It is important for children to feel safe as they learn and develop their self esteem, self confidence and self worth. Being part of a sporting group where children can push their boundaries in a safe environment, is a great way to build these attributes. The emotional development of a child through sport is important. There are many transferable skills such as discipline, patience and team work that can be learned. These skills can be applied to other areas such as school, home and eventually the work environment.
Motor Skill Development
Laying a solid foundation for movement, motor patterns and co-ordination skills is important to creating a well-rounded physical athlete. During a child’s development there are specific physical ages where particular skills are best acquired. Early specialisation in sport can hinder the physical development of an athlete and is why complimenting their golf instruction with other sports and activities is important.
The fundamental movement skills that are important for young junior to develop include:
- Directional change
These skills are incorporated into all my programs including group and individual.
Strength and Conditioning
Strength and conditioning is important for all junior athletes as they age to help establish body control, better patterning and prevent injury. At the appropriate age of development, having a fitness screening and assessment performed by a qualified physiotherapist or fitness instructor who understands the general mechanics of the body and movement for golf will help to understand any limitations within the body and how to correct them early.
The assessment will include testing relating to flexibility, mobility, stability and control. Based on the outcome of the assessment as well as the age of the athlete, a plan will be established to improve the areas of weakness. The plan will be systematic and start with improving flexibility, mobility and stability, strength, power and conclude with specific sport exercises. Each step in the plan will help to build a good foundation for a healthy, injury free golfing life.
Practice is important for skill development and acquisition and should be age appropriate. Imparting technical jargon of the golf swing to a young child is not recommended as they will not retain the information given to them and will get bored. Instead the focus is on completing games and challenges that teach them the skills of golf in a fun and interactive way.
In practice sessions, games are set that increase in difficulty and are designed to test the player. Failure is very important in the learning process as students will learn from their mistakes more than their successes.
A technical session with my juniors may include the following:
- A movement aspect where they focus on the movement for a specific skill e.g. practicing their pivot using a band, alignment sticks, balls or some other training aid, with no golf ball and sometimes no club
- A technical aspect hitting balls that relates to the above movement drill
- A random drill or game with no outcome that relates to the above skill
- A competitive drill or game that adds pressure and an outcome that relates to the above skill
The above is tailored for time based on age, skill level and skill being developed.
For more information on Junior Fitness, Development and Practice Programs contact me by clicking here.
For more information on Psychology for Golf and Emotional Intelligence refer to the Strategic Partners page by clicking here.