Archive for February, 2015

5 Relational Issues Impacting Junior Golfers

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am addressing challenges and here is number two.

Challenge Number 2: Relational issues can wreak havoc with your junior golfer’s path.

imageHow can a parent effectively deal with these situations?

imagePlease understand that I have no formal training in psychology or psychiatry and I am passing along to you the experiences Linda and I had with our son Sam III during his junior golf years.

If your son/daughter starts acting differently, their golf will be affected. Reasons for a change of behavior are numerous, but the challenge we are looking at today is relational issues.

Potential scenarios are:
1. A friend is mad at him or treated him disrespectfully
2. A teacher gave him a poor grade or embarrassed him in front of the class
3. You or your spouse have made a decision that he doesn’t like
4. You and your spouse have issues in your own relationship that are disturbing to him
5. Boyfriend/girlfriend issues

So how do you figure out which of these scenarios is impacting your child? Ask.

You may want to address an emotion: you seem sad today, you seem a little down today or you seem like you are mad…..and let him talk. Please resist your urge to ask more questions and give him some time to respond.

Ask about his friends. Check on his grades. He may be hesitant to divulge his reasons if he is unhappy at home. If you downplay or eliminate one-on-one dating, the dating issue is minimized.

A key to getting past most relational issues is helping your child adopt a positive attitude.Two of the all-time classic golf books are: Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book and Dr. Bob Rotella’s book, Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect. has them both readily available.

If you feel truly lost or stymied, ask your school or church for the name of a trusted youth counselor.

Be sure to see my previous post and be on the lookout for my next post as we address the challenge of injury and illness.

Now grab your junior golfer and go hit some balls. See you on #1 tee.

Potholes, Curves and Bumps in Your Junior Golfer’s Path!

Make lemonade out of those lemons that fall onto your junior golfer’s path. Those potholes, curves and bumps can all be turned into positives.

All golfers have interruptions in their forward progress. So how does a parent deal with these setbacks? Let’s start by identifying what is going on. Some situations are obvious, but some can be very subtle.

Here are some challenge areas:
1. Lack of interest…your junior golfer isn’t as fired up about golf as he was.S3 hole in one!

Let’s address this. There are numerous reasons for decreased interest. Burnout, poor tournament results, too much going on, overbearing Coach or parents, nagging injuries, hormones, family issues, scholastic issues, friendship problems, they never liked golf in the first place and can’t take it anymore, the list is endless.

So how do you find out what is really happening? Just ask. Try this today: take half a sheet of paper and write, “When I think of golf I feel…”, skip a couple of lines for your child to respond, then write, “I play golf because…”. Make sure there is enough room for your child to write an answer and give it to him when he is in a peaceful state of mind. The answer gives you something to work with.

It may take a while to learn what is really going on, but it can be done. And you should do some inspecting. Check out their golf shoes. Run your hand into them and feel for wear spots on the lining, mainly around the toes, outside of the arch and in the heel. At some point too much wear leads to discomfort, chafing and risk of injury. Buy new shoes before the wear gets out of hand. Look at your kiddo’s feet. Are there any ingrown toenails, blisters, corns or calluses? I assure you, Happy Feet are essential for Happy Golf! Sometimes your junior golfer is in pain but for whatever reason, does not choose to tell you about it. I think back to a time when S3, our college golfer, was walking super-slowly in tournaments. He just kind of blew it off until we finally, after several events, visually inspected his bare feet. He had infected ingrown toenails in both big toes! Once this was cleared up, all was good. Linda and I were disappointed we had not checked out his feet earlier..but at least we finally did! Better late than never!

2. Relational issues at home, school or with friends. This can be hard to detect and can be a major distraction.

3. Injury or illness…proper recovery and rehab are imperative.
4. Improper or ill-fitting clubs, equipment or shoes.
5. Ineffective coaching.
6. Psychological issues…no your junior golfer in not nuts but there are a bunch of thoughts that surface during competition and many of these thoughts are not helpful.

Some or maybe all of these things could come up during your junior golfer’s career. They are normal!

Rather than stressing out, address these issues with a positive approach to help your golfer regain his positive attitude as soon as possible. These are great learning situations!

In my next post, I will address Challenge #2. Now get your junior golfer and go hit some balls.

See you on #1 tee… Sam

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