By Roger Knick, The Golf Performance Center

It is that time of year again for many of you junior golfers out there aspiring to play college golf.  The “season” is about to kick into high gear with summer tournaments, and the great wall of anxiety! Some of you have been there already and many will face this “great wall” soon. The anticipation of what schools will recruit you to come play for them. But what if they don’t come?  You’re thinking this year is the BIGGEST year of my life in junior golf, it’s my junior year, wow, what happens if no schools recruit me? You get the picture.

Do not worry, you will be ok. Take a deep breath. Playing golf in college is hard, but it doesn’t have to be that hard, you do not have to be stressed about it. Remember the more things you allow to get in your way of your golf and academic performances will influence you, and in most cases can be a negative and cause you to have poor performances. First, you are in charge of recruiting, you are the one that wants this. Second, if you take care of the small stuff daily, the big stuff will happen. It may not always be on a timeline you are happy with, but be patient. Third, do the best you can with your academics, the best way to get into the school you want is through your good grades. The next best way can be your standout performance on the golf course. Fourth, set yourself up for success, not failure. It can be tough when making a tournament schedule for the summer. You should be playing in the best events for you, not what someone else is doing. Fifth, play because you love playing, coaches can tell!

One tripping point we see often is that junior players and parents are overloading their schedules with events, more often than not with events that are not good fits for where you are developmentally. A parent may have heard from another parent that a certain event is important because their kid played in it. Can there be such a thing as too many events for juniors? Yes.  How can you do your best with too many events and not enough preparation time? Even in school, teachers work hard to spread out your exams, they know you need proper preparation to get your best scores. Golf is no different. Play in enough events but do not exhaust yourself by trying to compete in everything. Good rule of thumb, the best players in the world try hard to keep their schedules to no more than four weeks in a row, more than that becomes extremely difficult. The time for preparation and travel etc. can be overwhelming and not good for their best game. Look for your “majors” to compete and be competitive in, what events leading up to them help you, keep your focus on developing your game to do your best when it counts for those “majors” for YOU.

I know through 25 years of working with junior golfers and their parents that this is a stressful time. So, for what it is worth, do your best. Play for the love of the game, not to make golf a means to an end for college. If you did not get what you were looking for in the recruiting process, understand why. Sometimes the answer is that golf is hard and only 1% of junior golfers will get “recruited” to play college golf. If golf is that important to you, this should not mean your golf journey ends there. Take your time, develop your skills, if that means taking a Postgraduate (PG) or a gap year, do it. Check out more information on what a PG and Gap year is as well as the entire college process on JuniorGolf, use the code “JRGOLFPOD” to download your free access to the best resource in the business. This will help you get over the “great wall” of anxiety!

Enjoy Your Journey!