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!

Quick 9: Victor Caliguri

Victor Caliguri, First Tee – Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky

1. What does “showing up to others” mean to you?

Showing up to others means being the bigger person. Being the bigger person in any situation you face. You face many hardships in life and you have to be the bigger person to overcome those conflicts. Showing up to others is a way of showing maturity and proving to people that you are capable of doing whatever task you take on.

2. How do you show up for your friends?

I show up for my friends by trying to be the smarter person. Making the right decisions and helping them go down the right path. My friends can also help me keep going down the right path if I start to make wrong decisions. No matter what the circumstance is, I will always be there for them.

3. How do you show up for your family?

I show up for my family by trying to be supportive. Being supportive in a family is everything because we all need each other. A family is everyone working together to be the best people they can be and loving each other as you do it. I show up by listening to them and trying to help them with anything they need.

4. How do you show up for your community?

I love to volunteer for my community. Helping the needy is always a blessing and I really enjoy it. Seeing the smile you put on peoples faces always makes my day. Showing up for your community isn’t just helping people. You can help the environment by picking up others trash and trying to make the world we live in a clean place.

5. How do you feel after helping others?

I love helping others. I always feel accomplished as if I did what I wanted to do. I feel happy that I was able to make someone’s day easier. When they show their appreciation for you after you help them it feels even better. 

6. How do you mentally prepare to show up for your role?

I tell myself that I can do whatever I am about to do and go into everything confident. Having a bad mentality about something is never a good start. Being confident in myself makes me know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to no matter what the role is.

7. What impact has it made on your life when someone has been there for you?

Having someone to turn to when times are tough is crucial for me. I always love when my friends take time out of their days to listen to me and what I have going on. It has made me realize that when I take my time to listen to their problems it definitely makes them happier because it sure does when they do it. 

8. What does it feel like when someone is there for you?

It makes me feel loved and welcomed. Having someone always there is a great gift and I’m so grateful for that. I try to be that person that anyone can turn to because I will always take time out of my day to help people because that’s what makes me happy.

9. What have you learned through First Tee about showing up for others?

I learned that showing up for others can teach others very valuable lessons. Being the bigger person can lead those people around you to get out of their shell and show up for others. Don’t be afraid to take action because when you do that it will help everyone with you be more confident and you will all learn from it. 

Coach Megan Parayno

Megan Parayno, a Recognized First Tee Coach, began her First Tee career in 2014. For the past 7 years she’s been working to inspire and empower kids and teens, first as a lead coach for First Tee — Monterey County and now as the Program Director for First Tee — Fresno. In her free time, Megan follows her passion of being a self-proclaimed “sneakerhead and reseller” and is ready to be able to return to her weekly bowling leagues once it’s safe to do so. Coach Megan grew up in Fresno, CA and attended Cal State University Monterey Bay on a golf scholarship, majoring with a B.S. in Kinesiology. After graduating in 2016, she moved back to Fresno to take on the role of Program Director.  “It was a perfect opportunity to give back to the community that gave so much to me when I was growing up.” Since returning to Fresno, Megan has earned a Master’s in Sports Administration from Fresno Pacific University. “My favorite part of being a coach is building relationships.  Being able to see them grow up and watch them mature and become a mentor to younger kids is why I love coaching. On a personal note, I was able to witness my sister, Lauren, play the PURE Insurance Championship, be her chaperone, and watch how her game has developed over the years.” Coach Megan knows the importance of showing up for others and giving back to her family, friends, community and participants. “I had a First Tee parent come to me and she mentioned that her daughter was looking to speak with someone who related to her. Her daughter was struggling with finding herself.  All it took was a couple hours hitting golf balls on the range to show her that First Tee is a safe place for her to talk.  I had the ability and the resources to relate to her and understand what she is going through and took that time to “show up” for her. Coach Megan is giving her participants opportunities to show up in their community and learn the importance and impact of giving back. 

Claire Alford Impacts a Community

For some, golf may be just a game. For us, it’s an avenue in which kids and teens discover the confidence and inner strength inside of them and learn to bring that to everything they do. One of the ways we cultivate this, is by encouraging youth to understand the value and importance of helping those around them. In your community, within your family or school, the world is in need of game changers who will show up for others. Claire Alford, from First Tee – Central Coast, is a game changer who, with the help of her school club, started the first Community and Health Resources Fair.  “Our goal was to provide vital health resources to the students at our school. My family is part of Santa Maria’s 74% Hispanic population, as counted by the US Census Bureau. At school I see how most of my peers rely on the federal free lunch program to get meals every day. By founding the Culture Community and Cuisine Club and creating the health fair, my brother and I helped bring health screenings and support to our peers.” She could tell you that this is no small feat. Claire and her brother attended daily meetings and phone calls with school administrators and the community providers to ensure the event was a success. Due to the diverse population in the community, students struggle with a variety of issues that are often ignored. Community partners were present at the event to establish a safe environment for all students at the school.  “The most rewarding part of the day was seeing my classmates connect with services they needed. My life goal is to expand access to basic health evaluations and treatment to other rural towns in the same way that the First Tee has spread access to the life changing game of golf.” We are proud of kids and teens, like Claire, that selflessly give their time to care for those around them and exemplify the values taught at First Tee. We can’t wait to see how she continues to work towards her goals in the future.

Quick 9: Showing up for Others

Emma Laker, First Tee — Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky

1. What does “showing up for others” mean to you?

Showing up for others means that you are there for someone when they need you. You show kindness by helping others and not just thinking of yourself. You give people the respect they deserve.

2. How do you show up for your friends?

I show up for my friends by being there when they need me. One of my friends lost her mom and just by being there made her feel better and that everything was going to be okay.

3. How do you show up for your family?

I show up for my family by helping out around the house and making it easier on my parents. I realize how hard they work so that we can go to a Catholic school. I show them how thankful I am by trying hard with my schoolwork and doing my best I can.

4. How do you show up for your community?

I show up for my community by serving at my church and helping at my school. I helped at the After School Program by helping kids with their homework. I also volunteer at the Brighton Center around Christmas time by donating to families in need.

5. How do you feel after helping others?

I feel amazing. I realize how extremely lucky and blessed I am to have all of the love and  support  of my family and friends. When I am  helping others I feel like I am giving them some of my joy and happiness.

6. How do you mentally prepare to show up for your role (coach, student, parents etc)?

I show up for my role by being confident. I make sure that I have practiced as much as possible. I always make sure that I persevere and keep going no matter what. Whether good or bad I’ve tried my best and that’s all I can do.

7. What impact has it made on your life when someone has been there for you?

It shows me that I am surrounded by friends and family that love me no matter what. I can look up to my friends and family to help me through the rough times.

8. What does it feel like when someone is there for you?

It feels like I am loved. I have people who I can count on. It feels really good to have people in my life who can be there for me.

9. What have you learned through First Tee about showing up for others?

I  have learned  to  use the  core values. I have learned to  respect  others and my surroundings. I have also learned to  use responsibility while  on  the golf course. Using the Core Values allows us to show up for others.

Coach Ron Castillo, First Tee – North Florida

Golf is a fun and challenging platform for growth, helping kids and teens build the confidence to show up to a challenge, the resilience to keep going when they fail, and the inner strength to do the right thing, even with it’s the hard thing. For today’s youth, First Tee provides mentors who help them write their personal growth story. Ron Castillo, First Tee – North Florida Program Director since 2017, has been a part of First Tee since 2001. “I moved back to Atlanta after working as an assistant golf professional in Hilton Head, SC. I called one of my professional mentors and told him I was looking for a job. His reply was, “yes, I’ll always have a job for you. Come by tomorrow.” I have been involved with First Tee ever since. Speaks volumes to having a Go-To Team!” For twenty years he’s been a coach, a mentor and a friend. He can tell you stories about numerous participants and families he’s gotten to know and how their kids have grown to be college graduates, doctors, entrepreneurs, husbands, wives, parents, and yes, professional golfers.  When he joined First Tee, he was ready for the next stage in his career. He stays for something much more personal. “Simply put, I stay because I absolutely love what I do. Being a coach at First Tee has helped me be a better husband and father. I find myself thinking about First Tee lessons when advising my son and making decisions for my household.” Coach Ron shares with us why golf is the perfect sport for learning lifelong skills and fostering personal growth.

Belmont Golf Course Launches Rebrand

RICHMOND, Va. (March 25, 2021) – Belmont Golf Course and First Tee – Greater Richmond, in conjunction with world-renowned artist Lee Wybranski, has revealed a rebrand of the course’s logos ahead of its opening to the public on May 29. The trio of logos reflects all three pieces of the property – Belmont, the 12-hole, restored A.W. Tillinghast-designed golf course; Little Bell, the 6-hole par-3 course that showcases four Tillinghast template holes and two from Belmont; and The Ringer, the 18-hole, reversible putting course that winds across nearly 31,000 square feet with 12 feet of elevation change. Belmont Logo Reveal Video Love Golf Design, co-founded by World Golf Hall of Fame member and 21-time PGA tour winner Davis Love III, led the renovations that started in May 2020, with a grand re-opening ceremony planned for May 24. The course will open to the public on May 29, with tee times available later this spring at “Our goal throughout this process was to find an appropriate symbol to reflect the vision of First Tee – Greater Richmond: to strengthen the character of our community,” said First Tee – Greater Richmond CEO Brent Schneider. “We were thrilled to work with Lee to identify an appropriate symbol, and the bell was the perfect choice. The bell relates to the number ‘12’ because of clocks and time and is generally associated with community events of importance. So, it was natural for the bell to be the foundation for the Belmont brand.” In addition to the rebrand, a revamped and Belmont Facebook page also launched on Thursday. will allow patrons to book tee times, events, fittings and instructions from one easy location. All three logos were designed by Wybranski, one of the premier artists working in the golf industry. In addition to his classic, collectible work on behalf of The R&A, PGA of America and United States Golf Association, Wybranski’s logo design services have been used by many of golf’s most iconic clubs, championships, and organizations, including Cabot Links, Colonial C.C., Merion G.C., Pine Valley G.C. and Torrey Pines G.C. “It has been a professional and creative thrill to create branding for the new Belmont,” Wybranski said. “This  place is so unique in that it has all of the magic ingredients – starting with a community-based mission established and executed by the amazing people at First Tee – Greater Richmond. “It has an unbelievable history filled with names like Tillinghast, Ross, Hogan and Snead. Add to that the understated artistry of Love Golf Design, which has seamlessly restored and re-created 18 fantastic ‘Tillie’ golf holes. Lastly, the bold innovation of Belmont is what most impresses me. Belmont is going to be a busy, vibrant, inclusive hub for both the community and the game. I just wish I lived nearby.” Designed by famed architect A.W. Tillinghast in 1917 and renovated by Donald Ross a decade later, Belmont Golf Course hosted the 1945 Richmond Invitational, won by Ben Hogan, and the 1949 PGA Championship, won by Sam Snead. Belmont remains the only golf course in Virginia that has hosted a major championship and one of only two Tillinghast courses nationwide that has hosted a major and is still open for public play — the other being Bethpage Black.

Quick 9 – Bretton M.

Personal Growth Through Golf

Bretton M. from First Tee – Central Florida

1. How does golf relate to life?

Golf relates to life because life isn’t always easy and neither is golf. So it teaches you to always persevere even when times are tough.

2. How does golf challenge you to be a better person?

Golf challenges me to be a better person because I want to be well respected and to be known as a good person so I always want to be the best I can be.

3. What is your favorite part about playing golf?

My favorite part about playing golf is all of the wonderful opportunities in life you can have from the game.

4. What golf skills helps you the most off the course?

Golf has really helped my confidence level and that is something that is important in life so I am very happy to have gained that skill.

5. How can golf make you a more rounded individual?

Golf can help you be a more rounded individual because you have to show respect to the course, your peers and yourself so that right there makes you a better person to have those skills.

6. How are you inspired through golf?

I have really been inspired by Arnold Palmer and his positive impacts on the community and his amazing golf success.

7. How have you grown up over the past year?

I have grown this year in many ways. I have been able to drastically improve my golf game physically and mentally. I have also become stronger and tougher and much better at controlling my emotions which has helped on the course and in life.

8. What or who motivates you?

My Grampa is the person who motivates me because he is the strongest person I know and he makes me want to push harder every day!

9. What is your personal growth goal?

A personal growth goal for me would be to have a consistent workout routine.

Mentzel Proves Heart, Golf Are All You Need to Impact Others

By Sara Wright, PGA TOUR Henry Mentzel was just seven years old when he was first introduced to First Tee. His parents had been searching for some basic golf lessons for their son and stumbled across First Tee — Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Little did they know, this program would end up providing so much more. First Tee would be one of the most influential programs in young Henry’s life and would prove a catalyst for his personal growth throughout the years. “I have been active in multiple sports throughout my childhood,” Henry explained. “I played soccer, basketball, baseball, just trying to figure out which I enjoyed the most. First Tee introduced golf in a way that allowed me to learn how to play the game, but also taught me life skills that I was able to apply across many areas of my young life. In the end, golf is the sport I enjoy the most.” Henry is currently at the Eagle level, but it was during his time in the PAR level that he learned a valuable lesson on perseverance and how to succeed in golf by continuing through bad breaks and his own mistakes. This lesson also helped him in other aspects of his life. “I applied the perseverance lesson in school, specifically, in Latin,” he said. “I struggled to understand the different parts of Latin grammar and the new vocabulary.  My school required Latin, so I had to figure out how to persevere through three years of an unspoken language that did not make sense to me.  I made a lot of vocabulary lists, agreed to get a tutor, and started staying after school for help nights. After applying myself, despite some not so great grades on assignments, I started making progress and now, in my third year, I have an A in the class.” Not only do these lessons shape Henry’s life, but they have had a big part in shaping others’ lives, as well. Coached from early on by Tom and Melissa Briner, they not only helped him discover his love for the game of golf, but also gave Henry the opportunity to coach other young golfers at First Tee. “Being able to introduce my friend Will Abel to the game of golf was very meaningful to me,” Henry reflected. “First Tee has given Will the opportunity to begin to learn the game of golf and me the opportunity to teach and play with him.  I enjoy that we now both have another common interest that we enjoy doing together.” This friendship between Will and Henry was one of the reasons he was recently awarded with the 2020 Heart of First Tee Award. This award given by First Tee — Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky recognizes individuals who embody the “Heart” of the First Tee through giving of time, talent or treasure; by demonstrating and living one of First Tee values; or by going above and beyond to promote or further their missions. “We are all living in extraordinary and trying times that have tested all of us in ways we couldn’t even imagine nine months ago,” Rosie Abel wrote in her nomination of Henry. “Despite these challenges, Henry – acting upon the values of the First Tee – found a way to make a difference in our son’s life. My son, Will, who has Down Syndrome, is not unlike most sixteen-year-olds — very outgoing, social, and full of energy. But the pandemic has proven to be particularly frustrating for him especially when Ohio shut down in March. His sense of isolation grew as the effects of the pandemic spread.” “When First Tee classes resumed in the summer, Henry continued to be that go-to person for Will,” Rosie continued. “He supports Will at the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati’s Buddy Walk and even invited Will to play a round of golf with him, knowing that Will was not as experienced as himself. Will is not the only recipient of Henry’s friendship. Many coaches and staff have witnessed his kindness and refreshing take on life, feeling joy in other’s successes. We suspect there are many other people who have been touched by Henry and consider him to be on their “go-to team.” Henry currently caddies, is a member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) and Books For Kids (a club where students write and illustrate a book imagined patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital) he also regularly volunteers with his family at a soup kitchen. During the summer, Henry volunteers in First Tee classes where he is a positive role model for the younger kids in the program. “The core values the First Tee teaches are very important for kids and teens today,” Henry continued. “I really believe these core values build kids to be better, stronger, and smarter on and off the golf course each day. First Tee also teaches kids social and mental skills on how to interact and bring out the best in themselves and their teammates.  First Tee teaches how to set specific goals and, more importantly, what it takes to achieve them. These essential skills help prepare kids for their future and provide tools for success.” As Henry prepares for his future, one of his immediate goals is to place in the top 10 in one of the golf tournaments he plans to compete in this summer. He is also striving to achieve the A honor role during his freshman year at Walnut Hills High School. His long terms goals are to play college golf and get into medical school. “First Tee has taught me that to achieve these goals I will need to be confident, honest, and persevere through challenges,” Henry added. “Through this program and the coaches who mentor me, I always feel that I can do whatever I set my mind to do.  It has helped me understand that a bad day on the course (or in school or in life, in general) is just that – one bad day.  Tomorrow is a fresh start.” “Muni Mondays” Feature on Belmont

First Tee – Greater Richmond is thrilled to be opening the renovated Belmont Golf Course in late May. Already the course is drawing national attention, as profiled the course for its “Muni Mondays” feature.
Putting their heads together with Scot Sherman of Love Golf Design, Schneider and his First Tee colleagues pitched the county with this proposal: they would transform Belmont into a multi-faceted facility, turning the 18-hole course into a 12-hole routing while converting the remaining ground into a community-focused hybrid, composed of a driving range and short-game area, an 18-hole putting course and a six-hole par-3 course. Inspiration for this blueprint came, in part, from other unconventional success stories around the country, including Sweetens Cove, in Tennessee, a nine-hole underdog-cum-architectural darling; Goat Hill Park, a come-one, come-all muni in Southern California; and Bobby Jones Golf Course, in Atlanta, where an 18-hole layout had been modified into a wildly entertaining, reversible nine-hole track.

Empowering Youth Through Golf

Golf is a metaphor for life – full of unexpected challenges, and how we choose to respond defines who we are. As the kids and teens in our programs know, success is not defined by how well we play the game.  It’s not about the score at the end of a round, or whether they won the tournament. It’s about the journey. What we learn along the way. And what we do with that learning makes all the difference. What makes First Tee different from other youth development organizations is how we do our work: through golf. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, we create active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids can carry to everything they do While participating in First Tee, 82% of the youth in our programs felt more confident with their social skills and 73% reported feeling more confident in their academic ability. “I am grateful for the First Tee program and the impact it has had on my life. I have learned that golf is much more than a game, much more than just swinging a club, and carries with it life lessons that I will draw from for the rest of my life. The program has provided me with opportunities to play matches and tournaments that not only improved my game but provided lasting friendships with the golf families and coaches over the years. The program has provided me with a safe place to be a lifetime student of the game. There will always be something to learn, something to change, something to improve, (whether it’s a part of my golf game or a non-golf, real life situation) and First Tee ties them all together in a pretty bow, and helps me understand the connection.” – Emily Knox, First Tee — Tri Valley Experiences are our greatest teacher. We believe in developing the ones that are just as fun as they are meaningful, where kids feel excited to grow, safe to fail, and better equipped for whatever comes their way next. Our trained coaches create safe, supportive and empowering environments to help our participants prepare for life ahead, including friendships, school, college and even their careers. Whether a child’s goal is to be a lawyer, a teacher, an astrophysicist, a musician, or a professional golfer, kids become a better version of themselves when they have the space to be who they are, surrounded by passionate people who guide them to see what they are capable of. If anyone you know thinks that golf isn’t for them, invite them to try it the First Tee way.