As coaches and parents, sometimes we may be guilty of taking golf too seriously and putting pressure on younger players.
At IJGA, we take golf seriously but also recognize the importance of having fun and making sure our golfers continue to enjoy the game.
We’re sharing 4 tips for parents and coaches to help make golf fun for juniors.
Make Golfing Drills Fun
Training is an essential part of succeeding in a golf career. While no one should skip consistent training and conditioning, it is possible to incorporate fun activities.
Add a game-like element in repetitive drills to keep junior golfers entertained as they learn! For example, add a basket for junior golfers to hit into when practicing chipping. Move the basket back several yards away and see how many balls can be shot in the basket in a row.
Completing training in a group is another fun way for student-athletes to provide support for each other. Options like a golf summer camp are a great way to mix fun activities with physical training and on-course strategy.
Related Post: 4 Ways to Know if a Junior Golf Summer Camp is For You.
As a coach or parent, if you can keep training upbeat and entertaining, your junior athlete may be more likely to continue to pursue the sport they love and look forward to improving their game.
Engage in Healthy Competition
Competition can be fun! Junior golfers love competing in tournaments and playing with their friends and peers.
When working with junior golfers, you must walk the fine line between encouraging healthy competition and avoiding pitting athletes against each other negatively.
As a parent or a coach, it’s your responsibility to encourage healthy elements of competition so that athletes know how to perform under pressure. Keep in mind that junior golfers are still learning!
Encourage your athletes. It means a lot for them to hear that the people who guide them are proud of their accomplishments.
Help Your Athletes Go Prepared
When playing a practice round on the course or when competing in a tournament, help your athlete go prepared.
When your athlete is comfortable, they’re more likely to want to stay and play on the course! When the weather is warm, consider bringing orange slices, water bottles, sports drinks, sunscreen, and towels!
Ensuring your athletes have the tools to succeed goes beyond bringing only physical items, make sure they’re mentally prepared for tournaments and practices!
Check in with your junior golfer frequently to see where their head is and what coaching style they may need to guide them.
Play With Help From Qualified Coaches
One of the most critical factors in keeping golf fun for juniors is ensuring they play under qualified and experienced coaches. A good coach knows when to push and when to encourage their athletes and should provide individualized instruction to each golfer.