Like Parent-Like Child…I golf and I want my kid to golf, too!
WEEK 1 HOMEWORK
I have written a few research-based articles, one of which you may view at the following link: click here But THIS IS NOT A BORING RESEARCH ARTICLE! This is HOMEWORK (based on research) for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, neighbors, and mentors who desperately want to introduce the love of golf to kids.
I recently sent out a survey to a few local golf clubs asking members if they have children who might be interested in a junior golf development program. The answers were mostly positive and many of the parents were delighted there were “plans in the making”. But I can’t seem to get past these THREE answers:
“I have a 7 year old daughter and 9 year old son. My daughter will still come to the course with me, but my son was told that golf was not cool. Please help!”
“My children used to practice on the range with me, but now they are choosing other sports. Golf is not fun for them.”
“I would love for my daughter to learn to golf. It is just too expensive for us as a family.”
Burn out, lack of coolness, and expense are no longer acceptable excuses. Kids enjoy activities that are fun, that they are good at, and those they can enjoy with YOU! As a golf fitness coach, I would love to see children be able to participate with others and learn life lessons in many team activities. But sometimes it is just not readily available due to proximity, financial, or other issues. In the weeks to come I will highlight a “weekly” drill that can be done just 5-10 minutes each day. Not only will they help kids with technique, distance, and accuracy transfer…they can help adults too!
WEEK 1 HOMEWORK: THROWING
Throwing has a high transfer of learning into the golf swing. This will help build concepts such as weight shift, upper/lower body separation for power, shoulder mobility, rotary and hand speed, coordination and balance.
- Have your child stand just 4-5 feet away from you and play catch underhand with different balls until you are at least 12 feet away.
- First gather as many multi-size balls that you can find in your home to safely throw—footballs, baseballs, tennis balls, golf balls, racquet balls, soccer balls, bean bags, whiffle balls, vortex balls, ping-pong balls, dodge balls, basketballs.
- Introduce overhand throwing and notice the developmental stage your child is in currently. Your child can be as many feet away from you as they can still reach you with a throw.
- Are they standing front-on when throwing?
- Do they turn sideways and take a step with the lead foot and turn their body to release the ball?Do they take a step with the same or opposite throwing arm when throwing?
- You can then stand beside your child and both throw balls in the same direction to measure distance of throw. This can get into a competitive contest if they are ready.
- You can then stand beside your child and both throw balls at a target to measure accuracy of throw.
- Try the above activities and see if your child comes up with games on their own. Their competitive spirit may come out in order to try to “out-distance” their last throw or “hit closer” to a target than ever before. Then, when they are ready, they may start backing up from their target.
Pointing out the safety rules of not throwing “at” any one with certain balls is important. Also clean up rules can be introduced. All balls go back where they belong.
Physical properties can be discussed and guessed as what will happen with each ball.
- Order all balls little to big. Then big to little.
- Order all balls heavy to light. Then light to heavy.
- Guess which balls will go the farthest and not as far.
- Prove it!
Try these for a week. Perhaps other ball-like objects may be added. Why is it important for your child to become proficient at throwing? If they can’t throw—NO baseball, NO softball, NO bowling, NO football, NO rugby, NO cricket, NO javelin, NO discus, NO shotput, NO dodgeball.
Please let me know how it goes with your junior athlete. Did they like it?
Stay tuned for Striking next week!
Mindi Boysen has her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University of PA. She is a TPI Level 3 Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and TPI Level 3 Junior Golf Coach. Her Junior programs have been introduced in a number of private clubs in Arizona as well as Barcelona, Spain.
“Fit For Golf! Fit For Life!” has published a golf fitness program on DVD’s as well as a book, Synergistic Golf, that outlines each day of the year with golf performance enhancing tips. You can catch demonstrations of golf specific exercises on Golf America TV nationwide. Mindi is the official fitness partner of the Arizona Women’s Golf Association and is available for private or group sports conditioning training as well as seminars and nutritional consultations. For more information…http://www.fitforgolfusa.com