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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.

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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

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How far would an extra 20 yards take your game?

I have been a club fitter for nearly 10 years now.  It amazes me how far technology has come in that time; every single year I learn more and more about the technology behind fitting golf clubs to certain swing types.  Every golfer is different and purchasing a set of clubs off the shelf, or from a buddy, will definitely save you some money but it will most likely cost you strokes too.

Would it excite you to know that being properly fit for clubs could add 20 yards of distance to your drives, with the exact same swing you have right now?  Well, believe me when I tell you it can!  How far would an extra 20 yards take your game?  How much easier would it be to hit a 7-iron into a green instead of a hybrid?

There is NO DOUBT in my mind that any golfer that chooses to invest time, or money, in their golf game should be professionally fit. There are tremendous benefits to having the proper shaft with the correct stiffness, length, and weight – as well as the correct club head, loft/lie angle, and grip. A professional club fitting could go a long way towards eliminating that 60-yard slice and help you keep the ball in play way more often!  Now wouldn’t that make your weekend money matches a bit more enjoyable?

As a golf performance coach and fitter, I constantly try to emphasize the benefits of having properly fit clubs.  With the correct clubs, a player WILL see immediate improvements in distance, trajectory, dispersion, and overall consistency.

Another HUGE benefit to being professionally fit is that it ensures that your club specs are are accurate, and that each club goes the distance it should go. Believe it or not, iron lofts tend to change over time.  You may have a sand wedge that was 56º when you took it out of the box a few years back, but the more you use it the more it has a tendency to bend slightly or in some situations it could be several degrees.  But let’s say that sand wedge of yours did bend 3º – that’s almost a full club difference. In that case , you might as well have hit your gap wedge – which probably changed too… ugh!  See where I am going with this?

At KOHR Golf Center we offer a variety of club fitting options for both junior and adult golfers.

For junior golfers, we highly recommend suiting your Junior Golfer up with a set of US Kids Clubs. US Kids clubs are absolutely the best clubs I have come across.  Super easy fitting system and the best quality out there for beginners and younger competitive juniors golfers.  A quick easy static measurement will do the job.  Check out the US Kids Golf Club fitting chart on the right.  Like I said, super easy!

For adults and advanced junior players, we have a partnership with Cool Clubs – in my professional opinion also the best in the biz!  Cool Clubs operates out of our brand new golf studio and is available for custom fittings 6 days a week ALL YEAR LONG. The Cool Clubs headquarters is based out of Scottsdale, Arizona and they often get visits from PGA and LPGA Tour Players, the best players in the world!

Glen Sutton, the owner of Cool Clubs Boston, says “The combination of the Cool Club approach to fitting and KOHR Golf’s new facility will provide customers with one of the best club-fitting experiences in the entire country.  Our technology combined with the ability to see ball flight at KOHR makes for a truly unique experience.”

So in closing, I cannot stress enough how important an annual checkup can be.  Seeing a local club fitter is a huge component to lowering your scores and enjoying the game more.  Changes made to your swing or to your body make it almost a necessity.  If you grow, if your posture at address changes, or if you make any improvements to your swing, then an equipment change should be considered. A quick tweak to the loft and lie of your irons, or even swapping out your shafts to improve launch conditions could be HUGE!

Be sure to put a club fitting on your to-do’s this year and you will NOT regret it!

by Coach Daniel Boisvert

 

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Practice Smarter Not Longer This New Year!

Super pumped to kick off this part of our blog and share with you our first can’t miss tip.  Let’s get right to it!

This week’s hot tip – DELIBERATE PRACTICE

WHAT IS IT & WHY WE NEED IT

Wikipedia defines deliberate practice as repetitive performance of intended cognitive or psychomotor skills.  Rigorous skills assessment, specific information feedback, better skills and performance.

To dumb it down a bit I would think of deliberate practice as picking something very specific to improve on –  then figuring out what the one or two things that you would need to work on in order to improve that particular skill.

Lets take a look at a real-life example:

Joey has a very good golf swing and a very low green in regulation percentage (GiR).  He spends hours upon hours working on the mechanics of his golf swing but his GiR doesn’t budge.  Joey’s coach is stumped so he decides to go watch Joey play a round of golf.  Coach is happy to see that Joey’s shots are very solid but he is either coming up short or flying shots over the green.

After recognizing Joey’s tendencies his coach builds a deliberate practice session for Joey that looks like this:

STEP 1

Using a launch monitor to measuring the average distance Joey hit 10 shots with each golf club.  The goal here is to calibrate the average carry distance of each club.  It is also helpful for Joey to know how far the shortest shot and furthest shot with a particular club is for him.  At KOHR Golf Center we use a tool called Trackman to measure the distance the ball carries.  For those that do not have the luxury of using a trackman KOHR Golf Center has yardage cards for all of our greens which makes calibrating possible.

STEP 2

After calibration we recommend challenging yourself with a game.  We call this game-like type practice, Battlefield Practice at KOHR Academy.  Battlefield Practice (otherwise known as random practice) is when you are in your game-like mindset and trying to achieve a certain score.  Joey pulls out 18 golf balls and sets them aside (we use 18 shots to pretend like you are playing 18 holes).  He is then assigned a different target for each of those 18 golf balls – hitting 6 shots with his short-irons, 6 shots with his mid-irons and 6 shots with his long-irons and hybrids.  His goal is to see how many greens in regulation he would hit with those 18 golf balls.  At KOHR Golf Center a game like this is easy because we actually have real greens to hit to, making practice SUPER FUN!

Check out Phil Mickelson talking about one of his key battlefield games, which he calls the 3 Foot Circle Drill, to where he has to make 100 three foot putts in a row… YIKES!

 

Below I have listed some awesome books and articles that talk about the importance and research behind deliberate practice.  Enjoy and keep us updated on your progress.  We would love for you to share some of the ways you structure deliberate practice sessions or some of the challenges you all may have in achieving a deliberate practice session.

Either way, make DELIBERATE PRACTICE your goal for 2018 and you will not be disappointed.

BOOKS

  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
    • In summary Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success.
  • The Practicing Mind by Thomas Sterner
    • Sterner’s message is to be process oriented, be present and have a very specific intention and stay ware of your intention.
  • The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin
    • I love this book!  Josh Waitzkin writes a book on his personal rise to the top of the chess and Tai Chi world, by explaining the mindset, proper ways to practice and how he built habits to take him to the top of the world in his professions.

ARTICLES & BLOGS

PODCASTS

 

By KOHR Golf Coach Bill McInerney