Roger Knick has made it his mission to try and help junior golfers succeed at the next level. He opened his Golf Performance Center in Ridgefield in 2006 to help in that regard.
He has done several podcasts on a variety of topics in recent years. And now, he is about to begin a year-long video series for those junior golfers who really want to play college golf. It’s been something Knick has been thinking about doing, but expedited the process due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of people are stuck at home. Junior tournaments are not being played,” Knick said. “With the way school is today, there is pressure on these kids where they will go to school and to have great grades.”
The series is called the Five Elements of Success Player Development Series. The first episode debuts Tuesday on YouTube from the Golf Performance Center. Knick said he expects to do one per week until next May.
Knick, a PGA Professional who was the recipient of the Youth Player Development Award by the Metropolitan Section of the PGA of America last year, will provide insight for both junior golfers and their parents that will be more than just on-the-course training. It will also include guests, such as Tyler Campbell, the director of performance at the center.
“This was something I was going to do anyways and we now have the downtime to do it so it was, ‘Let’s try this work on this,’” Knick said. “This will not only be for myself, but for our coaches to get in front of the camera to talk about what we love to talk about. This will help shift how people think about development, whether you have one person, 20 people or 5,000 people, they will get something out of the five elements of success.”
The five elements Knick will discuss are as follows: desire, coaching, physical performance and nutrition, the mental approach and equipment. Knock said all five elements are intertwined and will help the juniors eventually achieve their goals.
Knick said there are 43 academy members enrolled at the center, another 24 in the recreation. He said there are probably about 50 percent of them from Fairfield County, with additional kids from New York and New Jersey.
But any teaching has ceased because of the pandemic. Knick said juniors have been using the neighboring nine-hole golf course that measures approximately 1,000 yards.
People can view all of the videos for a $49.99 fee, with some of the proceeds going towards the The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s Save Golf Program. You don’t have to be a member of the academy to view it. You can register without making any kind of commitment to come to the golf performance center.
The center already uses the five elements in its Ethan Allen Prep, which incorporates the academic side of things, including faculty members there to teach. Golfers can also build their complete profiles at the The Junior Golf Hub, where college coaches can view them online.
“Kids are under so much stress, making a lifetime decision at 17,” Knick said. “Success is hopefully sharing this philosophy that has helped me throughout my life and now help kids achieve what their goals are with a process to do it. A big part of this is we want to help kids get exposure to the golf school of their dreams.”
The videos are coming at a time where there is great uncertainty in sports — both in high school and college — due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The entire collegiate spring season was canceled. Connecticut is one the few remaining states that has yet to cancel its spring season, but that would change if the state closes school for the remainder of the academic year.
Knick is in his second season as the men’s golf coach at Western Connecticut State University. He is unsure of what the fall season will look like.
“I tell all of our juniors to continue to prepare yourself because you want to be ready if it does happen that a spot opens for you at such-and-such school,” Knick said. “There are a lot of opportunities out there where kids can play at a four-year community college, a two-year JUCO or NAIA. Most people don’t realize that. It’s a great way to go, less expensive, you get more time to find out who you are and develop more.”
To register to view the video series, visit JuniorGolfHub.com.