Going to College Archive

What Commitment Level is Necessary for Junior Golfers to Become Successful Collegiate Student-Athletes?

Learn to manage your time like a champion.

In college golf, each player has his own unique golf swing and style of play. One common element the best players all possess, however, is the ability to manage time effectively. Between academics, golf, and social activities, collegiate student-athletes rarely have free time to waste. Setting priorities and learning to be task oriented allows young players to accomplish their goals and objectives.

Most junior golfers are unaware of the actual commitment level necessary to earn a college scholarship and to eventually compete as a collegiate golfer. The amount of time and sacrifice that is required to reach this advanced level is demonstrated by only a small percentage of young players. Sacrifices may be financial in nature or may cause a player’s social life to suffer a little. I also see the best young players committing to play and practice golf on a year-round basis.

To become a more effective time manager, I recommend the following:

  • Maintain a calendar and note important dates (both academic and golf).
  • Think ahead by planning your upcoming days, weeks, and months.
  • Write down tasks that you expect to accomplish each day (checklist).
  • Adopt a consistent sleep routine (bedtime, number of hours, etc.).

Implementing these time management suggestions will greatly enhance your ability to accomplish specific tasks throughout your busy day and will serve as the first step toward improving your commitment level.

The next step requires junior golfers to practice with a purpose and a plan at all times. These are key ingredients that will lead to long-term success in college and beyond. The best players whom I had the opportunity to coach in college went to the golf course each day with specific objectives in mind. They were focused and always knew what they were trying to achieve in the amount of time they had available that day. This is an example of commitment.

Also remember that both quality and quantity are important when designing practice sessions. The NCAA allows coaches 20 hours per week to practice and compete while in season. The most committed players in the nation allocate an additional 20 hours per week (or more) to improving their games. Junior players should develop practice schedules each week that place a premium on improving their short games and on maximizing their available time. I recommend spending at least twice as much time on short game than on long game. Short game includes putting, chipping, pitching, bunker play, and partial wedge shots. In next month’s column, I will show you exactly how to design an effective practice program. Stay tuned!

Other areas that require intense commitment for juniors who aspire to play collegiate golf include fitness and nutrition (see Mike Pedersen’s Championship Fitness column), academic responsibilities, mental training (see Michael Riggs’ Playing Between the Ears column), and golf instruction. If you have a desire to be great, each of these areas will need your focus and attention on an ongoing basis. The best collegiate players in the nation are always searching for ways to get stronger, smarter, tougher, and more fundamentally sound in their games. Are you as equally committed to getting better each and every day?

Coach Brooks
Red Numbers Golf®

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