Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Growing The Sport Through Clinics - Here's How LaRon Harris Is Making A Huge Disc Golf Difference


Introducing people to disc golf no matter their age is always a bit of a tricky situation - you want to share your passion, and dare we say obsession, with them, but being able to meet them on their current athletic level may prove to be a challenge. Explaining the rules of the game is easy enough, but how can you accurately teach someone the nuances of the sport?

It’s been 30 years since LaRon Harris started playing disc golf, and for him, the answer to our question above has been fine-tuned over decades. If you don’t know LaRon by name, you certainly know him from his smiling face seen all around Kansas City, Missouri. A member of the Dynamic Discs team, avid player, and perhaps one of the most involved teachers in the sport, LaRon took some time to chat with us about his own personal disc golf history and how he’s been able to reach so many kids and adults through his clinics.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Playing disc golf is truly second nature for LaRon, but he didn’t grow up in the game like so many of his teammates have. Instead, during May of 1989, he was just wrapping up a 17-year career within martial arts, finding that he was getting incredibly burned out. A friend took him to Swope Park, a well-known course in Kansas City. After one round, Harris was hooked and began his headfirst dive into disc golf that so many of us remember like it was yesterday:

“I saw it and said ‘I think I can do this.’ I took a lot of the martial arts philosophy to the sport to help me focus. Once I realized that your whole body was involved in throwing, it kind of made it easy for me to watch and learn from my own movements. Once I got the basics down it was all about finetuning my technique - I kept asking questions and kept trying to figure the game out.”

Despite the fact that at the time he was working one full-time job, one part-time job, and was divorced with four sons, LaRon made disc golf a priority. He’d spend more time on the field than playing actual rounds, relying on his muscle memory to see him through each tournament. Between 1989 and 2006, he considered himself to be a steady player, but life ended up handing him a different set of plans.

Transitioning To Teaching

In 2006, he discovered that he had a degenerative tissue disease and that his hips were literally disintegrating. While LaRon took himself out of the game, his passion for the sport didn’t stop. By this time, he had formed solid friendships with many local players and was particularly close with Eric McCabe. The two had played and traveled together for some time, and while LaRon had started offering private disc golf coaching in 2007, Eric’s World Champion win in 2010 really spoke to him. “It proved that if you stuck to the process and didn’t get ahead of yourself, it proved what you can do. That was my first notion that I needed to get info out of there,” he said.

LaRon’s work with local Kansas City players continued, and in 2014 after a double hip replacement, he began slowly reintegrating himself back into the game. While competing was still on his radar, his teaching had ramped up to the point where he could see it was really where he was needed within the sport. Harris started integrating clinics into his offerings as well, and the response was overwhelming. Just when things were looking up, a prostate cancer diagnosis that resulted in 36 radiation treatments temporarily sidelined him.

However, that didn’t stop things from moving forward, as a call in 2014 from McCabe showed LaRon just how valuable he truly was:

“Eric called and said they wanted me on the team. I was reluctant at first because I wanted to be 100% physically ready - but they wanted me on the team for what I was doing and how I was giving back. That gave me a second wind that ‘ok, I can continue to do what I’m doing as far as education and build my body up and still play.' I still love competing but I had this urge to teach more.”

Focusing On The Masses

By 2015, LaRon’s clinics were in full swing, and while he still offered private lessons (he trained with Cynthia Ricciotti for two years before her 2018 Junior Worlds win), the need in Kansas City for larger teaching opportunities was too important to ignore. “I average about 900 people a year as far as clinics - the first year was over 1000. I’ll teach at schools, churches, community centers, and with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” he explained.

So what actually happens at one of LaRon’s events? He described that no matter the age of the group he’s teaching or just how many people there are, he starts everyone at the basket. He’ll go over the basics of putting, how to grip a disc, discuss how wind affects your putt, and more. LaRon takes teaching to a more personalized level when possible, although a full day at a school tends to be a bit different. “Sometimes we get 600 kids and have to treat them like cattle,” he said with a laugh.

After some time near the basket, Harris will have people back up to roughly 100 feet and work on their approach shots. He’s also developed props for use in the field as well, offering people a visual of where they are supposed to be throwing:

“I bought a lot of PVC and now I have 6’ tall pipes and 10’ tall pipes. I’ll make tunnels and gates, and I have a 4’x4’ net and two 6’x6’ nets. I can move those anywhere, so now when I have certain types of clinics I can use them. Originally I built it all for myself to help me hit better lines.”

LaRon has several clinics coming up this spring, with a stop in April at an elementary school. His May clinic is with a private business who has always shown a love for the sport - they put on an annual tournament but decided to incorporate an educational element to it several weeks beforehand. “I run into this a lot where one golfer works at a company and they reach out to me to come in. Most people in Kansas City know who to contact when it comes to clinics,” he explained.

Doing What LaRon Does

The need for in-depth training opportunities through clinics and private lessons is sorely needed across the nation, but many times people simply don’t know what to do to get started. While teaching came very naturally for LaRon, there was also an element of networking and strategy that helped him to get where he’s at today. His advice? “Talk to your club and see if there’s a need for it. Talk to local community groups, YMCAs, community centers - all those people might have a need for an alternative sport,” shared Harris.

With so many disc golfers in Kansas City, including the Kansas City Flying Disc Club and a Dynamic Discs retail store right in town, LaRon has his work cut out for him when it comes to promoting his clinics. Even if you don’t live anywhere near the Midwest, he’s always available to talk with people about their game and encourages locals to reach out to him via email at laronwharris98@gmail.com or through his Facebook profile.

It’s time for more disc golfers to take a page from LaRon’s book and put themselves out there. Speaking with your first community group or two may be intimidating at first, but before long you’ll have the confidence needed to easily communicate to others just how beneficial disc golf is for people of all ages. Getting to create your own curriculum offers a creative outlet that most players don’t get to enjoy, and the reaction you get after a clinic is priceless. “I’ve never left a clinic where the kids weren’t happy,” LaRon said, and that right there is the ultimate measure of success.
45 comments:
  1. thanks for this usefull article, waiting for this article like this again. Liga fútbol mexico

    ReplyDelete
  2. They should play each match with a full quality group, except if they have a few players with genuine wounds. Matt

    ReplyDelete
  3. At the point when Yonex ended up one of the real supports 먹튀디비 at the Thomas Cup Badminton Championship, they quickly get their image name referenced in pretty much every game.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. There tend to be not many people who can certainly write not so simple posts that artistically. Continue the nice writing emasliga.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. cyciles

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. https://tructiepbongda.vip/

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business. agen judi online

    ReplyDelete
  8. This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. pokerqq

    ReplyDelete
  9. Golf is a popular outdoor game that is played on a large and wide course. The golf course feature hole, from nine to eighteen and it is played with a club and ball. Presidents Cup Golf 2019 Live Stream

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow its good to growing the sports. check the latest news and updates of PSL season 5 @ https://www.pslt2020.com/news/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer created a 2019 Presidents Cup Guide in anticipation of the upcoming cup season. The guide will serve as a one-stop ...

    ReplyDelete
  12. The fame of golf lies most with the English talking portions of the globe. Passing by the quantity of greens, Scotland stands high. Golf for some isn't a take a break; it is their life itself.
    Presidents Cup 2019 Live Stream

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses.
    Presidents Cup 2019 Live

    ReplyDelete
  14. Taking into account that all sports need to build up their headliners from a previous age, being able to get youths included and intrigued from a more youthful age is gigantically significant and this is something that cricket has taken a shot at as of late. bpl 2020 schedule time table

    ReplyDelete
  15. When try-outs come around, coaches are more likely to favor club players that they've seen play for years over unknowns who have only practiced on the playground.토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nowadays viewers from all around the world may obtain a total list of options to watch Presidents Cup 2019 Live
    .You may visit presidentscupgolfinfo.com site where you can find important information.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bangladesh Cricket Fans are already looking for information for Live Cricket Server 1 for this thrilling cricket event. Ghazi Tv will live Telecast ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Cricket matches in Bangladesh. GAZI TV Bangladesh

    ReplyDelete
  18. Cricket fans in India can watch Live Cricket matches such as Test, ODI and T20 live on Star Sports. Apart from it Star Sports also airs T20 League matches such as IPL, BPL, APL, CPL, Big Bash League, T20 Blast and Euro T20 League. How to watch Star Sports live in India is available here? Star Sports India

    ReplyDelete


  19. College Football Playoff member Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 28 of every a CFP elimination round. Underneath, get the forecast, time, TV channel and see data.


    Hawaii Bowl 2019 Live

    Oklahoma vs LSU Live

    Peach Bowl 2019 Live

    Fiesta Bowl 2019 Live

    Ohio State vs Clemson Live

    ReplyDelete
  20. Whether you are playing online or in a real casino, the machine that you are playing is your machine and yours alone. This, too, is reminiscent of the old slot machines, but this is where the similarities begin to stop.먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for introducing people to disc golf. This post is really great and detail. I am really appreciate that. Disc golf is the same football ball. Everyone like that. I will show you a great page to watch football. It is http://tructiep.vip/bong-da-truc-tiep-hd. This page was builded by leading experts about sport and football and techonogy. The fastest online football watching website, Full HD quality live television. People watch all the leagues on the planet such as: Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Bundresliga, UEFA, EUROPA League.

    ReplyDelete
  22. How to Unblock Blocked Downloading On Android In School, College or Office Wifi - To all visitors of this blog, I say welcome and thank you for visiting the blog Tech News Today Look for all the things you need that are available on this blog. If not available, please leave suggestions and comments for the development of this blog. now we will discuss first about How to Unblock Blocked Downloading On Android In School, College or Office Wifi we have collected a lot of information from sources to create this article, so please see.
    https://iconfacebook.net/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Driving makers are choosing delicate plastic packaging, with duplicate layers covering the golf ball that will permit perfect swing of the ball.masters live stream Online

    ReplyDelete
  24. Sports are a reflection of this creative activity of the Lord. They also combine visual art (painted fields/courts, team colors and logos) and performing arts (the actual play). volleyball rules for dummies

    ReplyDelete
  25. They give most extreme solace to players and assist them with giving their best execution. You can likewise discover specific footwear for specific sports.
    click here

    ReplyDelete
  26. the Players Golf live streaming
    the Players Golf live streaming

    They give most extreme solace to players and assist them with giving their best execution. You can likewise discover specific footwear for specific sports.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Here we have included details of organisations promoting a general interest in sport, including the Sports Council, National Coaching Foundation and the Sports Council Lottery Fund.메이저놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  28. The second thing to look out for is quality of the award and trophy. Plaques awards, intended trophies and recognition awards must be created from durable and effective material so that they can withstand any type of adverse situation with utmost proficiency. Hockey Jewelry

    ReplyDelete
  29. The whole world is going through a very difficult time right now. I don't know where it is, but the corona19 virus leaks, all economic activity stops, and the amount of damage is astronomically increasing.
    하노이 황제투어

    ReplyDelete
  30. Cricket is an amusing sport that people equally love to play as well as watch and enjoy. It is called a team sbobet login sport because there are two teams playing against each other. Cricket is played to the motive of winning and therefore is competitive in nature.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing this information.
    My web:keochauau.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Our study demonstrates the benefits of youth sports participation on self-rated health and 카지노사이트 life satisfaction among young youth at a critical juncture in adolescent development.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your work is truly appreciated round the clock and the globe. It is incredibly a comprehensive and helpful blog. 프리메라리가중계

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. http://redditsoccerstreams.cc

    ReplyDelete
  35. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. redditsoccerstreams.cc

    ReplyDelete
  36. Very often in schools, the playing seasons for many sports start almost immediately when the school year starts. With our children away for long vacations, cardiff chiropody our athletes very often return to school to face competitions with very little training time.

    ReplyDelete