6 Ways To Show Up For Others

We believe character is learned, cultivated, and shaped by our experiences. At First Tee,  we focus on taking the valuable lessons learned on the course, and applying them to everyday lives at school, at home, and in our communities. We believe that part of being a good leader and becoming a game-changer involves showing up for others whenever possible. Here are six ways that you can encourage your child to show up and help others: 

At Home

  • Encourage them to help with household chores. By taking on important tasks around the house, they can help  maintain a clean space for themselves while alleviating stress on the whole family. Handling household chores develops a sense of personal responsibility, time management, and can build leadership skills.
  • Have them dedicate time to helping their younger siblings with homework. By spending time teaching their siblings, they can strengthen their relationships with each other, and exceed in their classes. Teaching others often builds intelligence and increases confidence.

In The Community

  • Encourage your child to help individuals in the community. By helping vulnerable members of the community, your child can make a real difference in their lives. Additionally, helping others will help teach your child compassion and empathy, two qualities of good leaders.
  • Sign them up to volunteer for a local nonprofit with ties to the community or neighborhood. Volunteering is typically a social activity, which will help build connections with other locals that are likely to share similar interests and values. Volunteering locally will also provide a sense of personal satisfaction, and will make your child  feel more connected to their community.

At School 

  • Suggest tutoring a struggling classmate. Teaching others is oftentimes the best way to understand a topic yourself. By tutoring others, your child will have the opportunity to show compassion and build relationships, while also helping them to better understand the material and become more self confident.
  • Encourage your child to befriend anyone who may be new to the community or struggling socially. By befriending classmates who are having trouble making friends, your child can empower them and help build their confidence. This simple act of kindness can play a major role in making other students feel included and more engaged at school. 

These six suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways you can teach your child to show up for others. Our coaches and staff at First Tee encourage you to practice some of these suggestions, and come up with your own. We guide kids and teens to strengthen what’s inside  and put it into action. If you are interested in getting your child involved with First Tee, you can learn more and sign up today! 

The Impact Of Having A Good Mentor

Having someone that you can look up to and go to for support is one the most important things a kid can have. Mentors give youth (and even adults) the confidence they need to confront challenges and come up with their own solutions. They provide a safe place for kids and teens to be themselves and have fun, while also learning valuable life skills.  

A great mentor has many traits— they can be a role model, cheerleader, policy enforcer, advocate, and friend to the students they work with. First Tee mentors have a sincere desire to be involved with their students, and treat them with respect. They practice active listening skills and empathy, while also seeking solutions and opportunities for those they work with. 

We celebrate each of our coaches, and recognize them for the unique role they play in young lives. In fact, research shows that First Tee participants think of their coaches as more than just teachers and counselors, but real mentors who have made a positive difference in their lives. 

Here are four ways a mentor impacts their mentees that were inspired and created by what our junior golfers have to say about their coaches:

1. Mentors show that you can never stop learning

They are always growing and showcasing that to their mentees who can feel inspired by how they adapt to life’s challenges.

“I constantly heard that sport emulates life, and life emulates sports. I didn’t understand this concept until I started the First Tee program. Through this sport, I learned accountability and responsibility for my actions and how to respond to adversity.  These lessons have affected my thinking about the impact I have on those around me and how important it is for me to strive to be my best self.”  – Quincy Crawford, participant, 2021 Scholar

2. Mentors help inspire students to be game-changers

Not just for themselves, but in their everyday lives and especially with their peers.

“Having an amazing mentor through the First Tee who I have developed a strong relationship with has inspired me to help others find mentors that can help them through their education and career.”Remi Shendell, participant, First Tee Scholar

3. Mentors teach the importance of active listening

Not only do they offer support, but they show how valuable it can be to listen to someone in both good and bad times.

“Coach Mary Beth McGirr has been a major influence in my life, helping me with golf and with learning critical life skills that will aid me throughout my life. She took me under her wing and has been a shining example for me to follow. Additionally, as a woman, she has been an amazing mentor and example of a strong, confident female for me to look up to and admire. Coach Mary Beth has been one of my biggest fans and encourages me to do my best. She takes time to talk about my golf, life, family and personal struggles. She has been an excellent example of a strong leader and businesswoman who consistently gives back to the game and the community.” –  Alyssa Caraballo, The First Tee of Roanoke Valley

4. Mentors guide students to lead by example

It’s easy to tell someone what to do, but more impactful to give students the tools and examples they need to come to their own solutions.

“Coach Donnie Caldwell, PGA has given me great advice with my golf but more importantly, in my life. He has told me ‘make choices today that you’ll be proud of tomorrow.’ I used to just make choices that seemed the easiest or most convenient. But now I take time to think about those big decisions and how my choices may also affect others. Without him and his advice, I don’t know where I would be with my life, and that’s scary. He has made me a better person and he has shown me how to make the most of my life.” – Braxton Caldwell, First Tee of Pine Mountain

As you can see, the impact of a great mentor is one of our strongest tools in life. Our mentors work to guarantee students that there is someone who cares about them and who will assure them they are not alone in dealing with challenges. Offered at more than 1,200 locations, our program was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and is delivered by trained coaches, or as our participants say— mentors! 

Check with your local chapter about how you can become a mentor to a junior golfer in your community.

Quick 9: Denise W

Mentoring

Denise W, First Tee – San Francisco 

1. Why is mentorship important?

It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed, especially since we now live in an extremely fast-paced world where expectations for us are very high, so having a mentor to guide us through our development process is definitely reassuring.

2. What makes someone a good mentor?

Listening and being able to communicate effectively are qualities that make someone a good mentor. With such qualities, a mentor will be able to offer constructive feedback which will aid in a mentee’s future development.

3. Who has been an impactful mentor to you?

My mom has definitely been the most impactful mentor for me.

4. What have you learned from her/him?

From my mom, I learned that no matter what the circumstances are, hard work pays off. My mom immigrated to the U.S. in hopes to find better future prospects for the family and despite not knowing any English, she still continued to work hard in the U.S. to achieve her goals. In the end, all of her hard work and efforts paid off because she was able to provide the basic necessities for our family and grant my siblings and I access to a higher education.

5. How did/does your mentor help encourage you?

My mom always tells me, “Don’t be afraid of failure. Just go for it!” These are words that I will always remember because they encourage me to try new things, even if I don’t necessarily succeed. It’s a way of telling me that failure is a learning experience and if I fail, I can keep trying.

6. Have you grown as a result of your mentor?

Yes, I have grown as a result of my mom. Her guidance has helped me become more disciplined and more open to new experiences and opportunities. Without her, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.

7. What would it mean to you to become a mentor? Or Do you serve as a mentor at your chapter or any other capacity?

For me, being a mentor is very meaningful and fulfilling because not only am I able to help others, I am also able to develop myself further as a leader.

8. Do you have any advice on how to choose the best mentor in your life?

Find someone who cares about you and is willing to take the time out of their busy day to listen to your needs and help you.

9. What has First Tee taught you about mentorship?

First Tee has taught me that both the mentor and mentee are learners. Both rely on each other as a resource for new perspectives and knowledge. It’s not a one way relationship where only the mentor is helping the mentee.

Quick 9: Ricky L.

Mentoring

Ricky L., First Tee – Tri Valley

1. Why is mentorship important?

Mentorship is important because it allows a chain of knowledge and wisdom from years of experience from mentors to be passed down to mentees, unlocking their potential. Mentorship gives underprivileged students guidance to take control of their own life.

2. What makes someone a good mentor?

A great mentor is someone who has as much common ground with the mentee as possible, such as similar circumstances, college, passions, and career trajectory. More importantly, a great mentor actively listens to the mentee, providing insightful feedback, advice, or opportunities in return.

3. Who has been an impactful mentor to you?

The mentor I have been paired with from the First Tee Scholarship, Jim Smith from Morgan Stanley, has been an amazing mentor, a key guide through all my academic, career, and spiritual difficulties.

4. What have you learned from her/him?

Through our monthly discussions together over the past year, Mr. Smith has given me an abundance of wisdom from his years of experience in becoming a Senior Wealth Portfolio Manager. Also, his advice has helped me get past my choice paralysis in deciding career pathways and majors in college.

5. How did/does your mentor help encourage you?

When I hear about Mr. Smith’s stories of his journey in finding, developing, and maintaining both a loyal client basis and talented team through ups and downs, I am inspired. Additionally, Mr. Smith provides so many life tools, advice, and books/video recommendations to help me stay on a healthy path and achieve career goals.

6. Have you grown as a result of your mentor?

Because of Mr. Smith, I have learned to prioritize my different goals and face my reality with a clear mind. Although remaining open to life, I truly want to serve the world, my community, and my family while also pursuing my passions in computer science, finance, and fitness.

7. What would it mean to you to become a mentor? Or Do you serve as a mentor at your chapter or any other capacity?

Being a mentor to someone is a true honor to me because I can impact someone’s life so personally. I am in Harvard’s Chinese Student Association, and as a sophomore, I am a mentor to freshmen paired with me. Although it can be worrying wondering if you are providing value to your mentees, remember that simply listening and sharing your experience can help them out.

8. Do you have any advice on how to choose the best mentor in your life?

Be open to all mentors, even if they may not align with you in certain aspects such as passions, hobbies, career path, or academic major. Hearing a different perspective may change your mind and open new pathways that you may have not considered. Listen to what your mentor truly has to say and keep asking questions.

9. What has First Tee taught you about mentorship?

First Tee has taught me that mentorship comes from a genuine care to better the world and your community, and that most often, mentees become mentors to future generations. Mentorship keeps the spirit of the First Tee alive as older students come back to volunteer their time to help their chapters.

Looking Back on the First Tee Leadership Summit

This August, we held our first ever First Tee Leadership Summit in the unforgettable backdrop of West Creek Ranch in Montana. This event took place for two weeks, bringing together 20 teens each week from across the country to develop leadership skills through dynamic outdoor and team-building activities.

Through collaborative workshops, First Tee’s core competencies of building character, self-confidence and resilience played a huge part of the experience, to explore the concepts of relationship building, positive risk taking, and character evaluation.

We recently caught up with participant Benjamin Parris from First Tee – Denver to hear how this year’s event impacted him.

Benjamin Parris, First Tee – Denver

In Denver, I often hear the amazing experiences fellow participants have when they return from First Tee national events. Until the first week of August 2021, I had never experienced one for myself and I was not quite sure what to expect when I was selected for The First Tee Leadership Summit in Partnership with the PGA TOUR Superstore at Mr. Arthur M. Blank’s West Creek Ranch in Montana.

As soon as I arrived at the airport, I knew it would be a special week as I was immediately greeted by fellow participants and alumni chaperones. When we arrived at West Creek, even more participants were eager to greet us and introduce themselves. I knew I had formed relationships almost immediately, and those only got better as the week went on.

At the summit, we got to participate in activities such as horseback riding, archery, white water rafting, and other spectacular outdoor experiences. Also, during our days, we had the opportunities to listen to guest speakers like Dick Sullivan (CEO of the PGA TOUR Superstore), Ralph Stokes (the PGA TOUR Superstore’s Director of Partnership Marketing and former University of Alabama running back), Joe Shepard (a PGA TOUR Superstore Regional Manager), Stacie Monks (a PGA TOUR Superstore District Manager), and our keynote speaker Michael Vick (former NFL quarterback). We learned lessons in values, teamwork, skill sets, representation, and more.

Each day at the summit had a different theme. Our themes were: “relationships are the foundation for leadership,” “positive risk taking,” and “my character is me.” While our speakers were able to give us insightful words and stories on these themes, we learned just as much from our outdoor experiences as we did from our speakers.

On Tuesday, we focused on relationships and how trust is the foundation of every successful relationship. After hearing from Dick Sullivan and Michael Vick, six participants, including myself, departed for the ropes course while everyone else elected to horseback ride. When we arrived, we immediately had to build a relationship as we picked partners to ascend on a partner climb up a 30-foot wooden ladder. My partner Sam Gibbs from the First Tee of Fort Worth deserves a quick shoutout for putting her trust in me all week from the second we became partners at the ropes course.

On Wednesday, we worked on taking positive risks. My first risk of the day was waking up at 6:30 after a late night to go on a sunrise hike. Let me tell you, the views in Montana were spectacular, it was very much worth the risk of not sleeping in. Later that day I took another risk by going on a 3-hour horseback excursion, by far the longest I had ever been near another animal, besides my dog at home. My biggest takeaway from learning about positive risks were to approach people who think differently than you so you can challenge your own thinking and to seek out your own mentorships.

On Thursday, our final full day at the summit, we did a lot of self-reflection while thinking about how to own our characters. Stacie Monks began the day after another gorgeous sunrise hike. She posed the following question to all the participants. “What type of leader do you want to be?” She went onto discuss how to create a culture when you are leading others and how to empower them. Later that morning we had perhaps the hardest task of the entire summit, but also to me the most impactful. We were asked to complete this phrase. “This is what I believe about myself as a leader…” This wasn’t a simple sentence to complete, and to really answer the question, it required more than just a few sentences. To complete the thought, I had to reflect upon all the things I had been through that week at West Creek. I had to think about climbing with a partner, taking leaps of faith, the inspiration I had received from our speakers and workshops, and what I had learned from all the people around me. Later that evening, we sat around the fire pit as we listened and shared all 18 of us has discovered about ourselves as leaders.

My favorite part of the leadership summit was the comradery all of the participants formed. I got the opportunity to make 17 new friends, who over the course of the week felt like family. I know that I’ll be keeping in touch with them for years and years to come and can’t wait until I can see them again. For me, the week made me feel like a true member of the greater First Tee family. I had never met a fellow participant from outside of Colorado, but now I feel like I’m connected to the First Tee everywhere I go. I can’t wait to stay involved with the program as I go to college and beyond.

I want to thank the First Tee, PGA TOUR Superstore and West Creek Ranch staff one final time for giving me what was truly a life changing experience. The programming was phenomenal, and the experiences were irreplicable. I came back home truly knowing what type of leader I am and how I can continue to grow as a leader. I can’t wait to apply what I learned in Montana to our local programs in Denver as well as other extracurriculars I participate in. I feel honored that I was a part of the inaugural summit.

First Tee Scholars – Class of 2021

In 2021, twelve high school graduates have been selected to the First Tee College Scholarship Program based on academic performance, length and involvement in First Tee programs, financial need and commitment to volunteerism. This class of scholars includes aspiring engineers, accountants, teachers and environmental activists, all of whom will be attending stand out colleges and universities, including Dartmouth University, University of Pennsylvania, Boston College, University of Indiana and other top institutions across the country. The Scholars also represent diverse backgrounds from communities across the First Tee network. The class is comprised of eight females and four males. The Scholars’ average GPA is 4.19 on a 4.0 scale and hold an average of 1,422 out of 1,600 on SAT and 31 out of 36 on ACT. Five of the Scholars will play on their college’s golf team.

First Tee College Scholarship Program supports selected alumni throughout their college career in an effort to further their life skill development and mentorship. The need and merit-based program provides scholarships up to $5,000 per year, renewable for up to four years of college admission. The program also provides professional development workshops, access to internships and full-time employment placement post-graduation. One of the key factors of the program is pairing Scholars with a dedicated adult mentor who will help encourage and guide them throughout the four years.

Meet the Scholars

Claire Alford, First Tee — Central Coast
Santa Clara University

American Mathematics Champion, AP Scholar with Distinction and American Indian/Hispanic National Merit Scholar are just a few of the amazing individual achievements Claire has attained in her life. What is more impressive, though, is Claire’s drive to help her community and create outlets that impact others. Of the many clubs and funds Claire has created, one was Birdies for Baskets. This was an initiative by Claire, in which she played 65 holes of golf in a single day raising more than $1,000 providing food baskets for under privileged families. Graduating with a 4.56 GPA, Claire plans to major in Public Health and Biology with a goal of becoming an anesthesiologist.

Marion Caldwell, First Tee — Four Corners
Dartmouth University

Pursuing a future in teaching, Marion is passionate about passing down the knowledge she has obtained throughout her life to the children within her community. Marion will attend Dartmouth University where she will major in both English and History. Throughout high school, Marion achieved numerous academic honors such as national honor society and earning a cumulative 4.39 GPA. When asked who her dream golf foursome is, Caldwell said a close friend, someone to teach and someone to learn from. Marion’s enthusiasm for both teaching and learning aligns perfectly with the goals and values of First Tee. She is a 10-year participant at First Tee — Four Corners and is the first participant to achieve ACE certification, the highest designation in the First Tee program.

 Natalie Cao, First Tee — Greater Houston
University of Pennsylvania 

Earning a cumulative 4.37 GPA, Natalie strives for greatness in both the classroom and on the course. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Natalie will play on the women’s golf team and will major in economics. She has used her passion for economics to become a financial advisor to help her community, working as the sole junior cashier and assistant treasurer for a bi-monthly book sale, raising more than $12,000 each year for her library. An eight-year participant at First Tee — Greater Houston, Natalie has also been a First Tee Junior Mentor since 2015 making a monumental impact on many through both the game of golf, and her desire to help others. On her goal of becoming a financial advisory, Natalie thinks it’s very similar to mentoring kids at First Tee as she’ll give counsel to those who seek her assistance and knowledge, focusing on financial goals instead of golf goals.

Molly Castle, First Tee — Tennessee
University of Tennessee Knoxville

As a First Tee — Tennessee participant for seven years, Molly has achieved ACE certification, the highest designation in the First Tee program, and used that experience and her love of golf for helping others within her community. She is an active volunteer for Second Harvest Food Bank and the Tennessee School for the Blind, where she assists those who are visually impaired learn the game of golf. Molly is a triplet and while her siblings have decided to continue their golf careers in college, Molly has chosen to focus on her passion to study agriculture and her drive for continued academic success.

Malisone Chanthapanya, First Tee — Forth Worth
Texas Wesleyan University

A 12-year participant at First Tee — Fort Worth, Malisone is the youngest participant to ever achieve ACE Certification in the chapter’s history. She serves on the Chapter Junior Advisory Committee and will play in the 2021 First Tee National Championship. With a cumulative 4.0 GPA combined with her success on the course, Malison plans to continue her golf career at Texas Wesleyan University while double majoring in computer science and accounting.

Quincy Crawford, First Tee — Greater Washington D.C.
University of Cincinnati

Being a part of the First Tee — Greater Washington D.C. for a decade, Quincy has been able to make an impact in his community using both his love for golf, and his passion to help others. Quincy has plans to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati, but the impressive academic achievements do not stop there. Fluent in four languages – English, French, Italian, Russian – Quincy earned a cumulative 3.98 GPA while being on the honor roll all four years throughout high school. He was named captain of his high school golf team and plays bass in his school’s advanced orchestra. The First Tee Scholarship Program will empower him as he pursues his goal of using his Aerospace Engineering degree to create fuel-efficient aircrafts, lessoning the overall carbon footprint and possibly slow the rate of climate change.

Rebecca Jones, First Tee — Indiana
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

With goals of one day working on environmentally friendly engineering projects, Rebecca will be studying environmental engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Holding a cumulative GPA of 3.39, the classroom is not the only place Rebecca exceled, as she was a three-sport athlete (Basketball, Golf, Track) in high school earning all-conference accolades in each. Being a member of the First Tee — Indiana for six years and achieving multiple medals as a competitor, Rebecca has been able to use golf as both an outlet to give back and succeed individually. Not only thriving in the classroom and athletic fields, she is a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo and a five-year president of the Orchestra Council. Rebecca is most excited about using her degree to earn a career focusing on land remediation and implementing new systems to reduce pollution, ultimately striving to make the area she grew up in a cleaner and greener place that will benefit the entire community.

Josh Lendach, First Tee — Triangle
University of Cincinnati

Through both his hard work in the classroom and on the golf course, Josh has earned the privilege to play golf at the University of Cincinnati. Josh has been a part of the First Tee — Triangle for 13 years and continues to use golf as an outlet to help others. He’s been a junior coach and mentor for the younger First Tee participants, raises money at an annual charity golf event benefiting the Nicklaus Children’s Foundation, and when schools closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, he founded Golf Gives Back with his fellow high school golf teammates to collect food for those in need. Hoping his passions for golf and environmental/atmospheric sciences collide, Josh wants to study how different environmental and atmospheric conditions could threaten the sustainability of golf course maintenance for future generations.

Meghna Mazumdar, First Tee — Connecticut
Boston College

Scoring a 1430 on her SATs while achieving a 4.12 cumulative GPA, Meghna will study Business Economics at Boston College in the fall. Her passion for investing in the stock market started at a young age which was featured on the Today Show when she was 13. Since 2011, her investment portfolio performance has consistently beat the S&P 500 index and she donates part of her investment gains to various charities and a First Tee — Connecticut Scholarship. Her love for investing and golf collided in 2016 when she was selected as winner of the Wells Fargo Succeeding Together contest, earning her the opportunity to play with PGA TOUR player Rory McIlroy in Wells Fargo Championship Pro-Am. Meghna is a 13-year participant at First Tee — Connecticut and her love of the game led her to be the founder of her high school’s first girl’s golf team. She was also recently elected as one of eight people from across the nation to serve on the First Tee’s Participant Advisory Council.

Benjamin Nganga, First Tee — Tennessee
University of Indiana

Benjamin’s excellent drive to succeed in the classroom has achieved him a 4.46 cumulative GPA earning him the prestigious Fry Scholarship to attend the University of Indiana Kelly Business School. Benjamin’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya and could not be prouder of Benjamin becoming the first person in their family to attend college, with sights on a double major in Finance and Computer Science. Benjamin’s hard work was not limited to the classroom, as the seven-year First Tee — Tennessee participant was his high school golf team’s captain and in 2019 was named first team All-Metro. One of his future passions is to develop a non-profit that helps with the expenses of youth sports.

Kaleb Palm, First Tee — Central Florida
Florida Atlantic University

Kaleb is a six-year participant at First Tee — Central Florida whose passion and drive has helped him earn selection into many of First Tee’s national mentoring and empowerment events.  Kaleb has earned a cumulative 4.69 GPA and PGA TOUR Champions player, Skip Kendall, says that “Kaleb has always been very positive and never lets adversity get in his way.” The son of a pastor, Kaleb uses what any adverse experience has taught him to help in many community outreach programs, such as helping the local food pantry in feeding less fortunate families.

Borina Sutikto, First Tee — Silicon Valley
Santa Clara University

With plans already in place to study Accounting & Information Systems while playing golf at Santa Clara University, Borina is passionate about the game both on and off the course. Earning both Junior Golf Association of Northern California Player of the Year honors along with the Girls Low Scoring Average Champion, Borina’s golf skill and love for the game is second to none. The trait that separates her from the pack is her passion to grow the game by helping others. She is a member of the Women’s Nine Hole Golf Association, an organization that helps promote the game of golf and inspire more women to play it. Having earned a 4.25 GPA, the nine-year participant at First Tee — Silicon Valley gives back to the younger participants as a junior coach and mentor.


First Tee College Scholarship Program is made possible by donors and corporate partners who stand behind the program and First Tee’s mission, including Astros Golf Foundation, Peter A. Bonanni Scholarship Fund, Chevron Corporation, A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, Timothy W. Finchem Scholarship Fund, Paul and Ruth Flowers, Morrell Studios, Charles Schwab, TruGreen, Edward and Lisa Vaughan and Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund.

Coach Rebecca Caimano

Rebecca Caimano, Assistant Executive Director, has been coaching with First Tee — Greater Philadelphia since 2011.  Coach Rebecca started golfing at a young age and has a passion for introducing girls to the game.

“Growing up playing golf I never imagined being in the golf industry. It was tough being the only female who played golf.”

Having positive mentors and role models is important for all kids and teens. At First Tee, we provide a safe place for all youth to grow, learn and have fun through golf. Coach Rebecca knows maintaining a healthy mindset helps her be the best version of herself, and she’s passing that information on to the youth in her classes.

“I spend time filling my mind and body with things that make me feel good and add to my happiness. Everyday I make sure I eat food that gives me energy and adds value to my journey along with drinking plenty of water! I also love to read good books and spend time doing things that add joy to my life. A Hallmark movie here or there doesn’t hurt either!”

When she’s not coaching or playing, Coach Rebecca enjoys shopping for shoes and trying her hand at new cooking recipes. Learn more about her strategies for maintaining a healthy mindset.

Quick 9: Coach Nic Thacker

Coach Nic Thacker, First Tee – South Puget Sound

1. Why do you think having a healthy mindset is important?

Having a healthy mindset is the first step to being a generally healthy person. If you have self-belief, confidence and a good work ethic you can accomplish so much.

2. How do you keep a healthy mindset?

It’s different for everyone, and the first important step is knowing yourself and what makes you tick. For me personally, staying physically active, maintaining a nutritious diet, and spending time with my wife and dog.

3. How do you prepare for school/work?

I always start my day with a big glass of water,  some stretching and protein shake, but recently I’ve been doing breathwork right before leaving the house, which is quickly becoming a new habit.

4. How do you prepare for social activities (First Tee, other clubs, hanging out with friends)?

I like making my home comfortable and clean so I can have a calm environment to come home to. It also helps to get everything on your to-do list finished so you can fully enjoy having fun and being with friends without stressing about things on the back of your mind.

5. If you’re stressed, what do you do to relax?

Breathwork techniques have been incredibly helpful for relieving anxiety, and it’s actually something I’ve taken on the golf course as well. It’s also important to identify and name the thing giving you stress – you can’t solve a problem until you look it in the eye.

6. Who can you turn to if you need help?

I’m lucky to have so many people in my life who love me and are there for me. My wife McKenna helps me with things large and small every day, and my dad is always there to answer questions about my car or to just talk about life.

7. If you make a mistake, how do you learn from it and move forward?

Everyone makes mistakes, but that’s never much of a comfort when you make them. Always do your best in life, even the smallest things, because then your mistakes are at least made with your best effort. Mistakes sting worse when they’re born from laziness or a lack of care. When you do inevitably make a mistake, ask what the mistake has to teach you. There are always lessons in doing things the wrong way, but they’re only valuable if they sink in.

8. If you see a friend or family member in need, what can you do to encourage them?

Approach them in a way that’s compassionate to them and considerate of their feelings. People in need of help often don’t want to ask for it, and helping out doesn’t always mean directly solving their problem for them. The best way to be an ally to a loved one during their time of need is offering a patient and empathetic ear.

9. What has First Tee taught you about a healthy mindset?

A lot! It’s easy to cultivate a healthy mindset by being outdoors, playing golf and being with friends. I love seeing young participants’ small moments of kindness toward one another during class and I think it’s made me a more empathetic person.

Quick 9: Sydney S.

By: Sydney S., First Tee – Four Corners

1. Why do you think having a healthy mindset is important?

Having a healthy mindset is important because it sets you up for not just your day, but also the rest of your life. Making sure you have a happy and healthy mindset helps you to embrace every moment and take on life, not only helping you but everyone in your life as well. Without a healthy mindset, you can get caught up on one thing and not be able to see the beauty in others.

2. How do you keep a healthy mindset?

I keep a healthy mindset by making sure that I take time for myself. In the middle of all this craziness, it is important to take time for yourself and recharge. Without this time, it can be difficult for me to keep doing my best.

3. How do you prepare for school/work?

I prepare for school and work by making sure I get up and have everything I need for the day’s activities.

Sometimes that means planning a day ahead or just getting a few items ready before I leave. Keeping a planner is a very important tool that I use to not only prepare for school but also write down thoughts I have throughout the day. By doing this I am mentally prepared to start my day.

4. How do you prepare for social activities (First Tee, other clubs, hanging out with friends)?

How I prepare for social activities depends on the activity. When I prepare for an activity for my Guide Dogs for the Blind club, I have to look at what type of training we are doing that day and what tools it requires. If I am just going to hang out with friends, it usually takes less preparation and only myself is required.

5. If you’re stressed, what do you do to relax?

When I get stressed some things that help me relax are drawing, coloring, watching TV, or snuggling up with my dog. All of these activities help me to forget about what is stressing me out and lets me focus on myself.

6. Who can you turn to if you need help?

I am very thankful that I have so many people in my life that I can turn to if I need help. My family is a big support in my life and are always willing to help me if I need it. I am also lucky to have a very supportive boyfriend and friends that help me every day even if it is something small.

7. If you make a mistake, how do you learn from it and move forward?

If I make a mistake I like to go back and look at what went wrong and how I can improve. By looking at what went right and what needs some tweaking I can implement improvements in the future for a better outcome.

8. If you see a friend or family member in need, what can you do to encourage them?

In these situations, I like to tailor the type of encouragement to that person because people have different reactions to certain situations. With some friends, I find that just being there for them to talk to is great because they just need an ear to listen. Other people respond well to validating their emotions and letting them know that it will be ok, and everything will work out. It is important to know who you are encouraging so you can best help them to get back into a healthy mindset.

9. What has First Tee taught you about a healthy mindset?

The First Tee and its core values have taught me so much about having a healthy mindset. Each core value has a lesson in it whether it is obvious or not. For example, respect tells us to respect ourselves, others, and our surroundings. Having respect for ourselves helps us to know our limits and to be sure we take the time to take care of ourselves, so we can have a healthy mindset. After this, we can then go on to respect others and pass on a healthy mindset to them.

Together we can spread happiness and care to make everyone better.

Quick 9 – Belle T.

By: Belle T., First Tee – Four Corners

1.Why do you think having a healthy mindset is important?

A healthy mindset is both your physical and mental wellbeing. You must take care of yourself physically, which is getting the right amount of sleep, eating healthy, and incorporating a heathy day to day habit of physical fitness. Mentally it’s being open to your emotions, setting realistic goals, and having an open and positive outlook to everything. It’s important to have a healthy mindset because it brings you clarity and you are able to make the right decision. You are also less distracted by outside things that will inhibit you from achieving a task which can affect your long-term goal(s).

2. How do you keep a healthy mindset?

I try to prevent creating stressors in my life. I plan ahead so that I can get things done in a timely manner, such as getting my homework done early so I have time to possibly ask questions as well as preventing myself from doing more than one homework assignment that is due on the same day prior to the due date.

3. How do you prepare for school/work?

Every morning I wake up, I stretch and/or go on a morning run to wake me up. I always eat breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. When you are sitting in class or work you don’t want to be distracted by the gurgling in your stomach. The night prior I get what I need for school ready for the next day to ensure that I don’t forget anything as well as not putting myself in a position where I have to rush.

4. How do you prepare for social activities (First Tee, other clubs, hanging out with friends)?

I make sure nothing is going to prohibit me from attending social activities and distract me. I get my homework done in advance so I can focus on my friends and or the event I am attending. I want to focus on having fun. I know when I was in First Tee, I always cleaned my clubs the night before. I made sure I had water, snacks, sunscreen, and weather gear in my bag so that I was prepared. I also made sure I was drinking a lot of water to ensure I am hydrated for the day of playing outdoors.

5. If you’re stressed, what do you do to relax?

When I am stressed, I like to take small breaks from what I am doing (i.e. homework, squad job) I get up and walk around a little bit or I go down to the gym and work out. In the moment when I feel like I must get many things done and it’s impossible I always remind myself “take one thing at a time”. If you stress about all the things, then you are sitting here worrying about it rather than accomplishing them.  I sometimes even meet up with friends for lunch or dinner so that I have social interactions and forget about some things that are stressing me out.

6. Who can you turn to if you need help?

When I need help or guidance I can always turn to my parents. I give either one of them a phone call and I just talk to them. They always give great advice, but they also are great listeners when I need to rant. In my squadron at the Air Force Academy, I could always go to my squadron leadership and ask them advice in what I needed help with, whether that was preparing for being an officer in the Air Force or even life advice for after academy life. Never be too afraid to ask anyone for help, there is always someone who will want to help you out.

7. If you make a mistake, how do you learn from it and move forward?

Everyone makes a mistake, even I have made mistakes throughout my life. The first thing I do is own up to my mistake. I reflect on the action that occurred that led to the mistake and I also reflect on the outcome of that mistake and how it affects me but also others around me. I then talk to someone that could give me advice and give me suggestions on what I can do to improve to avoid the same mistake in the future.

8. If you see a friend or family member in need, what can you do to encourage them?

When I see a friend or family member in need, I always reach out to them and ask them if they are okay. Sometimes they will say no, and I ask why, I always tell them that they are not acting their normal self and that’s when they normally break down their guard and tell me what is wrong. If they need someone to talk to, I always make sure they have my attention, I put my phone away out of view and I always engage in a conversation with them. I always let my friends and family know that I care about them and I am always there for them.

9. What has First Tee taught you about a healthy mindset?

First Tee has taught me how important a healthy mindset is. It can affect the way that you play in golf, but it can also affect you mentally and physically outside of the game. Having a healthy mental mindset is not just for the game of golf, it is also for your day to day life. First Tee has taught me how to not dwell on the past or on negative things because it will be overwhelming. But First Tee has also taught me to have a positive outlook and how to handle different situations that may not be in my control.

Healthy Mindset Quick 9

This month, we had the privilege of hearing from a participant and a coach, from First Tee – South Puget Sound, about their thoughts on keeping a healthy mindset.

Mason G., 10 years old

1.Why do you think having a healthy mindset is important?

When you have a healthy mindset you feel good about yourself and others.

2. How do you keep a healthy mindset?

By listening to music, and thinking about positive things in my life.

3. How do you prepare for school/work?

Eating a good breakfast.

4. How do you prepare for social activities (First Tee, other clubs, hanging out with friends)?

By just having fun….

5. If you’re stressed, what do you do to relax?

I lay down and get comfortable and watch some YouTube videos or TV.

6. Who can you turn to if you need help?

Mom and Dad.

Mason and Coach Frank

7. If you make a mistake, how do you learn from it and move forward?

I think about what I did wrong and how I can do better next time.

8. If you see a friend or family member in need, what can you do to encourage them?

I talk to them and ask them what’s wrong and tell them that it’s the past and to move on.

9. What has First Tee taught you about a healthy mindset?

First Tee has taught me good manners, positive habits and how to behave on the golf course. Thank you to all my First Tee Coaches – special shout out to Coach Frank.

4 Steps to Developing A Healthy Mindset

What we think, influences our behaviors and emotions every day. Just as you exercise your swing before hitting the ball, it’s important to practice things that can lead to a healthy mindset. Our minds are valuable tools, and maintaining a healthy headspace on and off the golf course can improve confidence and drive.

First Tee guides kids to develop stronger social and emotional wellness skills through active learning experiences. These lessons can be used by youth and adults to develop and maintain healthy mindsets at home, school, and in the community. Here are four steps to start developing a healthy mindset.

1. Have a positive attitude.

By focusing on gratitude and practicing positive-self talk, you might be surprised by how much better it makes you feel. Everyday look for new ways to nurture your positive attitude through eating healthy, staying active, and being honest.

2. Give your best effort.

Parents and mentors can encourage kids to give their best effort as often as possible, and keeping yourself accountable is the easiest way to lead by example. Giving your best effort allows you to realize what you are truly capable of, and become more confident in your skills. 

3. Give back.

Giving back to your community, or causes that you care about is another great way to maintain a healthy mentality. Volunteering can help your family connect with others who hold similar values and beliefs. Even activities as simple as tutoring someone on the weekend, or pulling a neighbors weeds can have a tremendous effect on the community you live in.

4. Take ownership.  

Helping kids realize they have control over the outcomes of the challenges they face, can help build confidence and reduce anxiety. Reducing anxiety and practicing problem-solving capabilities at a young age can have a huge effect on how their mindset develops through the rest of their lives.

First Tee guides kids to strengthen what’s inside them and put it into action. It’s a priority for us to guide kids to care for their social and emotional wellness so when they step up to the next shot, math test, or presentation they have the strength to move forward, aim further, and finish stronger than the last time.

Click here to find a First Tee chapter near you!