The Junior Environment #7 Enhance, Enjoy, Excel
By stuwarren, Jan 21 2021 03:44PM
When playing the game for real, our young players are very vulnerable to the challenges of success and failure. How we as adults shape their experience on the course matters. I’ve seen some incredibly good skills over the years, sadly though, I’ve seen some shockers.
As we’ve said before, the golf course is a difficult, inconsistent, random and confusing environment. This is magnified further when looking at golf through the lens of a junior player. A huge responsibility for us as golf parents is to ensure that our children are playing the correct length course for their capability. Another responsibility is for us to set the correct types of outcomes for the game.
Correct outcomes should be based on values and the experience rather than score. Our Academy values are summed up in our tagline; Enhance, Enjoy and Excel. These set the template for every juniors’ golfing experience.
Are you enabling juniors the opportunity to enhance their skills on the course? This could be by allowing them to tee the ball up on full shots so that they are free to swing and hit. It could be moving the ball to a more playable position so that they have a shot to fit. For better players, it could be varying the clubs they choose, for example playing three different clubs to the 100 yard target. It could be changing shot shape or trajectory.
Are our young players enjoying the experience? Are there plenty of opportunities for fun with potential spot prizes for nearest the pin, longest drive or up and down from the bunker? Are they looking and acting like they want to be out there?
Do you provide opportunities for your young players to excel? Have you dropped a ball behind the lake and challenged them to fly it onto the green? Have you challenged them to strike the ball high up out of the trees, rather than just chip out sideways? Are you challenging them to drive the ball as far as they can down the further to chase a personal Best?
You can see that by having values driven outcome goals, great scores will naturally follow. If you don’t, then it’s unlikely that your young players will stick with the game long enough to enjoy good scores!
By the way, you might want to try this approach to your own game.