“I’ll have teriyaki chicken with a side of life skills.”

“Wow!” Coach Brian Rabena’s first word to describe his experience at The First Tee’s Level I Coach Training in Oakland last week.  Brian recounts his experience below…


I had a blast meeting new coaches and making friends from around the country who share the same interest I do, The First Tee.  The amazing home office staff members who trained me included: Erick, Chris, Joe, Colleen, and Linda. The positive energy and comradery all week was unforgettable!  I learned to work with coaches from other chapters, and together we worked tirelessly to create successful lesson plans for The First Tee of Oakland’s participants!  Even as I write this paragraph, my inbox is filling up with emails from coaches who attended the training! Crazy!  I learned so much that my brain hurt while driving home from Oakland to Fresno.

Brian testing out a new lesson plan.

Brian testing a new, activity-based lesson.

Most importantly, I had a blast working with the players!  I learned a lot of new ideas that I will incorporate into my own lesson plans at Airways Golf Course.  Sometimes as coaches, we tend to tell them [participants] too much information, rather than allowing them to discover things on their own.  I learned the importance of “Doing vs.Telling” and using proper “First Tee” language, as a Lead Golf and Life Skills Coach.

Brian (back row) with The First Tee of Oakland participants.

Brian (back row) with The First Tee of Oakland participants.

My favorite memory was having dinner at Yoshinos the night before our last day of training.  We had a good time and talked at length about my two favorite things, The First Tee, and golf of course!  What I hope to bring back from my experience is the ability to utilize some of my thoughts and ideas, learned for Level I training, to impact more youth in our community!  Can’t wait to attend Level II training!

-Brian Rabena

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