Weekend Away With My Athletes! “Keeping it Real” PART 2:

 

The weekend in Orlando was so much fun!

I believe the biggest pivotal moment to the girls and our relationship was that I shared my story. I shared just a portion of my childhood, high school, and college. I can’t tell you everything because that’s between us 🙂

BUT what I will tell you is that I shared with the sole purpose of them learning something. I could share my story with a million people and everyone would walk away with a different inspiration. But I wanted them to know the real Kaitlyn, where I came from, and know that with a little hard work, persistence, belief in yourself, confidence and surrounding yourself with people who bring you up…you can accomplish ANYTHING.

 

Speaking of the real Kaitlyn…

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Throughout this blog, I will slowly let you in on aspects of my life no one would EVER assume or expect. Today I will start small. I have always kept my personal life separate from my professional life and never realized the relevance to share some not so awesome memories and struggles I have gone through in the past. But, thanks to amazing mentors like Janet Alexander and Milo Bryant, I now understand how to holster life events and experiences and USE them to help others, especially those who look up to me, those I coach, and people near and far who feel they are alone.

I want my athletes to know that what you see isn’t what you necessarily get. My social media up until this point has portrayed the happy, strong, and confident Kaitlyn who has a wonderful fiancé, two boxers, and grandparents (pap and gram) who she adores…that’s what most people know about me.

In Orlando I wanted to let my athletes know the “why” behind who I am today. I wanted them to take my story and think more about decisions they make, failures they don’t think they can overcome, and avoid ever feeling like they are alone.

 

So…I let them know that I was born to two VERY young 16-year-old high school parents. (Lesson 1, be smart, accidents happen). As a result their youth, my grandparents raised me and for that I owe them my life. They gave me a chance that most in my situation may never get. They saved me. Lesson #2, be grateful for loving grandparents.

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I shared with them I am not close with either parent, I see them maybe a few times a year, we hardly talk. At the age of 12, (due to certain circumstances that I will write about in a later blog), I chose to move in with whom I felt were my true parents (my grandparents). Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents, but we are just on different wavelengths and home life wasn’t great.

 

My grandparents gave me the gift of opportunity. My grandfather showed me how to work hard (via my first job of landscaping) and then they gave me my chance to really make something for myself: they gave me the game of golfJ They got me my first set of clubs at age 13. They were hammy down “Titleit” clubs…yes I said Titleit lol. I started to practice, and hit balls on the range with my grandfather who I looked up to dearly. Anywhere he went I followed. SO, as a result golf became my first love!

 

My grandfather took me to a driving range near our house and the PGA Pro took an interest in my swing. He said I had “real natural talent.” Ugh…the term natural talent…that’s a fix minded topic for another day:)

 

Back to the story…

 

I started with group lessons. Then the driving range changed hands. Oh no! My group lessons were gone. BUT, the owner and his wife (Also PGA Pros) took an interest in me as well. They allowed both myself, and best friend, to work for lessons have unlimited access to the driving range. AWESOME! It was there I lived; working long days picking golf balls, overflowing the ball cleaner with soap (hehe), and then practiced until late. While friends partied, I had dreams of playing college golf and being the first in my family to even attend college.

If my grandparents didn’t take me in, set ks-2clear boundaries, showed true love, taught me hard work and perseverance, and gave me the game of golf, I would NEVER be who I am today.

 

Yes, I can come across via social media photos as some pretty hair-flipping model, who goes to the gym, plays golf, and calls herself a strength coach. But, that is NOT the true me. It has been a hard road. It has taken a lot to get where I am today and even more to where I am heading. I have worked my butt off to prove not just to myself, but also to my family that I can and could do it.My reason for sharing part of my story was because I wanted my athletes to know the real Kaitlyn and what drives me.

Through my life experiences, I wanted them to remember that whatever they want in life, all they have to do is work hard, work smart and surround themselves with rock star people to get it. I wanted them to know that when faced with a slap from life, you just get back up and fight your hardest. You find a way to get things done. You hit it OB? Who cares? You tee it up, get your game face on, and you save par. Or when you get in a fight with your parents because you secretly want to do something you probably shouldn’t/aren’t ready for…remember the story I told you. Remember what can happen with one blink of an eye. Be thankful you have parents that care, and give you opportunity.

 

Through sharing, with both my athletes and you the reader, I hope that my truth sparked a new outlook. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. Maybe it didn’t now, but maybe they (and you) will remember our conversations (and this blog) 10 years from now when I’m old 🙂

 

Point being, if it inspired them to overcome obstacles, ignite future plans and goals, then it was (well) worth it.

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A Word to the many young women out there who are just discovering their own strengths, and who still think that they are alone…you are not. This post is one of MANY that will give examples of just how similar we are.

 

Until then…just remember to never judge a book by it’s cover. Remember to share your story with others because you never know whom it will inspire. 🙂

 

Love,

 

Kaitlyn.

#HappyStrongMinds

Weekend Away With My Athletes! Part 1

 

 

Sometimes it’s the athlete coaching the coach.

PART 1: 

Hey everyone! Kaitlyn here:)

Currently en route to Boston after a gals golf training trip to Orlando and I’m absolutely exploding with so many emotions. This past weekend two young ladies whom I train got together in Florida for a golf trip! Word on the street is that we all had a great time! We worked out, warmed up, golfed, cooked together, ate ice-cream (lol), and laughed till our stomachs hurt…but the coolest part about this weekend is we shared a lot and because of that in my opinion, we took our “team” to a whole new levelJ. Absolutely priceless!

How did this happen?

 

  1. One heck of a supportive family.
    1. If it weren’t for their families support I wouldn’t have been able to hang out with the girls weekend and be a part of such an amazing experience…So thank you mom and dad’s for believing in the importance of team, working hard, having fun, and building relationships!
  2. I care.
    1. From Coaches Perspective: I want to know how they tick. I want to know what their fears are, their miss hits, if they feel silly warming up, what makes them laugh, what motivates them, how they recover from failure, what discourages them,
    2. From Friend/Role model perspective: I want to help them avoid mistakes I’ve made, make great choices with friends on the weekends, be a social media role model, encourage independence, and know that if they lift strong they will be happier and confident human beings:)

 

In my opinion, the more a coach knows what makes their athletes tick, and shares a special role model/friend bond, the more you can help them succeed and reach their goals. Our weekend trip was a great step in the right direction for the team!

 

Going into the weekend I was so excited for the girls to be together! I know they had been looking forward to seeing each other. I was also excited to go on a training trip and SOMEHOW be an inspiration to them. My goals for the weekend were to:

  • Help squash any form of “intimidation” of warming up on the range with skipping, mini-bands, and lungingJ
  • Gain their trust
  • Share with them more about my life hoping it can help them through their own trials and game
  • Help them get over the ball and tell themselves they’re going to CRUSH it.
  • Setting examples for things they go through
  • Share things I wish I knew (both golf and life related)
  • Bring all the things we’ve learned together about traveling snacks, golf snacks, workouts, warming up, and cooking on the go. I wanted to help them with a real life example and experience it. I wanted them to realize that these things don’t have to be overwhelming and that they can be quite easily implemented 🙂

 

REAL MOMENT ALERT!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I was SUPER excited to go on this trip! But, I was also really nervous with a slight form of uncertainty:

  • I wanted the girls to know the real coach outside of the gym walls but didn’t know how.
  • I wasn’t sure how to balance the “cool coach” with the role model, the friend, and a little parent voice if needed.

 

I wasn’t sure how to do all this and embarrassingly nervous “if they’d like me” because I’ve never had someone do this for me. I’ve never had that balance of a coach/role model/ friend growing up to use their “how-to” template. All I knew going into this, was that it was what I needed to do. I felt it this was my duty and responsibility under the umbrella of both “coach/role model/friend” to be available emotionally to these girls and all the other young women I train near and far. They deserve it, because I wish I had a role model like this as a young athlete. I’m just old enough to be their coach and role model, but I am also young and I understand what they’re going through. I don’t judge, and I enjoy being the mental neutrality.

 

Ha! In my quest to be prepared, I even asked my fiancé how to blend these different descriptions together. I look up to him for many reasons, and one of them is that all his athletes adore him. They look up to him, call him friend, but also respect and work hard. They joke with him, considered family, but Mike knows when to lay down the hammer if needed. He does this effortlessly and I wanted to know the details. As if there was some secret to being a cool role model.

 

When I asked him he looked at me and grinned. His parting words with me before this trip was “Kaitlyn, you just figure it out through experience and throwing yourself in the fire.”

 

So I did. 🙂

 

The trip was a success, the gals had fun, we accomplished what we were there to do. Most importantly, and they had some practice at owning in on their warm-ups skills, packing their bags with proper golf fuel, and I got to see what kind of mental golfer they are. They also got to know the REAL Kaitlyn.

 

HUGE!

 

To make sure I don’t lose you (it’s worth waiting for:p ), I’m making this a two-part story. Come back next week when I reveal just what the “real Kaitlyn” looks like, what she’s not, and how showing your athletes the real you can help them in their own lives.

 

Love,

Kaitlyn 🙂