Our Year Of Building Game Changers

These past four months have set the tone for First Tee — Monterey County’s goals in 2022: Building Game Changers. 

First Tee — Monterey County will celebrate and embrace a monthly theme throughout 2022. Each monthly theme encompasses a life skill that will be connected throughout First Tee — Monterey County’s programming, curriculum, media, and coachable moments. 

In January, we celebrated adaptability. Now more than ever lies an intense demand for us to act quickly and decisively in the face of change. First Tee — Monterey County’s newest Golf and Life Skills Coach, Thomas T., is an example of just that.

“I came from a career where I had to teach myself everything I know. After my injury, the years I had spent planning my future were starting to disappear. With the supportive culture at First Tee — Monterey County, I have found the confidence and perseverance I thought I had lost.”

In February, First Tee — Monterey County celebrated Black History aligned with First Tee’s initiative of diversity, equity, and inclusion by encouraging positive self-identity. Understanding our impact on the development of positive self-identity is an essential first step in supporting our participants, coaches, and volunteers on their individual journeys.

In collaboration with the Cameron Champ Foundation, Chevron, and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, First Tee — Monterey County presented the Cameron Champ Foundation Youth Clinic at the beautiful Monterey Pines Golf Course. The mission of the clinic is to unlock potential in youths from underserved and underrepresented communities. 

The clinic featured a Q&A with PGA Tour Star and First Tee Alumnus Cameron Champ and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am celebrity golfer and Rapper ScHoolboy Q. Participants from organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and students from nearby schools attended the clinic. Coaches from First Tee — Monterey County and Cameron Champ worked with the participants to teach First Tee Core Values and target awareness through chipping and driving range activities. 

A few days later, First Tee — Monterey County participants, coaches, volunteers, and scholars strutted down the Del Monte Macy’s runway. Store Manager Anne Sierra and Personal Stylist Pamela Dix encouraged our models to embrace First Tee’s Core Value, confidence, and February’s monthly theme: Building Positive Self-Identity. Each model rocked three different outfits while friends, family, and shoppers gathered to cheer them on. First Tee — Monterey County Coaches even hosted a putting station for shoppers to enjoy. 

The Fashion Show provided a perfect platform to announce the partnership between First Tee — Monterey County and Macy’s through a charitable donation check for $10,000. The donation was presented by Sierra to First Tee — Monterey County to support the development of the youth and provide them with opportunities for a brighter future. 

To close out that same week, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and special donors allowed First Tee — Monterey County participants the opportunity to attend Championship Sunday at the 76th AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. First Tee — Monterey County participants and their families spent the afternoon under the sun, enjoying the swings at the tenth hole with the ocean’s waves crashing against the coast. 

In March, we encouraged active listening by teaching our participants to listen with the intention to learn, reflect, and understand. The Golf and Life Skills Coaches taught the participants how to use the First Tee Tool: A-L-R to help our participants better connect with others through active listening. Coach Itzel V. adds, “After teaching the three steps to A-L-R, it is reassuring to hear the kids ask questions in response to instructions. That is the biggest clue we [coaches] can use to gauge whether the kids are ready to participate safely in an activity.” The first step in A-L-R is to ask questions. Asking questions is a way to learn more and keep the conversation going. Next is listening to understand. After asking a question, it is important to listen carefully to what the other person is saying. The last step is to reflect and respond. Rather than thinking about what to say next in a conversation, reflect, restate, then respond to connect with what the other person is saying.

Throughout April, First Tee – Monterey County has been dedicated to building positive self-identity. While self-identity is a journey each person will navigate mainly on their own, support from organizations, schools, and community leaders can help develop a solid and positive self-identity. At First Tee — Monterey County, we present venues and opportunities to help define our mission of Building Game Changers. We help those in our community make self-identifying discoveries. We encourage natural strengths and abilities, instill the importance of Core Values, and remind our community that we are all Game Changers

To follow our journey of Building Game Changers, stay updated on Instagram and Facebook @firstteemontereycounty.

First Tee — Monterey County could not offer these opportunities without our supporters and advocates. If you’d like to invest in your community’s Game-Changers, please click the button below. To make a pledge, please email Mitch Massey at [email protected]