Archive for the ‘Olympics’ Category

Junior Golf: Life Lessons From Rio

It’s always a little sad in our house when the Olympics end and we realize we have to wait 2 years for the Winter Olympics and 4 long years for the next Summer Olympics. Enjoying these amazing athletes always exposes us to major life lessons, so let’s look at what Rio 2016 offered. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

In no particular order and certainly not an all-inclusive list: 1st, virtually every athlete interviewed for more than 5 seconds mentioned that being an Olympian was a dream come true/living out their lifelong dream. As a dear friend of ours stated, “If you don’t have any dreams, why do you bother to get out of bed?” What a true statement! Please encourage your junior golfer to dream and dream big!

2nd, no athlete, well hopefully no one, was just given a spot on any country’s team. These places are earned through competition in most cases as tough as, or even tougher than the Olympic events. Competition is the fire that tempers the steel of an athlete and the tougher the competitors the better. Dad and Mom enter your young golfer in as many tournaments as budget and schedule will afford. Feel free to enter him/her up 1 level of competition. For example, enter your beginner in an intermediate level and see what happens. And put your intermediate golfer in an advanced event, perhaps not in every tournament, but once in a while to understand the higher level of competition. It’s important to get used to playing with the best! (photo Rio2016.com)image

Pressure is a fact of life. Nearly every pro golfer will tell you they sense some extra pressure on #1 tee at the start of every event and feel even more pressure at the majors. Well, by their own admission, every golfer at The Olympics felt pressure on #1 tee every round. I mean they were the 1st Olympic golfers in over 100 years and they were vying for the rarest trophy in golf! They were in the most special place they could possibly be and worst case scenario they would always be Olympians! Put together a plan to begin teaching your young one how to handle pressure. Depending on the personality, there are different approaches for each kiddo.

Parents, if your junior golfer is going to be competitive and have a passion for our wonderful game, it’s important that dreams, a serious work ethic and learning how to properly handle pressure become integral parts of daily life.

See you on #1 tee looking ahead to the next Olympics… Sam

Junior Golf: Ladies Begin Play

In this Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the Ladies Golf at the Rio Olympics. Play begins today and ends Saturday. The format is 72-hole stroke play, same as the men’s event won by Justin Rose of Great Britain. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102-1

The women have pretty much all of their top stars on hand so the competition should be excellent. Our Team USA includes Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Gerina Pillar and it will be most interesting to hear from them about all the ramifications of being an Olympian and being the 1st women Olympic golfers since 1900.

1 of the things not mentioned often enough is that Olympic medals are the rarest of them all, being up for competition only once every 4 years. I’ll leave it up to you math wizards out there to compute the odds, but the factors involved in winning an Olympic gold medal vs a major would be: a golfer has 16x the chances to play in a major based on frequency of occurrence, every year for majors and every 4 years for The Olympics. Then majors likely have about 156 entries each and there are many different ways to be eligible to enter each major, oh and there are 4 majors each year all of which have extremely high levels of prestige, although different. Olympic golf has a maximum of 4 entries per country, based on rankings. So math folks, go crazy here and give me a number of how rare an Olympic golf medal is compared to winning a major, please!

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The point I’m trying to make is that Olympic medals in golf are very rare birds. In fact, golf’s future after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where golf is included, will be determined at a meeting in 2017. So it is possible that golf could again be eliminated at the 2017 meeting and starting at the 2024 Olympics, it would be gone. Who knows for how long? Maybe medals from Rio and Tokyo would be the ONLY Olympic golf medals for another 100 years, Wow! So after Tokyo you would have a maximum of 6 different men and 6 different women who would have Olympic golf medals and all the other great players would be looking at that vacant spot in their trophy case never knowing if there would ever be another chance for them to win an Olympic medal to fill in that spot. (photo golfnewsnet.com)

The coverage begins at 5:30am today on The Golf Channel. All rounds are replayed several times throughout the day. Please, set your TiVo. This is golf history and it will excite your daughter and give her some opportunities to dream big! Can’t wait!

See you on #1 tee looking like an Olympian… Sam

Junior Golf: Olympic Adrenalin

In this Monday Mulligan we will visit some of the highlights of the Olympic results from this past weekend. So much to write about, so little space. (photo jennleforge.com)img_0135-1

There are many reasons or shall we say examples just from these 2 days of competition that are why we encourage you to record as much of The Olympics as possible. From the sheer competition in the events themselves, to the reactions of the athletes to being an Olympian, much less a medal winner and hearing the stories of how all of them have dreamed of participating in The Olympics their whole lives! It’s great!

So The Olympics had barely started Saturday and Ginny Thrasher won the US’ 1st gold medal in women’s 10-meter air rifle shooting with an Olympic record of 208.0. In the pure joy of medalling category is Cody Miller, Bronze Medalist in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke. You could hear him yelling in excitement when he saw he had taken 3rd place. In his post-swim interview he said his goal to win a medal in The Olympics had come true. His sheer joy was infectious, his lifelong dream was fulfilled!

Now for the pure adrenalin rush you can only get from head-to-head competition. The men’s 4×100 freestyle relay, 1 of The Olympics most exciting events had 4 legitimate contenders: the US, France who won in 2012, the favored Australians and the Russians who had the fastest time in 2016.

Now guess who’s swimming the 2nd leg for the US, yep, THE MAN, Michael Phelps. Apparently there was some discussion among the coaches as whether or not to include Phelps in this lineup, but he swam a 48.5 in a qualifier to get a spot because in Michael’s own words, “I really wanted to be on that relay!” You see, Michael loves relays!

You could feel the electricity in the air, even through the TV. All 4 top teams were in lanes 3-6 with the US in lane 5. Caleb Dresser, the fastest swimmer IN HISTORY, in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle, led off. His time of 48.10 put him just barely behind the French when he handed off to Michael Phelps who took the lead with his entry. Then came the turn and Oh Man, did Michael make a turn! He rode under the wake for the full 15-meters which got him almost a full-length lead which he passed on to Ryan Held. And Ryan did a great job of keeping the lead for the US with his time of 47.73 and then he passed to Nathan Adrian to bring home the bacon! Now in fairness, Nathan was swimming against the fastest French swimmer, a great closer, and it was now a 2-team race for the gold. Nathan kept his lead and the French just couldn’t catch him and the US had1st place. Tons of excitement!image

When you ask, what is the heart of a champion, well, here’s 1 way to look at it. Remember that Michael swam a 48.5 to make the team for this relay. And, in this event he swam a 47.12, wow! Oh, did I mention that for Nathan Adrian to hold off the Frenchman, he swam a blistering 46.97, are you kidding me!!! The truly great athletes give great performances under pressure! So the 48.5 that Michael swam to make the team was nearly a ½-second slower than the slowest split time for our winning team. By the way, Mr Phelps time of 47.12 was his fastest split time ever and at the ripe old age of 31, in his 5th Olympics! And 1 of the US coaches said that Michael’s turn was the best underwater turn ever done in competition. Ah, the heart of a champion!

What does this mean to your junior golfer? Dream big, work hard, enjoy competition and expect to win! Please enjoy these Olympics!

See you on #1 tee looking like an Olympic Champion… Sam

JuniorGolf: The Olympics

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at an amazing 17-day stretch where you and your son can watch the world’s greatest athletes compete on the biggest stage of all! (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

Yes, it’s Olympics time. The opening ceremony is tonight and knowing Brazil’s flair for extravagant celebrations, I think we should expect a very colorful and entertaining evening. Some of the events have already started due to necessary timing between contests. Women’s soccer started Wednesday and the well-deserved #1 seed US Women’s Soccer Team took care of New Zealand 2-0 and have their next game against France at 3:00pm, central time, tomorrow, on DirecTv, channel 220. The men’s soccer started yesterday however the lackluster US Men’s Soccer Team didn’t even qualify for the top 16 teams to make the Olympic competition.

There are so many reasons for you and your son and your whole family to watch this competition that I can’t begin to list them in today’s post. For now let me try to get you revved up a bit. (photo krcrtv.com)image

You absolutely must watch Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of ALL-TIME! This is his 4th Olympics and even though is is like 1,000 years-old in swimmer’s years, he will certainly be the man to beat in every race he is in. I’m encouraging you that this man has one of the fiercest wills to win of anyone you will ever see. This is a must watch, yes, even more so than golf. These are Michael Phelps’ last competitive races ever against the best swimmers in the world and so expect an amazing result!

In a different vein, women’s gymnastics is regarded as the most highly-rated, in TV viewership, of all the sports and the US brings a strong contingent. This is always beautiful and amazing to watch. Here’s a 5-minute video of 1 of the great Olympic moments of all-time. If you don’t know who Kerri Strug is, you will after watching this. Get fired up!

Olympic golf starts with the men on August 11, followed by the women on August 17th, all on The Golf Channel. More on that as we get closer. In the meantime, get that TiVo going. NBC has coverage on NBC, The Golf Channel, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBCSN, USA Network and specialty channels for basketball and soccer and is streaming EVERY event live on the web on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. NBC has exclusive rights so find out where these channels are on your provider and get prepared!

See you on #1 tee looking ready for The Olympics… Sam

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