Mel Reid says that 10 days of working with a sports psychologist is already paying off as she plays in the fourth Major championship of the year.
After opening with a five-under-par 67 in the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns on Thursday, the 29-year-old from Derby revealed that she has been working extremely hard with her Scottish coach, Kevin Craggs and also a new psychologist, Paul McCarthy from Ireland, whom she only met recently at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.
“He’s made a big impact already,” said Reid, who claimed her sixth LET title earlier this year, in the Oates Vic Open in Australia. “Maybe that’s the little change that I needed, and this is the most amount of time I’ve spent with Kev all year.”
Reid had a large team around her when she first arrived on tour in 2008, after winning the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur by finishing 16th in the 2007 Ricoh Women’s British Open at St Andrews. She has since stream lined her team down to those she trusts implicitly.
“I think the thing is with me is that I’ve been given a lot of information through my career, and I feel like some of it has stuck with me and some of it hasn’t,” she said.
“From a sports psychologist point of view, I feel like with Kev I know what I’m doing with my swing. With Helen, I know what I’m doing in the gym. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing with my head in a sense, because so many people are telling me different things, and I just kind of wanted to start again and just stick with one person that Kev recommended. Kev has worked with Paul before, and immediately from even spending two hours with Paul, he just said a couple of things that went back to basics, and he was shocked really by how much I was a sponge and took in the information that he gave me.”
She continued: “I think I’m mentally very strong at times. I want to be mentally strong all the time. There are times when I kind of dip in and out of it. Solheim Cup I’m mentally strong. When I’m going down the stretch I’m usually mentally strong. If my back is against the wall I’m usually mentally strong, but I need to be like that on a Thursday morning of the Phoenix Open, and sometimes I don’t do that. That’s hopefully why I feel that Paul is going to be a great addition to the team.”
Reid’s confidence is no doubt boosted by fond memories of her performance in the Ricoh Women’s British Open on the Old Course a decade ago, when she was pictured sitting on the Swilcan Bridge next to the event champion, Lorena Ochoa. Now older, wiser and more experienced, could this be her time to shine in St Andrews again?