Posts Tagged ‘mental fitness’

Junior Golf: Did Brooks’ Putting Win the U.S.Open?

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at Brooks Koepka’s historic repeat victory in the U.S. Open.

Winning one U.S. Open is a lifetime goal for any golfer, but winning a second, in a row, puts a golfer in rarified air. Brooks is only the 7th golfer to win in consecutive years since the first U.S. Open in 1895.

The U.S. Open is different. Please make this point to your junior golfer: that even though there was plenty of controversy surrounding this Open, involving some players actions, some players comments and the USGA, there was still going to be a winner on Sunday! Controversy is a distraction and avoiding distractions is a key to being competitive. Focus on your own game and be positive.

When I close my eyes and think about the U.S. Open I use this Jack Nicklaus quote: “”A difficult golf course eliminates a lot of players. The U.S. Open flag eliminates a lot of players. Some players just weren’t meant to win the U.S. Open. Quite often, a lot of them know it.” And to paraphrase another of his quotes: “When I think of the U.S.Open I see a very long golf course with high rough, fast greens and tough pins. It should be different from every other course we see during the year.” No whining please.

So what were the keys to BK’s won? There’s a long list but we’ll just cover a few things here. It starts with being in a position to win on Sunday. At one point there were about a half-dozen guys within a couple of strokes of the lead but most of them either played themselves out of contention or couldn’t make the couple of late birdies to get into a playoff.

When it was obvious Brooks had won, the Fox announcers talked about the keys to his success. Yes, he hit some stray shots. And he made a bogey or 2. But he made clutch putts! During his final 9 holes he made several 8 to 10 footers for pars! Those were serious pressure putts and he made them.

Time and time again, after every tournament you’ll hear the announcers compliment the winner on his putting. Dad and Mom, your child must be an excellent putter if he/she is to have any chance of winning a golf tournament.

Surely the winner must hit some fairways and hit some greens. But making putts is the key to victory. You have to make a putt to make an up and down. You must make a putt to have a sandy. You have to make putts, period. Sometimes you have to make a putt to have a “good” bogey. Yes, there is such a thing because it’s way better than a double bogey.

Photocredit: golfchannel.com

And your son/daughter must make some birdie putts and some par putts. And in theory, to win, they need to make just about everything from 10 feet and in. Make 100% of the 3-footers. Yep, ya gotta make putts to win.

Congratulations to Brooks Koepka!

See you on #1 tee dreaming of winning the U.S. Open… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Lessons From A Tough Day

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at 3 lessons your junior golfer can learn when he/she has a tough day on the golf course.

Let’s use yesterday’s round from the men’s U.S. Open Championship as a frame of reference. The wind was howling on Long Island and the world’s best male golfers scored one of the highest average rounds in PGA Tour history. There were a few guys barely under par and the rest were over par, some way over par.

These are professionals and they, as a rule, respond to difficult situations more effectively than the rest of us. We’ll see what happens today and over the weekend, but some of our fan favorites may not make the cut.

Here are 3 takeaways:

1. Every golfer has a bad shot, a bad hole, a bad round or a bad day. It’s going to happen, it’s part of life. How your youngster responds is the key. Help him/her to let go of, release, forget about the last shot and focus on hitting a good next shot.

2. Everyone needs a way to deal with frustration and anger. Don’t you think that Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy wanted to explode, cry or something after they combined for 25 strokes over par in Thursday’s round. Each of them must go low today to have any chance of making the cut. Help your son/daughter learn how to manage tough situations at the earliest possible age. It’s never too soon to address this issue.

3. Even in the toughest weather somebody’s going to have a good score. Those four 1-under par 69’s yesterday were superhuman and awesome considering the struggles the rest of the field had. In high school, S3 played in a snowstorm and the round was called after 9 holes. He shot 39, 3-over par, pretty decent considering the conditions, but one guy shot 34, 2-under par. Yep, there’s always that player! Have the proper clothes and equipment for windy and/or wet conditions. Everybody’s playing the same course and conditions. Someone’s going to have a good score. Encourage your child to be that golfer with the good score.

See you on #1 tee ready to handle the weather… Sam

Junior Golf: Ignore The Naysayers

In this Wednesday Waggle, we’re taking a slightly different look at junior golf. Come along with me and enjoy the ride.

So your son/daughter has been playing well, having a Top 10 finish, a Top 5 finish or maybe a win. The next tournament is the finale, the biggest, the end of the season, the state championship, it’s a very big deal. And the naysayers show up saying things like, “Your boy/girl is not going to do well on that course. The fairways are too narrow, the greens are too fast, he/she doesn’t hit the ball far enough and they’ll never beat so-and-so.”

This was slightly the case as Big Red prepared for his biggest event. Even with convincing wins in his first 2 races, the negative folks were still saying this course was too long, he’d never hold up, his first 2 wins were flukes, he’d never beat his main competitor in this race and so on.

His coach/trainer, Lucien Laurin, and his caddy/jockey, Ron Turcotte, knew their athlete very well. They understood that he loved to run and he loved to run fast, very fast. And they also knew that he wanted to beat all of his competitors. He had to win, no second place for him!

Watch how this athlete handles his last competitive event. Watch the greatest racehorse of all-time, Secretariat, and see how he finishes his career. Watch the greatest athletic performance in history!

FYI Mom and Dad, in each of his Triple Crown races, Secretariat ran each quarter-mile faster than the previous one. He was constantly accelerating! Talk about finishing strong!

The takeaway here parents is to know your athlete, ignore the naysayers, be positive and move forward. The team must be on the same page so that the athlete has the best opportunity for an excellent performance. Finishing strong is a big deal!

See you on #1 tee ready to perform… Sam

Junior Golf: Here’s A Look At What Is Possible

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look into the future, a peek at what is a distinct possibility for your junior golfer’s future.

img_0135-1

Photocredit:Jennleforge.com

It’s that very busy time of year. The end of school and all the functions that go along with it. It’s also a time for golf playoffs. High schools are wrapping up, but colleges are still playing.

Today starting at 3:00pm, Central Time, The Golf Channel is airing the Women’s NCAA Division-I National Championship. These are the best female college golfers in the world. There are a considerable number of hours devoted to this event culminating with the National Championship Match Play Finals on Wednesday afternoon.

Please record this. Although the format may sound a bit confusing, it’s really not. There are 54 holes of team stroke play. An individual champion is crowned after the completion of the stroke play, then the low 8 teams advance to the match play championship round concluding with the finals on Wednesday afternoon.

This year’s weather has created very tough scoring conditions. Watch some of the video and you’ll see what it means to “gut it out.” These girls are tough. Golf is always fun when it’s 75-degrees and sunny. Sometimes we forget about those cold, rainy, windy days when we still have to perform. You’re cold. You’re soaking wet and somehow you have to still play better than everybody else in the field. Yikes!

image

Photocredit:Golf Channel

This year’s champion will be composed of a bunch of very determined girls. They had to tough it out in some of the worst weather they’ve likely ever played in, but again, that’s what champions are made of, right?

Please set your DVR. This is good stuff, no, it’s great stuff and you and your daughter and son, as well, should watch. It will be inspirational. If you don’t have The Golf Channel on your TV package, now is the time to add it.

See you on #1 tee looking forward to playing college golf… Sam

Junior Golf: Tell Your Junior Golfer Why We MissThe King

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at why Arnold Palmer had such an amazing impact on everybody and everything he was involved with. Let’s remember The King!image

With the completion of Arnold’s own event, The Bay Hill Classic, we end a week of wonderful and interesting tributes to Arnie, who passed away last September. Many of us, myself included, just can’t get enough views of Arnold and stories about his exploits. It’s that magnetic personality, confident swagger, look of pure enjoyment and desperate desire to win that captivate us. And that doesn’t even include, in his own words, his most beloved activities of helping people. (image jennleforge.com)

When Arnie’s longtime personal assistant, Doc Giffin was asked, “Why is Arnold Palmer so popular?”, he replied, “The answer is simple. He likes people, and they know it. His public face and his private face are exactly the same. He’s not one of those guys who turns it on in public and turns it off in private. He’ll tolerate fools that most people, myself included, won’t. He just likes people.”

And Arnold loved helping people. He loved giving back and his 2 hospitals in Orlando are 1st-rate and cherished by the community. Many PGA and LPGA pros have had their children at the Winnie Palmer Hospital For Women And Babies and then their kids have been treated at the Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children. When Arnie 1st became involved with the hospital industry in Orlando, after touring some area hospitals, he said, “We can do better.” Under his tutelage these 2 are now world class facilities. This is the legacy of The King! (Photo Doc Giffin and Arnold Palmer)

image

Why is this important to your junior golfer? The short answer is: It’s not about them. Life is about loving and helping others. Being about self, self-oriented or self-absorbed is a poor path. Being selfless is the proper direction.

Your child’s personality type plays a significant role in how he/she interacts with others. Every personality certainly can love people, it’s how they manifest their love that is different. Dad and Mom, ask yourself, how do I show my love for my spouse and my kids? Do they understand how much I love them? Is there something I need to do differently?

Countless studies show that people get a greater sense of satisfaction from helping others than from doing nearly any other activity. Now I’m not saying that your kiddo needs to give up golf and become a missionary. The point here is golf is a tough sport. Life is a hard track. Liking and loving others puts your young golfer in a position to succeed in life and in golf too. There’s an inner peace, happiness and overall satisfaction that comes with a sincere likeable personality. This means that your son or daughter will be in a position to make better grades, shoot lower scores and be an all-around more pleasant person to be around. It’s all good!

Talk this over with your spouse. Is your youngster someone who cares, genuinely for others? If you have a very young golfer it may be more difficult to understand how he/she is able to interact. By the time they hit 8, 9 or 10 years old you should begin to get a grasp of their ability to communicate with others. Do the other kids enjoy playing with him/her? Is he/she pleasant on the golf course?

Yes, every 1 of us is different, our children as well. The ability to love is in all of us. Sometimes it’s getting our love to the point where we can display it, again slightly differently, based on our own personality. Show a little love and see if you don’t get some in return!

Oh, we miss Arnold Palmer because he loved us and we knew it!

See you on #1 tee with love in your heart… Sam

Junior Golf: Best Performance-Enhancing Breakfast

In this Wednesday Waggle we will adventure into the world of nutrition. This is an ever-changing area with new data being released daily. There are some very solid guidelines for a nutritional breakfast that will support your junior golfer and give him a chance for a good round of golf, at least nutritionally speaking.img_0102

Every child is unique and has their own favorite breakfast items. Details are different depending on whether you have a son or daughter. Things and tastes, including quantity, change often depending on the sex and age of your kiddo. Without getting into too much science here, there are some definite do’s and don’ts for the first meal of the day, and this is even more important on a tournament day and of course, everyday.(Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Researchers found, I don’t know maybe 10 or 20 years ago that protein was absolutely essential as part of a healthy breakfast. It activates certain cognitive cells in the brain which means that your youngster will be sharper, and have more recall and clarity than without any protein to start the day. Kids who ate protein before school consistently had higher test scores than those who did not consume any protein. Ok, bacon and eggs, anyone? How about some yogurt or a glass of milk? Please consider avoiding the junk cereals and the temptation to just have a couple of slices of toast. If you don’t have time to cook, keep some full fat yogurt on hand and put some fruit in it. We prefer organic dairy products for our family.image

Here’s what was easy for S3. Being in South Texas, we will love good breakfast tacos and they are everywhere. So before tournament day, we would locate a good taco place that was near our route to the course. This accomplished several goals. It gave us a timetable for when to leave the house in order to make a stop for tacos and eat them in the car while driving to the course, it provided good nutrition and it checked breakfast off the list. Parents, remember that teenage boys can have big appetites, but I don’t think I ever saw S3 or 1 of his teammates eat more than 2 tacos before teeing off. They needed the food, but were wise enough to know they didn’t want to be miserable either. (image Alonti catering)

Proper nutrition at the right time puts your son in a position to succeed, sets him up for success. Mom and Dad, that is always a top priority. Remember, you’ve got to include protein in breakfast! Don’t worry about carbs, they’re everywhere, they’ll show up on their own.

See you on #1 tee looking alert… 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)

img_0106

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)

image

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

%d bloggers like this: