Archive for the ‘mental game’ Category

Junior Golf: 3 Encouraging Tips After A Stinky Round

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a look at 3 ways you can encourage your daughter after she has a stinky round of golf.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

Golf is an amazing game. We hit a good shot and we love it. We hit an ugly shot and we are not happy. But that is also life. Golf is full of life lessons.

There are always a few shots during a round that your daughter will not be pleased with, but this is to be expected. It is extremely rare that any golfer, yes, even the pros, hit every shot during a round the way they visualized it. So, as your girl matures in her attitude and understanding of the game she will know that these less than perfect shots will show up and she will deal with it.

The really tough situation is when more ugly shots than good shots show up in her round and she can’t get things turned around. Now, instead of shooting her normal 75, it’s going to be all she can do to stay under 85. This makes for a tough day. The good news is, it’s a serious opportunity for learning!

So after this stinky round, your daughter is not happy, feels like she has let everyone down, doesn’t understand why she didn’t play up to her capabilities, feels embarrassed and is basically just not a happy camper.

One of the things we offer to everybody, especially parents is, “Be an encourager!” Everyone needs encouraging from time to time and 1 of the main roles of every parent is to be an encourager to your kids, your spouse and yourself.

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photocredit:The Republic

3 tips for encouraging your junior golfer after a stinky round of golf:
Please remind her that this isn’t the end of her golf career. She has many more rounds of golf ahead of her. Plenty of golf to look forward to.
Find something, anything positive about the round and compliment her on that. “You hit some great drives on the back nine. We want to take advantage of those in the future.” This can help get her out of her funk.
Offer a change or addition to her pre-tournament routine. For instance, we always reminded S3 to hit 50-70 putts per day for a full 7 days before every event. And this was using his Dave Pelz putting aide, which is the best one we’ve ever seen. When he followed this routine, his putting was great. I mean he would make almost everything from 6-feet and in. S3 has always been a better than average putter, but this drill put him into the top gun category in putting! This stuff works!

Poor rounds of golf are a fact of life in our beloved sport. Please use these tips to encourage your daughter/son and put her/him back on an optimistic path. Kids are resilient. They just need our help!

See you on #1 tee looking encouraging… Sam

Junior Golf: How To Win And Still Be Friends

In today’s Good Friday Flop Shot we will offer some input on how your son/daughter can win a match or tournament and still be friends with their fellow competitors.

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Dubai Golf

Our wonderful sport is about friendships, friends and family, family and friends. Time spent on the course is precious and even among the most relaxed fun-filled groups, a little bit of competitive spirit usually shows up, even if only for a hole or 2. Maybe your son and his buddy both missed the green and and your boy says,”Hey, how about a chipping contest? Closest to the pin wins!” Great fun, very little pressure and no financial risk, not playing for money, just 1 shot. No drama, no big buildup, just do it. Good old-fashioned competition, fun competition.

Trying to win a match or tournament ramps everything up a few notches. The pressure, intensity and ability to perform in these circumstances is tough. Let’s look at 3 things for your junior golfer to be aware of so that he and his competition can continue to be friends after the event.

Golf is about making friends. The 1st time your youngster joins any organized golf function, tournament, clinic or camp, he will start making friends. This will continue through college and many of these relationships will last his whole life and several of his buddies will form a genuine core group of his inner circle of friends. Very cool stuff!
Golf is a sport of honor, integrity and accountability. There is no place for bragging, mocking or finger-pointing. Respect for the game, the opponents and for himself/herself must be introduced and encouraged from your child’s initial contact with the sport. Win with grace, lose with grace. Life lessons right here, Mom and Dad!
It is possible to be pleasant and even friendly with the competition and still win. Look at Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose in the final round of last week’s Masters. These guys are Ryder Cup teammates, fellow European Tour members and good friends. How many times did they say good shot or give a thumbs up to each other? Certainly each one wanted to win with a passion. They wanted to beat their good friend but they would pursue this desire to win with respect, honor, dignity and friendship. It was special to watch!

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photocredit:GOLF.com

Your child’s mental and physical abilities will be challenged constantly during competition. Not winning occurs more often than winning. You will see the highest of highs and lowest of lows from your kiddo during some of these very trying situations. A thought that Linda and I found to be relatively effective with S3 in tough moments, was to remind him that this was not his last round of golf he would ever play. Focus on improving the process and the desired results will come. There will be more golf to play. The future is bright!

See you on #1 tee ready for a friendly round of golf, but I still want to beat you… Sam

Junior Golf: 1 Attitude For A Sunday Win

In this Wednesday Waggle we’ll take a look at 1 particular mindset that has proven successful for some professional golfers over the years. Your daughter is an individual and will develop her own type and style of mindset based on her skill level, maturity and competitiveness.

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photocredit:golfdigest.com

Being within 5 or 6 shots of the lead at the start of a final round of any tournament means a player, your daughter/son in this case, has a chance to win. I mean a couple of bad shots by the leader and a couple of great shots from your kiddo and she’s right there.

Have you ever asked her what her final thoughts are just before she initiates her pre-shot routine for her 1st shot? Well, that could lead to a very interesting answer. Just don’t ask her at the event. This should be discussed well prior to any competition. And her answers will likely change as her game and confidence improve.

6-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Sir Nick Faldo referred to his own pre-game mentality as he was getting ready to tee off in the last group in the final round of a tournament and right now we’re talking about The Masters, which Sir Nick won 3 times. He knows of what he speaks, at least for himself.

To paraphrase Sir Nick: “You’re standing there waiting to be announced and tee off. You shake hands and say something proper like play well but in my mind I’m saying, I’ll bury you!” Now these words may sound a bit harsh to some Moms and Dads out there. These are the words of Sir Nick Faldo and how his mind had to get in a place to win a huge event and certainly he meant them no physical harm. He was going to bury them under his barrage of great golf shots that were better than his opponent’s shots!

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photocredit: sky sports

These words aren’t for everybody but I assure you that there are women and men who have this or a very similar thought process when they prepare for competition. To be competitive means a number of things. It means your daughter enjoys the challenge of constantly improving her game in order to have some opportunity to win. And then it will become a desire to win. How badly does she want to win? Is she willing to make the necessary sacrifices required to attain the victories she is dreaming of?

The bottom line parents is that your girl will need to decide if she really wants to win or just play kind of for the fun of it. If she truly wants to win that means she has to beat everyone else. She has to want to play better than them and do it! If she wants to win, she’ll find the mental self-talk that works for her. Ask her about this. Let her do most of the talking and you do most of the listening. You may find you have a real competitor holding onto that golf club!

See you on #1 tee ready with a winning mindset… Sam

Junior Golf: Pay Attention Or Pay The Price

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a look at something that happened last weekend at the LPGA tournament. It is a hard lesson about paying attention when your daughter/son is in competition or there might be a steep price to pay.img_0509

Paying attention to her game and being aware of what’s going on in her group is an essential and required part of competition. It begins with a reasonable knowledge of the rules and etiquette and, of course, as her skill level improves, it would also include her strategy/game plan for her round.

Competition is different than playing with family or friends. Things happen, sometimes strange things happen, things you have never seen before and might never see again. Pressure is everywhere. Everybody reacts differently to pressure and pressure can increase or decrease during a round. Pressure has its own life!

So in last week’s LPGA ANA Championship, Lexi Thompson was assessed 4 penalty strokes in the middle of Sunday’s final round for actions that took place in the previous day’s round. A viewer sent in a video of Lexi marking her ball and putting it back in a different spot from where she picked it up. She moved the ball perhaps a quarter to half an inch and it was pretty obvious on the video. So she was penalized 2 strokes for violation of Rule 20-7C (playing from the wrong place). She signed her scorecard for 67 but it should have been 69, so she was next assessed a 2-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard and the 67 that became a 69 now became a 71. Wow!

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photocredit Jeff Gross

Her 2-stroke lead went away and she was suddenly 2 strokes behind the leader. To her credit, Lexi played very well after being informed of the penalty strokes and ended up in a playoff where she lost on the 1st hole. Lexi’s own words regarding the situation, “I didn’t realize I did that,” she said through tears. “I did not intentionally do that. But you know what, I fought hard coming in and I didn’t give up. But so many players played great, so congrats.”

What is the takeaway for junior golfers and their parents? While your kiddo should always be in the moment during a tournament, there are times to really focus and pay attention. Properly marking and replacing a golf ball is a simple task and yes, it’s relatively easy, but it should never be taken for granted. Watch how the pros do it. Their actions are deliberate and their hands move a little slower rather than faster. This is a situation that must be executed perfectly.

I asked S3 that in all his rounds of junior golf and college golf, did he ever see any violations such as this one. His response, “Maybe 3 or 4.” Then I said, “Did you call any penalties?” S3, “Sure did.”

So your girl may see this once in a blue moon, but she will see it. Please encourage her that when she is preparing to mark and then replace her golf ball that she should take a deep breath and focus on the proper technique. No problemo!

See you on #1 tee ready to properly mark and replace your ball… Sam

Junior Golf: Where Are Sam And Linda?

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Dufner photo golfdigest.com

In this Wednesday Waggle, we are having fun with a play on words as we ask you, “Where are Sam and Linda?”

Where could we be? Unfortunately, we are not at some exotic golf destination or resort. But we are still in a very good place. We are in the soon to be released April 2017 issue of Junior Golf Magazine!

Yes, recently we were contacted by the publication asking if we would be interested in writing an article for them. A senior staff member had seen 1 of our posts and it peaked his interest. Of course, an enthusiastic Yes was our reply and now Parenting Junior Golfers will have a presence in all 50 states and internationally as well. Exciting stuff!

Our article is Understand Your Junior’s Attitude To Empower Their Game. This brief introduction to the personalities will start you on the path to gaining insight into why your junior golfer, and you as well, act the way you do. Here’s the link: http://www.juniorgolfmag.net/The-Mental-Game.pdf

Junior Golf Magazine is an excellent resource for everything for your junior golfer. We encourage you to check them out. Use our article as a starting point.

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See you on #1 tee, mentally ready… Sam

Junior Golf: Parents: Do This To Reduce Game-Day Pressure

In this Friday Flop Shot we will introduce a wonderful concept that can be used in your everyday activities, but has a special place in the world of athletics, particularly when it’s game day or some type of competition is involved. Let’s learn 1 way to reduce the stress on your son. (image offcoursegolf.com)

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There are tons of studies confirming that the majority of kids, really virtually every youngster, does not want to disappoint his parents, he wants to please us. He wants to be affirmed in his efforts. Pleasing parents is a big deal for our kiddos.

How do we show our pleasure as parents? Wow, this is a tough question, because a proper answer requires some insight and honesty. How do you approach this? For starters, look in a mirror and put on the expression you most commonly show when your son makes a mistake or hits a poor shot. What does that face look like? Not pretty, I’m thinkin’! Now show the face you use when he hits a good shot or shows self-control. Is there a difference in these 2 faces, I hope not!

We’re going for credibility here Mom and Dad. And to achieve that, your expressions should look exactly the same, a pleasant smile and a thumb’s up are all that is needed. The end we are seeking is to show our love for our junior golfer. Love that is unconditional, strong and constant.

When your son tees off to start tournament play, you have some idea of a range where you expect his score fall. Perhaps 70-80, 80-90, or maybe 70-75. In any case you have a reasonable expectation of the score he is likely to shoot on any given day. This is a good thing.

If his score is near the low end of what was anticipated, he’ll be pleased with his performance, but if it’s at the high end, your boy may be sad, mad and generally disgusted with his play. Here is a line that Linda came up with and we encourage you, Dad and Mom, to use this sentence or come up with a similar 1 for use in your family: Linda speaking after the round, “Son, our love for you is not based on the number on that scorecard!” In other words, we don’t love you less for a poor round or more for a great round. Our love for you is the same 100% of the time! (image Martinhal)

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This is the point. A child needs the comfort and confidence that his parents love him whether he shoots 70 or 100, period. Please hone in on what we’re trying to convey here. I had to work at changing my disappointment to encouragement and some of you will probably need to do the same. You can do it. You’re the adults in the home, remember, now please act like it.

Being able to relax and have fun playing golf is important in order to play well. There is enough pressure everywhere so that when you son feels a reduced load of pressure from parents and family members, it gives him an opportunity to shoot lower scores.

See you on #1 tee without much pressure, at least from your parents… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Tips For Lower Scores In Bad Weather

 

In this Wednesday Waggle we will offer 3 mental postures or tips for parents to share with your junior golfers. These will help your daughter/son have an opportunity to shoot lower scores in bad weather. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Few if any golfers enjoy playing in terrible conditions. It is not fun, it takes every golfer out of their normal playing/pre-shot routine and it’s more challenging to shoot a decent score. There are players who find success in nasty weather. Let’s look at how they do it.

Last weekend during the PGA Genesis event at Riviera Country Club, former World #1 David Duval was asked, “How do you mentally prepare to play in this? The weather is terrible.” The host was referring to the rain and 25 mph winds battering the course and players. To paraphrase David’s response: “There are several things you need to do mentally. 1st, understand that everybody is playing in it, so it impacts the whole field. 2nd, there are players who really dislike these conditions and they are not going to play very well. 3rd, there are players who embrace these conditions and play better during bad weather than nearly everyone else. They gain strokes on the field. This weather is an excellent opportunity to move up in the standings for players who can take a breath and embrace tough playing conditions. In fact, there are some good scores out there right now.” Yes, there were some players shooting 3,4,5-under par in ugly weather.

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Hall of Fame member and 8 time major champion Tom Watson won the British Open, now The Open Championship, 5 times. After Arnold Palmer, Tom is probably the American golfer that is most loved by the British golf fans. When asked why Tom was so successful playing in the notorious and unpredictable British summer weather, 2 main reasons were offered. His ball flight was lower and thus less affected by the elements. And he was able to totally embrace the weather. It has often been said that when it was cold, windy and rainy, you couldn’t tell it by Tom Watson’s attitude. He looked like he was enjoying a sunny 75-degree day! There ya go! Attitude, attitude, attitude…positive attitude! (Tom Watson photo sporting news)

Golf is certainly a mental game and there is always another opportunity to test your daughter’s mental strengths. Ugly weather is one of those moments. She will play tournaments in cold, wet and windy conditions and these 3 tips can help her shoot a better score.

See you on #1 tee mentally ready… Sam

 

 

Junior Golf: Making Golf More Fun

In today’s Monday Mulligan let’s take a look at a couple of unique situations where the PGA Tour is helping/allowing golf to be more fun, certainly for many of the fans and for a lot of the players as well. (image jennleforge.com)image

1st we congratulate Hideki Matsuyama on his playoff victory over Webb Simpson in the Phoenix Open. This event at TPC Scottsdale is truly a one-of-a-kind situation. It has by far the largest attendance of any professional golf event in the world with this year’s crowd topping 655,000 with more than 200,000 on Saturday alone. Wow, learn to love those shuttle buses!

It takes a certain type of personality to really be comfortable in this environment. Listen to the words of fun-loving Rickie Fowler, “I love it. You know, it’s a lot of fun. You hear a lot of stuff throughout the course, and it’s louder throughout the rest of the course than other tournaments. Once you get to 16, it’s a completely different story.”

So it’s louder everywhere on the course than the pros are used to during tournament play. Not everyone is comfortable in this environment. And then there’s 16, as in the 16th hole, a short par 3 ranging from about 127 to 155 yards.

As 1 of the TV announcers so graphically described during the play on Saturday. From the player’s perspective: “You walk off of 15 green headed for the tunnel. As you enter it the anticipation of what’s ahead causes a louder more rapid thumping in your chest. And then you exit the tunnel and there it is. Hole #16 at TPC Scottsdale, known during the Phoenix Open as the Stadium Hole, because that’s exactly what it is.

Now your heart is jumping out of your chest, your palms are getting sweaty and the adrenaline is kicking in. Wow, time for some breathing exercises to calm down before it’s your turn to hit.” So when Rickie says 16 is a completely different story, but he loves it, imagine what the guys that don’t love it are going through. The ones that perform best at these type of events are the ones who find some way to embrace the chaos, either through their natural personality or with the help of some mental training. And if they can’t, they may not return next year.

The hole is completely surrounded by seats. More than 20,000 people fill the open seats, the reserved seats and the luxury boxes on this hole and it’s so popular the organizers basically expand the seating capacity every year. It’s an overwhelming sight from a spectators point of view so I can’t imagine what’s going through the mind of a player who needs to hit a good shot. They crowd consumes massive amounts of beverages and is on the rowdy side. They cheer good shots and boo bad ones and no player is immune.

Another unique aspect of this event is that players are allowed to toss souvenirs into the crowd on 16 and this may be on Saturday only since that is regarded as the craziest day. A number of the pros bring items to give away, notably Bubba Watson and Andrew Beef Johnson. It is great to watch!

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Thank you to the PGA Tour and the event organizers for allowing all this fun to take place. Hopefully we’ll see some more fun things show up at other events.

Parents, please remember that you junior golfer wants to enjoy his golf. Find ways to keep the fun factor high. Try doing some things differently. Play some music during practice. Make some noise, but please don’t be rude to other folks on the range. Put some surprises in the works. Tiger’s dad used to drop his golf bag flat on the ground in the middle of his backswing. Check out the look on your boy’s face the 1st time you do that! After the shock, laugh about it, joke about it, come on and inject some fun!

See you on #1 tee ready to handle some noise… Sam

Junior Golf: The Best Mindset For Playing In Front Of A Gallery

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will take a peek into your daughter’s mind and offer a great way to deal with the mental pressure of playing in front of people, playing in front of a gallery. (image offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

When S3 was just starting to play golf, there was always 1 more parent who said they couldn’t watch their son play golf because it made him, the son, too nervous. We continued to run into this mindset even with some high school golfers and their parents.

What constitutes a gallery? To a 6 year old junior golfer it might be anybody. Perhaps parents, her own and those of the other players in her group. Friends, relatives or coaches all can make some golfers nervous.

Playing while people are watching is an issue that Linda and I addressed early on with S3. Being kind of the standard Goldfarb family ham, basically being comfortable performing in front of people, S3 never was overly concerned about people watching him play drums, sing or play golf. When the previously mentioned situation about parents watching their kids play was making their kids nervous came up, the 3 of us had a brief discussion.

Our concept that worked wonderfully for S3 and certainly 1 that you can try with your daughter is this: Daughter/Son, be excited that even 1 person has chosen to come out and watch you play golf. If there is more than 1, be it 10 or 100 or 1,000 be even more humbled and thrilled that all these people have taken time out of their very busy lives to come watch you. This is a positive thing! Take a deep breath and inhale all that positive energy. Be grateful and thankful and humbled by these situations. Embrace the moment. Then refocus and begin your normal routine. (image Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open)

Even the pros will tell you they have their moments of just a slight bit of nervousness. Many will admit to having some cases of nerves. Yes, even Jack Nicklaus has fessed up to having some jitters on the #1 tee at tournaments. The bigger the tournament, the bigger the jitters. For most of the professional men and women all they want to do on #1 tee is hit a decent shot and get on with their round.

See you on #1 tee excited that someone has come out to see you play golf… Sam

Junior Golf: Be In A Good Mood

In this Monday Mulligan we will emphasize the importance of being in a good mood especially this time of year.image

Emotions are readily transferred from 1 person to another. The easiest and most desirable emotion to radiate to your junior golfer is excitement or enthusiasm. Being positive, happy, joyful, grateful and thankful has tremendous benefits obviously to everyone close at hand but also to overall health and well-being. More and more research is confirming this. (image jennleforge.com)

From now until Christmas and also somewhat during the following week things can get a bit crazy. Your kids are out of school and are wanting to have a pleasant time over the long holiday. The horrific traffic, jammed mall parking lots, and loud shoppers in every store can sometimes make us parents want to tear our hair out! Please make every effort to remain calm and downplay and laugh off these stressful situations.

Our kids mirror us. We set the example, good or bad. Be aware. The more calm you exhibit in handling the Holiday insanity, the better example you are setting and the more likely it is that your youngster will start handling her own stress better. Their brains are sponges that are soaking up everything you do and say, please make your behavior something that you would be proud to have your daughter emulate!

This is a particular time to be joy-filled. For Christians and Jews there are powerful religious events to celebrate. For everyone else it is an opportunity to be in a good mood and show your family and close friends how much you love them.PJG logo

Whatever your reasons please resist the temptation to get flustered by all the rush of this time of year. You and everyone you come in touch with will be much happier if you will take a breath, smile and be joyful. Have a great time and help your daughter and all your family have a great time as well. It’s a special time!

See you on #1 tee looking happy to be there… Sam

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