With the world opening up more and more over the last few months, we are beginning to see signs of normalcy. Tournaments are beginning to kick back up, and the Championships that every Junior and Amateur golfer strives to compete in are being held. It has been so long that some of you probably feel weird getting back into the groove. I am going to help you make it back on track and break down what the top players are doing to set themselves up for success not only on the course, but also getting recruited to go to your dream school, which are two of the things the Junior Golf Hub specializes in. Over at the Junior Golf Hub, they have accomplished a great deal through their online community for junior golfers. They also tailor their website and mobile app for the parents and college coaches. Their services offer a simple and effective way to access their website and mobile app to streamline the college golf placement process for their players.
Before we talk about what you need to do to become an ideal recruit for college coaches, let’s break down what the characteristics the ideal student-athlete encompasses. Right off the jump you will notice that I said “student-athlete.” For everything else to be effective and worthwhile, you need to not only be compliant with NCAA guidelines, but rather excel in your studies. Being a great student may not be a priority for many of you guys, but college coaches are judged off their team’s GPA, and awards are allocated towards recognizing teams and players for their outstanding efforts in the classroom. It is 100% one of the first things a coach looks at when recruiting because whether the coach’s players are excelling, or lagging in the classroom, the coaches are hearing about it. What you don’t want to do is tarnish your brand as a recruit because you signal red flags due to your lack of commitment in the classroom. This is only a problem for some students making the transition into college sports. However, with many schools having gone to online classes the last year and a half, coaches are being presented with a new issue of kids who slacked off and didn’t take their grades seriously throughout the lockdown. The basic underlying lesson to learn is that you shouldn’t make a coach’s decision to choose you, or keep you on their team any more difficult than it already is. There’s no shortage of players who would love to compete, so do your part and make sure your past performance in school instills confidence in coaches during the recruitment process, rather than scare them away.
After you have taken control of your grades you can focus on the aspects that will separate you from the pack. The first thing that most juniors and amateurs do that helps propel them to a higher level is place their trust into a process. You need to have eyes that you trust looking at your swing and overall game. This is important because many people spend so much time jumping from one opinion to another that you never develop a baseline understanding of your own game. Something I was lucky enough to do, along with many of the top juniors that go onto having successful college careers is that I found a coach I could trust at an early age. My coach and I developed a plan and we stuck to it. A lot of people I grew up with were not that lucky and spent a little longer looking for someone they felt comfortable trusting their game with. This is why academies like Ethan Allen Preparatory at the Golf Performance Center have been growing and taking over regions of the United States. Their players have been exposed to such a higher understanding of the game because The Golf Performance Center is a one stop shop for everything your golf game could ever need. They have expert coaches that will analyze your game and create an improvement plan unique to YOU, rather than only teach you the cookie cutter “perfect” golf swing. This instruction and oversight helps expedite the process of improvement, ultimately helping their players reach their goals rather than spin in circles like so many juniors end up doing. The Golf Performance Center has achieved their goal in helping juniors go to their dream schools for over 2 decades now. Their track record of providing valued instruction, guidance and the necessary facilities to develop junior athletes, both physically and mentally, to successfully navigate challenges on their way to college golf is astounding. Over the past 2 decades alone, the GPC has managed to produce 100 NLI signed college athletes, throughout the country spanning 80 different colleges and universities. Those 100 athletes have gone on to win NCAA National Championships, NCAA All-Americans, hundreds of junior golf wins from the AJGA, Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, Junior PGA, Future Collegiate Junior Tour, NY State Junior, CT Junior, Northeast Amateur, Planters, Walker Cup, USGA, US Kids Junior Tour and professional wins on PGA Tour Web.com, PGA Tour Canada, European, and PGA of America. So it’s no secret that GPC has the secret formula in the North East to help you become the best golfer you can be. They have become experts at their process of player development.
The next thing that high caliber players do is plan their schedules. If playing college golf is something you aspire to do, you must plan, plan, plan. You have to become an expert at planning and organizing. Along with that, you need to construct a schedule that will give you the greatest exposure and chance to succeed. If you are lucky enough to be a part of the Golf Performance Center, you will be assisted in creating a schedule with coaches and supervisors that are experts in this category. You should also definitely take advantage of the Junior Golf Hub’s app. The app has a tournament Finder, which is a database of key information and registration links for 3,000+ top junior tournaments. The app has custom filters to find the best tournament opportunities for you! You will also have access to the helpful Tournament calendar, which will allow you the opportunity to add appropriate tournaments to your own playing schedule on Junior Golf Hub while aslo tracking your tournament results. The Junior Golf Hub truly is a one stop shop for any organizational tools and instruction that you as a junior golfer would ever hope for. After implementing these helpful tools, you will need to have built a healthy balance of tournaments to get experience, while also showing up to the right events and larger championships. It’s always a good idea to play multiple events before a larger championship, which will likely bring out your college coaches scouting their upcoming talent. This step boils down to you and is unique to each player and their skill / age. Obviously an older, more skilled player will want to focus more on quality rather than quantity. While a younger, less experienced player will want to play in as much as possible in order to build a resume for college.
The next aspect to focus on is your personality. You need to distinguish yourself as a mentally tough and collected individual. You have a choice to be a strong person, or act as a child every time you tee it up. There’s no reason to act like an infant while competing, it will only hurt your odds of being recruited because no coach wants to deal with a bad attitude while you are traveling on the road every other week of the semester. It’s a simple choice to act like a mature, mentally tough individual, so it is in your best interest to devote the necessary time and energy towards mental toughness. The majority of emotion issues junior golfers experience stem from confidence and commitment. It’s a time period in your life that is pretty weird. Your body is constantly changing, you are juggling school, golf, college recruitment, and a social life. There are plenty of reasons to lack confidence during this stage in your life, but the top players all work on this aspect of the game. You cannot neglect the things that you lack skill in, because those areas are where you will see the greatest improvements to your overall game. The team at Golf Performance Center allocate resources towards very knowledgeable sports psychologists to help ensure that their players are well rounded and always prepared for the next level, as well as The Junior Golf Hub’s “HitTheLinks Blog” that covers many facets of the junior golf experience, from life on the road, to physical fitness and mental toughness.
The last aspect I will cover is the short game. Short game is by far the most talked about facet of the game. Most players will regurgitate the same exact sentiment, stating that their short game is so amazing, and they grind at it daily, yet seem to never get up and down. The best players at any level will be the superior players from 120 yards and in. It’s astonishing to me the amount of college players that I competed with all of the way up to the final match of the National Championship with kids who couldn’t hit wedge shots, putt, or chip. It isn’t enough to hit a wedge to 25 feet every single time. If you want to be one of the best players, you need to do things that the average player doesn’t do. I can promise you that from 100 yards the average junior golfer isn’t going to hit a flighted gap wedge, or pick which one of the flights they want to hit. The average junior and college player has one speed and it’s 100%. That simply isn’t good enough. The only time you should take a full rip at a wedge is if you are going over a tree, or trying to hold a firm green, which are very rare occurrences in junior golf for the most part. The best players will develop a feel with all of their wedges that will enable them to hit the correct flight, and spin for the shot that the situation calls for. The rest of the short game aspect is chipping and putting and I don’t have much to say about this other than you have to develop your own feel and commit to every shot. There’s an infinite number of ways to hit every putt and chip shot, those players who have superb feel and trust in their mechanics will beat the daylights out of any random player with a “perfect” putting stroke with no confidence. The Golf Performance Center has an incredible facility that is tailored to helping you get your wedge game dialed in, and your putting rock solid.
With life returning back to normal, we are starting to return to the exciting championships and tournaments that we are all used to playing in. This is an important time for junior golfers everywhere to capitalize on the opportunities presented in the next coming summer months. I hope that the outlined aspects of the game that the best junior and amateur golfers consistently do helps push you all to greater levels in your game, and potentially seek help from great instructors and facilities like the Golf Performance Center. The Junior Golf Hub has a premium membership available for a generous discount. Check it out today!