Like Parent-Like Child…I golf and I want my kid to golf, too!
WEEK 4 HOMEWORK: JUMPING-AGILITY-LOCOMOTION
This is the 4th part in a homework series for parents. If you missed the previous homework regarding throwing, striking & kicking, click here to catch up. Week Four’s homework is also for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, neighbors, and mentors who desperately want to introduce the love of golf to kids.
In the past, I have knocked many golf publications for not highlighting go
lf fitness or junior athletics enough in their magazines. Well, Golf Magazine has pulled through! Check out the August 2011 edition (page 114). There is a 4 page full color spread on how to teach kids to swing without picking up a club. Finally! As previously mentioned, 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. 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 4 HOMEWORK: JUMPING-AGILITY-LOCOMOTION
Jumping activities help develop balance, space and body awareness, lower body strength, as well as good cardiovascular endurance. This all transfers to the golf swing as speed and power production. Agility movements can develop reaction time, change of direction and disassociation of upper & lower body which aid in club head speed in the golf
swing. Locomotion exercises develop coordination and the cross/crawl pattern used for multiple sports.
Jump Rope: Jumping or skipping rope is a fun way to get your child moving and building power and stamina. Start with your child trying to jump with both feet and count how many times they can jump without missing or tripping on the rope. This can be a contest. Then progress to alternating feet, one foot hops, moving forward, backward and side to side. Advance rope jumping with double jumps and crossovers can be used.
- Box Jumps or Stair Jumps: Have your child try to jump up stairs. This requires them to coil and uncoil to produce enough energy to clear a target. Start with a low padded or carpeted stair, then progress to something higher. It is not recommended to jump down.
- + Jumps or X Jumps: Place a + or X on a floor using tape. Make it two feet by two feet. Your child can jump forward/backward, side to side, around in a box, or scissor split jumps in a pattern trying not to touch the line.
- Sack Races: Grab burlap sacks or garbage bags and have a race with your child across a yard and back to develop momentum of forward movement.
- Standing Broad Jump: Your child stands with toes behind a line and jumps forward landing with heels down. Measure how far they jumped from toe line to where the heels touch down.
“Lily Pad” Game: Find objects to place sporadically and intermittently on the ground. You could use rocks or bricks that are already placed (big enough that they won’t roll over when stepped on) or pieces of paper, sponges, circles, etc. Have your child try to step from object to object without losing balance or falling or stepping off and onto the floor.AGILITY & LOCOMOTION ACTIVITIES:
- Curb Walking: Use a curb on the street or a wall that is less than knee high to practice balance. The thinner the “balance beam” the harder it is.
- Dodge Ball: Be sure to use very soft balls, bean bags, or swoosh balls that do not hurt! Have you child stand in front of a wall while you try to throw the soft objects at them and see if they can react quickly enough to get out of the way. Avoid the head!
- Locomotion Drills encourage your child to be rhythmic in movements and become more aware of their body. Each activity can be done for about 20 repetitons each:
- Walk forward / Walk backward
- Jog forward / Jog backward
- Side ways shuffle high/low both ways
- Lateral Cariocca both ways
- High Knee Jogs
- Butt Kick Jogs
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 jump higher or balance longer then the last time. Then, when they are ready, they will discover their own techniques for producing more power or the “secrets” to getting better.
Please let me know how it goes with your junior athlete. Did they like it?
Try these for a week. Why is it important for your child to become proficient at fundamental movement skills such as the ones listed above. They will thank you for it in the future. Try some of the activities yourself. Can YOU still do these things? Could you EVER do them? It is never too late to start. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. But why not start earlier when it is easier and more fun!
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