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The Reason “Sharing” is the key to Future of Golf

January 5, 2017
January 5, 2017

It’s MINE – GO GET YOUR OWN!

The proverbial saying “You can’t take it with you” pertains mostly to your wealth that you have at the end of your life and that you should spread it around. Recently I’ve found a couple of instances that have gotten me thinking that this EXACTLY what my fellow Golf Teaching Professionals, Coaches & Facilitators should be doing.

What I am talking about is this:

That you have spent more than one third of your lifetime (Remember, the second third is the time you spend sleeping!) working in this business for potentially multiple facilities / courses and you don’t care about leaving a legacy behind?  I can imagine how there may be plenty of pros who wouldn’t care about leaving a legacy behind, but isn’t that a rather sad thing? Yes it is!

Traditionally we’ve been like this guy in the picture, self centred, greedy and most of all not willing to share what we know, have or use to be successful unless we are getting paid to do it. (I am not saying there shouldn’t be compensation if a possibility) However we’ve wanted to out think, out teach and of course out preform (our student’s results) and shove it down our fellow professional’s throats while saying “Look at me!” That needs to CHANGE now!

This year I have personally experienced opportunities where I have been asked questions and consulted others on their Junior swings, programs, ideas and thoughts. I feel honoured and humbled by these requests. But one of the BIGGEST things I’ve done when approached, is I have NEVER said “no”. In fact I find myself asking them questions like “How can I help you more?”. This isn’t just in my world and in fact I have experienced one of the best examples of professional sharing (thank you social media), from this guy below. George Gankas has over 53,000 followers on Instagram and whenever I ask him a question, he doesn’t take days to get back to me, it’s immediate and he always does it encouraging and engaging. He is sharing all that he knows through Instagram and Youtube and you CAN pay for more if you want. But it’s the openness and ease of sharing that gives this guy his appeal. (Not to mention the flip flops, flat brim cap and surfer dude speak) It doesn’t hurt that he is really good too!

This proactive inclination towards sharing your knowledge is not only an essential and critical learning activity for each and every teaching professional out there, but it is also something that I have been thinking a lot about lately as it pertains towards the concept of leaving a legacy behind.   I am a little skeptic to believe that people would feel that sharing is a key point to the success of golf and instruction for the future nowadays, to be honest, I hope they are reading this blog post, because I think that if they aren’t willing to share with everyone they need to look for another job. A legacy is just as important as that one from everyone else by contributing to the general and collective living memory of golf.  Can there be anything more rewarding than that? … Specially, when that knowledge shared is reused by others, even when you are not there anymore? … Think about it….

What if you adopted this simple continuous circle this year? Take your knowledge that you’ve created & stored and send it out! Don’t be scared, be helpful and watch how amazing you feel! However you do it you will learn from this experiment and be able to reinvest into yourself the knowledge gained NOT taking all of it with you!

Sharing is caring and the key to Golf’s Future.

Cheers,

Coach Doug

Top 50 Things I Learned 2016

December 31, 2016
December 31, 2016


Here are the TOP 50   
Things I’ve Learned This Season. 

 

 

 

1. There are some AMAZING Junior Golf Coaches in this world!
2. Kids are incredible teachers
3. Bravery is watching a 6 yr old move into the bigger kids group
4. Speaking at a Grade 2 level works for kids and especially adults
5. Being SILLY is OK and actually therapeutic
6. 10 yr old girls can play like LPGA Tour players
7. The Story “The Day The Crayons Quit” guarantees laughter 100%
8. You can teach an old dog new tricks no matter how long they’ve been a professional
9. Share what you know with those who ask because keeping it a “secret” is ridiculous
10. Acupuncture is a godsend
11. I have the most AMAZING and UNDERSTANDING Wife.
12. Ask a 4 yr old to describe a golf ball then listen
13. No matter how much you pour into students you have to ALWAYS remember they might leave
14. ADHD is the secret to my success and I am so thankful for it
15. Ice Cubes on a hot day bring smiles
16. Make time for yourself & the ones CLOSEST to you
17. If you want ideas for games, walk through the board game section of Toys R Us
18. That you can change lives because of this game whether they are 5, 20 or 70
19. Colouring breaks during a lesson are sometimes a MUST
20. Ping Pong is an essential skill
21. Solar Sleeves are a gift from the golfing gods
22. Being positive is infectious
23. Just because you coach some big named players does not mean you have good character
24. That you ALWAYS have to remember who your audience is
25. US KIds Golf makes dreams come true
26. A Child’s Laughter is still Nature’s Red Bull
27. Instagram has grown my understanding of the golf swing
28. Payne Stewart was special and would have made the most amazing Ryder Cup Captain
29. Custom fit golf clubs are an ESSENTIAL piece of your complete puzzle to play better
30. Just hanging out and being a cheerleader is ok
31. Sometimes 3 holes is just enough
32. Changing the culture of instruction takes time
33. 7:30 am swing theory chats in Toronto are 7:30 pm in Shanghai
34. Josh Donaldson’s baseball swing is a great visual for golf
35. Playing as many sports as possible as a child is a MUST
36. 70 lbs of Dynamite can make a golf ball go 205 yards
37. Some of my best pro-friends I wouldn’t know if not for Social Media
38. Dustin Johnson is a freakish athlete
39. Steph Currie is pure talent
40. Coaching takes planning and a deep rooted sense of COMPASSION
41. PLAY is a child’s FIRST language
42. Water Balloon Speed Filling Straws are a HUGE time saver
43. You cannot EVER mail it in working with kids
44. Character is the cornerstone to being a good person
45. Creativity is the baseline of a WONDERFUL junior program
46. Kids deserve your patience
47. Bring the Backshop Kids Ice Coffee when it’s 90 degrees out to say THANK YOU
48. You are NEVER done learning
49. Watching your student win a world championship will make you CRY every time
50. That #ilovemyjob

What’s your TOP 50?

Have a Wonderful 2017 Everyone! – Coach Doug

When a student leaves…a Coach’s view

November 7, 2016
November 7, 2016

Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, Sean Foley. 3 of the most famous Golf coaches in the World because they had the opportunity to work with Tiger Woods. Every time that Tiger decided that he was going to change coaches it was an absolute media frenzy and made headlines across the Golf World. This has been well documented and written about as the media have tried to answer the question; why? Carlisle Group

Why would the most dominant player in the history of the sport change the pathway of his success not once, not twice but three times? You’ve read about it was his body changing, his desire of perfection, and the eternal pursuit of breaking almost every record the game of golf has ever had.

Professionally this is a man who has had no equal until recently, and for that matter he raised the bar so high the “trickle-down” Tiger effect has reached far into the annals of Competitive Junior Golf.   I have an up close and personal relationship with this as my job is to help every single boy and girl who want to play this wonderful game, do it as best as they can. I always begin every first meeting with every junior the exact same way. I ask the parents to bring them to meet and then we embark on a journey to see if there is a fit. Do they feel like they can work with me and similar do I feel I can work with them. I encourage the parents to discuss the session with their child and engage them in the decision about coming back to see Coach Doug. I believe this important because building a relationship with these children is KEY to being able to connect and inspire them to do their best.

Holding CourtIn fact I would have to say that it’s these great bonds with my juniors that make it so rewarding as a coach to see them grow, learn, smile and laugh and equally hard to watch when they are upset, hurt, frustrated and cry when this game kicks their butts. You feel at times that you are walking in their shoes and feel all the pain and all the joy they do.

As their coach, mentor, teacher and cheerleader you work closely with them and their parents to provide a “road map” of their journey and plot a course that allows for them to see what they want to work for. The communication with parents is an essential piece in coaching and I have had every kind of experience throughout my career to keep this channel an open and honest one. This is very important because parents (I too have felt this with my own kids) feel that their child is a “prodigy” or “the next Tiger”. I often tell parents that their child is only on the Front 9 of their golf career and OUR goal should be giving them the opportunity to love this game so they Finish the Back 9 and make it to the 18th hole!

But sometimes no matter how much you do or how much the junior enjoys you and your coaching, they leave. It took me a while in this business to realize that it isn’t how much I do for them.  This isn’t about me. It’s about THEM. Junior golfer parents want their children to be the very BEST they can be and invariably will seek out what they feel is the most convenient, affordable, exclusive, high performing, matched programming to get their child to whatever level they desire. You cannot control this. You can only invest 200% into every child and know you have done everything you can.

The question is always WHY? Why do they leave? Maybe they think the grass is greener somewhere else? Maybe you weren’t getting them to where they want to be fast enough. Maybe the distance to you is too far to travel for what they want to invest? Maybe you are too expensive or because of their other commitments cannot afford your programming? Maybe they found another instructor who fits better than you? Maybe there is an issue in their lives that prevents them from playing at a high level and they need to step away from it?

Whatever the reason, remember this: It’s OK!

 

Our job is not to ride the coat tails of the juniors and students we teach into the annals of Golf Instruction Stardom. That is selfish and self centred. Build them up and if they decide to leave then wish them nothing but the VERY BEST and check your ego at the door. Remember there are all your other kids waiting for you. If you can aim to leave a little bit of your wisdom or influence with every junior golfer you coach, instruct or teach during the tenure of your career then you WIN! This is not about YOU or ME, its about THEM! 

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I remember a wonderful quote from the owner of Olympia Sports Camp ( I was both a camper and counsellor there) Dave Grace: Winning Is – Doing the MOST with the CAPABILITIES you HAVE! So if you follow this simple piece of information and know that there is a good chance in your career some of your best players will leave for whatever reason, you will be able to keep your head up.

Sincerely,

Coach Doug

5 Keys To Building A WICKED Jr Program

November 4, 2016
November 4, 2016

5 Keys To Building A WICKED Jr Program

So you are the new kid on the block. You are beginning your position at a new club and one of your tasks is to revive and / or design the Junior Golf Program. Some would say “easy,” some would say “not so fast,” and some would even say “help!”

5-things-to-do-with-funnelsIt is somewhat of a daunting task unless you have been doing programming and development for a long time.

I have found that there is a formula to follow which will JUMP START your programs and set the tone for repeatable and continuous business. Here are my TOP 5 KEYS to Building a WICKED Jr Program:

  1. Do Your Research –  Ask fellow pros what they do that is successful. Ask what programs they’ve offered at your club in the past. Check what access juniors have to programs (do they have to be a member to enrol?)
  2. Host a Pre-Season Junior Orientation  – Prior to the season beginning offer a “Junior Orientation Day” for parents & juniors to attend meet you, see your new programs and ask questions.
  3. Offer a Program with Potential “Fallout” – Often programs are run without looking at the potential “Fallout” for other Programs, Lessons, Coaching and Camps to benefit from the program in focus. Your program should be so good that when you are asked about details on any other program you have it ready to give them details.  fall-out-programs

4.  Get Parents / Grandparents Involved – Times have changed in golf. Focusing on the Family Unit and programs that can involve them ( Caddying , Chaperones, Volunteers, etc..) which only nurtures the bond.

5. Quality Over Quantity – Resist the urge to over subscribe your programs or have a group size that far exceeds what you can control and effectively manage. This is very important in the effectiveness, safety and learning of the program. Research has shown that a maximum of 6:1 ratio student to EXPERIENCED instructor is best, while a 4:1 ratio is sometimes better depending on the age of the group. However you decide you want to go, it will result in better “Fallout” into other programs and you will be able to scheduled more programs to accommodate the over flow. 

Try these 5 steps and you will start off with a BANG! 

For further information or questions please contact me directly at: doug@focusgolfgroup.com

All the best,

Coach Doug

 

October is ADHD Month

October 12, 2016
October 12, 2016

October is the ADHD Awareness Month and our 2016 theme is “Knowing is Better.” It’s better for parents to know that ADHD might be part of the picture so they can seek out the help their children need; it’s better for young adults to know about their ADHD so they might arrange for appropriate accommodations in school or the workplace; and it’s better for adults to recognize their ADHD instead of feeling destined to a life of underachievement and frustration.img_0008

 

I am writing this post because my post The Secret To My Success  got a lot of notice not only in my Golf world but also in the Public realm too! In fact I was honoured to have been selected by Readers Digest Canada as one of 3 Canadians profiled as Adults diagnosed with ADHD and have been successful in their occupation.

I believe that I am NOT the only one who recognizes that having ADHD can affect your life in many different ways. Click this link to see the Readers Digest Article

If you have any questions or would like to discuss it further please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Doug

dlawrie@creditvalleygolf.com

(905) 334 4207

 

The Secret To My Success

February 15, 2016
February 15, 2016

adhd-studentI remember listening to my parents tell friends, camp cousellors or coaches “Keep Doug away from Red Food Dye, pop and Chocolate he will be relatively “normal” and controllable”.  Ahhh, now back in the 70’s little did they know what was actually causing the “hyper” activity, restlessness, impulsivity and my mischevious curiosity.  Looking back at my childhood and teenage years I am absolutely amazed I got through high school and graduated from College. I now understand why I had to change schools in grade 6, why sports were my escape, I did poorly at math but excelled in english and was a great Camp counsellor.

I have ADHD. (squirrel!) Now the interesting thing is today ADHD is almost common place in children and diagnosed from an early age (about age 5).  They can have EAP’s (Eduction Action Plan) and strategies for Teachers and School Special Education Teams to give these kids the best chance at getting through their education. (Both of my kids have ADHD btw).images-1

Oh one other thing… I am on DRUGS! (Some of you at this point may be thinking; “????”. Yes, I take 15 mg of adderol every day. This was prescribed to me when I was diagnosed and they caution you about restless sleep, mood changes when coming off the effects and generally give you some cautionary things to be aware of when first taking something to help control ADHD. What they don’t tell you is what you actually experience. As an adult I could immediately see the benefit. CLARITY! Complete clarity in thoughts, calmness in sleep, brilliant ideas that I could start and finish, and where did I see the biggest benefit? On the golf course. I could concentrate on shots, putts and not expect distractions to pop in my head. WOW! In fact if I DON’T take my adderol I feel sluggish, hungry and like there is a fog that has settled into my head like an early morning. So call me an addict, but only because I am addicted to the benefits. It lets me be me!  

I was officially dignosed with ADHD at the age of 39. This meant I had gone through my entire Golf Professional career without any idea that this was affecting me in so many ways. But you know what the amazing thing about having ADHD is? I would not be where I am today without it. Often when diagnosed with ADHD kids are given the label of being different, tainted, uncontrollable, distracted and very hard to work with. In fact I believe whole heartedly that it is BECAUSE I have ADHD that it allows me to be creative, kooky, personable, funny, social, positive, connect with kids and especially the ones with ADHD.ADHD more than you

I know what is happening in their heads, and because of this I make the experience the absolute BEST one for them every time. They are never a burden, but in fact I use their ADHD to boost their creativity, give them structure, (one of the amazing things I’ve discovered is that kids with ADHD thrive in a challenging yet structured environment such as golf) and at the same time let them be exactly who they are without feeling they are different. Watching their facial expressions change when they are praised instead of reprimanded (which a lot are used to) only makes them want to do it more.

I’m sure that there are a few other successful coaches who can sympathize and agree that they too would not be where they are today without ADHD. Some of the world’s most successful people have ADHD – Albert Einstien, Will Smith, Michael Jordan, Justin Timberlake to name a few (Read the Top 10 list HERE)216776_tomsan_adhd-bunny

As golf professionals we aren’t given any training with regards to dealing with kids who have ADHD. In fact a large part of kids are still undiagnosed because parents don’t either believe that ADHD exists or that it’s just a phase of their development. So we are interacting with kids that have no idea what makes them be impulsive, interrupt and distracted. This leads to us trying to control their behaviour and rather than knowing some key strategies or unless you are an incredibly fast learner, most likely struggle with balancing your clinic, camp or lesson. I am here to tell you that it’s perfectly OK for you to feel that way. It can be down right exhausting putting so much effort into ONE child when you have 5 others that need your attention and this child is taking up most of your time and brain power. They are trying to cope with what you are telling them, they really are, so we must realize there are about 25 other things flashing across their brain at the same time. 

ADHD-in-children

I think I could writea novel about instances, examples and ways that I have used my “super power” to my advantage as well as instances that I know were not so positive and a disctinct result of my ADHD. What I have learned and I hope that I can pass on is that having ADHD doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. In fact understanding it only allows you to learn coping strategies that can help you. Kids aren’t always as aware as adults, so it is our responsibiluty that we do these 5 things when working with kids who have ADHD: 

  1. Have a Schedule – Structure allows for rules and consistency
  2. Don’t Patronize Them – be polite, upbeat and positive as much as possible at their level.
  3. Allow Them To Take Breaks – if they seem distracted ask them if they want to sit this one out. 
  4. Find Out Their Strengths – Observe them and what they do really well have them repeat for success
  5. Be Patient – Don’t take it personally that they may not listen to you but find a way to communicate. 

So there you have it. The Secret is out…I hope that this inspires you to ask questions, look at this subject differently and most of all realize….(oh look I got a Facebook notification) oops sorry, that having ADHD can be an incredble bonus instead of a detriment. 

Coach Doug. 

 

Doug Lawrie is the Owner and Director of Instruction of the highly successful Focus Golf Group Academy, with 2 locations in Burlington & Milton, Ontario. PGA of Ontario & Canada’s Junior Leader of the Year in 2012, he continues to develop programming and award winning junior golfers and most recently was recognized for the 3rd year in a row by U.S. Kids Golf as one of the Top 50 Kids Teachers in the World. Married to Susan for 21 years, they live in Burlington and enjoy their time with Daughter Abbie, Son Alex and their puppy Georgie. 

Doug@focusgolfgroup.com

www.focusgolfroup.com

Twitter – @focusgolfgroup

Instagram – @focusgolfgroup

Facebook – Doug Lawrie

All I Want for Christmas is…

December 7, 2015
December 7, 2015

You already said thatAll I Want For Christmas is….

Ahh the eternal line from the song made famous by Alvin, Simon & Theodore. It always makes its way across the airwaves at some point during the month of December in that wonderful high pitched melody. But it does get me thinking, “What do I want for Christmas this year?”

Well I think this could be fun. I am going to try and relate my list of what I would like for Christmas in Golf through relating each wish to a movie Title, Quote or Line. (this could prove very interesting) So here is my Top 10 list of what I would like for Christmas….

  1. “If you build it and he will come…(Field of Dreams)”– Allow More Access for Kids to Play Golf – Simple fact. Get the kids & the parents will not only support it, they may even follow.
  2. “Just Keep Swimming…(Finding Nemo)” – Too many of my colleagues, former students and really good professionals are leaving this business for one reason or another. This needs to change and keep working towards a goal.
  3. “May the Force Be With You…(Star Wars)” – Brooke Henderson, Nick Taylor, Mackenzie Hughes, Rebecca Lee-Benthem some of Canada’s best and brightest to inspire a country and young people to chase their dreams continue to inspire a nation for the future.
  4. “Man who catch fly with Chopstick accomplish anything…(The Karate Kid)” – Always remember that what may seem the HARDEST to overcome can be done with belief oneself. Keep going. Don’t stop.
  5. “To Infinity…And Beyond!…(Toy Story)” – Keep encouraging, inspiring and leading others to be the absolute BEST they can be. Sometimes they need a bit of direction or a nudge but do it in a way that helps show them there is a future.
  6. “Why so serious? … (The Dark Knight / Batman)” – Golf has rules, they aren’t made to be broken. BUT the enjoyment of the game is why people stay playing. Ask a child why they PLAY and they will say because it’s FUN! Ask an adult and you might get another answer.
  7. “You had me at Hello…(Jerry McGuire)” – From the very first time I saw a ball soar off into the sky, the game of golf had me hooked. It was because there is nothing like sending an object into the air that only YOU are responsible for. That feeling alone is BIG enough to bring people back and try it again (Just watch at the local driving range). How can you capitalize on that feeling?
  8. “Say Hello to my Little Friend…(Scarface)” – While the line from this movie is referring to a completely opposite direction of this blog, introducing a friend to golf is a perfect way to give others the opportunity to try a sport they can play for a lifetime. Your actions can have far reaching results.
  9. “Nobody’s Perfect…(Some Like it Hot)” – Exactly. Eternally searching for the “perfect” swing or attempting to play “perfect” has ruined more talented players than we can shake a stick at. Learn to love your experience and everything golf is and has to offer. You will be amazed how more enjoyable it is.
  10. “I’ll Be Back…(Terminator)” – Finally my last wish for this Christmas season is a reflection on the job I love and hold most dear. It wasn’t always this easy to say #ilovemyjob. I thank God each day for this blessing I have been given to make a difference in the lives of those who I teach, inspire, lead and coach. I too am like Arnold, I keep coming back and will continue to do so relentlessly until more kids love this sport and PLAY becomes our first language again.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope 2016 is your very best year yet!

Contact me for any questions or comments:

doug@focusgolfgroup.com

 

All Star Lineup Joins FGG Academy This Season

April 14, 2015
April 14, 2015

Watching Flight small.jpgBurlington, ON – With the imminent golf season around the dog leg, the Focus Golf Group Academy is proud to announce it’s lineup of Teaching Professionals for this season. The professional resumes of the newest members of Halton’s #1 Teaching Academy contain experience from across the globe, tour playing experience, longevity in the Canadian PGA and a history of working at some of the biggest and best golf courses in our country.

Colin Thompson – Director of Instruction – Within Range Burlington.

Colin brings a wealth of knowledge from a career that has seen him Head professional and Director of Instruction at 2 of Canada’s top private golf clubs in St. George’s & Royal Montreal. His desire to  work with the members improving their games and creating programming that sees marked improvement. We welcome Colin’s extensive background and his desire to help others to the Focus Golf Group Academy.

Contact Colin: colin@focusgolfgroup.com

Steve Chapman – Teaching Professional – Within Range Burlington.

Steve has been a staple in the Instructional and playing ranks of the PGA of Canada for over 30 years. Having played on the Austral-Asian Tour, Canadian Tour and all over the world, Steve has most recently returned from being the National Team Coach for Turkey. Steve’s energy and passion for the game of golf is immediately felt by every student that works with him The Focus Golf Group Academy is excited to add Steve to our Team!

Contact Steve: steve@focusgolfgroup.com

Where Juniors Can Play & Compete This Summer in Ontario

March 3, 2015
March 3, 2015

IMG_1369Spring is ALMOST here and often I get calls from parents asking where their child should play and compete. This season I am a member of the Hamilton Halton Junior Tour and I highly recommend this to Halton based kids looking for a wonderful challenge based on the great Clublink Courses they play.

HAMILTON HALTON JUNIOR TOUR www.hhjgt.com  JIM KENESKY   jkenesky@hhjgt.com HAMILTON

 

I would also like to say thanks to my colleague Dave Smallwood of the Whistle Bear Performance Centre he has compiled a list of EVERY tour for your Junior.

Remember if you are having trouble figuring out how to plan your Junior’s competitive season, here is a wonderful article by Golf Performance Coaches – Click HERE for that article.

Enjoy and have FUN!

ONTARIO REGIONAL JUNIOR TOURS

Ontario juniors are very fortunate to have 11 regional single day tours to support their competitive development. These tours are instrumental in initiating juniors into competition, teaching etiquette, rules and sportsmanship. They play an invaluable role in developing and advancing juniors to higher level multi-day tours as well as provincial and national competitions. Listed below is a list of the tours, convener and contact info:

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ONTARIO REGIONAL JUNIOR TOURS

Ontario juniors are very fortunate to have 11 regional single day tours to support their competitive development. These tours are instrumental in initiating juniors into competition, teaching etiquette, rules and sportsmanship. They play an invaluable role in developing and advancing juniors to higher level multi-day tours as well as provincial and national competitions. Listed below is a list of the tours, convener and contact info:

                                                                                                                                                    

TEE IT UP TOUR www.teeitupjuniorgolf.com/  DON TILMA don@dtis.ca  WATERLOO REGION

PEPSI JUNIOR TOUR SAM YOUNG  info@shelburnrgolf.com  SHELBURNE

BAGS JUNIOR TOUR www.bags.on.ca  ALISTAIR ORR   alistair@bags.on.ca BARRIE

DURHAM JUNIOR GOLF TOUR www.durhamjuniorgolftour.ca  JANE ICETON   durhamgolftour@rogers.com DURHAM/ PETERBOROUGH

JAMIESON JUNIOR GOLF TOUR  www.jamiesonjuniortour.com DAN DEMARCO   kdemarco@cogeco.ca  WINDSOR/ KENT

JUNIOR SIMCOE TOUR http://jstgolf.com/    info@jstgolf.com  SIMCOE

NIAGARA TITLEIST JUNIOR TOUR www.ndjga.com  JOHN WHITE  johnw@beechwoodgolf.com   NIAGARA

OTTAWA PGA JUNIOR TOUR http://www.pgaofottawa.com/tourevents    info@ottawapga.com\  OTTAWA

LAWRENCE JUNIOR GOLF TOUR www.stlawrencejgt.com/ MARY STEWART ROSS marystewartross@gmail.com KINGSTON – BELLEVILLE

IAN LEGGATT- GOLFNORTH www.golfnorthjuniortour.ca/ MIKE SKIMSON mikes@whistlebear.ca WATERLOO REGION

 

My Top 10 Ways To Connect with KIDS

January 14, 2015
January 14, 2015

I’m 6’3 …. I remember growing up that my Dad would bring his colleague over, Norm whom I thought was the tallest man I had ever seen! ( I was 6 at the time) But I do remember looking WAY up and at times it was a little intimidating. So imagine the thoughts going through ANY and ALL of your Juniors under the age of 12. You are an adult. YOU”RE HUGE in their eyes! They are a kid. They equate your size, stature and appearance to that of their school teachers and their parents.

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So where they could be perceiving you as an authority figure or a potential “negative” influence on them, here are my TOP 10 Ways I’ve found that are the BIGGEST and EASIEST way to connect with kids and have a BLAST!

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Here are my TOP 10 reasons why this works and is something you need to do:

1. Leggo your Ego – Who cares what you look like! Lose the ego and you’ll gain massive influence with them being silly, happy and letting go of the regimented structure they get in other sports and even school.

2. Grade 2 Level – Remember their brains think so differently than you do,  speak clearly without patronizing them.

3. Look Them In The Eye – Now they’ll believe you are interested in THEM and what they are doing

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4. Listen to Every Word – Does it really matter if they ask you “why don’t you have hair?” or tell you “my dog Rex ate a bar of soap”, no the best part is they’re excited to express yourself so why shouldn’t you listen? It might make you laugh!

5. Gain Perspective – Next time you are in Walmart stop in the Toy section or Video Game Section and see what’s the latest and best thing kids are playing with. This way when you ask them what they like to play when not golfing you can suddenly seem really cool cuz “Coach actually knows who Skylanders are!!!!”

6. Identify the Dynamic – Don’t automatically stuff each group or individual into the box you always use for them to learn. Learn to “read” your kids and be ready with alternate plans if necessary to connect better. (Eg. have 6 or 7 stations / activities (instead of the 2-4)  for the group that is in constant motion because that is how they thrive)

7. Parents Take 5 – Give the parents a break from having to “hover” or “helicopter” during your sessions, ask them to wait in clubhouse or come back at a specific time, and watch the kids feel free to be themselves. EB

8. It’s About Excellence not Winning – Too often the game and world these kids live in is about winning and if they don’t it’s a BAD thing. Structure your learning to have them be EXCELLENT in each activity and that it’s about achieving the task at hand.

9. It’s ALL about Them – The more you show a desire to be on their level and listen to what they are saying, the more there is no fear, no worry and no anxiety. Dive right in and make mistakes along side of them to show you are human too!

10. GET DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL – Kneel, squat, sit, bend over, whatever you do I can guarantee the MINUTE you do this and are now looking them right in their tiny little faces, you are going to WIN far more than you will lose their attention!

TRUST ME! If you are able to some or ALL of these things before you know it your kids won’t leave you alone and you will suddenly realize that being a small person comes with a whole different perspective….try it!

Oh, and I almost forgot, your calendar will suddenly become a whole lot busier!

Enjoy!