High School Golf Tryouts part 2
In part 1 of my post on High School golf tryouts I delved into responsibilities of player, parents and coaches when it comes to preparing a student athlete for this time of year. This week I will discuss more in depth how to most effectively go about getting them equipped to handle this task. The golfer must be prepared mentally, physically, technically, and be tournament ready. Mentally he or she has to understand that golf is not a game of perfect and they will face adversity on the course. Getting frustrated and letting mistakes compound will deteriorate ones self-confidence while increasing their scores. I was having a conversation with fellow PGA Professional Gerry Hammond and he was talking about how important instilling internal self-confidence to a junior golfer is. To paraphrase our conversations we came to the conclusion that if you can let that self-confidence build correctly you can let it ride it for a very long time. Some other mental characteristics that need to be instilled to our junior golfers are; discipline, perseverance, commitment and a process-orientated mindset not a result orientated one. Now on to the physical portion of their preparation. Physically at this point in there development they need to have some regular workout regiment in place. Doing this as early as possible will benefit them immensely in the future. A Certified Golf Fitness Instructor like myself will be able to explain what type of program is appropriate for them. It can be as simple as sport cross training or as complex as a PGA Tour Professionals workout routine (such as Camilo Villegas or Adam Scott’s). If done properly this will get them a leg up on their competition especially for kids in the northern states where the golf season is 9 or 10 months long at most. Students that take this part seriously tend to have increased levels of mental focus, work ethic and self-confidence. The golfer must also be at a sufficient level technically at swinging the golf club. And because you do not want to go into a tournament or tryout situation with a lot of mechanical jargon in your head this step has to be done well in advance. Waiting till the last minute and then seeking out an instructor will make it challenging for the student and teacher to meet their goals in such a condensed timetable. Lastly, the golfer must be tournament ready. This may be the most important part of all. This is a summation of all the other parts of the equation. You can be the most well prepared individual out there, but if you can’t deal with tournament pressure you will not get the most out of you preparation. A junior golfer who is tournament ready can deal with the emotions and situations one will encounter while on the course during tryouts. This is done simply by playing in tournaments throughout the summer months when kids are not in school. For kids wishing to gain college scholarships one day through playing golf this type of yearly dedication and discipline is mandatory, however that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and enjoyable. Golf is a fun game and teaches us many things on and off the course as well as providing us with many unforeseen opportunities. I know it has for me and hopefully it will as well with your junior golfer.
Eric Thielsen, PGA Certified Professional
Eric Thielsen Golf
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