Posts Tagged ‘parenting awesome kids’

Junior Golf: Is There An Afterlife?

 

Now before any of you start thinking I’m getting all ethereal and deep-thinking on you, I’m just having some fun with ya!

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Yeah, probably I should have said is there a life after, as in after junior golf and college golf?

Advance planning, as in plan ahead is the key. It is never too early to ask your golfer where he/she wants to be after 4 years of college eligibility have expired. The options are endless: play professional golf, work in the golf industry, take a break from golf, get an interim job to make some money, pursue another career path or move to Timbuktu and just veg out for a while? There are options and the earlier you bring them up, the better.

Our eyes were opened wide over the years as we heard so many talented college golfers talk about their post-graduation plans. Our brother and sister golfers from Spain, are pursuing their engineering careers and the brother is showing an incredible talent in robotics!. Another teammate is in the golf industry near Houston working on golf videos, coaching and training, although he’s always loved politics and something in me thinks he might dip his toe in that water at some point. AJ is back in the down-under getting a law degree and making custom golf clubs. And we have a couple of friends trying to get on the web.com Tour.

Our personal frame of reference is of course, unique to us, but not really unusual. Graduating from college in 4 years with a degree is a big deal in our family and we wanted to celebrate. Sammie asked Linda and me to join him on his graduation trip so we went to Florida and played a bunch of golf and had a great time. Upon returning to San Antonio, S3 was ready to take a break from 16 years of non-stop golf. In our talks about his future I mentioned that it took me a couple of years after college to find my niche in the business world and that while he needed to get a job to support himself, I suggested he take a breath and keep his eyes and ears open. And he has ended up with a great opportunity in management training with Chick fil A.

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So we recently entered an 8-week 2-man best ball tournament at the newly renovated San Pedro Golf Academy playing the excellent and challenging par-3 course. After our 1st match, S3 said to me, “Dad, playing competitive golf again really gets me going. It makes me realize how much I miss it!” What does this mean? I have no clue, but it’s sure fun to hear!

Dad and Mom, there is certainly a life after all those years on the golf course. There’s nothing wrong with your son/daughter not wanting to be the next Jordan Spieth or Lexi Thompson. They can surely enjoy playing golf with the Peeps and maybe enter a tournament now and then.

See you on #1 tee knowing what you want to do… Sam

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Junior Golf: A Transformational Quote From The Presidents Cup

 

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at a new attitude showing up on the PGA Tour. And we’ll refer to a revealing and transformational quote from The Presidents Cup.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

The point I’m going to here is that there’s a different mentality surfacing among this talented group of young American pros. It’s a dramatic change from the attitude of days of old and really the days of fairly recent.

An influential older generation pro and perhaps it was a golf announcer said after watching all the comraderie and genuine friendships in the mostly under-30 American group (paraphrased), “I don’t know if they’re tough enough to win majors and be dominant champions.” I feel he was uncertain or maybe uncomfortable with all the time the young guns were spending together and and felt they were not focused enough on wanting to win.

Linda’s and my attitude at S3’s tournaments was that we wanted everyone to bring his best game and let’s see what the scores are at the end of the day. If our son is going to beat you, he must play better than you no matter how good you’re playing. As relentless encouragers, we applauded every good shot in the group we were following, not just S3’s shots.

As a result of our behavior we had an amazing encounter after a round at The Tribute at The Colony, just north of Dallas, a very fun golf course, by the way. One of S3’s 3-some came up to us after the round and said, “We love being here! Everyone is so nice and the hospitality is fabulous. And I wanted to tell you how much it meant to me that you acknowledged good shots from all of us, in addition to Sam. Where I’m from, (West coast), the parents and gallery boo our (the competition’s) good shots. So this environment is new to us and we love it!”

This brings me to what I believe is the most important and insightful quote of the whole 2017 Presidents Cup. It also shows the humility and strength of Phil as he was able and comfortable to be transparent and revealing about himself. In a post-Cup interview the announcer asked him what it is that makes the chemistry of this US team so special? Phil’s words (paraphrased by me), “Everybody gets along. The team room is a blast. We’re all kidding each other and having fun. And there’s a unique dynamic with these guys, something that’s taken me decades to learn and that’s how to be really happy for someone else when they have success.”

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Photocredit:NBC

Wow, ladies and gentlemen, let that sink in. In the cutthroat world of professional sports here’s one of golf’s most successful and popular players, ever, saying that he is now at a place where he can congratulate someone on a good round or a win and be actually be excited for them.

Mom and Dad, this is transparency that transforms and it’s right out of our parenting manual. It has transformed Phil. It will transform some of his fans, including junior golfers.

Please understand that a strong desire to win doesn’t mean that your child should not be disappointed when they lose. It means that it’s ok and healthy to be glad for someone else’s success! It gives your son/daughter something to strive for!

See you on #1 tee ready for you to congratulate me, and mean it, when I beat you… Sam

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

Junior Golf: In The Shadow Of The Statue Of Liberty

 

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Photocredit:golfdigest.com

In this Wednesday Waggle we will take a look at the upcoming President’s Cup which will be played at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, just a bit more than 1 mile from the easily seen Statue Of Liberty.

With all the harsh discourse going around at and about sports and athletes, it seems like a perfect fit for an international golf competition to be held within eyesight of 1 of the greatest symbols of freedom and liberty in the world.

What is The President’s Cup? It is a 4-day team event between the US and the non-Ryder Cup nations, meaning basically everywhere in the world, except the British Isles and Europe. The format is similar to The Ryder Cup, which it alternates with every other year, with matches composed of four-somes (2 man alternate shot), four-ball (2 man team best ball) and 12 singles matches on Sunday.

The US is a solid favorite here, but it’s best not to read one’s press and start thinking how good you are and get a big head. A lot of things look good on paper but play out differently in the real world. Playing for one’s country has a level of pressure never seen anywhere else. Who will thrive and who will crumble?

Set the TiVo! You will see things over the next 4 days that you will never see again. Please record this. The venue, the setting, the intense enthusiasm of the home crowd cannot be duplicated and there will be a ton of inspirational situations that will really get your junior golfer fired up! Record this and schedule some time to watch the recording together.

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Here’s the tv schedule (all times are central and all channels are Directv numbers): Thursday-Golf Channel, DTV #218, 12:00noon-5:00pm. Friday-Golf Channel, DTV #218, 10:30am-5:00pm. Saturday-NBC, DTV #4(San Antonio), 7:00am-3:00pm. Sunday-NBC, DTV #4(San Antonio), 11:00am-5:00pm.

Parents, this is a great time to show your kiddo a unique and mesmerizing golf experience. Please take advantage of it.

See you on #1 tee, ready to play for your country… Sam.

 

Junior Golf: What The Tour Youth Movement Means For Your Junior Golfer

 

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

In this Monday Mulligan we’ll look at what all the young winners on the PGA Tour mean for your youngster.

The wins yesterday by Zander and Justin put a giant exclamation point on the fact that there are a considerable number of 20-something pros who can win big events! Just look at these numbers: average age of the top 5 money winners on the PGA Tour: 2007-37.8, 2012-31.6, 2017-26.8. Numbers courtesy of Michael Rowmatowski.

How does this youth movement impact your kiddo? The impact is hugely positive, very exciting really! Today’s junior golf environment is one that offers a massive amount of tournaments, training aides, physical fitness/conditioning coaches, sports psychologists and more great golf courses than anyone could possibly ever play. Your son and daughter too, have more great tools at his/her disposal than can begin to be utilized at any age.

The high caliber of junior golf competition and the focus on proper strength, conditioning and mental training give each dedicated youngster a chance to enjoy success at very high levels. By taking advantage of these resources, your young golfer is accelerating his/her learning curve in basically all areas of the game. This means that as he/she advances to the next level of goals, there is the opportunity to be better prepared than their predecessors.

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Photocredit:The Telegraph 

In a nutshell this is what’s happening on the tour. The young players can play and they can play well enough to win The Tour Championship and The FedEx Cup. Why? They took advantage of many of the excellent resources available to them during their junior golf and college golf careers, resources which are becoming more numerous by the day. Parents, now is the time to check out which of these tools are available in your area and figure out how to work them into your golf budget.

See you on #1tee taking your game to a new level… Sam

 

Junior Golf: Do You Have This Kind Of Trust

 

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will take a look at trust and how important it is for your junior golfer.

The dictionary defines trust as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. There’s a lot in this definition and all of it pretty much applies to life as well as competition. I’ll leave the option of dissecting every word here to Mom and Dad and this post will focus on the general impact that trust can have on any athletic performance.

For those of you not Dallas Cowboys fans, please bear with me. It will be worth it. I was watching A Football Life on the NFL Channel and it was about former Cowboy’s quarterback Troy Aikman. Troy won 3 Super Bowls and his tight end was another Cowboys legend, Jay Novacek. Jay was being interviewed about his experiences with Troy and related this classic example: (to paraphrase) Jay,”It was in the Super Bowl against the Bills and I had just caught a pass from Troy and I said-Could you see me? I couldn’t see you.” Troy replied, “I couldn’t see you, but I knew you’d be there.” Wow, that’s what great players do! They trust their own abilities and the skills of their teammates. That’s how you win championships.

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Photocredit:NFL.com

What does trust mean for your junior golfer? Please go back to the excellent golf movie, 7 Days In Utopia. Here’s where you can get a beautiful explanation of See It, Feel It, Trust It. This is the golf swing we’re talking about now, of course. And today we’re on the Trust It part.

Go back to the definition. Your child must get to the point where he/she trusts their ability to hit the required/desired shot. Every golf shot from a driver to the putter must be struck with confidence. Your kiddo must believe that he/she can hit the next shot and hit it to the necessary level of execution, period.

How does one achieve this level of trust? Lessons from an instructor whose junior golfers have achieved some success and range time will get this process off to a solid start. That said, the only real way to know if you can hit any golf shot is to get out on the golf course and just play golf. Create, visualize the shot. Let your body feel what motion is needed to hit the shot. And trust, believe that you can actually perform, hit the shot.

Parents, if your junior golfer has belief/trust that they can do 1 thing well, this gives them the confidence to carry that same trust into additional areas. For example, the ability to hit good golf shots means he/she also has the ability to make good grades and vice versa.

See you on #1 tee believing you can hit those shots… Sam

Junior Golf: A Different Kind Of Golf Story

 

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at a different kind of golf story. I’ve not written about this before but it seems now is an appropriate time.

On September 11, 2001, I was in the men’s lounge at The Dominion Country Club, near San Antonio, Texas, eating breakfast prior to a 9:00am tee time. It was to be a glorious day enjoying a fine golf course with 2 dear friends, Ron and Jim. As we watched the events taking place on the tv, Jim, a retired Special Agent for the FBI, needed about 1 second to say: “That’s no accident, that’s on purpose. It’s probably a terrorist attack.”

Jim and I first met in the 1970’s and we spent a lot of quality time together. His exceptional talents and skills needed no additional support, so terrorism it was. And of course, he was correct.

We decided to keep our tee time and try to play. After 9 holes we decided that our hearts and minds were somewhere other than the golf course and we walked off the 9th green and headed our separate ways. For the 3 of us at least, it wasn’t a day for golf.

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Photocredit:i.pinimg.com

Parents, the take home point today is that while there are few things better than playing golf, there are times when it is best to do something else. Life is full of highs and lows and some of the lows are so tough, so different, so once-in-a-lifetime, that it is just not possible to focus on anything, particularly our beloved sport.

 

Learning to differentiate between not feeling 100%, not being in the mood or having a runny nose and something truly devastating can be tougher than you’d expect. Playing hurt is part of sports and some athletes are better at it than others and certainly you never want to risk aggravating the injury or risking permanent damage to your child, but there are decisions to be made. To play or not to play, that is the question!

Linda and I were always wanting to give our kids the benefit of the doubt, in both directions. Frankly, in our house, if our kids could walk and breathe, they wanted to play, particularly in competition. And you know what, sometimes we let them and sometimes we didn’t. We had to make decisions and you’ll have to make some too. Please prepare!

See you on #1 tee with decisions made… Sam

 

 

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