Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Shortly after I began playing as a junior golfer I began a new practice in my teen years: yoga. Even then, it was apparent to me the number of benefits Yoga had on my golf game. Not only the physical benefits of flexibility, balance and core strength, but also the mental practices of staying in the moment, quieting the mind chatter when things occasionally get uncomfortable.
When I began the process of becoming an LPGA T&CP Member I also started my journey with The First Tee. Going through the two programs concurrently was an eye-opening experience. The two programs mesh together so well and provided me with a foundation of understanding learning styles, creating a safe and fun learning environment and taking a student-centered approach to teaching.
For those of us who focus primarily on teaching junior golfers, it is our responsibility to ensure that they find the game fun and emotionally fulfilling; also that their bodies are able to sustain and endure the explosive movement common to the golf swing. It is this sense of responsibility to my junior golfers that lead me to the Titleist Performance Institute to learn more about how to train juniors for the physical demands of the game— with hopes that they would be golfers for a lifetime.
It was my love for Yoga that brought me to become a certified Yoga for Golfers (YFG) instructor under the training of world-renowned Yoga Instructor Katherine Roberts. Going through the YFG Teacher’s Training was an enlightening experience that deepened my understanding and love for Yoga. The program lays out step by step instructions on how to sequence your classes and build your Yoga for Golfers business, if that is what you desire. The most beneficial part for me was going through each pose and identifying how that specific posture benefits the golf swing. Immediately I incorporated these methodologies into my private lessons.
Now, living in the town where I was raised, I am able to help grow the game of golf at the courses where I started playing golf. It is the most rewarding experience I could ever ask for. If you get the chance to coach a high school team, do it. They will keep you young. If you have a chance to work with your local junior golf association (for me the Junior Golf Association of Northern California) do it. You will be inspired by the hard work these young people demonstrate and the friendships and bonds they create. And, if you are given the chance to train with one of these educational programs (i.e. TPI, Yoga for Golfers) do it. It will take your coaching to a new level, change the way you see your own game and grow your business. It will also enrich the lives of the junior golfers you teach.
Monica Sanders is an LPGA Class A professional and the program Director for The First Tee of Contra Costa. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.