Our Mission: Golf for Life!
Although we are known for developing competitive golfers, our first priority is to get kids playing the game for life. As I see it, that’s a great gift we can give families–they can spend a significant of time together even after the kids have grown up and moved away. Our Junior Program is designed in accordance with Long Term Athletic Development principles. In all of our programs, we develop the golfer’s swing, body and mind. It takes approximately 10 years or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice/play to become an expert. Our goal is to have juniors enter our program at a young age so that we can nurture them through these crucial ten years on The Pathway to Excellence. Each or our programs are designed to build upon the foundations laid in the preceding program. When you see the 5-6 year olds learning you won’t be impressed with their golf skills. You will be impressed by how much fun they have and at how we help them develop a love for the game. When these kids reach the 7-8 group you will start to think, “ooh, there’s something good going on here.” When you see the 9-11 group, they will knock your socks off! By these ages, the kids look impressively like the real deal: they swing the club very well, they have learned many short game shots around the green, they know how to play the game. In the ensuing levels, our juniors learn to compete. It is common for our juniors to reach PGA Tour ball speeds by the age of 16-17. Let there be no mistake, hitting the ball hard is one of the absolute keys to being able to score and compete on a national level.
Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown!
When performers accomplish great feats, we like to marvel over how “talented” they are, as though their talent is what has made them so wonderfully skilled. However, research has proven that there is no link to DNA and talent! All fully functional people have the same DNA and the same capabilities-the difference is time spent in deliberate play and practice!
Creating a Talent Hotbed in Pennsylvania
My endless quest to become the best possible golf coach I can be has led me to the research of K. Anders Ericsson, one of the pioneering researchers in the field of expert performance. If you have heard of the idea that it takes about 10 years or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert, you are aware of Dr. Ericsson’s work. This research has been widely cited by other researchers, including Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code, (required reading for athletes who aspire to an expert level of performance and their parents.
Talent = Deliberate Practice + Motivation + Expert Coaching
Talent is not something you are born with. It is something you develop!
Coyle suggests that there are three critical factors in the process of building a “talent hotbed,” which is the ultimate goal of our program. These factors include:
- Deep Practice (Ericsson’s deliberate practice),
- Ignition (motivation=energy+passion+commitment)
- Expert Coaching (skill based, challenging, supervised practice opportunities)
In addition to expert coaching and opportunities for deliberate practice, we give kids the following essential ingredients for ignition:
- A sense of belonging to a select group
- Powerful role models (previous student success = “if they can do it, so can I”)
- A spark that captures their interest and motivates them to succeed
In everything we do as coaches, from the way we value hard work, not just good results, to the structure of our practice sessions, to the post tournament debriefing we conduct, we are committed to helping prepare kids for success in life, not just in golf. No one is trying harder than we are to develop golfers and young people of the highest caliber.