Bobby Jones once said, “ I never learned anything from a match that I won.”
That quote resonated with most of our full time students, following their return from their tournament in Spain. Prior to the Global Junior Golf Evolve Spanish Junior Championship in Tarragona, Spain, our students have had a pretty successful tournament season. The Academy brought home several wins in both Myrtle Beach and in Hilton Head. However, the advanced competition in Spain was a match for even our top competitors and provided for a learning experience.
According to Coach Eddie Overstreet, the students’ preparation for the tournament in Spain, was nothing out of the ordinary.
“ We put a strong emphasis on short game as always, and just worked hard on the basics. Other than that, we did not have to change up a lot for the tournament. The course was a United States style course, so that did not cause any complications. Our main issue was nerves,” said Overstreet.
The Global Junior Golf Evolve Spanish Junior Championship was the first international tournament for a lot of the students. With a field size of one hundred and twenty, this was the largest tournament that our students have attended thus far.
“ I talked to the students the night before the tournament and there were lots of nerves. They seemed to put more pressure of this tournament than they have the past two. They wanted to do well and represent the academy well internationally,” said Overstreet.
As the tournament began, everything went as planned, except for the students’ mindset.
“Going into the tournament I knew the kids were nervous, but I had no idea how much it would affect their performance,” said Overstreet. “A lot of the kids struggled with the ability to manage their thoughts and prevent negativity. All golfers know that when you reach a hole with a water hazard, you have to avoid thinking about the water. This is an easy mental aspect that golfers learn young, however we had students that were struggling with small mindset tasks, such as this one.”
Although the students did not perform as well as expected, the failure created a learning opportunity that will help them as they move forward. They realized the pressure that comes with bigger, international tournaments and are more prepared for the smaller tournament that they have coming up in the next few months. From this experience, they learned what they need to do in order to be prepared, not just physically but mentally.
As our students prepare for the Global Junior Golf Greg Norman Academy Junior Invitational in December, they all know that they have to strengthen their mental game. In order to do this, each of our students will be working one on one with Sport Psychologist Consultant, Dr. Tiffany Jones, so that they can get back to their best level of play.