Based in Arrowtown, up and coming Kiwi pro golfer Laura Hoskin was introduced to the game at age 10 by her dad. At only 25, she’s already got plenty of international tournaments under her belt, including in the USA and China – despite Covid-19 disrupting her 2020 travel plans.
But it was during the downtime of early 2021 that Hyoumankind founder Steph met Laura at Aro-Ha wellness retreat in Glenorchy. Bonding while hiking, Steph could see how much Laura had to offer as a beautiful human being, and was impressed by her drive to pursue her personal and professional goals. Steph decided there and then that she wanted to help nurture Laura’s spark.
Describing herself as ‘short but sweet’, Laura has since made it overseas – returning in August from Palm Springs, California, USA where she competed in five different events, including the LPGA Qualifying School.
We’re so pleased and proud to announce our Hyoumankind partnership with Laura, as we support and sponsor this rising sports star, to help her achieve her dreams. To mark the occasion, we recently caught up and chatted with Laura. About everything from the importance of sleep to her performance, how she keeps calm in the face of a pandemic, and a big call about who makes the world’s best coffee.
How do you use your Hyoumankind pillows?
I sleep with my Go Pillow every night. It has been the biggest life saver while travelling though out the USA. I remember when I was playing on tour in China and going from a different hotel each week. Sleeping on different kinds of pillows unexpectedly threw me off guard and my sleeps were inconsistent. But this year and this tour have been totally different, I know my neck is getting the same consistent support it needs every night. I sometimes also use it between my legs when I am sleeping on my side to keep my hips neutral. Also, when I am driving from event to event, (the longest drive I had in the USA was five hours), I put the Go Pillow behind my back for lumbar support.
What are your strategies for a good night’s sleep?
I try not to be on my phone for more than 10 minutes before shutting my eyes. I like having a dark room and no TV, so that my sleep is uninterrupted. A bedroom for me is a place of rest and comfort away from distractions and technology.
You travel a lot for your sport. What (and who) do you miss most about Aotearoa New Zealand?
Having recently spent two and a half months in the USA, I missed my dog Hadlee the most. OH AND PROPER COFFEE!! Hahaha no one does coffee like New Zealand! My boyfriend Matt lives in Auckland and I missed him a tonne, but he has been one of my greatest supporters and my rock throughout this whole trip.
If you weren’t playing golf, what would you be doing?
I would be starting up my own business of some sort. Or property development: I love projects and being my own boss! Something like what Steph is doing.
What a crazy couple of years you’ve had! How do you cope with uncertainty?
Yes!...I was playing full time on the China and Australian Tour and was planning my trip to the USA last year when Covid hit. So everything was put on hold. I actually really enjoyed being home and not having the pressure of competition and enjoyed having stability in my life. For me this is simple things like coming home to my parents and my dog Hadlee, and having home cooked meals and consistent practice and training facilities.
I was able to focus on myself and mature a bit and just take a breather. There was a lot of uncertainty about the future of my golf career but I knew that I still had time on my side and I hadn't yet reached my full potential as an athlete. I kept training and practising even though I didn't know when my next overseas tournaments would be. All I knew was that I had this time to get better and prepare myself for when the world would open up again.
Here at Hyoumankind, we’ve been listening to Matt Walker talk about sleep. Do you agree that ‘sleep is your super power’? How does sleep help you perform at the level you do?
Absolutely! I have been taught from a young age being a part of New Zealand High Performance groups that sleep is vital to performance. Most recently I have noticed that people are taking more of an interest in overall mental wellbeing and not exhausting our bodies and mental states to the point of burnout. It is so important to listen to your body and not consistently be pushing it to its limits, as this can cause breakdown and injury.
Growth is made in recovery, but recovery is not something we are taught to do. I personally have had to push myself to actively recover and schedule in naps, add in extra hours of sleep and give myself permission to rest and recover. Lack of sleep makes my mind fuzzy. Prioritising sleep is especially when I am out here in the USA playing golf in 45 degrees every day. It makes my mind sharp and I feel refreshed when competing!
Do you and Brian integrate thinking about sleep into your training?
I use a heart rate monitor called a ‘Whoop’, which I wear 24/7 and it records my sleep patterns and the intensity of my golf/gym training. If I’ve had a particularly intense day of training, my app – which is linked to the monitor – tells me exactly how much sleep I need that night to perform at my best. So yes, absolutely I link sleep and my training together. If I have had an intense day of training I will add in more sleep that night to recover.
How does being from a strong sporting family help (or hinder) you?
My Dad played cricket for New Zealand back in the day so he has always been able to guide me in the best direction to excel in sport. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be where I am today. There is definitely pressure on me from him to perform and train hard though – he approaches sport the old school way where you train hard and do it day in and day out. Coming from a younger generation where athletes take more care of their mental health and wellness, I have to not feel guilty for putting that first at times and explain to my Dad what mental health is and how important being a well-rounded person is to performance on the golf course.
Please share with us how you and Steph met at Aro-Ha, and what you got out of the retreat?
I had my first conversation with Steph at Aro-Ha during a hike. I was at the time trying to get over a break up and telling Steph about it, and she was giving me advice on what to do. We bonded immediately as Steph had been through a similar situation and was now CEO of her own company and making the world her oyster – which I thought was super empowering! At the time I was scared of being alone and failing at my dreams. But Steph showed me that it was possible to be a bad-ass boss babe and succeed on her own (with her amazing family by her side)! She gave me hope and reassurance that I was a strong woman and could achieve my dreams and follow my goals. Steph and the ladies at Aro-Ha really made me feel empowered to chase after my dreams and be a strong woman!Professional Golfer WPGA Australasia, Laura Hoskins