Posts Tagged ‘stress’

Junior Golf: 5 Winning Back-To-School Strategies

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we’re going to look at 5 ways parents can help their junior golfers get off to a good start in the new school year.

Pretty much everybody’s back in school by now so most of the anticipation and confusion of the beginning of a new school year is wearing off and the new routines are forming. There’s always some emotion with new things so right now I’m going to share some ways to ease the transition.

Mom and Dad please: 1. Stay calm, keep the drama to an absolute minimum. Your son/daughter needs a soothing demeanor from their parents. There’s plenty of anxiety whirling around without the family adding to it. 2. Be reassuring when insecurities pop up. For example: “I don’t like my new teacher.” “This coach is different from my old one.” “These new kids are really good golfers, I may never qualify for a tournament.” These thoughts are real and kiddo’s are impacted differently depending on their personalities and levels of confidence. Sometimes you must ask inquiring questions to find out these kinds of things. Please make it a habit to have meaningful conversations with your student athlete. 3. Be even more available than normal during the first month of school. Classroom schedules usually fall in place quicker and easier than athletic schedules. Volunteer to be a team parent. Tell the coach that you are ready to help any way you can. 4. Get a weekly golf schedule locked in ASAP. Make sure it includes after school and weekend play and practice. Double-check with all family members that the schedule works for them.

5. Start preparing for the first fall event. If your youngster is not on a golf team, find the upcoming tournaments in your area and enter your kiddo. Get a September event if available, sooner is better. If there is a team involved, know that the first tournament is going to be in September and it’s usually earlier in the month than you expected. Be prepared.

See you on #1 tee settled into your new school year… Sam

Junior Golf: 5 Essentials for Hot Weather

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at some things that are critical for success when it’s hot. These are always important but hot weather is different and that makes them even more essential.

What is your definition of hot? Maybe it’s 85 degrees for some of you but really most of our bodies notice the heat as the outside temperature approaches our body temp of 98.6. And certainly more humidity makes the heat more oppressive.

Hot weather can take a toll on any athlete and our kids are more susceptible to its affects than we are.

To give your junior golfer the best chance of success, make sure he/she has these items:

1. Refillable water bottle. Drinking 3 or 4 bottles during 18 holes is probably about right. Sipping is better than gulping. Before teeing off and at the turn, ask the tournament staff to please make sure all on-course water supplies are constantly refilled. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had an afternoon round and there was no water on the course. It’s absolutely inexcusable and don’t put up with it. Down here most tournaments tolerate or even announce that it’s OK for parents to give their kids water or Gatorade, yes, during a tournament round. Kids’ safety first! Please double check with the Tournament Director to avoid a possible DQ.

2. 2 towels, a larger towel for the bag and a smaller one for face and hands.

3. Extra gloves, maybe 2 or 3. Your child is going to sweat. A wet glove is useless.

4. A hat, cap, visor or head band to keep salty sweat from running down into their eyes.

5. Sunscreen. Please don’t bathe in it. We use very little and it’s mostly on nose, ears, cheeks, etc.

Of course, there are many more items on your pre-tournament checklist like snacks, balls, tees, counting clubs and so on, but the 5 items above are particularly critical when high temperatures prevail.

See you on #1 tee ready for the heat…Sam

Junior Golf: Snacks That Beat the Heat

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we’re taking a look at how, in the middle of summer, your kiddo can have snacks that beat the heat.

All athletes must replenish calories during competition and your junior golfer is no different. So when it’s time for a healthy munchie, which for golfers is about every 3 or 4 holes, and your son/daughter reaches into the bag to pull one out and they get a handful of inedible mush, it’s not good.

First off, the calories are lost and now one hand is yucky and must be cleaned so the next shot can be hit. Hope he/she has a water bottle and towel!

Here in South Texas there’s plenty of warm/hot weather golf so we have some snacks that will definitely beat the heat. It did take a few tries so we could eliminate some things that sounded good but didn’t work out.

Snacks that hold up in the heat:

1. Jerky is a perfect source of protein, a little fat, some salt and it’s immune to the weather. 2 reasons we buy ours at Costco: most, if not all, the jerky they carry has no msg. Also Costco usually has large bags with individual serving packs inside, very convenient!

2. Trail mix which includes fruit and perhaps M&Ms, although they can get soft in high heat. This provides protein, fat, some salt and carbs through the fruit/M&Ms. Do not get trail mix with loose chocolate or chocolate chips. It will melt and make a terrible mess.

3. Granola/protein/health bars. These are convenient but be aware: we stay with organic to avoid gmo’s which are prevalent in most grains. Also we avoid chocolate because of how messy it is in the heat. Some of these bars taste much better than the others. Take your young golfer to the store and together choose several different bars to try before a tournament. The bar does no good if your child won’t eat it.

4. Cut up fruit. When in doubt, a banana or orange slices always works. Put ’em in a ziplock bag and the sticky cleanup is easy with some water or saliva. No protein or fat here, but there are some good carbs which is better than nothing.

5. PBJ, yes, a good ole peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into 1/4’s for convenience. Fat, protein, carbs and salt all in one easy format.

Something that TV golf coverage doesn’t really show is how much the pros eat and hydrate during around. S3 and I caddied with Adam Scott’s group during the 2018 Valero Texas Open. Adam and his caddy always had water or a banana or part of a sandwich in their hands. It was the best possible example of how to take care of one’s hydration and nutrition during competition!

See you on #1 tee with a water bottle and snacks…Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Benefits of A Short Memory

In today’s Monday Mulligan we’re going to look at memory or lack of it. There are times when having a short memory is a very good thing.

Have you heard the phrase, “have a cornerback’s memory.”? What it means is that every cornerback-a defensive player on a football team, will get beaten on a pass play at some point and he’d better be able to forget about getting smoked by the receiver and get back to playing good football ASAP.

The point here Dad and Mom, is that mistakes, in golf that would be poor shots, are going to happen and your junior golfer needs to put them out of his/her mind as quickly as possible.

Here are 3 benefits of a short memory:

1. It gets a player’s focus back on track. The previous shot is history, forget it. Focus on hitting the desired next shot.

2. It gets the vital signs returning toward normal. Taking a few deep breaths can help return heart rate and stress levels to where they should be. Elevated pulse and respiration rates are not helpful for playing good golf.

3. It instills and reinforces a winner’s mindset. The elite players in every sport do not dwell/replay the negative. They stay focused on the positives and on improving their game.

Depending on your child’s age, skill level and personality type it can take a while for him/her to get these concepts down consistently. That’s OK, kids need to work through things.

Photocredit: cdnsportsmemorabilia.com

The PGA Tour player with the most all-time wins, it’s not Tiger, Sam Snead, has a bit of a footnote to his legacy of 82 PGA Tour wins and 7 majors. It’s that he really had trouble letting go of a bad shot. Sometimes he’d carry his bad attitude for several holes, which he played poorly enough to remove him from contention. Many folks feel Snead might have won several more U.S. Opens if he just could have let go of those bad shots. Wow!

See you on #1 tee with a short memory… Sam

Junior Golf: 3 Lessons From A Tough Day

In this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at 3 lessons your junior golfer can learn when he/she has a tough day on the golf course.

Let’s use yesterday’s round from the men’s U.S. Open Championship as a frame of reference. The wind was howling on Long Island and the world’s best male golfers scored one of the highest average rounds in PGA Tour history. There were a few guys barely under par and the rest were over par, some way over par.

These are professionals and they, as a rule, respond to difficult situations more effectively than the rest of us. We’ll see what happens today and over the weekend, but some of our fan favorites may not make the cut.

Here are 3 takeaways:

1. Every golfer has a bad shot, a bad hole, a bad round or a bad day. It’s going to happen, it’s part of life. How your youngster responds is the key. Help him/her to let go of, release, forget about the last shot and focus on hitting a good next shot.

2. Everyone needs a way to deal with frustration and anger. Don’t you think that Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy wanted to explode, cry or something after they combined for 25 strokes over par in Thursday’s round. Each of them must go low today to have any chance of making the cut. Help your son/daughter learn how to manage tough situations at the earliest possible age. It’s never too soon to address this issue.

3. Even in the toughest weather somebody’s going to have a good score. Those four 1-under par 69’s yesterday were superhuman and awesome considering the struggles the rest of the field had. In high school, S3 played in a snowstorm and the round was called after 9 holes. He shot 39, 3-over par, pretty decent considering the conditions, but one guy shot 34, 2-under par. Yep, there’s always that player! Have the proper clothes and equipment for windy and/or wet conditions. Everybody’s playing the same course and conditions. Someone’s going to have a good score. Encourage your child to be that golfer with the good score.

See you on #1 tee ready to handle the weather… 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

 

 

Junior Golf: How To Give Good Advice-Like A Good Caddy

In this Monday Mulligan we will take a quick look at what happens when the proper kind of advice and support is furnished at the right time during competition.

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Photocredit:jennleforge.com

As parents, we have unending opportunities to offer input to our kids. How effective is that information, that is the real question here? It’s important to understand both your and your junior golfer’s personalities so that your words are offered in the manner which will be most effective for your kiddo’s personality type.

Our young athletes have plenty of pressure and Mom and Dad we are in a position to help them effectively deal with that stress. Whether it’s a tough homework assignment, an upcoming test, a golf tournament or just a part of dealing with everyday life and relationships, our children don’t have the answers. They need our help, proper help.

Today’s example deals with the relationship between professional golfers and their caddies. While we tend to think of our golf pros as stand-alone individuals, they really do have a teammate, in their caddy. This is the only person available to give advice and input during competition. The old school take on caddies was something like, “show up, shut up, keep up.” This attitude is not the most effective. Sometimes you will see the winners of tournaments give praise to their caddies for offering timely and effective input during a round.

The most recent example is Jordan Spieth praising his caddy, Michael Greller. Jordan is known to be an approachable, respectful and polite young man who values all his team members. So it was no surprise when, during his brief post-game interview with Peter Kostis after winning the Travelers event with a holeout from a greenside bunker to defeat Daniel Berger on the 1st playoff hole, Jordan offered great praise about how Michael had helped him, “step back, get my breathing under control and reset during a very tough day on the golf course (paraphrased).”

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Photocredit:golf digest

Talk about proper and effective input at the right time! The result was winning the tournament. Dad and Mom that’s the kind of results we want when we caddy for our kids. Wow, big-time!

All of us, parents and kiddos, need to get better at this. And you know what folks, the better we adults get at doing these 3 things, the better we’ll be at helping our kids.

See you on #1 tee under control… Sam

Junior Golf: Last Minute Questions

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will consider some of those nagging last minute questions that go through our minds as we get closer to Christmas.img_0102

So now we’re down to crunch time. What do I still need to get? Have I forgotten anybody? Did I get everyone pretty much what they were hoping for, at least budget allowing? Who’s going to be at our house? Do we have all the food and enough of it? (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Man, we can generate a 100 questions and get ourselves all into a tizzy, can’t we? The reality is that more is not better, yes, really. And if your junior golfer gets something that is in their wheelhouse they’ll be excited. Gosh, in my mind, having enough food is more important than having a ton of gifts!

As the main chef in our house, I’m going over our Christmas food list like 10 times a day. My personality is detail-oriented and I really prefer to have all my ducks in a row. So whatever I still need to get in the food category, I’m finishing up today. Got to take a breath!

So Mom and Dad, where can we still buy what’s left on our lists without going insane? Let’s get groceries out of the way 1st. If you’re looking for seasonal food items like special cuts of roasts, hams, organic turkeys or even cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie spice, green bean casserole fixins or such buy them sooner rather than later because those items will sell out.

For gift items, here are a few things from the internet today. Under Armour has up to 40% off at their outlet store. Golf Week is giving away a trip for 2 to the 2017 Masters Tournament. Order today from Costco and get overnight shipping on select items. Golf Now has some great prices on green fees at some legendary courses, check it out. All the golf retailers still have plenty of items at good prices. Get your order in today or you’re on the brick and mortar storefront path to complete your shopping. Yikes!image

While the getting gets most of the attention, it’s actually the giving which can impact your young golfer and all of your family in a more significant manner. From simply putting some money in a Salvation Army bucket to serving meals to the less fortunate, there are ample opportunities to give rather than receive. Linda and I have dozens of examples of kids we have known from age 5 or 6 up to college graduates whose lives were deeply touched when they participated in a giving opportunity. Once they realize that what they, our kids, are doing is truly giving a person a bite to eat or a piece of clothing to ward off the cold, their expressions are all over the place. From excitement that they are helping, to sadness that they can’t do more and perhaps a dose of reality that there is so much more that needs to be done, just look at those faces!

See you on #1 tee ready to enjoy giving me 3 strokes a side…Sam

Junior Golf: Be In A Good Mood

In this Monday Mulligan we will emphasize the importance of being in a good mood especially this time of year.image

Emotions are readily transferred from 1 person to another. The easiest and most desirable emotion to radiate to your junior golfer is excitement or enthusiasm. Being positive, happy, joyful, grateful and thankful has tremendous benefits obviously to everyone close at hand but also to overall health and well-being. More and more research is confirming this. (image jennleforge.com)

From now until Christmas and also somewhat during the following week things can get a bit crazy. Your kids are out of school and are wanting to have a pleasant time over the long holiday. The horrific traffic, jammed mall parking lots, and loud shoppers in every store can sometimes make us parents want to tear our hair out! Please make every effort to remain calm and downplay and laugh off these stressful situations.

Our kids mirror us. We set the example, good or bad. Be aware. The more calm you exhibit in handling the Holiday insanity, the better example you are setting and the more likely it is that your youngster will start handling her own stress better. Their brains are sponges that are soaking up everything you do and say, please make your behavior something that you would be proud to have your daughter emulate!

This is a particular time to be joy-filled. For Christians and Jews there are powerful religious events to celebrate. For everyone else it is an opportunity to be in a good mood and show your family and close friends how much you love them.PJG logo

Whatever your reasons please resist the temptation to get flustered by all the rush of this time of year. You and everyone you come in touch with will be much happier if you will take a breath, smile and be joyful. Have a great time and help your daughter and all your family have a great time as well. It’s a special time!

See you on #1 tee looking happy to be there… Sam

Junior Golf: Change Is Good

In this Monday Mulligan we will look at change and why, in the great majority of cases, change is good. (image jennleforge.com)image

Charlie Strong, head football coach at my alma mater, The University of Texas, was fired Saturday and replaced by Tom Herman. This is a rather obvious example of good change because Coach Strong had 3 consecutive losing seasons, which is totally unacceptable at UT, and he had to go. We’ll see how Coach Herman does, but in any case, a change had to be made and made now. The losing could not be tolerated any longer. Optimism is once again in the air at The University of Texas football program.

Another great outcome of change was Ryan Moore’s dramatic improvement in his finishes on the PGA Tour, after changing golf balls. He went from middle-of-the-pack to Top 5 or Top 10 finishes and played his way onto the Ryder Cup squad where he clinched the winning point. Talk about positive results from change!image

So Dad and Mom, change something for your junior golfer. I’m not talking swing changes here. I mean a new ridiculous head cover that causes her to smile every time she looks at her bag! Or buy some colored golf balls. Or buy a different brand of golf balls, proper compression of course. Shop for new golf shoes. Perhaps get 1 of the new floppy hats which provide great protection for the ears and back of the neck. And there’s always some new practice aide that can be used in the backyard or even in the house. We are big fans of putting aides. They are an excellent way to shave off some strokes. Let’s use change to have fun!image

Inject a little fun in the game. Smiles are relaxing and we all know our kids can use some more relaxation on the golf course. (images global golf and roxy)

See you on #1 tee smiling… Sam

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