Now please don’t let the message that you take from this be that if you simply learn how to give a firm handshake, have good eye contact, smile, and make a good first impression that people should be willing to pass along a good recommendation for you. I can promise you that I have had many other “good” first impressions that over time proved to be no more than a simple act and not a reflection of on-going character. Anybody that is going to make a recommendation for you, especially for a position that requires a great deal of maturity, respect, and hard work, will do more than base it off first impressions or you simply asking them for the recommendation.
But I can guarantee that if you make a bad first impression, it will be very difficult to backtrack on months or years later. And more importantly, if you don’t reflect the necessary character traits and good representation of yourself, then you can expect hesitation when it comes to asking for recommendations and references. Keep in mind, when I say “bad” first impression I am talking about things like slumping in your seat, being on your phone, having a bad attitude, wearing inappropriate clothes, being disrepectful to others, being rude, rolling your eyes, being distracted, acting like you have better things to do, your social media being inappropriate, etc… Most people understand that many young girls can be a bit shy or nervous when meeting adults they don’t know. So while you may not make a “bad” impression you also are probably not going to make a “good” one either if you don’t really make the effort to speak up and show your excitement and enthusiasm.
So start by taking some time to work on making a really good first impression when you meet coaches, tournament staff, volunteers, tournament hosts, rules officials, golf course staff, university alumni, and anyone else that you meet. But be sure that you reflect the kind of person that they would want to recommend in EVERYTHING you do! Keep in touch with people you meet who may be able to help you later on. Write thank you cards. But don’t always approach requests for what that person can do for you, consider what you might could do for them as well.