By Phera Jai
A few years ago, the average age of golfers was 40+. Today people are starting to take up golf at a much younger age, thus leading to the transition from a game to a sport.
So how should we develop children into golfers of international repute, able to compete comfortably up to the highest level?
The most important aspect of teaching children golf successfully is to maintain an element of fun. Children will always remain more engaged in any activity if they are having fun, making friends and improving in the activity. To maintain the element of fun, children need to be coached as per their physical and mental development. No two children develop identically, even twins. This is why it is very important for a coach to be able to understand and identify each child’s individual ability to progress them at their pace.
The term “Windows of Trainability” is one that many trainers are not familiar with. “Windows of Trainability” are periods of physical development in every child’s life where certain fundamental movement skills can be learned at an accelerated rate. Focusing the teachings of specific skills during these “windows of trainability” gives the child the added advantage of becoming the best athlete and sports person that they can be. The fundamental skills that one needs to become an athlete are movement skills, flexibility skills, endurance and strength, as well as sports-specific skills.
A qualified junior coach is able to identify which “window” a child is presently in (their physical development stage) and thus tailors the golf teachings accordingly, to maximize the child’s athletic and playing ability.
A qualified junior coach will also be in a position to identify the mental development stage of the child, especially when deciding the different levels of competition, so as to build the child’s confidence and further interest in the sport.
The same way that a parent chooses which school to place their child in, to provide them with the best education, is the same way a parent should place their child in a golf-training program. As a parent, research and choose a training program where the qualified coach focuses on understanding, knowledge, compassion and patience.
Titleist Performance Institute Level 2 Certified Junior Golf Coach