Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Junior Golf: Choose These Foods For Better Attitudes

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at some food choices, snack choices, that can contribute to better health and attitudes for everyone in your house.

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Photocredit:Dubai Golf

When we think of snacks, it’s easy to immediately gravitate to candies, sweets, chips and sodas. And there are times during a competitive round of golf that the brain needs glucose. There is a regimen of snack items that may not be the first group that comes to mind, but that provide considerably more benefits to your junior golfer than just simple sugars and carbs. Eating too much sugar and carbs is harmful to everyone’s health and does not benefit your young athlete’s performance!

Here’s a sample list of healthier snack items for both the home and the golf course. Granted, the 1st time your son/daughter finds these in the place of some previous items, you may get a look or comment like, “Really, Dad?”

Delicious and healthy:
Hard-boiled eggs. These are packed with nutrition, are quick and easy to eat and will hold up in a baggie during a tournament.
Cut up fruit like watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple. Keep this in the refrigerator. Not the best choice for competition because it can be messy.
Whole fruit. An apple, banana, pear, strawberries, blueberries, orange, figs or dates hold up quite well during events. Keep some at home, sitting out, easy to see and grab.
Cut up veggies like carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.
Beef jerky without msg-monosodium glutamate. Read the label, this can be tough to find. Costco usually has some in stock.
Nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts and even peanuts offer decent fat and protein. Raw is best but your kiddo may prefer roasted and salted, that’s OK. It’s still more beneficial than a lot of things he/she could be eating.

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Photocredit:Today’s Golf

While your child’s initial reaction may be that you are ruining his/her life by offering some new and different snacks, the fact is that your goal is to help them navigate towards a healthier diet. Everyone loves an occasional candy bar or bowl of ice cream, but athlete’s bodies have increased nutritional requirements. Athletes who compete at the highest levels pay strict attention to what and how much they eat. The competition requires it!

Parents, the goal here is to introduce your youngster to paying attention to what goes in their mouth and how does it affect their golf game. A healthier mind and body for your junior golfer means an enhanced ability to perform at a high level, a lower risk of injury and quicker healing from injuries. Set a good example. Pick up one of the new snack items, state that it actually tastes pretty good and offer one to your child. You know what? He/she will actually enjoy a couple of the new items.

Dad and Mom, you could always make a statement to your junior golfer like, “Come on, let’s get healthier together!”

See you on #1 tee looking healthy… Sam

Junior Golf: U.S. Open Takeaways

In this Monday Mulligan let’s see what we can learn from this most recent U.S. Open.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

Here are some takeaways:
Even a tough course can give up a lot of birdies when it is softened by rain and there is little to no wind. This was the case Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
As the course dries out and the wind picks up, everything changes. Now the course can begin to play like the designers and selection committee intended. This was the case yesterday. Erin Hills was tougher than it had been.
There will always be a winner. Sometimes there’s a playoff, but usually 1 player rises to the occasion and handles the tough conditions and serious pressure better than everyone else. Brooks Koepka did this yesterday.
Winners handle pressure better. They perform better under it. When Brooks was asked about the pressure of being in contention for a U.S. Open title, he said he couldn’t imagine being under more pressure than he was at the previous Ryder Cup. They’ll all tell you that the pressure of playing for one’s country and teammates is much greater than playing for yourself! So Brooks had already experienced, in his mind, which is what counts, more pressure than he would feel currently.
Patience on the golf course counts, particularly in tough conditions. One of the announcers mentioned that Rickie Fowler started swinging all out with his irons during yesterday’s round and this was the point where he lost his game just enough to get out of contention. Anyone remember the “swing easy when it’s breezy”?
When it’s going good, don’t change it. Brooks was in the zone, hitting fairways and greens and making putts. This is a winning combination. When all the others near the top of the leaderboard stumbled for a hole or 2, Brooks stayed confident with his game and kept on making good shots.

What does this mean for your son/daughter and their junior golf career? To begin with, the more they play tough courses in tough conditions, the more confident they will become. They will begin to understand that everybody is playing the same course in the same conditions and whoever stays calm and patient will have a chance to win.

They will realize that a winner will always be crowned, no matter the score, as long as it’s the lowest and no matter how good, bad or ugly the golf course is. Hey, a win is a win!

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Photocredit:pgatour.com

He/she will start to realize that there is always pressure. It can come from any and all directions and how your youngster handles that pressure will have a huge impact on their score. Depending on your kiddo’s personality, his/her ability to deal with pressure will manifest itself differently.

There are times that your child will play better than others. Encourage them to relax, stay confident and keep on doing what they’re doing. Enjoy it!

Hope you enjoyed watching Brooks win his 1st major. It was great viewing!

See you on #1 tee with confidence… Sam

Junior Golf: 2 Truths About Choices

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at another concept that is critical for success on behalf of your junior golfer.

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Photocredit:golfdigest.com

 

There are a number concepts that we, as parents, need to make certain that we encourage our children to embrace. Today Linda and I want to discuss the concept/thought process that in every situation there are choices and they come with 2 important revelations.

There are always choices! Every day we are all bombarded by choices, hundreds of them and it’s the same for your children as it is for Dad and Mom. Perhaps the choice is as simple as Shakespeare’s, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”, as spoken by Prince Hamlet. Although a bit heavy in content, Hamlet was still contemplating a choice. Sometimes the choice is as simple as do it or don’t do it, yes or no. Other times there are 2 or more options. Do I choose A, B or C? This 1st point is that your son/ daughter must grasp the fact that they always have a choice.


There is always a better choice!
Choices are not equal. Some have more risk. Some are more expensive or time-consuming. Some are healthier. And some are better than others, many times, much, much better.

So what does this look like in a golf tournament? Your boy hits his tee shot in the right rough. There is a tree between him and the green. His choices are several. He can select from trying to go over the tree, or going under the lower limbs of the tree or hitting 90-degrees straight back into a good lie in the middle of the fairway, but not really advancing the ball. We’re not going deep into strategy here, just pointing out that there are choices.

Also your girl might be looking at a tee shot where her best angle for the next shot would be to carry over some water down the right side of the fairway. There is room along the left side, but the approach angle is not as good. This is classic risk/reward, but she does have a choice.

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Photocredit:readytomanage

As simple as this concept about choices is, we feel it needs to be discussed and encouraged more than it is. Another very important choice for your child is: “Do I study for my upcoming test? If so, do I study a little or a lot?” This is a decision where the results may determine scholastic eligibility and in our house, grades were always 1st before golf and everything else. It’s still a choice, in this case, 3 options.

Parents, if you will please slow down for just a day or 2 and consciously pay attention to how many choices you are constantly facing, I believe the sheer mass of the numbers will be stunning. Please remember that your junior golfer is facing in his/her own way a similar number of decisions to make.

When S3 started driving the very last thing I said to him as he was leaving the house was to remind him, “Son, please make good choices/decisions because you know what they are.” And I still say that today.

See you on #1 tee ready to make some good golf decisions… 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: The First Step To College Golf

In this Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to make that 1st move, that first step down the path to college golf. Every plan must have a beginning, so here we go.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

Your son/daughter has a family team with them as they pursue their junior golf career. Sisters and brothers are also part of the team even though their responsibilities may be more subtle than Dad and Mom’s. The whole family is the team.

What is a team’s number one function: to provide support for the player! The support starts right here. The road to college golf begins right here. The team must all be on the same page!

How do you begin?
First Mom and Dad must agree that you would like/expect your junior golfer to attend college.
Then you should look at the time and money involved in supporting your junior golfer’s career in a strong enough manner to promote him/her as golf scholarship material. Expect college to cost more than you ever imagined. S3’s golf scholarship money was extremely helpful in paying for his college expenses!


Parents you must then be in agreement that college golf will be the long-term goal of your kiddo’s junior golf career.

Next it’s time to bring your junior golfer on board that he is expected to go to college and the most fun way to attend would be as a scholarship golfer and that the family will support him in every way to help him get there. He must also do his part however, because this is a 2-way street.


Now bring the siblings on board
. Please make sure they know that you will support them in their endeavors every bit as much as you will support your young golfer. Their main role is to do their own thing without disrupting other family events and functions. They don’t need to be cheerleaders, they just need to go with the flow.

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This will get you started. There will be a ton of questions. Single parents please seek wise counsel. Talk to parents who have had scholarship athletes and get their input. Parents of other junior golfers may have some decent advice. Talk to people whose advice you respect and trust. Get as much information as you can. College scholarships are a big deal and are well worth the time you spend pursuing them.

Not every kiddo needs to attend college, but those who are talented high school athletes are different. They have a chance to go to college and have some of those costs paid for by the university they will attend. This is unique and special. Please accept this as so. Having a scholarship can, for some kids, be the difference in going, or not going, to college.

And Parents, getting a college degree is a life goal and going to school on a golf scholarship is an even higher life goal! So please get your whole crew on board and let’s get started on the path to college golf.

See you on #1 tee playing for a scholarship… Sam

Junior Golf: 4 Unique Benefits To Team Golf

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at some unique benefits of playing golf with a partner, one partner as in last week’s PGA Tour event.

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photocredit:Dubai Golf

The 2-man team tournament at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans was fun to watch and seemed to be fun to play. Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt won in a Monday morning playoff in a format consisting of days 1 and 3-alternate shot and days 2 and 4-better ball.

Being part of a golf team, as in a club team, high school team or college team is different from playing team golf. I’m not certain if S3 ever played with anyone his age as part of a golf team as we saw last week. He and I, however, played numerous times in parent/junior events.

Usually they were 18 holes and were either better ball, 2-man scramble, modified 2-man scramble or alternate shot. Let’s do some terminology. Better ball: you and your kiddo play your own ball through the green-until each of you putts out on each hole and the lower score of the 2 of you is recorded for each hole. 2-man scramble: you each hit and then you both play from the better shot. Modified 2-man scramble: same as scramble except for driving. There will be some provision that a minimum of perhaps 2 drives from each player must be used. This is to prevent, usually a dominating driver of the golf ball from completely carrying his/her team off of the tee box. Alternate shot: simple. You hit first on the odd-numbered holes and your junior golfer hits first on the even-numbered holes or vice/versa and the 2 of you then alternate shots until the ball is in the hole.

Here are 4 positive benefits of playing in a team golf tournament:
It’s we not me. Your son/daughter is part of a team. There is now a 2nd person who can materially contribute toward winning the event.
It expands creativity. Now your youngster can learn what another competitor visualizes/sees/thinks when they analyze the next shot. Golf is a sport with an enormous amount of creativity required to shoot a competitive score. Understanding how another golfer may look at a shot expands your kiddo’s data base.
It can help your junior golfer’s patience. Knowing that he/she won’t hit the next shot or won’t hit 1st from the tee box can help slow down an antsy player. The partner will get credit for some of the better shots. Patience on the golf course is a major virtue and this is an excellent way to increase it.
It can help with confidence. In a single’s event, without a caddy, your young golfer has to be his/her own encourager when they hit a stinky shot. In a team pairing, the partner becomes the encourager and over 18 holes your kiddo can begin to have a new understanding of their skill level and end up being a more confident and mature junior golfer.

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Dad and Mom, be on the lookout for team tournaments. It may be that parent/junior events are all that are available. Linda and I encourage you to enter every one you can because they are special for a number of reasons including those mentioned above. FYI playing alternate shot with your child is the toughest thing ever. I just so did not want to let my son down by hitting a bad shot. Be forewarned! You may end up needing encouragement from your junior golfer!

See you on #1 tee ready to shoot a low team score… 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

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