At age 13, Ryan Grider won one of the biggest junior events of the year, the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship. Grider first began working with his Mental Trainer®, Dr. Robert Neff, when he was seven years old. Through his work with Dr. Neff, Grider has learned to use his mind to control his thoughts and emotions so he can perform his best when it matters the most.
Grider finished the tournament with a score of 69 for his final round at PGA National in Palm Beach, FL, where he ended up winning by one shot. Although he started the day five shots behind the leaders, he remained focused and in control, and closed the gap by hitting 15 greens, no bogies and three birdies.
The prestigious Optimist International Junior Golf Championship happens to be the very same tournament that golf greats such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, and Davis Love III won in their youth. Like all of these golf legends, Grider also believes in the importance of mental toughness.
“It has been a privilege to see Ryan develop as a golfer. It is truly a rare occurrence to have an athlete begin training both physically and mentally from such a young age,” says Dr. Neff. “His work ethic is tremendous, but what excites me the most is his ability to stay calm, confident and carefree toward the end of tournaments.”
Following his win at the Optimist Championship, Grider was also victorious at one of the Northern Texas PGA’s All American summer series tournaments, shooting a 70-71 at the challenging TPC Craig Ranch course. Since Grider began his membership with the NTPGA in 2004, he has won 17 of their junior golf events.
One of the skills that Mental Trainers® at Mental Training, Inc. focus on to achieve the Zone (a mental state where optimal performance is more likely), is being “carefree” about the outcome. Grider perfectly exemplified this focused and calm mindset when asked what he thought about winning such an elite tournament that the best professionals in the world won at his age. He simply shrugged his shoulders and stated that, “it makes me think that maybe I can do what they do.”
Although Grider’s recent victory was very exciting, it is now a thing of the past as he refocuses to achieve his next goals – qualifying for the Bright Realty Texas State Open in 2013, and eventually earning a scholarship to either Oklahoma State or SMU. According to Grider, “after that, I want to play on the PGA Tour.”
About Mental Training, Inc.
Mental Training, Inc. was founded in 2006 by Robert Neff, Ph.D. with the goal of helping good athletes become great. MTI and its 25 Certified Mental Trainers® offer 1-on-1 mental training with amateur, professional, and Olympic athletes. Services also include programs designed for teams, associations and school districts. Extending beyond sports, Mental Training, Inc. also works with executives, managers and salespeople, helping them control their thoughts and emotions while equipping them with the mental tools to perform their best when it matters most.