Participant Spotlight: Rachel Smith
A First Tee student since the age of seven, Rachel has become a significant part of her High School golf team, as well as an outstanding student-coach. She recently certified Eagle and began Ace curriculum. We are glad that she is part of the First Tee family!
"My name is Rachel Smith and I am a freshman at Science Hill High School. I have been participating in First Tee since I was seven years old with my older sister Grace. I started my Ace level class this year and I have been helping to coach player, par, and birdie classes at Pine Oaks golf course.

At school, I have been playing violin for the orchestra since I was in 5th grade. At home I enjoy drawing, reading, watching anime, and playing with my cats. During remote learning, I learned how to sew and I have been making masks for us, healthcare workers, and school teachers.

My sister and I are on the varsity golf team at Science Hill. This year we both made it to the Regional tournament and we also made the 2020 Big 11 All-Conference players.

I have gained a great deal of confidence from First Tee, which has helped me to improve in the areas of rules, etiquette, and my mindset on the course. I believe my strength is long shots. My favorite club is the 4 hybrid. Two years ago, I made an albatross at Blackthorn Club with my driver and my 4 hybrid. I think of the Four-R's when my shots don't end up the way I want them to.

I haven’t decided if I want to play golf collegiately, but I will definitely keep playing golf and helping junior golfers." - Rachel Smith
Birdie Fundamentals: Emotionally Neutral Response
One of the trademarks of highly successful athletes is their ability to control emotion during tense moments. You may see brief bursts of excitement or frustration, but these are quickly put in check when it's time to perform again.

I would encourage you to read "Sports: The Power of Emotion" on Psychology Today for an in-depth look at how emotions impact our performance.
The Science of Golf: Evolution of the Golf Ball
Birdie Yardage Book: Setting Different Types of Goals
There are three different types of goals that can help you to reach your dream for golf:

Process goals
These focus on improving skills, techniques, behaviors, healthy habits, and playing strategies. Think of this type of goal as the foundation for getting better.

Performance goals
They help you to identify personal bests and standards of improvement based on practice and achieving process goals. Think of these as stats, such as hitting fairways or greens in regulation.

Outcome goals
The end product of what you want to achieve, or your dream. An example would be winning a certain tournament, making your high school team, or shooting a particular score.

Your plan should include all three types of goals. You can use these in many areas of your life, on or off the course.