September 1 has come and gone, what do I do now?

 

If you’re one of the junior golfers who has received emails and phone calls from college coaches on September 1, 2018, consider yourself on the collegiate golf radar, pat yourself on the back for the successes you have accomplished on the golf course and in the classroom. Unless there has been a verbal commitment between yourself and the golf coach/university, this is merely the beginning of the official recruiting process.

But what if you didn’t get an email or phone call? What do you do now?

If you didn’t receive any emails or phone calls, then maybe its time to look in the mirror and ask yourself:

  • Do I work hard enough?

  • Have I committed myself to the game?

  • Have I committed myself academically?

  • Do I make the right decision on and off the golf course?

  • What does my online activity look like? Does my social media presence portray a candidate of

    positive character?

  • Is my scoring average worthy of Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA or a junior college?

    Good news: There is no need to panic!

    There is still plenty of time to find the right fit for your golf game and the level of academics you require. Scoring averages are absolutely important, however there are other factors that play into the art of recruitment. How can you set yourself apart and ahead of other recruits?

  • What kind of teammate are you?

  • Are you coachable?

  • Do you have the passion to continue to grow as a golfer/student/citizen?

  • How are your time management skills?

  • Do you set realistic process and outcome goals?

  • Do I achieve excellence within the classroom?

  • Do I have a positive attitude not only on the course, but in everyday life?

  • What would your past groupings/pairings say about you after a day of competition?

    All collegiate coaches at every level are looking at these attributes. Do you have them? If not, are you realistically looking at your weaknesses and setting goals to get better? The beauty of the game of golf is that it lends itself not only to the game, but life after college. These bullet points will easily transition into traits needed to be successful in the future including work and family philosophies.

    You and only you can create the candidate that will stand apart from others on the course. Reflect upon those bullet points and really marinate on who you are as a junior golfer and who you strive to become. How are you going to become the golfer you need to be in order to have choices that will affect your future success and ultimately your life?

Where do you start? Managing your time each day to dedicate yourself to academics, selfcare, practice and social needs is a great place to begin. Set those process and outcome goals and remember that a healthy balance of all stated is just as important. Reach out and utilize resources available for areas in which you are weak. An inquiring coach will only garner respect for you if you have a plan in place for needed areas of growth.

As important as a coach’s perspective of you, remember that you need to be firm in your needs as agolfer and a student. Research all collegiate levels and really dig deep to find a college that is the best fit for your needs academically and athletically.

Be grateful for the support you’ve had through these years to practice, play and compete. If you haven’t had the support you require, then reach out to local golf associations and courses. Ask for help! There is not one professional golfer on any tour that has accomplished everything on their own. Everyoneneeds help along the way. It’s up to you to create opportunities to better yourself. As I stated in my previous blog, maturity and potential play a major role within your success on and off the golf course. Ask for help, be willing to do the work, and always show up with a good attitude. Be grateful for those who help you to become better and when you reach those stated goals, don’t forget to give back to thegame and other junior golfers down the line who also may dreams of playing collegiate golf.

I hope these words allowed you to reflect upon your personal journey. You have choices that can create opportunities that in turn will create an amazing life. Surround yourself with good folks and believe in yourself. Make the most out of each day but most importantly: Be grateful.

Please find attached the NCAA 2018/2019 recruiting calendar and guidelines for parents and coaches.

Enjoy the Walk!

Coach Watts

brian@secondninegolf.com

541-231-4653

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Time Management: Living a Balanced Life on and off the Course

 Being disciplined and consistent are the key components to successfully managing your time on a daily basis. The old saying “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail” is spot on.  

One underlying factor that contributes to success with time management is the maturity level of each individual.  My observations throughout the 20 years of working and coaching within the collegiate golf arena is that the higher maturity level of the player, the more consistent and precise the player is with his/her everyday routine. So how do you acquire maturity?

Time is something you can never regain so you have to make the most out of each moment, each opportunity, each shot, and each day.

Priorities play a major role in your success with the hours and minutes you are dealt each day.  What do I choose to give my time and energy to today?  If you are making the right decisions (which isn’t the easiest thing to do!) about your priorities, then you have just decided to become a better player, student and person.  Once you have made this decision, you have created less stress in your everyday life from this moment forward.

I have often seen the student athlete whose expectations are high, but their daily plan, work ethic and internal passion do not match their ultimate goal.  Everyone wants to be great, but are you willing to do the work?

We all get consumed with quantity of time instead of quality of time. Yes, it takes huge amounts of time to be great at golf, but the importance of using that time efficiently is imperative.  You need to stay disciplined to stick to goals, intentions, and purpose of those set plans.  At the end of the day, don’t forget to be grateful for the amazing opportunity to play this wonderful game.

How do I begin to manage my time in an efficient manner?  You MUST start each day with the simple task of setting specific goals.  If your only goal is to be a professional golfer, how can you have true, sincere clarity about your priorities of that single day?  How can you accomplish what you need to that day as a student athlete?  

Make your daily, weekly and monthly goals known to someone you trust or just simply recording them in your daily journal is the first step to success.  There are two types of goals, process and outcome. Process is your daily goals that define your journey.  Outcome is what we want to see happen as a result of our process goals.

Speaking of your personal goals and seeing them in writing will give you the strength and directness that guides and steps you into the next day.  

Without setting daily goals we can become lost within our journey as a student athlete.  Be open to new challenges and do not get bogged down in the same routine everyday.  Failure is good as long as you learn from your mistakes and let that failure motivate you to become better. The beauty of the game is that it allows us to choose how we react to our failures, which in turn, makes us emotionally stronger athletes.

Remember, this is YOUR story and YOU’RE the one writing it.  What are you leaving today as your legacy for tomorrow?          “Enjoy the Walk”

-Coach Watts

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One Word:  Discipline!

  • Invest in a calendar/organizer/journal with plenty of space for daily entries and goal setting.  Create daily, weekly and monthly goals.  Plan ahead and spread out your academic assignments.  Do the most difficult tasks first!
  • Spend less time on social media and turn off your phone during study time.#onlywaytosucceed
  • Plan your weekends and down time wisely.  Life is important.  People are important.  Relationships and community ties are important.  Learn to say “no” to situations that do not fit.
  • Good habits begin in high school.  Treat your life as a student athlete like a 9-5 job.  Reflect at the end of each day.  
  • Ask for help!  Physically, emotionally or academically:  Ask for help when you need it.
  • Do. Not. Procrastinate.

Testimonial from Justin Pagila

When our former player, Justin Pagila, found out about Coach Watts joining Second Nine he wrote us an unprompted 'testimonial' about our time together.  Pretty cool to hear this from a former player!  As a little background on Justin, he was one of the top 10 juniors golfers in the class of 2013 who was very highly recruited and chose West Point to serve his country.  He is currently a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps after graduating WP in 2017 and cross branching into the Marines.  

Rich Brazeau and Brian Watts recruited me to play golf at Army West Point and coached me while I was there. Their ability to develop great players is evident in the numerous records that Army West Point Golf broke during their tenure. They have years (for Brian, decades…sorry to call you out old man!) of experience in fields extremely relevant to the aspiring collegiate golfer. A quick look at their resumes will assure you that these men are more than qualified to mentor an aspiring collegiate golfer. A quick phone call with one of them will assure you that they are true professionals. However, I believe the greatest thing that their clients will gain is a holistic approach to personal and professional development.

As their player, they treated me like family. They welcomed to their homes and got to know my family. They held me accountable for the mistakes I made as a golfer and as a leader. They understood the delicate balance of training for my future job (I am currently a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps), performing in the classroom, and winning college golf tournaments. I was pushed to deliberately prioritize my time and focus. It did not matter that I had to wake up at 0500 to train or that I was juggling 20 credit hours, they demanded focus and purpose at every practice session. They were supportive and demanding, and I am certain that they will be the same way in their new mission to support and develop aspiring collegiate golfers.

Throughout our four years together we had some great wins and some tough losses. Regardless of the outcome, I never finished a season disappointed. At the end of every season, I found that I had grown as a golfer, as a leader, and as a man. These coaches created a program that was a family, and families turn boys into men. If you are an aspiring collegiate golfer reading this testimonial, I urge you to take this opportunity to not only increase your chances of getting a scholarship but to become a man and golfer worthy of one.

Justin Pagila

Welcome, Coach Watts!

We could not be more excited, proud and optimistic about Coach Brian Watts joining Second Nine Golf.  Coach Watts brings tremendous experience, energy and leadership to the team and will provide terrific mentorship to all current and future clients.  As a 16 year head coach, 9 seasons at Oregon State and 7 seasons at Army West Point, Coach Watts saw all levels of college golf, from coaching All-Americans at Oregon State to working and recruiting some of the smartest young men our country has to offer at West Point.  

Coach Watts and I were together at West Point for 4 seasons.  Not only did we have a great working relationship and lots of success on the course, but we became very close friends and were able to compliment one another nicely with our strengths and weaknesses. Coach Watts is one of the best leaders, mentors and golf minds I have been around and will be a huge asset to Second Nine.  

Our approach to our clients and our core values will not change.  Honesty, Integrity, Insight and Professionalism will always remain our tenets and guiding light.  Our goal is for families and players to walk away knowing they had all the information, did their research and made the best decision they could given all factors.  Each client can expect to benefit from our combined experience and expertise and will have access to both of us at all times.  Each client will continue to have a ‘point person’ but communication will flow between both Coach Brazeau and Watts.  

Coach Watts can be reached at brian@secondninegolf.com and 541-231-GOLF (4653) and Coach Brazeau can continue to be reached at rich@secondninegolf.com and 603-817-8941. 

Warmup with a purpose and like a pro!

I often get asked, 'what are coaches looking for when they are on site recruiting at a junior tournament?'.  The long answer is everything!  However, they are often looking at how a player prepares and gets ready for their round.  Below are a few of the specific things many coaches are looking for in a pre or post-round routine.

  • Is the player focused?
  • Are they stretching and using the time to limber the body or are they trying to get in last minute practice (tip: hopefully stretching!!!)
  • Does the player have a specific plan/routine?
  • Are they getting too worked up over a few bad shots?
  • Did they spend enough time on the short game (pitches, chips, bunker shots and putting)?
  • Was there too much 'outside noise' - i.e. more time talking to parents, teachers or friends than on the warmup session?

This PGA TOUR video of Jordan Spieth's pre-round warmup is TERRIFIC!  Notice how he gives himself plenty of time, has a specific plan (putting drills, warmup wedges, goes through his bag, ends on a good drive, hits plenty of chips/bunker shots and back to lag putt).  He is loose, enjoying himself, not beating himself up over any shots and getting himself prepared.  

You don't have to have this exact routine, everyone is different.  However, you need to have a plan and execute it to allow yourself to be full prepared and engaged on the first tee.  We have all gone to hit our first drive unprepared and unfortunately there is no mulligan in tournament play - we have to be ready to rock!

Coaches notice these things - as they are fond of saying 'the small things.'  So know that anytime a coach is around, they may be watching for something you aren't expecting!

Podcast with NCCGA Founder, Kris Hart

Thanks to Kris Hart of the NCCGA and NextGenGolf for being the first guest on the Second Nine Podcast.  This is a very interesting conversation and touches on all subjects pertaining to club golf at the college level.  We hear lots of questions about club golf, its competitiveness, commitment and playing level.  Kris does an outstanding job of explaining the genesis of the NCCGA and how they are helping thousands of players across the country.  Please enjoy!

 

Enjoy the NCAA's!

Of all the tremendous strides college golf has taken over the past 5-10 years, by far the most exciting, important and frankly, coolest, developments has been the Golf Channel's coverage of the NCAA Championship.  Certainly years in the making, this is such a great opportunity for the players and coaches to show off their talent, hard work and dedication.  It is certainly bringing more eye-balls and interest to our sport and its great to see alumni, boosters and fans of different programs engage with the teams and broadcast over social media.  

Eugene CC will be an awesome test for the players and a beautiful backdrop to watch golf for a week.  I had the chance to play it last spring and it was nothing short of spectacular!  Eugene offers perfect turf growing conditions and the poa annua  greens were impeccable.  It will offer a great test in both medal and match play.  Holes 16-18 will bring a lot of drama and many birdie opportunities; what more can you ask for!  

From a junior golfer (and parent) perspective this is an incredible opportunity to watch and learn from the best players in Division I.  Not only can you see the level of play, but maybe more importantly, you can watch and see how coaches and teams interact with each other and their individual style.  Being able to see how coaches differ in their approach will help you understand what would be most effective for you in your college career.  Are you going to be at your best with a coach by your side for 18 holes?  One who checks in on par threes?  One that makes sure you have water, snacks and a high five?  One who wears emotions on their sleeve, or one who is a poker player?  There are so many different coaching styles and each program is different.  Doing research and understanding the differences (and understanding what will best fit YOU) can be a key differentiator in making a final decision. During talks and visits with coaches, asking them about their individual coaching style and that of their assistant coaches is a critical question.  

Enjoy the telecast and feel free to reach out with any questions!