While I love golf, I have played my fair share of team sports so I always encourage my coaches to incorporate team challenges instead of individual challenges to make it interesting. Team challenges foster collaboration. It is fun to watch a group of strong personalities determine the playing order because each one thinks they should be first but eventually reason prevails. Occasionally, a group of passive players is formed and no one wants to take the lead. In these cases, I have to offer some helpful advice to move things along. I especially enjoy watching the golfers collaborate when they are grouped with golfers they have not spent a lot time with in class.
When the golfers collaborate they have to work together to complete the skills challenge. If they are observant during practice rounds they have the opportunity to determine how to best use the talents on their team to succeed. One golfer may be a great long putter while another excels at the short putt. One golfer could be clutch at chipping while another has a great drive. One golfer, may be awesome at encouragement and another in leadership.
Each golfer has their own talents just like the people in our lives. It is important to create a team of go-to people around you to help you become your best self. You need people who can offer good advice and you need people who can help you improve in your skills so you can accomplish your goals. When the right people are working in the correct roles, collaboration is easier.
I decided to do the putting challenge again because I enjoy seeing individual creativity. No matter how old, we all can find joy in building something that was once only a thought. As I watched the videos, I remembered how this activity also brought families together as they watched their golfer independently create, or work together with siblings as their creation progressively took over the home. It also provided an opportunity for the golfers to overcome challenges, persevere and celebrate victory with their family. It is truly awesome to see!
"This was a fun challenge! Thank you for such a creative way to teach and involve them."
"After two rebuilds & hundreds of putts..."
"After several hours of trial-and-error and a great lesson in challenge, failure and perseverance... Thank you for this exercise-it was very valuable for us, in many ways!"
"He did it, all by himself."
"After several days of shots coming so close, but having weather and day light run out, this was the closest we were able to capture on camera by the deadline."
The coaches had a touch time picking the winners this year. In the end, we looked at the designs to first determine the difficulty of the hole where the ball would land and then we looked at the probability of the ball making it into the hole.
The Town-Crier just published an article about my homeschool program. I am honored and thankful. The digital issue can be accessed here, it features a group shot that was taken on July 21, 2020.
There are days when I teach and I feel accomplished but the best days are when I get surprised by my students. On this particular occasion my surprise came when I opened an email at the end of a long day. It was a video of one of my homeschool students who was having fun with putting. I laughed, I smiled and I was thankful that he got it. Golf is fun! He was having fun, he was creative and he was playing golf.
I was then inspired to create a putting contest for the homeschool group. How great would it be if they all experienced the same kind of joy that Timmy did in his video! Timmy was not able to attend today when I made the announcement but I did let his family know that his video set everything in motion.
As for the contest, I challenged each one of my students to create a putting maze. Their parents can help them build it but the student must make the putt and submit the video for judging by independent evaluators. The winning video will be announced during our last class next Tuesday. The prize is a $50 gift card that can be used to treat Mom and Dad to a special dinner.
These video submissions are amazing examples of living out the First Tee Healthy Habit of Play. Play is all about teaching junior golfers that a variety of energizing play can help the body stay strong, lean and fit, and be fun in the process. Sleep and other forms of “re-charging” allow one to engage in play on a daily basis.
Winner: most Creative and INventive $50 PRizE
Winner: Best Putt $25 Prize
This is the final video in the USGA and NBC series. I saved this video for last because too many of my students focus so much of their energy on the long shots that they neglect the technique needed to get the ball on the green close to the hole. I have another group of students who can get the ball on the green only to see it roll away from the hole for a long putt or even roll off the green. These situations can be frustrating but with practice and dedication you can turn things around.