Teaching Designed for Junior Golfers - Physical and Mental Teaching

Published: 31st March 2011
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For those younger golfers who want to take up the sport, we want to set a number of suggestions on what kind of guidance ought to be conducted at what ages. Each junior golfer must be taken alone, but I think some generalities exist for the physical and mental teaching designed for junior golfers.

As children vary a whole lot in both physical and mental maturity, setting levels of accomplishment on at what age teaching designed for junior golfers needs to be made is tricky. I'll use the following as being a general guide:

1. Under 10 years. At this time, we should be focusing on appreciating the game of golf and its "pleasurable" facet. Training as such doesn't have to be altogether structured, and if exceedingly structured might cause more long-term damage than good. If the association with golf is as it being a job, and not something pleasing, the junior golfer's endurance for the sport may not last long-term. Boosting motor patterns and co-ordination skills is what we are trying to realize at this age, not discipline and self-sacrifice. Encouragement is supreme, but poor behavior must never be tolerated.

2. Age 10 to 16 years. Teaching designed for junior golfers at this point must highlight good basics and correct technique, the building blocks for the longer term growth as a golfer. I am a firm believer in cross training in sport; specifically, being involved in the skills of other sports, for example the footwork of basketball or soccer, or the hand-eye coordination of baseball, to focus on and further improve the talents of a young golfer. The large growth spurt that is happening at this age requires the necessity to increase "posture awareness", and much of the young golfers training ought to revolve around this. Self-discipline in training for the game should become ever more prominent.

3. Age 16 to 20 years. Now is the time to specialize, but a balanced life remains significant. Becoming a top flight golfer continues to be a marathon, not just a sprint, so developing training for junior golfers at an even, steady tempo where improvement is made week by week is a important ingredient. At this point self-discipline is becoming more important, as there will be a few days when training will not be something the junior golfer desires to do, but must push through and achieve something that day concerning his development. Obviously, the body will still could do with time to recover after rigorous training periods, or troublesome injuries will rear up, consequently setting the preparation back. I remember reading where Andre Agassi, when asked how he got through training days that he didn't want to do, said that he always tried to maintain the same high-level intensity, but just cut back on the time of the workout. Hardly anyone can duplicate the same vigor for their craft every single day.

The necessity to keep stability, both from physical training (not overloading the body with physical activity), and mental overload (to avoid burnout), is of vital magnitude. Opposite to what people might believe, professional golfers are not made when they are junior golfers. Teaching designed for junior golfers is just laying the foundations, but the actual building for the truly accomplished golfer comes later on. However, if the foundations are rushed, or are not properly in place, the ultimate creation won't ever occur.

For more information on physical training for the game, click HERE, and for tips on how to improve the mental side of golf, click HERE.  Sean O’Kelly is a writer and avid golfer who spent years coaching juniors.  He now lives in London.

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