Posts Tagged ‘mental fitness’

Junior Golf: 5 Important Quotes For Junior Golfers

In this Wednesday Waggle we’re going to look at 5 quotes from top PGA professionals and get some insight into how winners think.

In one of S3’s mental management courses, the instructor interviewed only world-class 1st place winners in many different sports, both team and individual. He asked them what percentage of their sport was mental. Their answer was all the same, 90%.

Think about that for a minute. The concept is that if someone had the basic body type necessary for a particular sport, then most people were, if driven to succeed, coordinated enough to achieve some level of success. The degree of success depends on how well the athlete masters the mental game.

What does this look like in golf? Here are 5 quotes from great golfers, in no particular order:

1. The King, Arnold Palmer: “I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.”

2. The greatest golfer of all-time, Jack Nicklaus: “As soon as I heard a player talking negative about the course or conditions, I wrote him off as a competitor. He’d already taken himself out of the tournament.”

3. The third member of The Big Three, Gary Player: “We create success or failure on the course primarily by our thoughts.”

4. The man with the most PGA Tour wins, San Snead: “Forget your opponents, always play against par.”

5. Two-time Masters Champion and super creative, Bubba Watson: “Nobody our here’s playing for second place.”

Photocredit:nicklaus.com

What common thread do you see? Dad and Mom, each of these men has a mental structure, a discipline that is constant. They do not veer from it.

We’ve seen confidence from Arnold, positivity from Jack, controlling thoughts during a round from Gary, play against the course not the player from Sam and 1st place is why we play from Bubba.

See you on #1 tee mentally ready… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Essentials for Hot Weather

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at some things that are critical for success when it’s hot. These are always important but hot weather is different and that makes them even more essential.

What is your definition of hot? Maybe it’s 85 degrees for some of you but really most of our bodies notice the heat as the outside temperature approaches our body temp of 98.6. And certainly more humidity makes the heat more oppressive.

Hot weather can take a toll on any athlete and our kids are more susceptible to its affects than we are.

To give your junior golfer the best chance of success, make sure he/she has these items:

1. Refillable water bottle. Drinking 3 or 4 bottles during 18 holes is probably about right. Sipping is better than gulping. Before teeing off and at the turn, ask the tournament staff to please make sure all on-course water supplies are constantly refilled. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had an afternoon round and there was no water on the course. It’s absolutely inexcusable and don’t put up with it. Down here most tournaments tolerate or even announce that it’s OK for parents to give their kids water or Gatorade, yes, during a tournament round. Kids’ safety first! Please double check with the Tournament Director to avoid a possible DQ.

2. 2 towels, a larger towel for the bag and a smaller one for face and hands.

3. Extra gloves, maybe 2 or 3. Your child is going to sweat. A wet glove is useless.

4. A hat, cap, visor or head band to keep salty sweat from running down into their eyes.

5. Sunscreen. Please don’t bathe in it. We use very little and it’s mostly on nose, ears, cheeks, etc.

Of course, there are many more items on your pre-tournament checklist like snacks, balls, tees, counting clubs and so on, but the 5 items above are particularly critical when high temperatures prevail.

See you on #1 tee ready for the heat…Sam

Junior Golf: Snacks That Beat the Heat

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we’re taking a look at how, in the middle of summer, your kiddo can have snacks that beat the heat.

All athletes must replenish calories during competition and your junior golfer is no different. So when it’s time for a healthy munchie, which for golfers is about every 3 or 4 holes, and your son/daughter reaches into the bag to pull one out and they get a handful of inedible mush, it’s not good.

First off, the calories are lost and now one hand is yucky and must be cleaned so the next shot can be hit. Hope he/she has a water bottle and towel!

Here in South Texas there’s plenty of warm/hot weather golf so we have some snacks that will definitely beat the heat. It did take a few tries so we could eliminate some things that sounded good but didn’t work out.

Snacks that hold up in the heat:

1. Jerky is a perfect source of protein, a little fat, some salt and it’s immune to the weather. 2 reasons we buy ours at Costco: most, if not all, the jerky they carry has no msg. Also Costco usually has large bags with individual serving packs inside, very convenient!

2. Trail mix which includes fruit and perhaps M&Ms, although they can get soft in high heat. This provides protein, fat, some salt and carbs through the fruit/M&Ms. Do not get trail mix with loose chocolate or chocolate chips. It will melt and make a terrible mess.

3. Granola/protein/health bars. These are convenient but be aware: we stay with organic to avoid gmo’s which are prevalent in most grains. Also we avoid chocolate because of how messy it is in the heat. Some of these bars taste much better than the others. Take your young golfer to the store and together choose several different bars to try before a tournament. The bar does no good if your child won’t eat it.

4. Cut up fruit. When in doubt, a banana or orange slices always works. Put ’em in a ziplock bag and the sticky cleanup is easy with some water or saliva. No protein or fat here, but there are some good carbs which is better than nothing.

5. PBJ, yes, a good ole peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into 1/4’s for convenience. Fat, protein, carbs and salt all in one easy format.

Something that TV golf coverage doesn’t really show is how much the pros eat and hydrate during around. S3 and I caddied with Adam Scott’s group during the 2018 Valero Texas Open. Adam and his caddy always had water or a banana or part of a sandwich in their hands. It was the best possible example of how to take care of one’s hydration and nutrition during competition!

See you on #1 tee with a water bottle and snacks…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: 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.

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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!

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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)

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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

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