Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Junior Golf: 3 Reasons For Variety

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re looking at the benefits of offering your child several different extra-curricular activities.

Golf is our family sport, no doubt about it, but Linda and I decided early on that S3 would have to choose golf as his sport, we weren’t going to force it on him.

When he turned 5 years old, S3 was playing golf and soccer. He liked his soccer and he had good speed and excellent endurance. Hand-to-eye coordination came naturally to S3 so he picked up golf quickly.

The soccer went away after a few seasons but he stayed with his golf. The next progression was to martial arts. He really enjoyed karate, but that too faded away while golf stayed.

Continuing with the hand-to-eye thing, S3 wanted to be a percussionist, so he joined the band in junior high. As a result he learned how to read music and genuinely knew his way around the percussion section. Next we bought him a full drum set, metallic burnt-orange Ludwig’s, of course, and man, was that a natural fit for him. Here he was, the next Keith Moon!

Photocredit:papyblues.com

When he entered high school, the golf team was a given but the band director also wanted him for the drum line. At this point, S3 knew golf was his future and there was no way to do both golf and drum line, so he graciously declined the band director’s offer.

Here’s why this variety is good for your child: 1. Your child’s extra-curricular activity must be his/her choice. By exposing them to different sports and activities, they can choose which one to pursue. The love, desire and passion must be sincere, thus it has to be their choice. 2. By trying multiple disciplines, your kiddo has a chance to develop a reasonable level of skill in a secondary endeavor. This helps greatly with self-confidence and depending on what the activity is, possibly better strength, conditioning and more. 3. Your son/daughter will begin to appreciate the number of hours in the day and will, out of pure necessity, learn an essential life skill, time management. There is no substitute for being able to manage one’s hours and the sooner your kiddo gets on board with this concept, they better off he/she will be.

So while S3 learned a little bit about soccer and martial arts, he really learned a lot about music, particularly, percussion. He could sit at a drum set right now and play very well. Or he could join the church orchestra, read music and play any percussion instrument perfectly. It’s very cool!

See you on #1 tee playing the sport you chose… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Benefits of A Short Memory

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’re going to look at memory or lack of it. There are times when having a short memory is a very good thing.

Have you heard the phrase, “have a cornerback’s memory.”? What it means is that every cornerback-a defensive player on a football team, will get beaten on a pass play at some point and he’d better be able to forget about getting smoked by the receiver and get back to playing good football ASAP.

The point here Dad and Mom, is that mistakes, in golf that would be poor shots, are going to happen and your junior golfer needs to put them out of his/her mind as quickly as possible.

Here are 3 benefits of a short memory:

1. It gets a player’s focus back on track. The previous shot is history, forget it. Focus on hitting the desired next shot.

2. It gets the vital signs returning toward normal. Taking a few deep breaths can help return heart rate and stress levels to where they should be. Elevated pulse and respiration rates are not helpful for playing good golf.

3. It instills and reinforces a winner’s mindset. The elite players in every sport do not dwell/replay the negative. They stay focused on the positives and on improving their game.

Depending on your child’s age, skill level and personality type it can take a while for him/her to get these concepts down consistently. That’s OK, kids need to work through things.

Photocredit: cdnsportsmemorabilia.com

The PGA Tour player with the most all-time wins, it’s not Tiger, Sam Snead, has a bit of a footnote to his legacy of 82 PGA Tour wins and 7 majors. It’s that he really had trouble letting go of a bad shot. Sometimes he’d carry his bad attitude for several holes, which he played poorly enough to remove him from contention. Many folks feel Snead might have won several more U.S. Opens if he just could have let go of those bad shots. Wow!

See you on #1 tee with a short memory… Sam

Junior Golf: U.S. Open Takeaways

In this Monday Mulligan let’s see what we can learn from this most recent U.S. Open.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Here are some takeaways:
Even a tough course can give up a lot of birdies when it is softened by rain and there is little to no wind. This was the case Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
As the course dries out and the wind picks up, everything changes. Now the course can begin to play like the designers and selection committee intended. This was the case yesterday. Erin Hills was tougher than it had been.
There will always be a winner. Sometimes there’s a playoff, but usually 1 player rises to the occasion and handles the tough conditions and serious pressure better than everyone else. Brooks Koepka did this yesterday.
Winners handle pressure better. They perform better under it. When Brooks was asked about the pressure of being in contention for a U.S. Open title, he said he couldn’t imagine being under more pressure than he was at the previous Ryder Cup. They’ll all tell you that the pressure of playing for one’s country and teammates is much greater than playing for yourself! So Brooks had already experienced, in his mind, which is what counts, more pressure than he would feel currently.
Patience on the golf course counts, particularly in tough conditions. One of the announcers mentioned that Rickie Fowler started swinging all out with his irons during yesterday’s round and this was the point where he lost his game just enough to get out of contention. Anyone remember the “swing easy when it’s breezy”?
When it’s going good, don’t change it. Brooks was in the zone, hitting fairways and greens and making putts. This is a winning combination. When all the others near the top of the leaderboard stumbled for a hole or 2, Brooks stayed confident with his game and kept on making good shots.

What does this mean for your son/daughter and their junior golf career? To begin with, the more they play tough courses in tough conditions, the more confident they will become. They will begin to understand that everybody is playing the same course in the same conditions and whoever stays calm and patient will have a chance to win.

They will realize that a winner will always be crowned, no matter the score, as long as it’s the lowest and no matter how good, bad or ugly the golf course is. Hey, a win is a win!

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Photocredit:pgatour.com

He/she will start to realize that there is always pressure. It can come from any and all directions and how your youngster handles that pressure will have a huge impact on their score. Depending on your kiddo’s personality, his/her ability to deal with pressure will manifest itself differently.

There are times that your child will play better than others. Encourage them to relax, stay confident and keep on doing what they’re doing. Enjoy it!

Hope you enjoyed watching Brooks win his 1st major. It was great viewing!

See you on #1 tee with confidence… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Lessons From The Thrilling Final Round Of The Masters

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at 1 of the most exciting days ever in a professional golf tournament. There were so many incredible happenings that the announcers were peddling as fast as they could just to try to keep up!m

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

Here are some things Linda and I hope you will review with the junior golfer in your family:
Predictions are only worth so much. With a star-studded leaderboard, the announcers were discussing possible outcomes from Sunday’s play. While Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose, in the final group were serious contenders, most of the talk was about Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler in the next to last pairing. The analysts expected great things from these 2 young guns as each was on a roll and playing well. Sergio on the other hand, was playing in his 61st major and had never won. Justin Rose, with a seriously strong pedigree was given due respect as a possible green jacket winner as were several others in the field. Again, most of the talk was about how Jordan and Rickie were primed to make runs at the title. Perhaps you know the results. Sergio beat Justin on the 1st playoff hole. Jordan shot 75. Rickie shot 76. So much for predictions!
Sir Nick hasn’t seen everything. When Russell Henley jarred-holed out his 185-yard approach shot on #5 for an eagle it was a flag-rattling sight. The ball entered the cup on the fly, no bounces. Yes, this has been seen many times previously by all of us. The ball, however, upon entering the hole, actually damaged some turf around the edge of the hole and broke off a piece of the cup, rendering it in need of repair, and of the course, the turf needed to be fixed as well. By rule, a player cannot do these tasks. They must be done by course staff under the auspices of rules officials. So, staff were quickly brought in, the broken tin cup was removed, the turf repaired and a new cup was cut, by rule within the proper distance from the original cup and play was resumed. Sir Nick commented that in all his time around golf and golf tournaments, he had never seen this situation. Very fascinating and interesting stuff!
A very young fan can take home a once-in-a-lifetime memory from The Masters. Matt Kuchar got on a roll on the back 9. On the par 3 16th, he stepped up and hit a 7-iron. The shot looked good in the air, but Matt could only see the flag, not the cup, from the tee box. The thundering roar of the crowd told him his shot had gone in for an ace. What a thrill for all the fans and, of course, Matt. But the biggest thrill, at least for 1 little fan, was yet to come. Kuchar walked up, acknowledged the crowd, pulled his ball from the cup, wiped it off and signed it. As he exited the green he handed the ball to 1 of the youngest golf fans in sight. How old was he? Don’t know but he obviously knew something about golf because he was absolutely elated when Kuchar handed him the autographed ball. What a beautiful gesture by a true gentleman and he gave that boy a treasured memory! That’s what our sport is about! Be sure to check out the link above, it’s worth it!

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photocredit:cnn

There were so many special moments yesterday, there is no way to do them justice here, so let’s wrap up and congratulate Sergio on a great victory!

See you on #1 tee ready to make some memories… Sam

Junior Golf: Your Junior Golfer Is Not Immune

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will address the fact that your junior golfer is not immune to her environment, friends, family and life in general. There was a big shakeup at The Masters this week because no one is immune, no one is bulletproof.

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Dubai Golf

Things happen in life. They happen to all of us and your daughter is no exception. Good things, bad things, beneficial things, inconvenient things, there are a ton of things that can occur in one’s life.

Surely as Dustin Johnson was going down the wooden stairs in his stocking feet, it never crossed his mind that he might slip and fall and have to WD, withdraw, from the 1st men’s major of the year, The Masters. As you likely have heard, he did fall on his elbow and on the left side of his back. Yesterday just before his tee time, he decided he could not compete and withdrew. The physical pain is nothing compared to his mental anguish of the whole situation.

DJ, currently ranked men’s World #1, is generally regarded as being the most athletic guy on the PGA Tour and is in amazing shape, physically. So how does this happen to a DJ? Simply this walking down the stairs was such a nothing kind of everyday event that it seems DJ was on auto-pilot just going down a set of stairs. Boom, a slip and he’s out of the tournament. Wow!

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photocredit:theguardian

So what impact does this have on the field? Well, their 1st reaction was probably something like, “He’s in such great shape, how did that happen to him?” Next thought, “Now I have a better chance to win because I don’t have to beat the World#1.” And final dose of reality, “Man, I need to be careful. That can happen to anyone at any time.”

What is the lesson for your daughter and your household? Please make her aware that she is not immune to injury. Things happen around the house. She could slip on a wet sidewalk. Awareness helps. With S3 we also asked him to limit, as in not play at all, in pickup team sports games like basketball and soccer. All it takes is 1 injury to a finger, hand, wrist, knee, ankle or foot and the junior golf schedule is put on hold. Depending on the severity of the injury, your girl might never recover well enough to play competitive golf again.

True story. S3 was playing in a college golf tournament and 1 of his group members dads was at the event. As we dads visited during the round he told me how his son had won just about every event in their home state the previous year. His boy was on fire! However his son also dearly loved wakeboarding and refused to give it up. Yes, that’s right, the son had a horrific fall, injured his back and his golf game never recovered. So instead of winning golf tournaments, it was all he could do to break 80. A tough life lesson!

Your girl does need time away from golf. As much as she may love the game, both practicing and playing, she needs a break. Balance in life is important. As you are helping her just be a kid, encourage her in directions that give her an opportunity to have fun, fun with reduced risks.

See you on #1 tee injury-free… 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: Catch Her Doing This

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at your daughter in perhaps a way that is different than normal, a bit more focused on your part, Mom and Dad. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

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If someone could watch your interaction with your daughter inside your home, what would be their 1st impression? Wow, what a warm, loving home. Ouch, I feel like I’m watching basic training or well, this looks pretty normal.

Everyone likes praise and your young golfer is no different. Ask yourself, as a parent, “When I address my children, am I sounding more positive, negative or neutral?” I can assure you that if you are constantly harping on your daughter, nobody wants to be around that environment, as in, around you. No one wants to go to or be in a place where they are constantly verbally attacked. If you are this parent, I encourage you to change, immediately! It’s never too late!

Here’s where to start. It’s simple, but not easy until you develop the habit after 21 days of consistency. Catch her doing something right. This would be her doing a helpful thing that was not totally just prompted by you or your spouse. These may be tiny moments or sizeable moments, take advantage of them to help affirm your child’s sense of value.

For example: “Thanks for helping put away the groceries!” “ Your room looks great, good job!” “You hit some excellent chip shots!” “That’s a nice looking outfit!” And a great line to use after a larger effort gets good results such as a high test score or a very competitive round of golf, courtesy of Dr Kevin Leman, author of Have A New Kid By Friday is “Great job, all your hard work really paid off!” A lot of meaningful words in that statement. (photo pga.com)

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Some more words that are important for your daughter and all of your family to hear are, “I love you.” In our parenting classes this past weekend, all 40 of our parents agreed that a parent can never tell a child, “I love you”, too much. Yep!

Be the positive parent! Look for things where you can through positive reinforcement improve your girl’s sense of self worth and her ability to accomplish things in a worthy manner. Ditch the negativity. Yes, it can be difficult particularly if you have been prone to a negative bent your whole life. You can do this! Remember, it’s never too late!

See you on #1 tee looking for you to do things right… Sam

 

 

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