Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CMH Golfer Profiled

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

Golfer stays calm
Lambert takes good game plan into rounds
By Daniel Mike Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – Some athletes get nervous when a parent is watching their every move. But for Isabella Lambert, having her father nearby is actually a calming presence. “Everyone would think I get distracted by him,” the Catholic Memorial High School senior said. Not so. “It’s the norm for me,” Lambert said. “I guess it helps me with my mental game.” It is the mental aspect of golf that has helped Lambert achieve a considerable amount of success during her time at CMH. “She thinks her way through the course,” CMH coach Steve Plechaty said. “We do spend a lot of time on course management. She’s pretty good at setting up the next shot prior to hitting it so she can go after the hole how she wants to and avoid hazards.

“There’s always something to learn and things don’t always work the way they’re planned. One of the reasons she’s able to play consistently strong is she’s got a strong mental attitude and good game plan going into holes.” Lambert remains even-keeled on the links. In a game that is often frustrating and has been known to cause some tem- pers to be lost, Lambert rarely shows her disappointment, anger or uneasiness – if there even is any. “She’ll be her biggest critic, so she doesn’t let situations or the course conditions really affect her,” Plechaty said. “That’s the whole secret of golf. It’s so much mental, that there are times you’re bound to hit a bad shot or get a bad break. Stronger players are the ones who are able to control the mental aspect and stay on their game.

“That is one of the lessons that, with maturity, you figure out and one of the reasons she’s so successful. She keeps the damage to a minimum. “She keeps her emotions pretty much in check.”

Holding a 4.29 cumulative grade-point average at Memorial and taking several advanced placement and international baccalaureate classes, Lambert has a leg up in a vastly mental game. “I think things through a lot,” she said, “and my academics obviously would help. “I look at things differently, I guess. Instead of just hitting a ball to a place, I’ll think the hole through. That comes with golf experience, too.”

Lambert’s father, Dave, got her into the sport early, and she has stuck with it for nearly 14 years. “I started when I was 4 years old because my dad was always into golf,” she said. “He said he got me a plastic set and saw I had a pretty good swing for a 4-year-old. “I really loved it, and then probably in high school is when I started getting serious about it.”

High school offered Lambert the opportunity to turn a primarily individual sport into a team competition. “The camaraderie brought more out of me,” Lambert said. “Since there was more of team aspect in high school, it was kind of a different twist.” Being a senior on this year’s team, Lambert also has taken on a leadership role for a rather young Crusaders team. “We lost a couple players, one to injury and one to another sport,” Plechaty said. “A lot of girls would’ve just sort of played for themselves, knowing the team has lost some key personnel. She has always been about the other girls on the team and bringing them along. She really plays for the team aspect, not just her personal score.”

Lambert, who won the Classic 8 Conference Tournament last year and finished seventh at the Division 2 state meet, has a golf club in her hand on a daily basis. “I practice every day, at least two hours a day,” she said. “In the summer, it’s probably four hours a day because I don’t have schoolwork. “It’s kind of stuck in me. I’ve been doing it my whole life, so it’s part of me now.” Lambert has verbally committed to play golf at Butler University next season. “I always wanted a scholarship for golf,” she said. “I really like their campus and their coach was amazing. “The academics of the school are really nice, too.” Lambert undoubtedly will be putting in a lot of work to have success at the next level. “She can be pretty successful right away,” Plechaty said. “She can walk in and help that program as a freshman.”
E-mail: dmike@conleynet.com

Photo Credit: Kevin Harnack/Freeman Staff Catholic Memorial senior Isabella Lambert is one of the Classic 8 Conference’s best golfers.

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