Posts Tagged ‘No pass no play’

Junior Golf: Yes You Can, No You Can’t

In this Friday Flop Shot we will continue our examination of choices and how they impact the people involved in them. This post will be from your junior golfer’s perspective.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

There are 2 great lines about choices and I encourage parents to ingrain these lines into your children ASAP. It is not too late or too early, whatever his/her age. Again, for this post these lines are said by Mom and Dad to your youngsters.


Son/daughter, you can choose your actions.
This refers back to the previous post about always having choices and there is always a better choice. Basically, everything any of us do, adults or kiddo’s is a choice we make. We have the freedom to do so.
Son/daughter, you cannot choose the consequences of your actions. Wow, that’s actually quite scary! So, your kiddo can make a choice, but the reality is that he/she will have very little ability control the impact/consequences.

What does this really mean to your junior golfer? Let’s use scholastics. He/she can choose to not study, study a little or study a lot for a test. Yes, the more studying done likely will give better results, but there are no guarantees of an excellent outcome. A good grade can continue scholastic eligibility, while a poor grade could lead to problems and perhaps becoming ineligible to compete.

On the golf course, let’s say your kiddo chooses to hit a “hero” shot out of an undesirable lie, rather than merely chipping the ball back in play in the fairway. Even the pros have trouble hitting a great “hero” shot every time. There are so many unpredictables. So what could happen? A million things! Your son attempts his hero shot and the ball gets stuck in a tree. Or it hits a tree and goes out-of-bounds. Or it hits a tree and goes backwards 70 yards into an even worse lie. Again, the possibilities are endless and there is no way to control the consequences of that swing. Too many unknowns and variables.

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Photocredit:Dissolve

Here’s a real-life example. A young female friend of ours had a guy in her face loudly saying unsavory things and he wouldn’t stop or leave her alone. She got tired of it, slapped him and he called the police. She was arrested and is having to spend thousands of dollars and a lot of time working her way through the legal ramifications of 1 slap that left no mark, no scratch, no bruise. Gosh, that’s a lot of grief for 1 slap to a rude dude. She made the choice to slap, but she had no control over the consequences of such an, at the time at least, seemingly necessary action.

Mom and Dad actions/choices have consequences and more often than not, we have little to no control over them. Better choices do however, tend to result in more desirable consequences.

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

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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: 3 Steps To Plan 2017

In this Friday Flop Shot we are going to help you get your junior golfer’s new year off to a good start by using 3 easy steps to plan 2017. (photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106-1

It is essential to have a plan so you can set goals. Without a plan you are operating on the whim, off the cuff and this is not desirable. All kids need boundaries, in this case it’s structure for the new year in regards to junior golf.

Step 1: have a family meeting. Include everybody. While we are focusing on your junior golfer, the other family members have scheduling needs too and this includes the other at-home kids, if any, and yes Dad and Mom. All these schedules must be coordinated. Ask everyone to bring up the obligations they are currently aware of and write them down in calendar order starting with January 2017. This would include school, extra-curricular events, tournaments, spring break, Holidays, church and anything else whether it occurs once or every week. You are making a Master Calendar.

Step 2: prioritize the events. In our house, grades always came first so school and homework would be high priorities, followed by tournaments. S3 was immersed in golf, aiming for a college scholarship, so he entered every tournament our budget would allow. 1 summer, I think he played in 23 days of tournaments from the end of May until the middle of August. It was fun, but we had to budget well in advance for it. How you prioritize is specific to your family, but you must do it because some of the lower priority items will be cut from the calendar. Your family can’t do everything, but you can do more than you previously thought with good planning. image

Step3: set up a budget and a golf budget would be a sub-category. Frankly once you really get into the junior golf program you will likely find that there are more tournaments, clinics, summer golf camps, golf this, golf that, and there’s just no way to do them all because pretty much no one has both the time and the money to pull all these functions off. We always left some room in our budget. In other words we didn’t budget every dime, we held some money back for special circumstances. Maybe you learn about a new amazing tournament that wasn’t in your plans. Now you have some extra money to take a look at it. Always try to have some funds in reserve. You don’t have to spend it, but it’s there if you need it. And I’m talking about the junior golf category within your total family budget. (image 24-7Calendars.com)

See you on #1 tee looking organized… Sam

Junior Golf: No Pass No Play The End Game

imageIn this Friday Flop Shot we will look at the ultimate goal of no pass no play. This is where npnp ends up when it is maintained and pursued through junior high, high school and college. (photo offcoursegolf.com)

So Dad and Mom here S3’s story of how npnp impacted his college selection and ended up showing him the big picture as far as why npnp had been so important in his school life and would of course continue to be very important until after graduation. What S3 and we, too, had never realized is how npnp would come into play after graduating from college.

S3 pretty much liked TAMIU from his very 1st visit as did I. Mom also became a TAMIU fan during her 1st visit, my and S3’s 2nd visit. Everyone on the school staff was on the same page, putting students and a quality education 1st. This positive attitude permeated the campus and folks I can assure you that we did not get this feeling at very many college campuses. The business saying, “It all starts at the top”, is something I have certainly found to be true during my career and I told S3 and Linda that I believed this wonderful attitude had to start with the President of TAMIU, Dr. Ray Keck III. While we did not initially meet Dr. Keck, it was obvious he was tremendously admired and respected by faculty and students alike. I mean TAMIU is a great campus!

So S3 and Linda and I are at his freshman year athletic banquet in April of 2013 and the 1st speaker to be introduced is Dr. Keck. All he had to do was say “Hello” and you could feel what a really super guy he is. So here is a paraphrase of the 1st part of Dr. Keck’s speech: “Thank you very much. I promise to only speak for 3 minutes because tonight is about you ladies and men, our TAMIU athletes and your achievements during this past year. Do you know why I am so passionate about TAMIU athletics, why I love being here with you and why I want us to have winning teams? Every time I am interviewing new students and student-athletes and their families, somewhere in 1st 3 questions is “How are your sports teams doing?” And I want to be able to tell them we are doing great! The majority of you will go to work in the business world and will not be playing professional sports. So here’s something that likely will happen for you. When a prospective employer looks at your resume and sees that you were an NCAA Division II scholarship athlete with a college degree, your resume gets put in the short list at the top of the stack. They understand, at least many of them will, what it took for you to play college sports and get a degree!”image

There was more to Dr. Keck’s speech that night, but this is the relevant part of how grades and sports can work together for a goal. It confirmed why TAMIU is what it is, a great school with athletic programs that are loved and respected by the powers that be. It was also a good night for S3 as he was awarded “Men’s Golf Team Highest GPA and Men’s Golf Team Co-MVP” tied for lowest scoring average in tournament play during the year. (Dr. Keck photo TAMIU.edu)

Mom and Dad, job interviews, being on the short list of applicants, this is where npnp ends up. Your junior golfer can certainly do this all the way through college, but the time to develop the thought process is now.

See you on #1 tee looking very good for your job interview… Sam

Junior Golf : More No Pass No Play

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at some aspects of no pass no play that are not so obvious. To restate from my previous post, time management for your junior golfer is a big deal and the sooner you get your daughter on a solid time management structure or at least starting the process, the better off she will be. (photo golfdigest.com)

We are in Texas and npnp is a reality for our kids. It may not be in your state, but now is the time to find out. Just call any high school, ask almost any public school teacher or coach or athletic department. If it is not required in your state, act like it is. Putting grades first is a big deal and while playing in competition should not be promoted as a reward for decent grades, in reality it is. And npnp is in effect in all colleges, at least NCAA affiliates. This is a lifetime skill. Proper time management and prioritization are vital to your daughter’s success.

Homeschool kids in Texas have a unique situation and 1 which I am not totally clear on. Some public schools can now allow some homeschoolers within their school district geography to participate in varsity sports. I think this is great! What I am not clear on is how homeschooled kids are held accountable for making npnp grades. There must be something for it to be fair to regular public school students, who have a gpa standard to meet. The opportunity for homeschooled kids to play varsity sports at public school is wonderful and I am proud of my state for allowing this. Again check this out with a public school district before you get too excited. I just heard about this a few days ago and I think this is a very new law.

Here’s a perfect example of why grades matter. Let’s say there are 10 girls on your daughter’s high school golf team. And your daughter is consistently 1 of the top 3 players and there are really only 4 girls, including your daughter who can play competitively in tournaments. Now if 1 of the 6 girls who do not play at a high skill level ends up being scholastically ineligible, it’s sad, but not likely to impact the team’s results in a tournament.

Here’s why. In high school and in college tournaments 5 people on each team play and the low 4 scores are the ones that count. So the high score is not used. Out of 71, 73, 75, 76 and 85, the 85 does not count and the total for that round would be 295. 1 player on your daughter’s team can have a poor round. Now if your daughter or 1 of the other top girls doesn’t make her grades, her team has little chance of being competitive. One of the lesser-skilled girls would need to have a great round, which can and does happen but cannot be counted on. So if your daughter does not keep her gpa up she is letting down the team and frankly, really it is not good and can and will be interpreted by some as being a selfish act, being lazy about grades. Sure there can be a course or teacher that is just really a pain, but tutors are available and sometimes your daughter will need to spend extra effort on her gpa in addition to her golf. Yes, time management.

To keep priorities straight, in high school S3 almost always had 1 or more kids ineligible all the time, both guys and girls. Frankly these were usually kids who were lazy about golf and apparently lazy about grades too. Now in 3.5 years, 7 semesters of college golf at an NCAA Division II school, I think he has had maybe 1 guy and 1 girl scholastically ineligible for 1 grading period, total.image

To be clear S3 has always been scholastically eligible and it is a tiebreaker point when you put on your resume to college coaches that you, rather, your daughter has always been scholastically eligible throughout her high school career. Mom and Dad, colleges want daughters and sons who will make their grades, period. And my little, personal survey is a decent example. College student-athletes, for the most part are motivated and are going to have good grades. Set your daughter up to succeed and get good time management habits started today.

See you on #1 tee looking timely and organized… Sam

Junior Golf: No Pass No Play

imageIn this Monday Mulligan we will examine the value of time management for your son. Life skills are critical for junior golfers and being able to make good grades is equally or even more important than playing good golf.

No pass no play is a fact of life for young amateur athletes here in the US. What it means basically, is that your son must have a minimum number of school classes he is making at least a “C” average or equivalent in. For college it means a minimum number of hours with at least a “C” average. If your son does not meet these minimums, he is not eligible to play in competition for his school during the current grading period or until he gets his grades back up. Now this is bad enough in high school and junior high and it is embarrassing for your son and his coach will not be happy. Redemption comes as soon as his grades are where they need to be and that can be as early as the next time interim or semester grades are released. The good news is that in many institutions grades are updated every 6 weeks, so you son may not have to sit out the whole semester. (photo jennleforge.com)

In college being scholastically ineligible is much more serious since your son is being paid, via his scholarship, to play golf for his school. So poor grades mean missing tournaments and a possible reduction in his scholarship amount for the next year. Most coaches will accept, but not be happy about 1 set of poor grades, but if it happens a 2nd time your son has shown that he has some issues and perhaps cannot be counted on for competition.

Folks, the college coaches don’t have time for this. They have kids standing in line wanting to be on their golf team and they turn down plenty of junior golfers for poor grades and not just high school gpa’s, but SAT scores as well.

So Dad & Mom what do you do? In our house grades have always come first, before golf. S3 was taught that he had to learn how to manage his time so he could get his studying and homework done on time and then he could focus on golf. Of course usually the day’s structure is athletics are done first and then schoolwork is done at home. The bottom line is the same, grades then golf as priorities in life at least through college. The time management skills your son learns will benefit him the rest of his life.image

So help your son schedule and structure his weeks and make sure he sticks to it. This may take some time to settle in, it is usually 3 weeks to ingrain a new habit, but it will be worth it. Your son doesn’t need to be Einstein, but he does need to believe and expect that he can make good grades. And making the minimum grades to be eligible to play in high school are likely not going to be high enough to get him into many, if any, colleges. Encourage him to go for the best grades, not just the minimum requirements. (photo quotehd.com)

See you on #1 tee looking smart… Sam

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