French national Julien Sale, who joined the KeNako Academy at the start of the third term, scored a fantastic career best competitive round of 6 under par 66 in round 2 of the Southern Cape Open played at Mossel Bay. What makes his score all the more impressive is that it followed an 11 over par 83 in the first round! Besides ensuring that Julien made the cut, his 66 also showed considerable mental fortitude. He unfortunately aggravated a previous knee injury in round 3 which then hampered his ability to play.
As with most students who join the KeNako Academy program, Julien has initially struggled. The students are privileged in being able to play several of South Africa’s top golf courses along the Garden Route region, a wonderful benefit for KeNako Academy students! But with such benefits come trials and hence the initial struggles. Besides playing in different conditions and on new golf courses, students are also involved with a new training program, both technically and physically. In Julien’s case he is now living a long way from his Mom and Dad which no doubt adds further stress to his situation. His younger brother, 12 year old Antoine, is also enrolled at the academy so Julien is fortunately not totally surrounded by foreigners and foreign conditions – he does at least have his younger sibling at KeNako! Both boys are also learning to speak English which adds yet another challenge!
It generally takes new students a few months to settle in before their performances start to improve. With the majority of students there is a retrogression in performance before they start to improve. Reasons for this situation include:
- Small technical changes may be made and it takes a while for an old, in-grained and often bad habit to be corrected. It is not easy to persuade the brain that the ‘new’ element is now the norm and for the individual to have the relevant confidence levels to successfully play with the changes that may have been made.
- The gym training program is in most cases a new experience, even for students who have previously trained, and their bodies have to adapt to the rigours of their new training regimen. The ‘teens’ are a critical time of life with respect to puberty and body development and the students are guided through an appropriate physical training program that will benefit not only their golf but their wellness relating to their future lives.
- For many of the students it is a first time being away from home and they may be a little homesick or miss having Mom and Dad around.
Julien joins a fine group of talented 16 and 17 years olds at KeNako Academy. The team at KeNako Academy looks forward to seeing many more sub-par rounds from Julien as he settles in to his new life at KeNako Academy.
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