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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