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5 Junior Golf Tips For Parents and Kids!

When we work with young players, we understand juniors often have varying goals and aspirations within the game. Whether for competition or just plain fun, here are 5 important junior golf lessons for parents and kids to consider in pursuit of achievement on or off the course.

Think Big

Following his Masters victory, Jordan Spieth was featured in a television commercial that highlighted the beginning of his amazing achievement. In the segment, the much younger Spieth, is interviewed by a local news station. He tells reporters how during his first lesson with new coach, Cameron McCormick, at just twelve years old, he proclaimed his goal to “Win the Masters.”

In my coaching, I challenge kids to confidently declare their authentic desires related to achievement. I emphasize “authentic” because many times what they initially project vs what they really want are two very different things. Through conditioning, people are often taught to play small, act practically and be realistic. As a result they suppress the things their hearts are most attached to.

I’ve had countless parents pull me aside following a lesson just to tell me how much their kid loves golf, but how they also think it’s important they’re practical and realistic about their chances for success. My response is always, “No great achievement was ever born from practicality or realism.”

These are good parents who communicate this way for one reason. Love. They have such a strong desire to protect their child from disappointment they end up extinguishing the flame of possibility. It’s true that not everyone is going to win the Masters. Win or lose, the lessons that come from the pursuit of a dream, always outweigh any perceived risk within the experience.

Practice Accountability

Today’s kids are so overbooked with activities, parents have expanded their role to include “personal assistant.” Each family has a ledger of their child’s every move and I receive weekly emails from parents trying to set up their kids next appointment.

Rule #1 in my coaching environment, is following the first training session, all future sessions must be scheduled by the child themselves. Why? Accountability. I tell the kids, “If you want a lesson, you book it. If you have a question, you call me. It’s not your mom or dad’s game, it’s yours. If you want to be great, you need to take ownership over the process of what it means to be great.” This is a valuable lesson that only occurs when parents let kids take the reigns and exercise control over their destiny.

Find A Winner’s Circle

Every success story involves a winner’s circle. The winner’s circle are the people who care about you. They believe in you and will always lend their support on your road to achievement. They’re selfless, self confident and are never threatened by your success. I remind kids to be aware of the different personalities within their peer group. I encourage them to create a list of the people in their lives who meet the criteria of that ultimate circle of support. Young people are faced with challenging moments and difficult decisions. A positive winner’s circle keeps kids focused, out of trouble and steadfast in their pursuit of the dream.

Raise The Bar

In order to really develop as a player, you always need to be creating an environment that stimulates personal growth. Part of this process is continually seeking out competition that inspires you to play a better game. That means playing with others who are better than they are, as well as entering bigger tournaments that continually raise the competitive bar. I grew up playing junior golf with PGA Tour star Jim Furyk. Although part of the same peer group, I always looked up to Jim. His work ethic was unmatched and I found myself more determined and focused when we played together.

Learn Your Lesson

A valuable strategy on the road to achievement is incorporating a positive “post round” routine. At the conclusion of their round, encourage kids to take a moment and acknowledge something they did great during the day. A fantastic drive, solid course management….it doesn’t matter as long as they take one second and give themselves some credit. After they accept a personal pat on the back, next have them ask, “What was today’s lesson?” The lesson defines the focus of their next practice session, serving to upgrade their most pressing weakness. Remembering the fun stuff, while planning for the future is a great way for kids to stay emotionally level and excited about their game.

Learn more about our NIKE Junior Golf Camps in Pebble Beach. Programs open for enrollment NOW! Click Here.

Check out our advanced junior development program “MTT ACADEMY” at Poppy Hills G.C. in Pebble Beach. For more information Click Here.