We prefer to receive their resume, it is much more likely to get our attention in a timely manner that way.
Very rarely are we looking for a specific result when observing a recruit on the course. We already typically have a good idea of their average score, so we are trying to observe the intangibles. How do they prepare for their round? How do they react when something goes wrong? Do they communicate/rely on their parents for things? How is their composure/focus on the course? Those are examples of the things that we are trying to pay attention to when watching a recruit play.
It’s not a make or break in terms of their recruitment for us, but it can have an impact on what we think they can do for us in their freshman year. When they aren’t prepared or use to working out it can put them behind in their first semester, because they start working out and qualifying at the same time. If they haven’t been doing that they are very likely to feel the effects of working out during those initial qualifying rounds.
A lack of research quite simply. They are only focused on the scholarship or name of the school. They haven’t answered their own questions yet, in terms of what type of school/situation might fit them best.
Being a part of a team, and developing those relationships. It’s hard to see in the moment, but in hindsight, it definitely seems to be the most rewarding aspect.
Don’t focus on the end result. I know that’s hard because everything is geared so heavily towards making it to college golf and earning a scholarship, but the problem is that doesn’t give them enough long-term vision. They have distracted themselves with something they assumed to be the final point, when in reality it’s just the beginning. For every junior golfer I say, stay focused on daily improvement. If you can commit to every day just trying to be a little better than you were the day before, you’ll be pleased with the outcome. The best part is that mindset can easily carry over to college golf as well. Also, don’t compare yourself to other players around you, that’s a limiting distraction, everyone’s journey is different and that’s ok.
I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t change periodically, there are so many good ones out there. One that has carried a lot of weight on our team recently is not a quote, but simply a definition: Persistent- Continuing firmly in a course of action in spite of difficulty. Our challenge is to be a team of persistence in everything we do. We meet as a team once a week in a classroom setting and we’ve tried all sorts of things; quotes, bring your own quotes, inspirational videos, team bonding activities, a different individual sharing each time.
It’s a factor for us, but I would say it’s pretty far down the list. It’s more important to me that they’ve competed at distances that are comparable to collegiate tournaments. If they’ve done that and shot scores that catch our eye, then I don’t really put as much stock in how far they’ve hit it, at that point, it’s clear that they know how to score and get the ball in the hole.
Encourage them, be supportive, be less of a critic. Instead of offering advice after each tournament, just tell them you enjoy getting to watch them play. Let it be their thing, don’t let it mean more to you than it does to them. Encourage them to take initiative over their recruiting process and tournament scheduling. In other words, don’t do everything for them.