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James Imai Starts Year Off Right

Congratulations to longtime KOHR Academy student, James Imai, for winning the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, Orlando Junior Shootout.

After a first round 70 (2 under par), James started his final round two shots back of the leader Johnny Bai.  James fired another solid round of 70 in the final round and won the event by two strokes.

17 Year old Imai was in the 16-18 year old Tiger Woods division of the championship.

 

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Don’t Think Sports are Important? Think Again.

I recently heard on the radio about a study from the UK on obesity and its influence on today’s society. This study detailed how millennials are set to become the most overweight generation. It stated that 7 in 10 millennials will be overweight or obese between the ages of 35-44. Comparatively, about 5 in 10 baby boomers were overweight or obese at the same age.

However, there has been positive research in recent years regarding the impact that sports have on childhood obesity rates. The National Council of Youth Sports estimates that more than 60 million boys and girls participate in organized sport throughout the United States and approximately 65% of youth under the age of 17 will participate in at least one organized sport during their childhood and adolescence. A study out of George Washington University identified FUN as the primary reason for participation in organized sport and its absence as the number one reason for youth sports attrition. For those of us with fond memories of our participation in youth sports, it is no surprise that fun is what keeps kids coming back for more!

On the flip side, one-third of participants drop out of sports on an annual basis and as much as 70% will have dropped out by adolescence! While the lack of fun being the deciding factor for children leaving sports is certainly a discouraging thought, it motivates me to emphasis excitement and fun with the kids and adult clients alike.

My goal as KOHR Golf’s Athletic Performance Coach is to help golfers improve their golf game with longer drives and improved consistency. Equally as important is to help create a culture of enjoyment and passion for golf. The next time you are at KOHR Golf or participating in a sport that gets you excited and truly makes you happy— stop and savor that moment. Then, bring that passion each time you practice. That will both improve your fitness AND even contribute to improving your golf game!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me, or stop in and say hello.  Also, look for more details over the next week or two about the opportunity to join one of KOHR Golf’s coaches, Chris Hawley, and me as we will be starting an 8-Week course to improve your swing speed and driving distance. We will be working on flexibility and strength training to help improve your golf swing while, most importantly, having FUN. Spots will be limited, being offered first to KOHR Golf Members. GET READY TO SIGN UP!

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Playing College Golf – Resources

In my first blog entry, 7 Important Steps To Playing College Golf, I touched on what junior golfers can do to maximize their chances of playing golf at the next level. The countless hours spent practicing and competing are crucial but there’s plenty more that they can do to ensure they get noticed by the right coaches.

Here are some of the BEST resources that college golf prospects can use to familiarize themselves with key dates, terms, and rules that will simplify the search process. Start reading up!

AJGA
Check out their College Recruiting overview which is under ‘News and Information’. This gives a detailed description of the terms, definitions, and dates that will be useful in starting your search.

PING College Golf Guide
Although there is a membership fee, this is a fantastic tool that has all the information that you could possibly need.  Note that if a player has a membership to the AJGA Tour they receive a free membership to the PING College Golf Guide.

Golfstat
Golfstat is the official source for college golf scores and statistics so this is a great place to see how a high school golfer stacks up against different levels of collegiate players.  It’s also a great place to stay up to date on the latest college golf results and keep tabs on your favorite schools.

NCAA Eligibility Center
If a high schooler wants to play college sports the very first thing they need to do is register with the NCAA Clearinghouse, and make sure you check all the eligibility requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s no secret that picking the right college is one of the biggest decisions that most people make. By doing the appropriate research and talking with the right people, you can begin to take control.

Now that you’ve done your research, here are some steps that you can take to make sure you get noticed!

  1. Visit as many schools/meet as many coaches as you can!
  2. Talk with players and parents that recently have gone through the recruitment process. They will be able to provide you and your family with valuable insights!
  3. Be persistent! Follow up with coaches in a timely, professional manner. And remember- coaches want to hear from the student-athlete, not the parents!!!
  4. Start to narrow down your list of schools based on your preferences. Academics, golf team/level of competition, location, school size, etc. are all MAJOR factors in your decision.

Enjoy the road to playing college golf!!!

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

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Ball In Front of The Body Drill

How bad do you want to get good this season?

Attention to detail is a necessity in taking your game to a new level and simple drills can go a very long way.  Here’s an awesome drill you can do at home, or in the office, that will help improve your swing sequence!

Benefits of the drill…

Helps with mobility
Syncs arms/chest with lower body
Allows for better connection
Helps to understand proper pivot

Step by step…

  1. Get into your golf posture, feet shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed.
  2. Start with the ball directly in front of your chest with a square face.
  3. As you rotate into your backswing focus on your lower body staying centered as your arms following the center of your chest.
  4. Once your lead arm is parallel to the ground in the backswing, you’ll have a slight pause, and then your hands will swing in front of your hips as you finish tall towards the target, with the arms in front of your chest.

If you are interested in purchasing one of the Impact Ball training aids, KOHR Golf gets the majority of training aids from a company called Golf Training Aids.  It’s an awesome place to purchase just about any type of golf training aid.  You can use the code kohrgolf10 and get 10% off anything you order from the site!

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Mental Toughness: What it is and how to develop it

There is no doubt that one of the most important factors in playing consistently good golf, especially under pressure situations, is having mental toughness. Being mentally tough doesn’t mean pretending you’re not nervous; it means knowing what to focus on and how to maintain that focus. It’s really just as simple – and as difficult – as that.

Like so many other things in golf, the way to develop mental toughness is to practice it every time you swing a club, not just when you think you need it. You can practice improving your mental toughness the same way you practice improving your swing; by staying focused on clear objectives and practicing them consistently.

Everyone gets nervous in their own way in competitive situations. Avoiding these nerves is not your goal. By developing mental toughness and discipline, you’ll perform better under pressure (both in golf and in life); with or without those exact same jitters.


WHAT ARE CONTROLLABLE GOALS?
What should you focus on in order to develop mental toughness? The things you can control. And what should you avoid focusing on as part of developing mental toughness? The things you cannot control.

When playing a round of golf, a huge majority of golfers expend their energy on goals, and other factors, that they cannot control.  Worrying about your final score, the weather, bad bounces and breaks, and difficult playing partners, are just a few examples of things you can’t control.  If you waste your energy worrying about these items, you will not have any energy left to actually play the game and enjoy it.

Instead, you can learn to channel your energy towards only those things you do have control over – your controllable goals. Developing the habit of focusing on only what you can control, will, without question, make the game more enjoyable and help you reach your true performance potential.

So what are some controllable goals worth focusing on?

  • Decision making– Always make crystal clear decisions about how you want to hit each shot before you hit it.
  • Pre-shot routine– Develop and execute a consistent pre-shot routine.
  • Commitment-You need to be 100% committed to every shot.
  • Emotional Control– Always maintain control of your emotions-don’t let them control you!
  • Don’t give up– Always fight to the end —NEVER give up!!!


HOW DO YOU WORK ON CONTROLLABLE GOALS?

Perfect your pre-shot routine.
The pre-shot routine is something you have total control over, and that you can practice, both on and off the golf course. Even if you are just hitting a few practice shots on the range, it is a great idea to develop the routine of hitting each shot after going through your full pre-shot routine. A pre-shot routine is just as important as any mechanical fundamental that you will ever practice. Whatever the shot, the pre-shot routine should always be the same.  Think of it as your “security blanket” when you’re in pressure situations- without it your performance could suffer. By perfecting it, you will be mentally stronger, and be more comfortable, in any situation.

The pre-shot routine also includes:

  • Seeing the shot- Visualize the type of shot you want to hit- before you take a practice swing.
  • Feeling the shot- This is your practice swing.
  • Committing to the shot- 100% commitment is needed prior to hitting any shot. Only focus on where you want to hit your shot- not where you do not want to hit your shot.
  • Hitting the shot – Hit every shot without fear or concern about the outcome – just swing freely and with total commitment, belief, and confidence in your golf swing.

Finally, you need to practice controlling your emotions. The best golfers are the ones who don’t put any energy into worrying about the results of their shots, or their final scores, in the heat of battle. They never hit a shot from a place of fear or doubt. Most of us let our emotions beat us. Beating yourself up about a shot that’s already left the clubface, or complaining about a bad bounce, is useless.  It will only hamper your next shot, and consequently, your overall score.

Part of being mentally tough is learning to love a challenge instead of fearing it. It is also learning to embrace bouncing back after a bad break or a miss hit shot. Being mentally tough is having the strength to never give up.  Knowing that you’ll never give up makes you ready for almost anything, including winning.

I would love to know what has helped you achieve mental toughness!  Post your comments below.

The ABC’s of Movement Literacy

The foundation of written communication is an alphabet; without it we would not be able to read, write, or communicate effectively.  Similarly, one needs to learn a different set of ABCs in order to gain movement literacy.  Often identified as Agility, Balance, and Coordination, these ABCs serve as the foundation of movement literacy.  Crucial to any athlete’s Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) is the ability to master the ABC’s of movement literacy.  Furthermore, focusing solely on the long-term goals, whether it’s 12 months or 12 years down the road, can prevent one from making short-term improvement.  By focusing on the present and creating a strong foundation of movement literacy, an athlete can insure that the path to LTAD is achievable.

We often use a similar approach in golf instruction.  As difficult as it may be, short-term struggles can lead to long-term improvements. In order to improve your distance, you may have to temporarily sacrifice your accuracy, or vice versa.  A golfer with a bad hook may have to first learn how to hit a slice to find the middle and start hitting it straight. As golfers, we may be capable of understanding why it is necessary to take a step or two back before making that desired leap forward.

When it comes to the field of strength and conditioning, especially for the game of golf, we tend to expect greater rewards in less time.  The best athletes in the world may possess an innate talent that allows them to succeed, but it still could take years and years of practice in order to reach the pinnacle of their sport.  Developing basic athleticism is no different; it requires tremendous daily effort to improve one’s power, speed, and explosiveness, as well as one’s mobility, flexibility, and endurance.   All of these goals are achievable with a core foundation to build upon, along with the best instruction and coaching to guide you.

Effectively, the ability to manage the ABC’s of movement literacy allow us to progress to more difficult and complex exercises which will have greater benefits in the long term.  If you happened to poke your head into KOHR Golf’s Junior Academy sessions over the past month, or anytime this season for that matter, you will likely have seen at least one or two juniors doing some sort of exercises with mini-resistance bands around their ankles or knees, performing seemingly simple exercises.  Although the majority of the exercises are just that – simple – they are necessary to build the strength needed to compete in golf at a higher level.

Of course it would be much more fun, to simply go straight to box jumps, medicine ball slams, or even some sort of Olympic powerlifting exercises (more on those in a future blog). However, I would be doing the athletes that I work with a disservice to ask them to do an exercise without the proper foundation on which to perform that movement.  Not only would they be risking the chance of injury, they would also likely use certain musculature that was never meant to be used for that specific movement.  While simple exercises may seem mundane, the ability to move with good form and posture must always trump the desire for speed and power.

How does this all pertain to my role as a golf-specific strength and conditioning trainer?  It would be pretty simple to put an athlete, of any age or ability, on an exercise plan that would improve some general cardiovascular health or basic strength.  However, the athletic development from this strategy would probably have little impact on one’s golf performance. The general personal trainer is great for getting clients into better shape, leading healthier lives, and motivating towards self-improvement.   My job as a golf-specific strength and conditioning professional is to analyze the client’s goals and objectives for both the gym and the course. I then design a program that  includes routines and exercises to promote growth and development for both short and long-term goals.

Client goals can vary widely.  A goal could be as simple as improving flexibility to allow for better torso rotation this season;  while an elite junior golfer’s goal may be to create a strategy for the next 18-24 months in order to be properly prepared for the rigors of competing at a Division I golf program.  My sole job is to help individuals, that come to the Performance Center at KOHR Golf, reach their goals both on and off the golf course.

If you are interested in learning about strategies to improve your golf fitness, we can set up an initial meeting to evaluate your personal goals and complete a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Screening.  This simple process could put you on the proper path to achieving all of your goals both on and off the course this season and beyond!!!

3 Reasons to keep your junior golfer a multisport athlete

CRUSHING drives traveling over 400 yards!  LASER-LIKE iron shots from 200+ yards away (longer than the length of 2 football fields) to within inches of the flagstick!  High soft flop shots over bunkers that roll into the hole like putts!  How is this possible.  Golfers like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland look more like NFL linebackers than that of a golfer.  

The highlights could go on and on!  

So after being a multi-sport athlete myself, and learning much through my certifications at the Titleist Performance Institute, here are 3 critically important skills your child will learn through being a multi-sports athlete:


BALANCE

  • In just about every sport you are taught to feel and use the ground.  Sports like ice hockey with its quick turns on a skate blade, soccer with its stops & starts are priceless.  One cannot play these sports without great awareness of the ground forces and how your feet and body have to move to stay on your feet, and not tumble to the ground.  Check out this cool video of PGA Tour Winner Rocco Mediate on how he practices his golf swing with NO SHOES!  This may be difficult at first but I can assure you that this would be a GREAT drill for all to try out!

 

 

SPEED & POWER

  • Pretty self-explanatory how important speed and power are in all sports.  Recently I was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation by Florida Gators head golf coach, J.C. Deacon who said that he doesn’t pay to much attention to high school golfers that have less than 170mph ball speed.  He wants players that can POUND the ball!  Why you ask?  Well, the answer is simple – the further you can hit the ball the less club you will have into the green and the closer you will probably hit the ball to the hole, and make more birdies!  Do note that his team currently ranks inside the TOP 5 in college golf so pretty obvious he knows what he is doing when it comes to recruiting top-notch players!  Sports like tennis, baseball, squash are tremendous sports that will help your future golfer develop a powerful golf swing.


SEQUENCE & RHYTHM

  • The next time you watch a basketball game on TV, keep your eye on the shooter instead of the ball.  Watch one of these athletes throw up a 3 pointer and witness what perfect sequence & Rhythm look like.  These guys make it look absolutely effortless!  The shooter is initiating his or her power from the ground and from there it is literally a chain of events through the body that takes place, almost like the effortless power of a wave rolling in the ocean.  The scientific term for this is the Kinematic Sequence, which as TPI explains for a golfer in that “Each body segment; pelvis, ribcage, and arm sequentially accelerates and decelerates before impact, starting from the inner large body segments; the pelvis and ribcage, then progressing to the smaller outer segments; the arms, hands and club.  Each successive segment peaks faster and later than the previous segment.  This action causes the club to accelerate rapidly and reach its highest speed at impact.”  This movement is very similar in Stephen Curry throwing up a jump shot (check out his sequence below).  This kinematic sequence gives the athlete the effortlessness we see in top athletes, and it is learned perfectly through a sport like basketball!

Well hopefully after reading through my article I was able to convince you that it is really important to get your child into multiple different types of sports when they are young.  If other sports isn’t an option look for sports programs or athletic development programs for your kids.  At KOHR Academy athletic training is a key part of our year-long curriculum.  Our Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester, tests our Academy players progress throughout the year to make sure they are progressing in their athletic development.  It’s pretty awesome to see the progress for these young athletes in development!

Feel free to check out the links below.  Those are two really helpful websites that I am sure you will find to be great resources!

by Coach Spencer Sotell

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KOHR GOLF PERFORMANCE TRAINING

KOHR Golf’s new Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester will be in our fitness center during open hours from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Feel free to stop by and say hi, go through a brief TPI Evaluation, and learn more about what Andrew will be bringing to KOHR Golf in 2018!

Andrew Wester, KOHR’s Athletic Performance Coach, will be starting Pre-Season Golf Strength & Conditioning classes for adults of all ages and abilities.  Classes will be held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning at 6:30 am and 7:30 am, as well as Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm, as well as Sunday afternoon at 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.  Classes will be approximately 50 minutes, and will cover basic stretching and warm-up routines, as well as some basic strength and power exercises to help develop swing speed and prepare golfers for the coming season.  Classes will run through until the middle of March, please feel free to sign up online or contact Andrew with any questions!

Andrew’s Fitness Packages are listed – HERE

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COACH DANIEL BOISVERT RECOGNIZED BY US KIDS GOLF

Since 2004, the Top 50 Kids Teacher Award has honored the elite professionals who have dedicated their careers to developing junior golf in their communities and who are known for their overall excellence and commitment to serving youth. These experienced individuals have committed themselves to helping kids develop a love for the game of golf that lasts well beyond their junior days. Finding the ideal instructor is an important process to parents of junior golfers. U.S. Kids Golf is proud to associate itself with these distinguished professionals and enthusiastically recommends them to all young golfers.  This is Coach Daniel’s 3rd consecutive year being recognized by US Kids Golf for this award!

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7 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF

About 15 years ago, I was a competitive junior golfer with aspirations of playing collegiate golf. I had won some junior tournaments, possessed a strong work ethic, and had no doubt in my own mind that I had what it took to compete at the next level. I was also lucky to have parents who were always supportive but never overbearing. My grades and test scores were solid. I was ready (or so I thought). Why weren’t coaches knocking down my door to recruit me? What more could I possibly need to get recruited?

Boy, was I naïve! Little did I know how different college golf recruitment REALLY was.

After taking a gap year to work tirelessly on my game under the tutelage of Bill McInerney, I committed to play at Johnson & Wales in North Miami, Florida under the legendary coach Dave Adamonis, Sr.

He was an old school kind of coach. He was tough but fair, and he knew how to push buttons at just the right time to get the most out of his players. I spent 4 great years playing college golf, getting my degree, and learning a lot about college golf.

Since my graduation from Johnson & Wales, I have spent time as a professional golfer, Head College Golf Coach, and now I am a Golf Performance Coach at KOHR Golf Academy. I have often thought about where I would have ended up, had I known everything that I know now. Fortunately, I don’t think I could have found a better school, for myself, to learn as a student-athlete.

My experiences as a junior player being recruited, as well as college coach looking to add quality student-athletes to a successful program has taught me about the entire process from both sides of the table. Choosing the right college is very important but it is also a daunting experience.  Just like the game of golf, having a game plan is critical to getting started on the right track.

HERE ARE 7 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF:

Step 1: STOP STRESSING!


Step 2: Work hard in school.
“How are your grades?”   Without fail, this will be one of the first questions asked by any college coach. Yes, tournament scoring average is important, but coaches won’t waste their time talking to you if your grades aren’t up to par. In order to compete at the next level, you’ll need to take care of business in the classroom first. Being a student-athlete at the next level is a huge responsibility, and in my opinion, any coach worth playing for will hold this as their top priority.


Step 3: Surround yourself with a positive supporting cast
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Golf instructors/coaches, fitness coaches, mentors are all irreplaceable. Parents, don’t worry, you play an important part as well!


Step 4: Build an organized game plan
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Sit down with your supporting cast to map out efficient practice plans, workout routines, and develop a thoughtful tournament schedule. Play in local events, compete on regional golf tours and mix in a few at the national level. Not every event on your schedule needs to the most expensive or a big-time national event. Compete in as many events as you can and start developing that tournament resume!

Step 5: Play with better players.
One of the best pieces of advice I received before going off to college was to seek out the best players and emulate their approach. Observe how they practice.  Ask questions.  Annoy them. Play with them.


Step 6: Manage your expectations.
Set attainable goals. Make mistakes, but learn from every one of them. You’re not going to win every tournament you play, you’re not even going to play great in every tournament.  Ultimately, your ability to respond to setbacks will determine your success.


Step 7: Have fun.

Golf is not a job; it’s just a game!!! It is disappointing when you see players and parents treating it like a job. If you are willing to work as hard as you can and have fun with what you’re doing, everything else will take care of itself.

 

Stay tuned for my next blog. In a few weeks, I will address even more steps to becoming a successful collegiate golfer.

 

by Coach Chris Hawley