Posts Tagged ‘mental game’

Junior Golf: Inside The Minds Of Champions

 

In this Friday Flop Shot we will see how winners think by taking a quick look at how they really approach this game. Let’s look inside the minds of some champions.

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Dubai Golf

I sincerely hope you are recording The President’s Cup. While the US has a big lead, there is some great golf being played and some wonderfully insightful quotes from the players.

World Golf Hall Of Fame member and captain of the Internationals team, Nick Price, was asked about his team’s mental state prior to Thursday’s start. “It’s good. We love to play golf, we love to compete and we want to win!”

Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed were asked why they had been such a successful pairing
in international competition. Patrick, “I’m kind of firey and Jordan’s always calm, so our personalities help each other to calm down or get revved up!” Then Jordan, “There’s also this competition within the competition where each of us wants to be the one who hits the great shot, makes the winning putt. We push each other like that.” Folks, this is a paraphrase and you could attribute these words to either one of these guys because they are asked about this all the time and this is always their answer.

Let’s stay with these two. After making a great comeback to get 1/2 point from Friday’s four-ball match, they were asked how pleased they were with a tie rather than a win. It was obvious that while a 1/2 point was better than no points, they really wanted to win. So here’s the great quote: Interviewer asks if it’s more satisfying to make an amazing comeback, 2 down with 4 holes to play or to win in a runaway. Patrick’s classic response (paraphrased): “Making a comeback means you’re playing a lot more holes to get something out of your round. Winning in a runaway means you’re playing great golf!”

These quotes are right in line with Bubba Watson’s statement of a few years back’ “Nobody out here’s playing for 2nd place!”

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Photocredit:Golf Channel 

Parents, start with Nick Price’s 3 things. Hopefully your youngster loves golf. And is getting used to competing and is starting to enjoy it. And has a desire to win welling within. With some kiddos this is more of a process than with others. Love the game, love to compete and want to win. Perfectly stated!

See you on #1 tee loving to play golf… Sam

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Junior Golf: What Is This?

In this Monday Mulligan please take a look at the photo below and see if you can figure out what it is. This is a beautiful visual example of a very valuable educational opportunity for your son/daughter.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Perhaps you recall the great line by the Guardian of The Holy Grail in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “He chose poorly.” More contemporary golf lines might be, “He went for the hero shot and didn’t make it,” or “He should have taken his bogey medicine.” Whatever line you prefer, the poor result is the same.

This is, of course, a screenshot of the path of Jason Day’s golf ball on the 18th hole during the 3rd round of the recent PGA Championship. Jason’s unfathomable choice for his 2nd shot destroyed any chance to get off the hole with a bogey, 5 and then put him in a situation where he ended up with a quadruple bogey-8, which included a crushing 3-putt.

On the 18th tee box, a par or bogey would have kept him in a decent position to make a run for the win on Sunday. Golf truths you may hear: “Sometimes you have to take your bogey medicine.” “There are times when a bogey is a good score.” “Not even the pros execute every hero shot.” Jason chose to hit right when the hole and accessible fairway were to the left. It appeared that hitting a shot back in play to the fairway on his left was not a tough shot and that choice might have given him a decent bogey chance.

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Golf is not about hitting a great shot every time. It is about believing that you can hit a great shot every time. The nitty-gritty is all about how your youngster responds to a poor shot. It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s maddening. It’s golf. There is always a better choice, but one must choose to take it!

See you on #1 tee ready to make good choices… Sam

Junior Golf: The First Step To Success

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at one of the most important things that you must stress to your young golfer in order to help them achieve junior golf success.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

This idea was always first in our house. Yes, even ahead of playing golf. Without this factor your child is limited in all areas of positive achievement. What on earth are we talking about here?

Let’s call it high standards. What does this look like? Well, many things come into play. A desire to compete, a desire to excel and wanting to get good grades on schoolwork are good examples. With discipline, structure and solid parental guidance these things are all possible.

Parents of kiddos 7 years old and younger may be wondering exactly why this is important. Why can’t your child just go to school and be a kid? Well, he/she certainly can, but things will be much better if you decide to pursue the suggestions we’re offering today.

Everything we’re talking about here translates directly into the world of golf, both practice and play. Without a good mental approach your youngster is at a distinct disadvantage.

Here’s where it gets very serious. No pass/no play is a reality in high school and college golf. Your son/daughter must be scholastically eligible to play in competition, period. There are no exceptions. There are minimum number of classes/hours and a minimum GPA that must be maintained. Start preparing your child for this situation now.

Once a golfer is scholastically ineligible there is a waiting period before they can regain their eligibility. This time varies depending on the structure of grading and grading periods at individual high schools and universities. It might be as short as a week or 2 or it could be 4 or 5 weeks. In every instance, no one is happy about it.

The coach is not pleased. The teammates while supportive, usually, of their ineligible team member, feel let down. Your child should be unhappy with him/herself. The lack of discipline, desire for excellence, respect for the game and respect for their teammates should hopefully be an encouragement to square those shoulders and start producing better grades.

It’s bad enough in high school where the consequences are basically embarrassment, letting down the coach and teammates and missing some tournaments, but it’s really bad in college where your son/daughter is being paid to play golf.

Too much scholastic irresponsibility and your golfer might be kicked off the college team. It happens! So now you and your student have this nightmare and your college out-of-pocket dollars have dramatically increased. Time for a big time pow-wow!

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S3 was eligible for every event in high school and college. He missed a couple of events due to injury and one due to a poor qualifying round. But his grades were always good! There was actually more scholastic failure among his high school team members, than with his college ones. I feel this is generally due to an increased maturity level among college golfers.

Mom and Dad these are life lessons which are timeless and are helpful in every part of your kiddo’s future. Please consider finding some ways to incorporate some of these suggestions into your son’s/daughter’s everyday routine.

See you on #1 tee looking disciplined… Sam

Junior Golf: The Sheer Joy Of Winning

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at what winning should truly feel like. Let’s have some fun!

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

It’s tough to win a golf tournament at any level. There are always a number of players in every field that are surely capable of winning. There were playoffs in both the LPGA event in Texas and at the PGA team event in New Orleans.

Haru Nomura was certainly excited to finally defeat Christie Kerr after a lengthy playoff. But the uninhibited joy of winning his first PGA tournament was on display with young Australian Cameron Smith, who along with teammate Jonas Blixt won the Zurich Classic defeating Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown on the 5th hole of a sudden death playoff this morning.

After Cameron made a short birdie putt for the victory, the announcers came up for a quick post-game interview. Cameron was so choked up he just was unable to communicate. His life had been totally changed by the win and all the emotions of a 23 year-old poured out, leaving him with a million thoughts spinning in his mind and uncontrollable tears of joy! He was unable to speak.

Thankfully the interviewers understood that they should let Jonas Blixt do the talking for the team. And he did a great job. Jonas explained that the 2 of them both lived in Jacksonville, practiced together at TPC Sawgrass and had become good friends and he, Jonas had genuinely enjoyed watching his friend play excellent golf and was thrilled for both Cameron and himself, of course, for their team victory.

Please understand that there are many victories to be had, some large and some small. Hitting a good shot after hitting a poor shot is a victory. Getting out of a sand trap is a victory and hitting the ball fairly close to where your son/daughter wanted it to land is a victory. While these small victories may not always lead to uncontrollable tears of joy, they certainly are opportunities for encouragement, a smile, a thumbs up, I love you! Recognize these moments and participate, within the rules, in them. There will be more moments in the future, but they will not be the same as this moment right now!img_0196

In society today we are encouraged to control our emotions, be stoic, stand tall. And there are times for that. In the midst of golf competition, the best players make every effort to stay in their emotional zone, not too high and not too low. Then at the end of the event, players can let their emotions loose and manifest them freely and openly. That’s what Cameron Smith did and it was a beautiful thing to see.

Show your son/daughter.

Tell them that it’s OK to have some uninhibited joy! These are rare and special times!

See you on #1 tee ready to have some fun… Sam

Junior Golf: Why The Masters Is Important For Your Junior Golfer

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at this week’s PGA tournament and offer some input as to why The Masters is very important for your son/daughter.

photocredit:golfdigest.com


There are more reasons than this space allows as to the importance of The Masters to your son and the rest of your family, in fact to all sports fans everywhere. Let’s hit some highlights.
1st, it’s the first men’s major championship of each year and the field will include many of the best players in the world. That alone should make it very important.

2nd, Augusta National Golf Club, the permanent Masters venue in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most beautiful places anywhere. Amazingly gorgeous flowers are blooming all over the course and the fairways, greens, traps, hazards, paths, every square inch seems to be perfectly manicured. We look forward to every minute of TV coverage so we can enjoy this visual feast.

3rd, The Masters is loaded with great traditions. From the ceremonial opening tee shots, done for years by the legendary Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. With Arnold’s passing last September, Jack and Gary will do this year’s shots. And then there’s the awarding of the renowned green jacket to the winner on Sunday afternoon and any number of traditions occurring in between.

4th, the golf is great! The players will tell you that this is one of the toughest courses they play. The greens are lightning fast. The undulating and rolling fairways, much more so than the TV cameras show, almost never leave a flat lie and stance for the next shot. Water and traps are just begging for golf balls to enter them. And even with all this there are players shooting under par. Wow!

5th, tickets to this event are widely known as possibly the toughest ticket in all of sports. Just having an opportunity to be a patron, as the fans at ANGC are referred to, is a rare situation. Go for it!

photocredit:pinterest

So what does this mean to your youngster? Hopefully he’ll dream more and bigger dreams. I mean every pro playing in this event dreamed about it as a kid and probably as a pro too until getting his 1st invitation to play in The Masters! Heck, I’ve dreamed about being a patron and that’s tough enough!The sheer beauty, pageantry, traditions and excellent golf should end up being more than enough to get your kiddo revved up.
So Parents, your action is to make sure you TiVo the tournament. Thursday and Friday are on ESPN and Saturday and Sunday are on CBS. We always record 2.5 hours beyond the scheduled Sunday end time to allow for possible playoffs.
See you on #1 tee excited about The Masters… Sam

Junior Golf: Control This And Empower Your Golfer

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 1 of the things that we, parents actually can control or at least have some control over. This can be very beneficial to our youngsters on tournament days.

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

Really, all the prep should be done before the actual day of an event. Depending on your son’s/daughter’s personality he/she may not have gotten much quality sleep the night before the competition starts. Parents, we must be aware that there are a million things going through our young golfer’s mind as soon as he gets out of bed. What he doesn’t need is Mom or Dad adding clutter to the pre-tournament environment.

What does this look like? Control your emotions, your words and your body language. Stick to the regular morning routine. “Good morning, son, how are you? What would you like for breakfast?” Keep it simple and non-golf until you get ready to load up and go to the course. Then, before you get in the car, you just need to go over the pre-tournament checklist, again standard routine.

In the car, let him listen to his headphones or favorite music. This is relaxing to him although it may not seem like it to you. Less talk is better. Idle comments such as, “Oh, this is such a big tournament,” or “Wow, there are so many great players in this field!”, are not helpful. This is pressure and your youngster already has a ton of pressure so please don’t address the event at this point. Parents, control yourselves. Be aware of what is happening in your son’s mind right now! Be the adult! And yes, it can be very difficult!

Linda and I developed a relatively standard final few sentences for S3 as he was going up to tee off. “Remember Son, it’s just fairways and greens. You know what to do. Take a breath and have fun. Enjoy your round! We love you!” That’s pretty much it.

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Once the round starts, your contact with your child is extremely limited. Understand however, that he can hear your voices better than you ever imagined, no matter what else is going on. His hearing is tuned to Dad and Mom’s voice frequencies. Please control what you say, no matter the subject. And your boy sees and perfectly interprets your body language. A parent’s slumped shoulders or head down convey a horrible message, whether it was intended or not. Again, we must be the encouraging parents!

The bottom line is that the more we control our body language by minimizing/eliminating the throwing the hands up, shaking the head, uttering words of frustration and disappointment, the more we can lift up our child. Heads up, thumbs up, shoulders back, big smiles and “Love you Son,” all add up to positive encouragement. That’s where we as parents must strive to get to and it’s tough, but you know what, you can do it, if you will do it!

See you on #1 tee with an encouraging gallery… Sam

Junior Golf: Why The Masters Is Important For Your Junior Golfer

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at this week’s PGA tournament and offer some input as to why The Masters is very important for your son/daughter.

img_0102-1

photocredit:golfdigest.com

There are more reasons than this space allows as to the importance of The Masters to your son and the rest of your family, in fact to all sports fans everywhere. Let’s hit some highlights.

1st, it’s the first men’s major championship of each year and the field will include many of the best players in the world. That alone should make it very important.
2nd, Augusta National Golf Club, the permanent Masters venue in Augusta, Georgia, is one of the most beautiful places anywhere. Amazingly gorgeous flowers are blooming all over the course and the fairways, greens, traps, hazards, paths, every square inch seems to be perfectly manicured. We look forward to every minute of TV coverage so we can enjoy this visual feast.
3rd, The Masters is loaded with great traditions. From the ceremonial opening tee shots, done for years by the legendary Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. With Arnold’s passing last September, Jack and Gary will do this year’s shots. And then there’s the awarding of the renowned green jacket to the winner on Sunday afternoon and any number of traditions occurring in between.
4th, the golf is great! The players will tell you that this is one of the toughest courses they play. The greens are lightning fast. The undulating and rolling fairways, much more so than the TV cameras show, almost never leave a flat lie and stance for the next shot. Water and traps are just begging for golf balls to enter them. And even with all this there are players shooting under par. Wow!
5th, tickets to this event are widely known as possibly the toughest ticket in all of sports. Just having an opportunity to be a patron, as the fans at ANGC are referred to, is a rare situation. Go for it!

img_0561

photocredit:pinterest

So what does this mean to your youngster? Hopefully he’ll dream more and bigger dreams. I mean every pro playing in this event dreamed about it as a kid and probably as a pro too until getting his 1st invitation to play in The Masters! Heck, I’ve dreamed about being a patron and that’s tough enough!The sheer beauty, pageantry, traditions and excellent golf should end up being more than enough to get your kiddo revved up.

So Parents, your action is to make sure you TiVo the tournament. Thursday and Friday are on ESPN and Saturday and Sunday are on CBS. We always record 2.5 hours beyond the scheduled Sunday end time to allow for possible playoffs.

See you on #1 tee excited about The Masters… Sam

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