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Scotland's Top Amateurs Learn From Wilkinson Mentor

Steve Black, the man who has mentored former England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson for 17 years, recently provided Scotland’s male and female amateurs with an inspiring insight into how best to achieve success.

The popular Geordie spent two hours with around 30 members of the National Squads of the Scottish Golf Union and the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association at the St Andrews Links Golf Academy.

One of Europe’s leading motivational speakers, Black has worked with sporting heroes such as Wilkinson, who continues to shine at Toulon, former triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and the boxer, Glenn McCrory.

His passion and enthusiasm for sport is second to none and he talked at length to the assembled golfers about building effective coach-player relationships and how to go about making the most of their support networks.

Black, who has also mentored Scottish Golf Performance Development Manager Kevin Cademy-Taylor for over five years, also focused on how to build self-esteem and confidence and stressed the importance of good habits.

Motherwell’s Ross Kellett, the former SGU graduate, who has progressed from the Alps Tour to making his Challenge Tour debut in Kenya this week, was also among those in attendance inspired by Black.

“They were a wonderful group of players to talk to in St Andrews,” said Black. “I really enjoyed the chance to talk to them.

“Sport is so much about confidence and belief and that is what I was trying to get across, the importance of attitude as it influences how you perform.

“Life is also about good habits and doing the right things day by day. It doesn’t matter if you are the number one athlete in the world or an aspiring amateur, it’s about remembering those good habits on a daily basis wherever you are in the world.”

Black has also worked with the Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham football teams and with various rugby sides, including the British & Irish Lions, Wales and Newcastle Falcons. In particular, he continues to take pride in the success of Wilkinson, who he has worked with since he was 16.

“I’m really proud of him and he is still at the top of his game in France,” he says of the stand-off forever remembered as the player who won the World Cup for England in 2003. “He is the perfect example of being confident about himself and having strong self-esteem.”

Kellett was clearly impressed with Black’s advice and added: “He is an amazing guy and I talked to him about how best to go about gaining success.

“It’s about being patient. He says people want quick fixes and want to get better right now. That’s not how it works. I want to improve my swing but that will happen day by day.”

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