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!