Golf A Game Not Just For The Adults! – Phera Jai
SHIFTING THE FOCUS TO JUNIORS ?️ By Phera Jai
When the majority of children are asked; What sport they love to or would love to play? Golf is not one of their first choices. – WHY?
If we ask ourselves – why is it that children would prefer to play other sports rather than golf? The answer is simple; It’s because in the past, juniors were taught with an adult mind-set. This took the fun out of Golf. We need to change the way we teach our juniors. We need to introduce fun to the game of golf, before we bring in the seriousness of the sport. Allowing them to have a round with their friends, making them feel like they fit into a club environment, and encouraging and reassuring them, that they are good at the game even if they are just beginners.
Many juniors are taught golf with one single focus – ‘The Golf Swing’. All sport specific skills are based around basic fundamental movements and attaining the basic skills – Golf is no exception. Without the basic fundamentals, achieving a high level of skill in whatever the sport becomes an uphill task, and with this juniors tend to shy away from the sport when results are slow in coming.
Golf is a sport that requires ‘Long Term Athletic Development’ (LTAD) approach. LTAD is a guide that helps keep golfers playing from being a junior till they retire. It focuses on having the juniors perform age appropriate skills and drills to maximize their athletic potential primarily. As the juniors get older, skills and drills progressively get more difficult and more specialised to help them maximize their potential.
Golf or any sport for that matter is not something which one becomes an expert at overnight. Let us take the example of a golf icon, Tiger Woods. He first swung a golf club at the age of 2. His father’s expertise and encouragement, and with a lot of practice, by the age of 19 he was on the world scene. It took Tiger Woods 17 years playing, learning and dedication to the game before he became a world class golfer.
FOCUS ON THE FUNDAMENTALS
Golf is a sport! We need to start developing our juniors as Athletes first. Fundamental Movement Skills are general patterns of movements of the body, they all relate to some aspect of golf and therefore need to be developed right from the early stages so that the movements become second nature for the junior. As children grow and develop they go through specific developmental stages throughout the ages, these development stages need to be taken advantage of at the appropriate time if one is to maximize their athletic performance. Once the fundamental skills through the different growing periods are developed as an athlete the junior will enjoy and excel in all sports, not only golf.
A few of the reasons for poor fundamental movements are that the child has had limited exposure during the developmental phase.
Lack of opportunity or programs.
An inactive lifestyle with little or no participation in sports or games.
A poor coaching style.
An overemphasis on competition and winning to early.
Ill informed coaches and parents, etc.
Juniors are the future of not only golf, but all our sports. We need to teach them in the correct manner for them to want to play the game and to enjoy it whilst also excelling at it.
Phera Jai, AT.C
TPI – Certified Golf Fitness Instructor
TPI – Level 2 Certified Junior Coach
K-Vest – Level 2 – Certified Instructor
Certified DORN Method Practitioner