Like Parent-Like Child…I golf and I want my kid to golf, too!
WEEK 2 HOMEWORK: Striking
If you missed Week One’s homework regarding throwing, click here to catch up. Week Two’s homework is also for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, neighbors, and mentors who desperately want to introduce the love of golf to kids.
I believe that burn out, lack of “coolness”, and high expense are no longer acceptable excuses for kids to not only give up on golf, but even be denied exposure to it. 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. Sometimes it is just not readily available due to proximity, financial, or other issues. So this is homework for you to do at home with your junior athlete. Just like last week, this “weekly” drill 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 2 HOMEWORK: STRIKING
Striking has a high transfer of learning into the golf swing. Striking helps with hand-eye coordination, weight transfer, balance, and power production.
***Then find additional bat/stick like objects you can hit the balls with. These may include a baseball bat made from any material (plastic, foam, wood, metal), hockey stick, racquets, cricket bat, batting tee, field hockey stick, foam polo stick. Have your child find things in the house. I suggest the sledgehammer NOT be used as a teaching tool.*** First gather as many multi-sized balls that you can find in your home to safely strike or hit— baseballs, tennis balls, golf balls, racquet balls, soccer balls, bean bags, whiffle balls, ping-pong balls, dodge balls, basketballs.
- Introduce success at striking something using a wide stick with wide ball first. Each should be light enough so the arms are free to swing without heaviness and the ball will move with even the slightest impact. There should be no goal or target at first and the ball should be stationary. Make it almost impossible to miss or “whiff”.
— Are the feet just stationary with feet facing direction of ball (not side on)- stage 1
Notice the developmental stage your child is in currently.
—How much are they naturally rotating their hips through impact? -stage 2
—Are they facing the ball (side on) with feet a little wider than the hips for stability? -2
—Can you tell if they are hitting in a full body pattern for more power (separation of upper and lower body)? -3—Are they weight shifting from trail leg to lead leg through impact of strike? -2/3
- Whether the ball is lifted on a batting tee or on the ground, make sure the ball stays stationary until the size of the ball and bat both come down in size as they find success (5 hits in a row).
- Then have your child learn how to hit a moving object. You can “pitch” or “roll” a ball to them to strike or have a moveable ball such as in tether ball, totem tennis, the Hurricane or Hit-a-way batting system. A ball could also be hanging on a string similar to piñata style.
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 hit or “hit closer” to a target than ever before. Then, when they are ready, they may start backing up from their target and discover their own techniques for producing more power.
Object control Exercises can also be used to introduce the importance of the small muscles of the forearm, wrists, and hands. An obstacle course can be made where a ball has to be maneuvered with a stick through objects (cones) on the floor with as little “hits or pushes” as possible. This is a fun game that shows the importance of distance control (see pic attached).
Boxing into mitts with gloves can also teach power production through body mo
vements as well as eye/hand coordination. Be prepared to have proper equipment for this. A smaller child could use fists into your open palms for awhile, but will soon be too strong without protection for both the hitter and the hittee.
Pointing out the safety rules of not striking or hitting “at” any one with certain balls/bats is important. Also clean up rules can be introduced. All balls, bats, an sticks go back where they belong.
Physical properties can be discussed and guessed as what will happen with each ball.Advanced:
- 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.
- Which balls go farther when mixed with different bats?
- Prove it!
Try these for a week. Perhaps other ball and bat-like objects may be added. Why is it important for your child to become proficient at striking objects with other objects? If they can’t strike or hit—NO baseball, NO softball, NO crocquet, NO hockey, NO field hockey, NO boxing, No tennis, NO racquetball, NO volleyball, No squash, NO badminton, NO golf.
Please let me know how it goes with your junior athlete. Did they like it?
Stay tuned for kicking 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