Some of you who follow my BJGolf social media may have seen me posting over the last few weeks that I was training for the Beast Mode Games, a Crossfit style workout competition. Well, last Saturday was the day of the games so I wanted to share some pictures and a little bit of what I learned from this journey that I think could help a young golfer (or any athlete) as they are preparing and competing.
For starters, I had 2 awesome training friends, Kristina who was my partner for the Games and Alex who competed as well with her partner Wendy. They both pushed me over the last few weeks of training and throughout the day of the Games, along with the rest of the Knight Performance Factory (my training facility and a partner of BJGolf) coaches, competitors and supporters. It is such a great feeling knowing that you have others who support and encourage you to be better.
I know a lot of young junior golfers, especially the girls, have to play and practice by themselves every day, and golf is definitely an individual sport for the most part, but if there is ever that opportunity to practice and compete with other golfers I highly recommend taking that chance when you can. Just as with our training, I enjoyed the days that I was training on my own and I was able to focus on some things I needed to work on, but I also got so much out of the time that we trained as partners and competitors to push, challenge and encourage each other.
As I talk about in many of my articles, I have no problem admitting my struggles with work ethic, accountability, and discipline throughout my golf career. I worked at it, don’t get me wrong, but nowhere near what I could have in order to be one of the best! But training for the Games was my chance to put the skills and maturity that I’ve developed over time into my goal of getting ready to compete.
Unless I was traveling, I showed up for every session that was scheduled and followed the workout as closely as I could. When I was on the road I found a way to get the workout done if I could get to a gym or I took some equipment with me to do on my own. I went to bed early, focused on good nutrition and remembered the importance of rest and recovery. For those guys and girls competing in junior golf, it is so important to find a balance with school, homework, golf, workouts, family time and social activities. Determine what your goals are and set a schedule based on your priorities. Don’t let what others think or say change what it is that you are trying to accomplish. Stay focused on what is important to you.
Through our training, I also learned so much about the importance of coach-ability, structure in programming, tracking progress, developing a plan and putting yourself in “real time” scenarios. Thankfully, I had two awesome coaches, Ryan Mckie and PJ Gray at KPF who created our daily workouts specific to preparing for the Games workouts. We could track our progress, see areas of improvement, focus on weaker areas, and had scenarios created for us that were very “Games-like” to see how we performed under competition environment. As a junior golfer, there is so much that can be learned from this with the importance of creating a plan for your weekly practice sessions, tracking your progress, setting time aside to focus on your weaker areas and practicing under “tournament-like” settings.
As the day of the games got closer I prepared myself with plenty of rest and good nutrition. My partner and I had planned our strategy for each workout ahead of time, knowing that we may have to adjust based on some uncontrollable factors. Once we arrived at the gym the morning of the games we did our best to make any necessary adjustments once we knew conditions were different than we had anticipated (ex. the rowers were set up in a bad position to switch out, weights were different for the lifts, judging was inconsistent and we had a surprise 4th workout given to us). We came prepared with lots of water and food to keep us hydrated and fueled throughout the day. We stretched, foam rolled, warmed up and got our bodies ready to compete. I don’t even have to explain how these all relate to a junior golfer’s pre-tournament preparation and day of competition. Through practice rounds, change in weather conditions, the importance of water/nutrition, a good warm up routine and plenty of rest, these are all simple factors that play such a determining factor in the outcome of a junior golf tournament.
Kristina and I finished 11th out of 34 teams, not quite the top 10 we wanted, but we were both really proud of ourselves for what we were able to accomplish in such a short time and us both being new to competing outside of our normal sport. I know for me, I was given a quick reminder of what it’s like to be a good teammate and possess the determination to never give up, especially when someone else is counting on you. There are definitely moments during the workouts that you want to just drop to the floor and quit but with the right preparation and mentality, you learn how to continue grinding and give it all you’ve got.
I owe so much to BJGolf partners Ryan Mckie, PJ Gray and Stephanie Devita at Knight Performance Factory for their coaching over the last few weeks (and many months before we started the Games preparation). Having a coach(es) who you trust, respect, and share similar goals and values is the foundation for any athlete’s success.
So for those junior golfers out there working towards your goals, I hope you always remember the importance of work ethic, discipline, determination, and coach-ability. Thank those who have helped get you where you are and support others who are in the same boat and race as you are. Stay focused on what is going to help you get better. Develop a plan. Focus on the process. Prepare for the unexpected. Give it all you’ve got.
And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the process! We definitely had our share of laughs and goofy times amidst the hard times and “why are we doing this” moments!