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Junior Program Mental Training


Developing a champion mindset is the difference between playing golf well and playing to the best of one’s ability. The Mental Training Program at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy is the golf psychology component at GGGA that accelerates physical and technical development.

Golfers with a champion’s mindset have confidence, resilience, focus and patience. They can envision success and imagine creative solutions when faced with tricky situations. A champion’s mind not only creates goals but spends time mapping realistic plans to achieve them. They strive for improvement and enjoy every minute of the process. It takes concerted effort to achieve a champion’s mindset, on and off the course.

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Champion Mindset


Dr. Dan Vosgerichian is the Director of Mental Training at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy

At GGGA, we put great efforts into helping our Full-Time Juniors adopt the Champion Mindset and learn how to think like a champion and feel supported to flourish through their experience. One of our main goals is to encourage students to become their own coach, knowing how to handle obstacles thrown their way whether in golf or life. That kind of growth takes tremendous mental toughness and emotional intelligence, which most junior golfers don’t inherently have.

This extraordinary fortitude must be built. GGGA begins this process with the DISC and Mental Golf Workshop assessments, which helps the student and GGGA team understand each student’s personality traits and playing tendencies. With this knowledge in mind, a development plan is created for each golfer to find their “it”. This development plan is based around five mental skill sets that help students reach their fullest potential as champion golfers.


  • Goal Mapping

    Every golfer has goals and aspirations for their life and golf game. Goal mapping combines goal setting and self awareness and takes into account personality traits, individual tendencies, past experiences and current ability. The final product of Goal Mapping is an individualized plan that can assist a golfer to achieve their goals.

  • Optimal Preparation

    The ability to effectively prepare is essential for optimal performance and a champion mindset. Optimal preparation involves positive habits, efficient routines, proper practice and proactive planning. Building sound habits and routines to manage one’s game is an integral aspect of successful execution, building confidence, learning and improving.

  • Energy-Tension Regulation

    The mind and body are closely intertwined. To play your best golf and develop a champion mindset, it is imperative to learn how to regulate your body and maximize your mental efficiency. Energy and tension regulation teaches golfers how to find their optimum energy and tension levels on and off the golf course and learn how to manage energy levels for relaxation and activation.

  • Adaptive Thinking

    The way you think effects how you perceive the world and how you act. Adaptive thinking teaches a golfer how to manage their thoughts, beliefs and self-talk to create the world they desire. Golfers will learn to create an optimistic and efficient mindset on and off the golf course and gain knowledge in problem solving and decision making.

  • Imagination

    Sport research has shown that the mind does not know the difference between what it imagines (visualizes) and what actually happens. Golfers can use their imagination to develop a champion mindset, enhance their physical performance and to help turn their dreams turn into reality through visualization, imagery and creativity.

More than Meets the Eye

The mental aspect of training is often the most difficult to see because it’s not just about hitting the ball or building physical strength. Thinking like a champion is about staying positive through adversity, being creative with solutions and having the passion it takes to self motivate.

There is a psychological element to golf and the entire staff and coaching team at GGGA operates in ways that reinforce the champion mindset. At GGGA, we believe in the “train the trainer model”, meaning all of our coaches are well versed in mental strategies that enhance performance. Whether being coached to visualize a successful putt during afternoon training or reviewing performance after a recent junior golf tournament, junior golfers are surrounded with opportunities to step up their own game.

GGGA is prepared to help each student achieve the following goals:

  • Get better results
  • Feel more in control of their game
  • Perform more consistently
  • Overcome their fears
  • Have a lot more fun

GGGA goes about achieving these goals in the following manner:

  • Give an assessment and plan for the development of each student’s mental/emotional skills
  • Tailor customized coaching for each student
  • Teach solid understanding of the mental and emotional side of golf and life and the why’s and how’s to gain control over them
  • Use research-based tools and techniques for simple practical application
  • Foster a supportive environment that helps build confidence and self-esteem