Sunday, November 14, 2010

Your Story: "Proud Mama"

This next story comes from a very proud mama. I met Kristin this summer before I started working with her son, Matthew. I was told by his swing coach that he was an amazing physical talent, but needed a little "mental tweaking." I was shocked at how mature and mentally tough this young man already was at the early age of 18. After our first mental session, I was 100% convinced he'd be playing on the PGA Tour in the future.

Email me with Your Story:

"Proud Mama" 

I'm choosing to write about my son. I wanted to share his story “so far,” because it has been an incredible ride, watching this child grow into a young man in pursuit of his dreams. Perhaps he was destined to be in that 1%, I can't say for sure. What I DO know is that his life has lead a very consistent and direct path from a very early age. So far, he has been achieving everything he has set out to do.

He found golf through my husband on the driving range, just banging balls... and he loved it. Next, he started going to a few junior camps, which immediately got him hooked.  By age 9, he started playing tournament golf. He wasn't very good back then, but it didn't stop him. I remember taking him to his second junior tournament at age 9 in the 9-11 year old division, thinking he was pretty decent. So I thought “what the heck - lets try another." It was Cypress Ridge (MUCH harder golf course). I recall he shot about a 97 on 9 holes (not good). I was rather mortified for putting him in the field, but he didn't get discouraged. In fact, on the way home he was very matter of fact about it, saying “boy I really need to get to work and practice more." Right then, I started to see just how committed he was.

At age 10, after being drafted to majors for baseball, he told me that although he didn't really enjoy playing baseball, he would finish out his commitment (which was thru age 12). He would then quit baseball for good, and focus only on golf and soccer, hoping to play golf in college. Being 10 at the time, I thought he was quite cute... yet, he was dead serious, and never wavered from that statement.  

So I became a “golf mom." 

My job, I felt, was to do the best I could to provide him an environment where he could hone his golf game, and compete and grow into the player he wanted to become. I had no idea at that time what that would mean. It started off being pretty easy, just taking him to local junior tournaments in the summer. By age 11, he was starting to show that he was pretty decent, and by the recommendation of a friend, was directed to go out of the area to compete. He started off by doing some events in Northern California, which meant bigger fields, better players, and better competition. We always sought out a place where he would get beat, but not annihilated, in order to help him understand what he needed to do to get to that "next level." This went on from about age 12 to 15, before things really changed. 

A good friend and mental trainer told us Matthew's head was fine, but if he wanted to pursue college golf, was going to need serious help with his swing. Soon thereafter, we found swing coach, Don parsons... another big time and money commitment. It was about an hour and 40 minutes each way to reach Don, but it was the best thing we could've done. In 15 months, Matthew went from a “not very good player,” according to Don, to qualifying for the US Junior Amateur. His golf life changed forever the summer of 2007. He was being recruited by many Division I golf programs, was playing in big junior events, and doing very well. 

This son of mine has been able to accomplish so far more than I ever dared to dream possible. He has made it into 3 USGA events, got a hefty scholarship to UC Davis (where he's in the starting 5), climbed up the men's amateur rankings, and become a sponsored athlete by Nike. 

I honestly have to pinch myself, as it's been amazing to watch. He was never pushed by his father or myself. He was always self driven. This kid would choose to practice on a Saturday in the rain, rather than play video games. This kid spent his summers traveling to compete, rather than lie on the beach with friends. This kid did fitness exercises alone in his room every night, in order to get stronger. This amazing kid!   

Am I proud of him? You bet.  Am I excited to see what is to come? Absolutely!!!  

Do I believe he is the 1% Dayne always refers to? Sure seems so!!! 

Thanks for letting me share my son's story... future PGA tour player, Matt Hansen. 

-Kristin Hansen


Rettakat said...

I've been thinking about this story ever since I read it a couple days ago. And the one thing that keeps resonating with me, over and over, is how POWERFUL is it to have someone believe in you.

To know that someone truly, totally believes in you.. even when you, yourself, have doubts creep in now and then...

This is a huge gift this Mom has give to her son. One that I think people don't always realize the value of...

There was a time in my life when only one person still believed in me... and I clung to that, and it had POWER in my life. I took that, like a seed, and made it my own and it grew in me...

Thanks, Coach Dayne, for another wonderful story!


Dayne Gingrich said...

Sooo true...

We never know the power we potentially have when we BELIEVE IN THAT "SOMEONE."