Are you Coachable?

Do you find yourself struggling to implement instruction from coaches and mentors? Do your find yourself questioning offered advice and strategies? Do you escalate when a coach tries to change your practice routines, tournament preparation or putting stroke? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions you might marinate on why. If you take a moment and really listen to what your coach/mentor/instructor are trying to say and hear their advice, you will then begin to grow on and off the course. There are many aspects of “being coachable”, but I sincerely believe the strongest skillset of the best future student athletes is the ability to listen to coaches and mentors so the athlete can grow within their game. Throughout my years of coaching, those student athletes who were the best listeners were usually the most mature and the most successful in all areas of their lives.

How can you become a recruitable athlete?

  1. Be a great listener.

  2. Be accountable.

  3. Be in the present.

  4. Be a leader on and off the course.

  5. Be a good teammate.

  6. Be respectful to yourself and others.

  7. Be yourself.

  8. Be passionate and stay passionate through balance and self care.

  9. Be grateful.

  10. Be a champion.

Being coachable encompasses all of the traits above. Knowing how to be a great listener, taking responsibility and being accountable for your words and actions, always being present and aware of others, leading by example, putting the team, coaches and program first, earning the respect of your teammates, all the while balancing your social and academic time is the key to becoming an exceptional recruit worthy of top colleges and universities. You need to stay true to your morality, values and character base. Can you make the choice to do the right thing in each moment that presents itself to you? Be passionate. Act, work, play and compete like a champion!

As I reflect upon the amazing student athletes I had the privilege to coach, you could identify those who might have a better chance at being successful in life as it was always the student athlete that was coachable on all levels. Think about those teammates, teachers, coaches, parents or people within your world who you respect the most. Do they have coachable traits? My guess would be yes. If you don’t have respect for someone, how can you possibly have an authentic positive relationship with them? So now is the time to master your thoughts, words and actions to be your best. Set that goal to be the respected individual within your team, classroom, and your home.

We get one chance in this life to be our best. Lets make every effort to do our best and be our best! You’re writing and rewriting your story every day, what will your final chapter reflect? Begin today to be the golfer who walks off the 18th hole and everyone in your group was thankful to have played that day with you. Begin today to be that person who leads by example and your teammates want to follow and together better the team culture. Begin today to be that person who will represent their program with honor and respect. Begin today by embracing the beauty of gratitude to be able to play the beautiful game of golf. Begin today to start being coachable to evolving into your best. Please check out my other blogs at

As always, Enjoy the walk!

Coach Brian Watts


Coach Watts with his first West Point recruit, 1LT Robby Hill.

Be Your Own Best Caddie

What does it mean to “be your own best caddie?”

Most golfers have, and will always have, moments of frustration on the golf course. I’ve witnessed that same frustration on the course, follow a player into the parking lot and far beyond.  How can we allow something beyond our control to consume our thoughts more than a moment or even a lifetime?  

“Your thoughts are your emotions and your emotions lead to your actions.”

If you’re a junior golfer and you haven’t had the opportunity to work with a sports psychologist, mental coach or someone within martial arts, I can’t tell you how important it is to start sooner than later. The ability to control your thoughts and emotions through pertinent, appropriate strategies is one of the best techniques you can have in your arsenal in order to play this game of golf at the highest level.  

Success during my collegiate coaching career can be pinpointed directly to the techniques and strategies I learned through the mentorship of leading sports psychologists.  What an honor and privilege it has been to work with these amazing professionals.  While coaching at Oregon State University we worked closely with Dr. Jerry Lynch.  Dr. Lynch gave us the tools to visualize, meditate and control our breath.  Then, in 2010, while coaching at USMA West Point, I met Dr. Zinsser.  Dr. Zinsser worked closely with Dr. Bob Rotella, a world renowned sports psychologist within the golf world.  After implementation of positive mental techniques, the Army Cadets were better equipped to find clarity and peace on and off the golf course.  

Can you imagine a collegiate golf team coming together prior to practice, acknowledging the daily goal and visualizing that day’s practice  There’s something magical about seeing yourself hitting that perfect wedge shot or hearing 5 foot putts drop in the hole.  These visualization strategies were woven into practices, team meetings and tournament play.  If you want to play your best golf, why wouldn’t you ever visualize yourself being successful on and off the golf course? You have to play the game of golf in the present.  When you learn the techniques of controlling your breath and visualizing, you allow yourself to be your best for that moment and for that golf shot.  If you can’t rein in those thoughts and emotions when you stand over a shot, you will never have the chance to play your best golf or be your best on and off the course! 

This leads into how we talk to ourselves on the course when you’re practicing or competing. Is your inner dialogue positive or negative? If you caddie for a friend or another player, would you ever tell them during the round how horrible they’re playing?  Would you tell them over and over that they will never be good enough to play college golf?  Then why in the world would you ever say this to yourself?  There is absolutely no competitive advantage to talking negatively to yourself.  

“ I have to get mad and let my anger out, it helps me focus.”  This statement always leaves me scratching my head.  What about having no emotional attachment to the result of a golf shot?  Is it possible? It is and using mental strategies to rise above negative emotions, keeps you, not only in the game, but in the moment and within that golf shot.  

Take time and evaluate your practice agenda.  We all love hitting drivers, wedges, flop shots and putting, but how much of your practice daily is dedicated to your mental game?  This is by far, the most neglected aspect of the game for junior golfers.  Can you control your breath?  Can you visualize yourself positively on the golf course?  Is your inner dialogue to yourself positive?  If you take the energy and commitment to learn these important strategies early in your golf journey, it will become habit.  

A tour caddie acts as the bridge to success for many professional golfers. It is incredibly important to know the game inside and out, but AS important to lift the professional up and over each shot with positivity.  Can you imagine if a caddie voices his fear of not going into a putt with confidence and advises his player to lag the putt?  No, a good caddie is there with a good attitude and positive outlook for every minute on the course.  My question is, Are you doing this for yourself?  Former OSU player, friend and colleague Tim Mickelson, is a perfect example of an amazing caddie.  Tim knows the game inside and out, he’s a great player and is not shy to build his brother up during a tournament.  I’m so honored to have coached this young man and proud to watch him grow into one of the best caddies out on tour.  His success is a direct result of positive strategies and preparation.

"just dedicate 5min a day to working on your mental game and it will pay dividends.  Its 5 minutes.  You can commit to that!”  -Tim Mickelson

What about your game:  

  • How do you talk to yourself on and off the course?

  • Are you positive with your inner dialogue?  

  • Are you sincerely believing your words?

  • Do you have the tools to keep your emotions in check?  

These subtle changes will impact your life on and off the course.  Life is difficult, so let’s make a positive change starting today with your game.  Your peers and interested college coaches are watching you on the course and how you handle adversity.  If your knee-jerk reaction is anger or emotional escalation you are not giving yourself a competitive edge and are not giving your teammates your best contribution.  You owe yourself, your team and your golf future the best you have everyday and it all starts with positivity.

I can’t wait to hear your feedback! Enjoy the Walk!

Coach Watts

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Tim Mickelson, former Oregon State University player and caddie to Phil, & Coach Brian Watts, Former Oregon State University Head Coach & Second Nine Golf Consultant

-Fedex /St. Judes Tourney/Memphis, Tn 2018

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


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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


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 and 541-231-GOLF (4653) and Coach Brazeau can continue to be reached at 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!