Friday, May 12, 2017

AM to Pro - When To Make The Leap?

It’s a scenario seen many times throughout our sport: an enthusiastic amateur disc golfer, keen to take their best shot at the pro division, moves up too early only to find themselves back down in the amateur field the following season. It’s no one's goal to make the same old rookie mistakes, but how can you avoid an error if you don’t know it’s even an issue to begin with? We break down some of the common obstacles seen by amateur players who move up before their time, and uncover how you can make the start of your pro career a success.

Manage Your Expectations

Just because you crushed the advanced field in last week’s C-tier doesn’t mean you are ready to create a sustainable tour life by moving up to pro next week. Consider this for a moment - once you start to move up the ranks, the courses are going to challenge your weaknesses and expose your flaws. If your thousand rated rounds are all on your local pitch-and-putt course that doesn’t require much of a solid skill set, chances are your game will not translate once you find yourself up against the top caliber play we’ve come to expect at the highest levels of our sport.

Focus On Your Game

One of the best ways to stay sharp is to take your discs out into an open field and focus on the weakest part of your game. The more you understand how your discs fly in an open field, the more you will develop trust in your discs. This confidence with your tools helps build the confidence required to execute when it matters most. Trying out new discs can be fun but nothing will replace the confidence you’ve built with repetition and persistence.

Make Practice A Priority

If you have two jobs, three kids, and never travel, you may find that you have too much on your plate to support the vigorous practice and touring schedule of a pro disc golfer. Your availability and determination will decide your success. Only you can make time to practice putt, but you first need to make it a priority, just like you might with a job or a diet.

It’s a good idea to set up routines and to schedule practice days on a calendar to keep you motivated. Playing weekly leagues and placing friendly bets on casual rounds with friends can give you that added pressure of playing in a tournament. This can be especially helpful if you find yourself performing poorly when you should have the home field advantage. More often than not, this is simply a problem between the golfers’ ears, and there’s nothing in the field to simulate tournament pressure.

Do You Want It?

Most disc golfers who quickly move from amateur divisions up to pro will tell you that they want to be the best. They want to win, to tour, and to make a name for themselves. While these are great goals and are certainly attainable, it takes time. You don’t start lifting weights and immediately add fifty pounds just because your last repetitions seemed easy.

Remember to go at your own pace and make the move up in divisions when the timing is right for you. Just like with anything else in life, preparation and determination will pay off over a sustained period of time.
1 comment: