Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

Junior Golf: Weekly Tips for Family Success

img_0135-1In today’s Monday Mulligan, Linda is sharing three weekly tips you and your Junior golfer can use to help attain family success off the course.

During The Players this weekend, Jordan Spieth missed the cut. When commentator and PGA tour winner, Aaron Oberholser, was asked, “Was it just Jordan’s putting that got him in trouble?” as Jordan referenced. Aaron stated that Jordan had too much “we” in his talk about his mistakes on the course and that he needed to get to back to the ownership of “I.”

As a player, you have the ultimate say as to what’s going on, you must own your club choice, your shots, and your attitude. It’s the same for us, as individuals when we own our responsibilities, there is less stress and more flow in our everyday.

As parents, you lead the pack in setting this mindset for your family. In essence, you are to “own” your choices as you create and influence your family lifestyle.  Your lifestyle at home creates a pattern your children will either embrace or run from when they’re older.

Three tips we’re looking at today to help you help you attain family success are your weekly scheduling, weekly must do’s, and weekly fun.

Weekly Scheduling – builds time management skills.

  • Color Code your individual activities to discover potential overload.
  • Using a wall calendar gives a vivid and REAL picture of where everyone is during the week and what they’re involved in. Google calendar offers you the option of color coding as well.
  • The best time-balance is found in no more than two-night activities each week per child/family member.
  • If you have five in your family, coordinate your times/days so you’re not out every night during the week as taxi service.
  • Teaching your children at a young age to monitor their time will increase their ability to manage it better as they become more independent.

Weekly (Chores) Must Do’s – establishes personal responsibility habits.

  • Checklist Sheet – Have your family members walk through the house in different areas and list all the “must do’s” they can find that will keep your home in a peaceful and pleasant, or happy condition.
    • Taking out the trash
    • Doing dishes.
    • Cleaning clothes
    • Cleaning all the rooms of the house.
    • Toilets.
    • Making dinner.

This is a great time to remind yourselves and you children, that a family is people who have a special intimacy and loyalty to one another. It’s your place of belonging, as such… it’s not one person’s job to maintain the home/family. Everyone must contribute according to their abilities.family outing

Do you remember the term, Ohana used by the animated movie character, Stitch? It means family. I don’t know of anyone who heard him say that word that didn’t get choked up, because, being part of a family holds emotional importance. In the same way, it should not be a chore to coexist in a family, taking care of our home is something we choose to do because we belong to one another.

Weekly Fun – develops family bonding beyond golf. (Year round)

Use JOY Jars to bring variety into your routine

  • Meal time – everyone adds a favorite meal choice to be chosen once or twice a week, depending on your budget. Once a meal is chosen it’s removed until all are chosen then you put back in or replace with new.
  • Family time – everybody adds a favorite, “Oh, I’d like to do this, watch this, or play this!” Again, within reason and your budget. Playdates, puzzles, movies, etc.
  • Move-it time – everyone adds a favorite 30-minute physical activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Move your body 30 minutes a day with fun activities, clearing the yard, walking the dog. Anything that gets you off the couch. Bike riding incorporates both family and move-it time.
  • Downtime – maybe not in a jar so to speak, but select a time during the week or each day when you limit technology. Phones, iPads, iPods, TV is off. Creating a time of being still, reduces stress, allows for a mental regrouping, helps us to realize we don’t have to go go go all the time. Consider this family-massage… Play peaceful music throughout the home. Even thirty minutes a day sets a pattern your kids will look forward to over time. As soon as they get home from school, or right after homework. 15 minutes will work too.

There you go, three lifestyle tips to help you have family success off the course.

Have a blessed family week, see at the front door… Linda

Junior Golf: Finishing Strong

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at finishing strong. In every competitive event it is vitally important for your son to finish the event as strong or stronger than he started. (offcoursegolf.com)image

What does finish strong mean? There are 3 different components of finishing strong in golf. Your son must be physically strong, mentally strong and strong in his golf skills. In this post we will discuss physical strength and it’s importance.

Let’s begin by looking at your son’s scores on the last 3 holes of his most recent golf tournaments. How do those scores compare to the first 3 holes and the holes in the middle of his round? If his final 3 holes are not as good as or better than his best other 3 hole stretches during the round, he needs to improve his strength of finishing.

For today’s purpose it doesn’t matter so much what his scores are as how they compare to the other 3-hole stretches. Your son will go through stretches where he is not in good enough physical shape to finish his round physically fit. Stages that you see depending on your son’s age are: he has trouble walking his tournament when you are carrying his bag, he has trouble walking his tournament when he’s carrying his bag, he has trouble when his tournament increases from 6-holes to 9-holes, then from 9-holes to 18-holes, then from 18 to 36 holes in the same day. Parents, this inadequate physical conditioning is much more common than you think among all ages of both boys and girls.

It is common for us Moms and Dads to assume that because our kiddo is involved in a sport, or just looks fit, that they are in physical shape to compete at a high level, kind of by osmosis. Not true! Some of the skinniest junior golfers I have ever seen are in the poorest shape physically. Frankly, until they get to college, their physical training in junior high or high school, in golf, is not enough to get them in proper shape.

Yes, walking 9-holes 4 or more times a week is good, but it’s not the same as walking 18-holes 4 times a week, and nothing is the same as walking 36-holes in a day and then walking another 18-holes the next day. Being in excellent physical shape for golf requires extra training. Walking himself into golf shape is helpful, but not enough for your son.IMG_0089

So what are the choices for getting your son into proper physical shape? An easy and inexpensive approach is to add weight, more than the normal weight, to his golf bag and have him carry it during practice. Or put weight in a backpack so it weighs more than his golf bag and have him walk, jog or sprint a little bit around the neighborhood. Get him accustomed to carrying more weight than usual. Ask around your local golf community. You’ll get some solid suggestions. Look at the Golf Academy and Golf Channel apps. They have a wealth of information. You could hire a personal trainer, but that can be expensive and you would only want 1 who has credentials for training golfers. Get on the web, ask around, help your son get in shape so he’s still looking strong at the end of his round.

See you on #1 tee, ready to walk… Sam

Junior Golf: Our First Tee Seminar

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at the seminar Linda and I along with Dr Nick Askey put on last Saturday at the First Tee of Greater San Antonio.

A large part of our community outreach involves being in front of people live and in color. The FTGSA has been very welcoming and has invited us into their fold to put on seminars to help the parents of their junior golfers. Last Saturday we held our third seminar and Nick Askey, Sports Therapy and Rehab Director of AIRROSTI Rehab Centers was able to join us. (golfdigest.com)

Our seminars are always coordinated with classes at FTGSA to help increase attendance. So Linda and I began at 1:00pm and talked about discovering your/the parent’s personality and then identifying your child’s personality. Then Linda gave the parents immediate words and phrases to use to enhance communication and dynamics in the whole family. Folks this stuff works. We have seen it time and time again in the nearly 4 years we have been doing this. Parents will contact us after attending 1 of our events and tell us, “It’s amazing, my communication with my son is better than ever!” Parents, you can enjoy the wonderful world of dramatically improved family dynamics by attending 1 of our seminars or by contacting us for more information.

In case you are wondering, improved family dynamics can mean hundreds of things from just a better attitude from your son, less or no talking back, better grades, better golf scores and just a really more pleasant situation all around. Yes, your household can enjoy these benefits.

Nick took the stage around 1:40pm to talk about flexibility, stability and the golfer. Dr Nick Askey, DC, ACP is a medical professional who is also Titleist Performance Center Certified, so he really knows what he’s talking about. Here’s my review of some of the highlights of Nick’s talk.

Core strength is critical to a good golf swing. And there are numerous exercises to increase core strength, but the limited time in the seminar meant Nick had to show some simple exercises that could be done almost anywhere. So our favorite, the good ole plank was the top choice here. Frontal plank, then right side plank, then left side plank, all with ears, butt and heels in a straight line. Tighten core and glutes. Hold as long as you can. I think maybe the PGA Tour average was around 3 minutes each, but I’m not sure. What I do know is that your son will love beating you at this! Make it a contest. Put a timer on the floor where he can see it. Planks are great for your core. Nick is not a fan of sit-ups and crunches.

Next he addressed glutes and shoulders. His quote was, “A golfer cannot have too much glutes!” And he showed us a great floor exercise which I will not try to describe. Just look up some glute exercises on your own. Then we learned about shoulders. Nick took a piece of the 3 or 4-inch wide workout resistance tape which comes in a roll, cut about a 10-foot length of it, tied it to a table leg, got on his knees in an upright position, took the tape in 1 hand and showed us all we needed for golfer shoulder strength. Then he switched hands. Sorry, this 1 is also tough to describe. Maybe we can get some videos.image

Lastly Nick reminded us that muscle bulk is not for golf. If you have a son who is in the “bulk” mode of working out, you will want to help him change his routine to benefit his golf game. Remember that muscle bulk is different from gaining weight. S3 has always been slim on the verge of skinny and he has worked really hard at getting his weight up so he has the muscle tone, strength and flexibility to compete at the college level. Thankfully his college PT has the correct mindset for his golfers and is constantly begging a couple of the guys to change their weightlifting habits. S3, at the ripe old age of 21 years old, has finally gotten to 160 pounds at a height of 5’11”. I think he’d like to get to 165 pounds and keep it there.

See you on #1 tee looking fit… Sam

unior Golf: How To Stay Warm

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we will show you some ways to keep your son from getting cold. Playing competitive golf involves dressing appropriately for the weather conditions. Cold weather involves more advance planning than hot weather since in the cold, temperatures can go up or down or stay the same throughout all 18 holes. (photo golfdigest.com)

My Dad used to tell me about hunting that once your feet got cold, you were done. The discomfort, lack of concentration and increased movement were not conducive to a productive hunting session. And it’s very similar with golf. With proper socks and golf shoes it’s likely your son’s feet won’t get cold particularly after he has walked a few holes carrying his bag. What can quickly get cold and potentially ruin the round is his hands, ears and head.

Warm hands are a must! Cold hands mean no feel and no feel means no good golf shots, period. There are some cold weather golf gloves, but our family, including S3, has never used them. Here are the items your son needs for warm hands: at least 2 dry spare regular golf gloves, at least 2 large heat packs (keep at least 6 large heat packs in his bag), a pair of the big golf mittens-we have Nike and they are great-and a pair of the wetter is better style golf gloves. And all of these need to be in his golf bag when he tees off.image

S3 and I played in a high school fundraiser scramble with some friends in February a few years ago. It was on a Sunday so we headed to church with a 37-degree temperature forecast to rise to the mid-50’s by our tee time. There was no time to retrieve more clothes since we had to rush from church to the course. The temperature never moved from 37-degrees and it was cloudy, breezy and humid. And we were dressed for 55-degrees! Yes, we froze to death and were uncomfortable and shivering for 5 hours. But we played pretty well because, you guessed it, S3 and I had heat packs in our bags so our hands were somewhat warm. And our warm hands helped our bodies be not quite so cold-an added benefit of having the heat packs. A similar situation will occur during your son’s junior golf career. Be prepared! Note every golf course will sell out of heat packs very fast! Don’t plan on being able to buy heat packs at the course. (photo underarmour.com)image

Now the ears and head are much simpler to keep warm. Choices, depending on your son’s needs are: cap-wool, fleece, corduroy or at least heavy cotton, beanie/stocking cap or headring which keeps just the ears warm. S3 has a lightweight fleece Under Armour stocking cap which he absolutely loves! His head and ears get cold so in winter weather he always wears this to start his round and usually takes it off after a few holes. I prefer the headring and Linda loves the more traditional stocking caps. To get additional protection from the wind, buy models with the metal/wind barrier technology. They are worth spending a couple of extra dollars.

See you on #1 tee looking warm… Sam

Junior Golf: The Gift of Giving

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we will talk about the other side of the Christmas gift equation, giving rather than receiving. While I think most parents would expect their children to enjoy giving to those less fortunate, sometimes it is not until we see our youngster’s faces after they see the faces of the recipients of their gifts, that we genuinely understand the feelings involved.

1 of S3’s first experiences with giving was when he was 5 or 6 years old. There was a lady who each Thursday night needed volunteers to put together sack lunches to be given to the homeless in downtown San Antonio. So I, Linda and S3 headed over to help. S3, while not overjoyed at this, was at least curious and eager to see what was involved. Reality hit when the lady in charge explained the importance of what we were about to do, which was make 500 sack lunches which would probably be the only food the recipients would get for a whole day or longer. Now when a kid of any age sees 2 pieces of white bread with 1 slice of bologna, a tiny bag of chips and a can of soda go into a paper bag and that’s all someone may get to eat for 24 hours or more, they are certainly taken aback. The positive feelings of doing something truly worthwhile were evident with all who helped and it hit S3 pretty hard.image

Some members of our Parenting Awesome Kids Sunday School Class have strong ties to the Salvation Army. There were openings to be red kettle bell ringers at a local retail store and we asked if any families wanted to work 3-hour shifts. Folks volunteered and made some lifetime family memories and saved the Salvation Army from having to pay folks for those shifts.

Yes, it’s easier to just write a check and that’s a good thing. But if you really want to impact your kids and yourself and spouse as well, get face-to-face with a real-life giving experience. Ask around, call the Salvation Army or some local churches. You will be amazed at how many viable options there are. And don’t be shocked when your junior golfer gives you a strange look when you tell them what your family has signed up for. It’s the look after you are finished that will melt your heart. And this may very well be the start of a new dimension of thinking for you child.

Linda and I have watched S3 and a number of his friends grow into their own spirit of giving. Many come home from college to participate in the Feed My Starving Children Campaign which is held here every September. Once you expose your kids to these wonderful opportunities to give you will see them have an eagerness to participate in future events. They get it.

A word on charities. Not all are what they appear to be. 2 that we are very comfortable with are the Salvation Army and Feed My Starving Children. Both have extremely low administrative expenses, meaning that a huge percentage of revenue goes directly toward helping those in need. A story: we met a young lady that mentioned she had spent time in Haiti working with a Christian charity. When I said that we had worked with Feed My Starving Children, she said they had received and given out 1,000’s of FMSC packets in Haiti. Folks it is reassuring to have someone verify that they have actually given out the fruits of your and your child’s charitable efforts in a far away land.

See you on #1 tee looking charitable… Sam

Junior Golf: Fun Stretches with Miguel

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at some really fun stretches with the most interesting golfer in the world, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez. His very unusual and interesting stretches have been shown many times during various professional tournaments. (photo jenlefforge.com)

Flexibility is a key factor for having a healthy active life and it is absolutely essential for all athletes to maintain their competitive abilities. After all the calories of food and excessive periods of likely inactivity over the Thanksgiving holidays, it’s time to get your son back into his regular golf and fitness routine. And a great way to plug in something different as in fun and excitement is to change things up. One of the easiest ways is to introduce a new stretching regimen. Miguel Angel Jimenez serves this up in spades!

Perhaps you remember the 1st time you and your son saw MAJ doing a stretch on TV and your initial thoughts were: “Wow, I’ve not seen anything like that before!” Please know that his unorthodox routine was likely developed over a lengthy period of time with input from experts in stretching, physical fitness and/or orthopedics. So if you look at MAJ’s record and amazing flexibility for a man over 50 years old, it’s obvious he’s using these stretches to great advantage.

In an individual sport where there is limited time for parent child interaction, stretching is an area that provides a great opportunity for bonding and a MAJ’s routine provides a chance for some comedy as well. I mean, some of these exercises are just going to look silly the 1st few times you and your son do them. Take a chill pill and embarrass yourself. Show some vulnerability in front of him, it shows him it’s OK to fail.

The above link will take you to a great video demonstrating some of these moves. When you see how genuinely flexible MAJ is, you should get very motivated to master his moves. Take it easy and don’t rush things. The more proper stretching you and your son do, the more your flexibility will increase. And 1 additional inch of flexibility increases swing speed which adds distance to the shot.

See you on #1 tee, looking nice and loose… Sam.

Junior Golf: Gratitude-A Winning Attitude

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and in today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at how imagegratitude becomes a winning attitude. The pros take nothing for granted and certainly they all must in some respect be thankful, grateful, thrilled or just really glad they are able to play a sport they dearly love.

Real-life example: S3 was playing in a junior golf tournament in Kerrville, Texas,
and he was entering his freshman year in high school and 1 member of his group was a high school senior. Well, the senior was playing pretty well and hit a couple of bad shots. As the senior’s frustration was becoming more apparent-read anger, his Dad yelled out, “You don’t have any reason to be upset. You’re on a beautiful golf course playing the game you love!” Now whether or not this was coaching, I really didn’t care. It was a classic and intelligent statement that said, appreciate and be grateful for the times when you are in a great place doing something you genuinely enjoy!

Understand that competition puts a different stress level on your daughter, but remember that she with the shortest memory is the 1 who starts hitting good shots sooner rather than later. It’s hard for adults to be grateful all the time so realize that it’s just as hard or harder for your kids. Parents, 1 of our most important roles is to be encouragers for our kids. So have your daughter look around and see the beauty around her on the golf course. Enjoy the birds, fish, butterflies and in the South, even the alligators. Here in Central Texas we have deer everywhere and also plenty of wild turkeys and feral hogs. Golf is a sport that takes you into nature and some courses have more nature than others. Yes, she needs to focus on her game but she also needs to appreciate where she is and how privileged she is to be there.image

Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. Scientists have even noted that gratitude is associated with improved health.
As noted in an article on this topic published in the Harvard Mental Health Letter, “expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better:” Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, head of biologic psychology at Duke University Medical Center once stated that: “If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.” So science is coming on board with gratitude/thankfulness having definite health benefits. So Parents, you know what you need to do, thankfully, of course.

See you on #1 tee, looking grateful… Happy Thanksgiving… Sam

Junior Golf: Cool Weather Tips

imageIn this Monday Mulligan we will look at some cool weather tips that will help your daughter when temperatures start dropping. The pros deal with this throughout the year and it is critical to understand how the game is different when the weather changes. (photo jennleforge.com)

1st I will encourage you to be prepared. Put these items on your pre-practice/pre-tournament checklist. Gloves are #1. If she can’t hold the club, she can’t play well. Have 2 extras of her regular glove in her golf bag at all times. And buy 1 pair of the “wetter is better” gloves and keep them in the bag as well. These are the black gloves, a pair, 1 for each hand, that work super good in damp/wet weather. Phil Mickelson wears these more than nearly anyone else on tour. He doesn’t wait to put them on if there is moisture in the air. Footjoy and TaylorMade are 2 brands that we have here. Note for gloves: open every package and try on every glove before you buy it. It seems gloves are notorious for having the wrong size in the packaging.

Buy some of the hand warmer hot packs and keep a couple in her bag as soon as the weather cools off. Cold hands mean no grip, no feel, no good shots. These are an inexpensive item that is worth a million bucks if your daughter gets caught in a really chilly situation. There are at least 2 major brands and they are sold in most big box stores, sporting goods stores and golf stores. Buy a few of each brand and see which 1 works best. You’ll likely see that there is a difference. And buy the bigger size. The little ones don’t get as hot or last as long as the big ones.image

Remember, most heat loss occurs through the top of the head. Find a mid weight beanie/pullover/stocking cap in a neutral color that your daughter likes and put it in her bag now. For golfers, it really works in chilly weather to have a couple of lightweight upper layers and put a beanie on. The beanie comes down over the ears and keeps them warm while decreasing the heat loss through the top of the head. A couple of weeks ago at a college tournament in Dallas we had a 55-degree, sunny, beautiful morning with light winds and about1/3 of the college golfers had something covering their ears. This enables them to wear less on their upper body so they weren’t encumbered by so much extra clothing. S3 has a gray UnderArmour beanie that is his absolute favorite! Also try these on before your buy because there are youth and adult sizes and some beanies do not have the stretch that regular stocking caps have. A beanie that is too tight is unwearable.

Mom and Dad, we’re not talking much money here and all these items add very little weight to her golf bag and they don’t cost very much at all. Make it a point to buy these essentials this week and get them in the bag.

See you on #1 tee, looking warm… Sam

Junior Golf: More Mental

imageIn this Friday Flop Shot we will look at more mental aspects of the game. It is hard to overemphasize just how important the mental aspect of being able to play winning golf really is. So let’s dive into some more mental aspects for your son to work on, and Mom and Dad too, because it’s a team effort.

In Wednesday’s post we removed negative words from our vocabulary and replaced them with positive words. Then we put our positive words with action words to help paint a mental picture of how to attain the desired results in your son’s golf shots. Let’s extrapolate this. As Mom and Dad consciously work to make this new way of communicating a habit it can be spread throughout the whole family. (photo from offcoursegolf.com)

Parents, and you need to come together as a team, please, you can speak these positive messages into all your kids and the initial manifestations will be in better schoolwork, better chores and certainly in improved golf and other extracurricular activities. Linda and I can assure you that these short-term benefits will translate into long-term habits that will make for a most pleasant and better achieving household. You are setting your kids and yourselves up for success and you will see a difference. Imagine the pleasant atmosphere as everyone in your family starts using more positive language and less negative and complaining talk. Enjoy!image

In the real golf world, to get a glimpse into just how extremely positive the greatest athletes are, let’s look at a conversation during the recent U.S. Open. The Chambers Bay course was a different setup than usual for a U.S. Open and some of the players were complaining. A member of the Fox Sports announcing team who had competed with Jack Nicklaus said that, in Jack’s words,”As soon as I heard an entrant complain about the golf course, I struck him off the list of possible winners.” What this means is that words have power and those negative thoughts creep in and can override any positive thoughts. So the key is to keep the negative thoughts out of your son’s mind, period. Yes, it’s difficult at first, but it can be done. Look at any interview with golf legends Arnold Palmer or Phil Mickelson. The interviewer tries his best to get them to say just 1 negative word and neither of them will do it. That’s what we’re talking about here, yes really! (Jack Nicklaus photo from ecelebrityfacts.com)

Please introduce this wonderful habit to your family ASAP. It will change the dynamics in your family in a very positive way. Yes, there is always a family member who resists change, but persistence overcomes resistance and in time even the most stubborn family member will come on board, at least a little bit. Be pumped, be positive!

See you on #1 tee…positively… Sam

Junior Golf: It’s Mental

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at the mental part of junior golf. It’s mental, yes, a big part of the game is mental and the sooner you address the mental part of the game with your son, the better.

Please keep in mind that I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist, nor is Linda. We are parents who have 16 years of junior golf and now, college golf experiences with our son, Sam III or S3 as we call him. During these years we have studied numerous books on the mental aspects of the game, been in courses to help S3 develop his mental golf game and studied top golfers and top athletes in various sports. (Jason Duffner photo golfdigest.com)

Guess what? Athletes who have won championships at the world-class level think differently than the rest of their competitors. And when you ask them, in any sport from golf to soccer to shooting, they will almost all tell you, when you ask, “What percentage of your sport is mental?” Take a stab at the answer: yes, it’s 90%. Absolutely astounding, amazing and revealing!

What does this mean for you and your son? Well, those same athletes when asked if they would have done anything differently during their years of competition said they wish they had started on the mental part much earlier in their career. Why, well because it’s the toughest part of any sport and the sooner you develop good mental habits, the faster your game improves. Most athletes can master the physical skills required of their sport. The mental game is where events are won.

How can you apply this today to your son? Not too tough, actually. It’s simple, very simple, but not too easy. It will take a conscious effort or both your parts for at least 3 weeks to make it a habit: remove negative words from your vocabulary with your son. This means everywhere, not just with golf talk. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t break your wrists on the takeaway,” say “You’ll get better results when you keep your wrists straight on your takeaway.” Or instead of “Don’t dip your right knee,” say “You’ll hit better shots when you keep your knees quiet during your swing.” You get the drift, remove no, don’t, never and other negative words and replace them with positive input that will result in better shots. (photo O.s3.novato.com)image

Folks, there are hundreds of books and millions of words written on this subject and all we’re doing here is giving you 1 pointer that is proven. It’s a start and a doggone good one. You will find that once you start doing this, it will become a habit that will manifest itself in all aspects of your life. The rest of your family will want to start doing this and your family dynamics have a great potential to change in a very positive way.

More mental input next time. See you on #1 tee…with a positive attitude… Sam

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