Ryan Herd’s love for golf and helping others started back in high school when he took part in the Southern California Golf Association’s youth program. Ryan was a participant in SCGA’s Golf Pass program, which gave local youth access to various golf courses around Southern California for an extremely discounted price. This affords more children the opportunity to play and learn about the skills and techniques necessary in the sport of golf. Ryan soon learned that golf would continue to be a major role in both his college and professional career, and his involvement with SCGA had only just begun. His senior year of high school, Ryan was selected as a Junior Scholar by the SCGA. This program is designed to help youth participants of SCGA Junior continue their education in college or vocational school. Annually, SCGA selects a group of students who are role models in their community, hard workers at school and have grown in character through their experiences with golf. Ryan went on to study geography at California State University - Northridge, thanks, in part, to the scholarship. “It helped me pay my way through college” Ryan says. He was happy to continue working with the organization, and upon college graduation in May 2015, he was offered a coaching position on the instruction staff.
When asked how coaching aligned with his geography degree, Ryan revealed that he had not planned to pursue coaching after college, but felt that this coaching opportunity with SCGA would propel him into other opportunities in the future with organizations similar to SCGA. Ryan says, “with this degree, you never know what you can do with it until you're in the workplace and see what it can be used for”. No matter what, Ryan hopes to bring unique insight to any organization he is a part of.
Currently in his first year serving as a Coach Across America coach, Ryan is consistently looking for ways in which he can enhance his coaching skills to better serve the program’s youth. This past September, Ryan attended Up2Us Sports’ National Coach Training Institute in Los Angeles, where he learned new strategies to incorporate into his coaching. “This experience opened my eyes to things I didn’t see before, and allows me to work with the kids on a different level” Ryan said. He currently leads several golf clinics per week, including after school classes and Saturday classes, with kids ranging in age from 5 and fifteen. When asked how training has impacted him on a personal level, Ryan described how the kids themselves impact his coaching style. He stressed the importance of adapting coaching styles to each kid and that “as coaches, once we become complacent, the kids stop learning.”
Ryan has proven to be resourceful, patient, and dedicated to providing kids in the SCGA golf program the best learning experience imaginable. He is fully committed to being a positive mentor for the kids in the SCGA program, not just because he loves the work, but because truly to his core, he loves this organization that has given him so much already in his young life.
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Thanks to Haley Word, a volunteer through our partnership with Humana for helping us compose this inspiring story.