Story by Debbie Bond, Coach
Have you seen a First Tee of San Joaquin coach in action? What you’ll see is a caring, patient, fun and committed person. Our chapter is lucky enough to have over 40 coaches helping more than 600 children at 5 locations this year. Ron Davis from Greenhorn Creek Golf Course and Robert Cleveland from The Reserve were recently honored as Co-Coaches of the year.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer said, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” First Tee coaches like Robert and Ron make it look easy! They set up activities that let the players experiment with different swings, clubs and speeds. They set up games that are disguised as golf that are fun and engaging, all while teaching them the nine core values of The First Tee.
Our coaches at other levels use lesson plans laid out by our program director, Chris Borrego. His plans are easy to follow and designed to seamlessly weave life skills with golf skills during a fun activity. Coaching is very rewarding and fun!
As 2008 Coach of the Year Tom Hooper will tell you, “We learn more from working with the kids than they learn from us!” Most of us are not low handicappers and it’s certainly not a prerequisite to be a good coach. A good coach sets up a safe environment for the players to experiment and have fun. One of the best feelings is a session where we are in the middle of an activity and an opportunity comes up to use a life skill. The First Tee calls that a “teachable moment.” It makes it all worth the cold, early Saturday mornings!
Can you coach? Of course, you can! We begin our Spring Tour in March. You will be so glad you did! Stockton’s youth are searching for mentors to look up to.