IT CAN BE DONE
Healthy Habit: Family
If you did a search on the internet about the importance of family, you would probably find a ton of studies with a lot of feel good terms but when you are kid you are probably not thinking about building a foundation for future relationships and success. Instead, some kids are forming opinions about family based on their experiences. If they get their way, they love their parents but if they don't-their parents are the worst. Sibling relationships can also vary moment to moment- love and hate them. The hope is that with maturity their viewpoints will adjust.
When you are a student athlete and your parents are driving you all over for lessons and competitions, it is easy to take your parents for granted. If their other siblings are not athletes this can also create tension in the family. It is not easy to balance the priorities but it can be done. Check out the articles below:
Thank you Honda
Tuesday at The Honda Classic is always very eventful. This year, Shannon Miller who was once the United States Most Decorated Olympic Gymnast was the keynote speaker and the Women's Leadership Forum. First Tee Participant of the Year, Jayda Dookie and Annika Collado were invited to attend to the breakfast where they were able to meet Ms. Miller and Barbara Nicklaus (that's Jack's wife).
Jayda said Ms. Miller was very inspirational and her lesson about having a gold medal mindset was one that she will use as she prepares to enter college next year. She also appreciated her encouragement to keep a great team around you if you want to stay positive.
Annika agreed that it was definitely worth taking the day off from school. She will be applying the gold medal mindset this week as she works hard to catch up on assignments the rest of the week before returning to caddy at Pine Tree Golf Club. One of her other highlights was meeting Barbara Nicklaus.
Later in the day, several Beaver Golf students attended a free clinic hosted by First Tee. Dennis Walters and Gussie put on another wonderful show and Professional Golfer Andrew Kozan shared some insights into how he decided to pursue a career in golf. He cautioned the golfers that while golf is fun, you need to treat it like a job if you want to make it your career which means dedicating a significant portion of your day to practice if you really want to have a chance. He also encouraged the golfers to eat healthy and get fit because without your body a golfer does not have a career.
The clinic closed with two First Tee participants exhibiting club head speed with the driver. Mateo Muñiz was one of those, Carl Mistretta, Executive Director of First Tee-Florida Gold Coast was very complimentary of his talent and Beaver Golf in his introduction.
Finally, all of the participants were able to celebrate 42 years of The Honda Classic Cares support of First Tee by posing for a picture with a check for $1.6 million which represents the total amount that the program received over those years. Thank you Honda, you have been amazing.
Beaver Golf had the pleasure of having two students receive an invitation to play in The Honda Classic Pro-Am this year. Annika Collado played on the First Tee of the Palm Beaches girls team and Mateo Muñiz played on the boys. A Pro-Am is when both professional golfers and amateur golfers compete in a tournament. In this case, the First Tee teams were paired with a professional golfer to turn in an overall team score. The boys played gross (total strokes) and the girls net (total strokes minus handicap).
The boys were paired with Marcus Byrd who competed in the Genesis Invitational hosted by Tiger Woods just this past weekend. They finished 3 strokes behind the girls when the final scores were calculated. Mateo said, "I left some shots out there because my mental game was out of focus; but I learned a lot from the experience. I have some things to work on for sure." He enjoyed playing with Mr. Byrd and thought it was cool that he had just seen him play on television last week.
The victorious girls were paired with Erik Barnes who played in the 2022 U.S. Open. Annika said, "It was great opportunity. I got to see how pros practice and prepare which makes me excited to someday hopefully be there myself." She said everyone was really nice and she will always remember how the girls laughed at their mistakes and cheered when they made putts.
This opportunity impacted Mateo and Annika in different ways and that's what makes golf such a unique sport.
Access to AN Education
Giving back is extremely important and I encourage all of my juniors to find ways to give back to their community or to find ways to serve others. This week, I learned that one of my junior tournament players is passionate about helping kids in Tanzania. Check out his note below and start saving your cans.
Hello, my name is Nathan Vertes.
I am a junior at Seminole Ridge High School in the Biotech Program. I'm in need of ALUMINUM CANS (beer, soda, water, cat food tins). Four years ago, I started helping my friend Rhonda Barona collect cans out of recycling and trash bins to help Project Zawadi, a charity which helps build and maintain 4 schools in remote areas of Tanzania. We crush the cans and take them to the recycling center for money. It takes a lot of cans since we get about $.50 per pound.
Before Project Zawadi, "schools" in Tanzania had 150 boys writing in the dirt with sticks, with one teacher. The girls had to walk for water all day, and weren't able to attend school. Project Zawadi made it possible for all kids to get an education. Also, recently they laid pipeline to provide the schools and all four villages with running water. Many of the kids walk 5 miles to school and get one meal a day, which comes from the school. The children don't have electricity in their homes and have never had toilets. We provide the older students with lanterns so they can study at night.
We have a long way to go and you can help by giving me your CANS!! After your Super Bowl watch parties please save your CANS for me. Also, if any student needs community service hours, please help me collect cans! Last year we collected over 4,000 lbs. of cans to donate $2,100.
This year I know we can do better!! I am happy to pick them up at your house or you can bring them to me in Binks Forest Preserve, in Wellington. If you have any questions, please call my Mom, Amy at (248) 921-7882. Please check out our website www.projectzawadi.wix.com/expandinghorizons if you would like more information or would like to donate. There are many ways to help- every child deserves to have their basic needs met and have access to an education.
"TOGETHER WE CAN."
Playing in Her Home Country
A total of 95 young people from 10 countries competed in the International Junior Golf Tournament in Lima, Peru last week and Micaela Ruidias was one of those players. Prior to leaving for Lima, Micaela dedicated about 30 hours over her winter break to what she called immersion training with me. We had some cold days in there but she trained by herself and with other junior golfers. When she was not with me, she played golf to identify issues in her mental game and course management.
Micaela tied for 13th place after three days of play shooting under 80 each time. This was a goal she was working towards so it was definitely something to celebrate on a personal level. Additionally, she recognized that she could have done even better had she tightened up some approach shots and her putting.
While she enjoyed playing in her home country, now she is looking forward to playing some tournaments on the SFPGA Medalist Tour and balancing the academic demands of her schedule at American Heritage High School.