The Gate October 2018 - Page 4

personal coach and take part in demanding competition schedules with a view of becoming the next Tiger Woods or Michelle Wie. Whist I think this is fantastic and naturally great for the growth of the game, I do think we must be careful on the potential consequences in pushing juniors too hard and too soon. the sit down WITH KEVIN CRAGGS BGGA Director of Golf From pro golf to coaching, Kevin Craggs shares early memories as a tour player, his outlook on coaching at the junior level, and the junior and collegiate experience of today’s golfers. Please share some of your early memories as a tour player. Standing on the range at Royal Birkdale sandwiched between Greg Norman & VJ Singh smashing drivers, when a voice loudly shouted out “I think you’ve left your head-cover on” as my ball started to fall out of the sky like a lead balloon and theirs still continuing to rise as if launched by a cannon, it was then I decided to review my ambitions and ability. What’s the most important thing we can give to juniors to prepare them for college golf? Provide them with the necessary habits and character values required for them to be confident and responsible in their decisions and actions. What does it take to succeed in professional golf? You need to possess the ability, but, it must be fueled by an unwavering desire, discipline and commitment 3 The age of many recognized players in the world is getting younger and the rewards are becoming higher. This unfortunately has created an influx of over enthusiastic parents and coaches who seem to be adamant in applying unnecessary pressures to their son or daughter’s practice and play time, which if continued can lead to potential short-term success and long-term disillusion. Yes, it is imperative we educate, develop and encourage the growth of young talent throughout the different ages and stages with an end goal to produce an abundance of world class performers, but not at the cost whereby we lose sight on the reason why someone started playing the game in the first place. Keep the fun in the game and make learning it a memorable experience no matter the age or stage. As a golf coach, what are you most proud of? Watching some of my players who have persevered through the challenges of change, persisted with the process, and eventually become the world class winners I always knew they could be. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Treat people the way you expect to be treated yourself. Favorite sport outside of golf? Boxing Favorite home-cooked meal? Sunday Roast Beef Dinner What is always stocked in your refrigerator? Strawberry Ice-Cream What movie do you watch and again and again? Shawshank Redemption Where is your favorite place to travel and why? Rome – History and Food What’s your favorite part about coaching? The opportunity to Educate, Motivate & Inspire individuals to raise personal standards. to be the best you can be in all areas Technically – Tactically – Physically – Psychologically and not to mention the importance of surrounding yourself with people who contribute to your success. Any reflections on the collegiate experience of today’s players? I believe college golf encompasses a multitude of opportunities through exposure to individual and team events to providing versatility within education structures. For any young golfer looking to balance education and sport, the collegiate system provides the perfect environment for them to develop their skills and grow character both on and off the course. Any reflections on the experience of today’s junior golfer? Junior golf has become a very competitive arena, whereby most young players will have their own 4