Posts Tagged ‘mental fitness’

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 Fast Spring Cleaning Tips For Better Scores

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will address some spring cleaning issues. These are excellent tips that will help your daughter feel more confident with her game and help her achieve better scores. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)img_0102

Spring cleaning, wow! Depending on your exact circumstances those words can strike fear and stress into Mom and Dad’s hearts. Not to worry, these suggestions are fast, easy and effective and really are things that should become a part of your girl’s regular routine.

Clean the grips. Time required: 15-30 minutes. Repeat at least once a month or more often depending on frequency of use and weather conditions. Sweat, dirt, mud, grass and who knows what else can find its way onto the grip of a golf club. Proper texture, feel and softness of the grip are critical to hitting good shots. Clean grips give your daughter the desired feel when she takes the club in her hands. Put some non-abrasive detergent/dish soap in a bowl of warm water. Use a mildly abrasive and clean terry cloth rag or towel or a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the grips until they are clean and regain their correct feel. Rinse and dry.
Clean the clubface and grooves. Time required: 15-30 minutes at home. Repeat after every shot during practice and play. I can’t tell you what age S3 was when he decided that a clean clubface was a good thing. It may have been while we were watching a tournament on TV and a player hit a shot with a ton of spin and handed his club to the caddy who promptly cleaned the face and grooves. It was at this moment that S3 said, “So that’s what those grooves are for!” A clean face and clean grooves give the ball and clubface the opportunity to interact in the manner that was intended and will result in better shots. Correct friction between the 2 is critical. Some soap, water and a brush are all that is required. Scrub the face and grooves to remove all dirt and wipe off with a towel. Having a clean clubface at the start of a round means it’s easier to clean during the round when all that’s available is water and a brush. (golfshake.com)

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Clean the golf shoes. Time required: 30-90 minutes depending on time for soaking. I know that the tops of golf shoes being clean doesn’t technically impact your daughter’s swing but if they look nice it will help her feel better about herself and that’s a positive thing! So clean and polish the tops. Now turn the shoes over and look at the bottom. Is there some rock-hard gunk caked on in some spots? Are all the cleats there? Do they need to be replaced? Great tip: put the shoes in a shallow pan with just enough water to cover the bottoms. Let them soak for an hour. This should be enough to loosen the caked-on mud as well as the threads on the spikes if they need to be replaced. A brush and perhaps a screwdriver to dig out the really difficult junk are all that you should need once you have soaked the shoes as described. Scrub ‘em clean and deal with the spikes as needed.

Congratulations, Dad and Mom you have just set your girl up for success. These simple tasks are extremely important and should now be a regular part of your junior golfer’s regimen.

See you on #1 tee all cleaned up… Sam

Junior Golf: Parents Who Do This Will Advance Their Golfer’s Success

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at a major factor involved in advancing your junior golfer’s career. This should be the 1st step parents should take when considering the possibility of your daughter/son entering the wonderful world of junior golf. (image jennleforge.com)image

What Linda and I are offering here is being on the same page, being of like minds, being a unified team and working in tandem to achieve the desired goals.

3 Points To Keep In Mind:
Why both Mom and Dad need to be on the same page. Simply put, common strategies and goals keep your daughter on track and reduce or eliminate the chance for confusion. It enhances her ability to focus! Your girl will already have plenty on her mind and conflicting input from Dad and Mom is not helpful.
What happens when you are on the same page. Working together as the management team for your daughter produces a clear path for her junior golf career. Everyone knows what’s going on. Workouts, range time, putting and chipping drills, on-course/playing time and upcoming tournaments are all scheduled and everybody knows the who, what, when and where of all her commitments.
Why Dad and Mom must stay on the same page. Kids need structure. They actually like structure even though at times, they may complain about it. Once you establish an initial structure, stay with it. Your girl will like the security of knowing her complete junior golf schedule. The family can plan around the golf calendar. This planning can act as a baseline for the complete calendar of all family events. (image ottowa citizen)

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Here’s a real-life example of what happens when parents are not on the same page. This occurred a couple of years ago in 1 of our parenting classes and the topic was healthy eating. We were going over some basics like eating less processed foods and adding more fruits and veggies to the family’s meal plans. A young mom raised her hand and said, “My 7 year old son will not eat any green vegetables. What can I do?”

Linda then asked 1 of the great questions in the history of our parenting classes, “Does your husband eat green vegetables?”
Wow! The look on the young Mom’s face and the silence that briefly followed told the story. Finally she was able to say, “No, he won’t touch them.” The approach to address the issue as Linda immediately offered, was for the Mom and her husband to have a private conversation to see if they could get on the same page, a better page for their young son and family. Hubby, will you please make an effort to eat some green veggies, without whining and complaining and set a healthy example for your son? That’s how easy it is! Just ask your spouse for some help. Ask them to come alongside you.

Our kid’s brains are sponges they are soaking up everything we say and do. We are setting examples, good and not so good, every minute. Let’s leave a positive legacy for our junior golfers. Parents, have that meeting today and get on the same page. It works!

See you on #1 tee with like minds… Sam

Junior Golf: Parenting Junior Golfers Seminar Tomorrow

In this Friday Flop Shot we want to invite you to our Parenting Junior Golfers Seminar tomorrow. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

As you may be aware the First Tee of Greater San Antonio has graciously partnered with PJG and we have been giving seminars to their junior golfers and their families for more than a year now.

Attendance has grown and now the First Tee families look forward to our upcoming seminars and topics. What we do is a bit different. Starting at 1:00pm, usually on a Saturday, Linda and I will speak for about 30 minutes on a parenting topic and then our Titleist Performance Institute certified medical partner, Nick Askey, DC, ACP, Sports Therapy and Rehab Director, Airrosti Rehab Centers presents his interactive material.

For instance tomorrow, Nick will instruct the kids on how to use a lacrosse ball to gain mobility in the upper back, neck and shoulders. He will provide enough balls so that every attendee can attempt the exercises during the presentation. It’s totally interactive and everyone loves it! Nick encourages videoing these routines so they can be perfect at home! It’s great!

I think initially the kids were just wanting Linda and me to hurry up and finish our talk so Nick could show them the fun stuff! However, youngsters are full of surprises and now they are paying close attention to our words and actually listening and asking great questions.

The room should be jam-packed tomorrow as Linda and I take on probably the most requested, by the parents at least, topic we get: anger. Our title for Saturday’s seminar is Anger: Manage It! (photo az quotes)image

Please understand that we could spend days on the subject of anger so 30 minutes is barely a decent introduction. Certainly we may need at least 1 more session to do this subject any justice. All of our PJG seminars have information that is immediately usable and helpful, both in the parenting topics that Linda and I cover and with Nick’s always great stretches and exercise tips.

Our seminar tomorrow runs from 1:00pm to 2:30pm at The First Tee of Greater San Antonio, 915 E. Mulberry Ave, San Antonio, Texas 78212 or visit www.thefirsteesanantonio.org or message me for more information.

See you on #1 tee looking not angry… Sam

Junior Golf:2 News Tips For Cold Weather

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll offer some new tips that can make playing in cold weather more enjoyable and help your junior golfer shoot lower scores in chilly conditions. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106
Layering is the basic concept for dressing for cold weather but layering for golf has a couple of things that are different from normal. Your daughter’s swing will be encumbered so freedom of movement along with keeping warm and dry must be balanced. A good start is to use a sleeveless wicking base layer top next to her skin. This keeps 1 layer of sleeves off of her arms and allows a bit of extra freedom to the swing. Then she can add a regular turtleneck, sweater and finally a windproof/waterproof outer jacket.
The new tip here is the sleeveless top. S3 always used a base layer with sleeves and frankly we didn’t consider going sleeveless. He never complained about his swing being too restricted and by the 3rd hole he was usually taking layers off!
Extra bulk is an issue and we suggest you have your daughter try both sleeveless and sleeved layers next to her skin and see which she prefers, from a swing perspective.
Our 2nd tip today is so obvious that I can’t imagine why it has not been previously offered. Golf balls don’t fly as far in cold weather. The PGA has stats on this, but I don’t have them here. Why is your daughter’s distance decreased in cold weather? Several factors. 1st cold golf balls don’t compress as well as they do in warmer weather so spin and distance suffer. And your daughter’s swing is a bit hampered by the extra layers of clothes so she just isn’t swinging as efficiently as normal. And cold weather takes a subtle toll on the human mind and body, making it tougher to focus and play well. (image Carl’s Golfland)image
What does a parent do? Buy a lower compression ball for cold weather. Lower compression means it is easier to compress for slower swing speeds, which your girl will likely have in bad weather, and it will more likely travel a similar distance to her replay ball in normal temperatures. There you go: cold weather, lower compression ball, nearly normal distance. Wow!
As the first really serious cold weather is hitting much of the country right now, try these tips and see what kind of results your daughter achieves. It may surprise you!
See you on #1 tee ready for cold weather… Sam

Junior Golf: Clean Water-Better Health

In this Friday Flop Shop we will talk about water and how it is getting more difficult to find clean uncontaminated water for everyday use. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

Water is a high-demand item. Small wars have been fought over it and larger ones may follow. Without water we can’t exist. It’s tougher and tougher to find clean water for personal use. Most municipalities add chlorine as a disinfectant and floride on the false premise that it promotes dental health. Our family philosophy is to avoid these chemicals. They have no known useful metabolic function in our bodies so why ingest them? Other contaminants frequently found are lead, residue from the dumping of prescription medications into water systems/toilets and industrial chemicals. The list keeps growing!

If you and your family have chosen to begin the process of taking control of your health, cleaning up your water at home needs to be addressed. Drinking contaminated water is bad enough, but your skin is your biggest organ and bathing/showering with bad water is likely worse than drinking it.

What to do? Some action is better than no action. Depending on your budget the choices are a portable system or a whole house system. Berkey Filters is a company we have personal experience with. They make excellent products and their filters remove all the bad stuff, including floride, if you buy the floride additional filter, and leave all the good minerals. They only make portable systems, meaning countertop, under counter and even hiking/backpacking/emergency items. (photo berkeyfilters.com)

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Whole house systems are another world. Floride removal is big business and careful research and evaluation is required to wisely spend your money on a system for all the house. These can range from $1,500 up to many thousands of dollars. Be a wise shopper and don’t get ripped off.

Get your water tested. Home test kits may be available from your local water authority or online. If you are on a municipal water system only buy test kits that can measure chlorine and floride in addition to as many additional items as possible. There’s no telling what may be in your water and you should know. If you are on a well, the chlorine and floride tests are probably not necessary but you certainly want to check for everything else.

So here are your action steps. Test your water. Then proceed to your due diligence to find an appropriate water purification system that fits your budget and needs. Clean water is imperative. Every time your junior golfer drinks or bathes with dirty water it just adds more toxins into their bodies, same goes for Dad and Mom. Clean water-better health. Better health-better golf!

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

How To Keep Momentum During Your Golf Match

Momentum is one of those intangibles that is hard to dissect. You either have it or you don’t. So when you have it, how can you keep momentum during your golf match? And when you lose it, how can you get it back?

The short answer is to relax and have fun…many times easier said than done. The pressure of competition is pervasive and you can pay thousands of dollars trying to help your junior golfer deal with it. Stress is an ongoing part of life and helping your junior golfer manage their “golf” stress will help them deal with stress in all areas of their lives.

Keeping Mo involves continuing to hit good or great shots, hopefully through the completion of the round or match. Encourage your kiddo to “feel it” when they are playing well and to expect the next shot to be a good shot. Your Junior Golfer should believe that they can hit one good shot after another. Stay positive, relax and have fun.

Getting Mo back once your young athlete has lost it is tough. Losing Mo can result in disappointment, loss of enthusiasm and energy and even temporary depression. And all of these are not conducive to hitting good golf shots. What mental state helps your kiddo regain some Mo? Relaxing, maybe just being tired of having a brief “pity party”, or just not caring too much or trying too hard….getting back to having fun! Hitting a good shot can immediately lift their spirits and help them hit a string of good shots. And believing that they can compete with (read beat) everybody in their division, so they need to get back to playing like it!

Mo is elusive, so recognizing when your Junior Golfer has it is important and they want to keep it going for as long as possible.

The awareness of knowing that all athletic contests, including golf tournaments have ebbs and flows of momentum is very important. It is critical that your Junior Golfer knows that it is very rare for anyone’s momentum to last for all 18 holes. Mo comes and goes throughout the round and the key is to keep it going for as long as possible and get it back as quickly as possible.

For a quick Mo demo, take your Junior Golfer and see how many consecutive 6-foot putts each of you can make. When you miss a putt, you lose momentum…point made.

Til next time… Sam Jr

Momentum Helps Your Junior Golfer Succeed

Mo, Mo, Mo…we hear about it all the time in other sports… Momentum… and it exists in golf, as well. Mo is more obvious when you are playing but it can also show up, or not, during practice.

Your Junior Golfer will either have momentum or they won’t have it, but their Mo can change very quickly. It is important for your kiddo to recognize that Mo really does exist and they can use it to their advantage.

How do you know if if you “have Mo” or you don’t? It is simple, if they are hitting good shot after good shot and are scoring well, they “have Mo”. If they are just playing barely OK or are struggling, they certainly do not “have Mo”.

Momentum can easily change several times during 18 holes. This was very visible at the recent WGC Cadillac Championship when Graham McDowell was hoping to catch Tiger Woods during the final round. G’Mac started with a couple of birdies to close the gap and then in the middle of his round, had a 3-putt or a bogey and it seemed to take the steam (read-Momentum) right out of his game.
By the time G’Mac regained some Mo, it was too late in the round and Tiger’s lead was too large. So if McDowell had not lost Mo or had gotten it back sooner, he would have had a chance to catch Tiger.

Golfers at all levels are affected by Momentum and Your Junior Golfer may feel the impact even more than the older golfers. Next time we’ll look at how to keep the Momentum going and how to get it back when it disappears.

Now, grab your young athlete and go to the driving range.

Til next time, Sam.

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