedge attached and a golf ball.

How do you best use those sticks to get that ball in a hole that’s far away.

If that’s not already difficult enough, you need to consider sand traps; water hazards; rain; deep grass; wind; trees; hills; plus, many more obstacle that golf throws at you every time you play.

Even if you hit the perfect shot, it may land in a spot that makes your next shot almost impossible.

Each shot presents a problem to solve, and golfers need to use critical thinking skills that gives them the best opportunity to hit the next ball where they want it to land.

Golf has a way of emulating life. Accept your situation, and then strategize and solve any problems you encounter to give yourself the best chance for success.

Craig Faulkner, Special Olympics Sackville BedfordProgram Coordinator, Head Coach Golf, Head Coach Floor Hockey