Junior Golf: Protect Your Body

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at how and why junior golfers must protect their bodies. Protection and caution particularly against non-golf injuries is where we are going here.

With the PGA Championship week here, I can’t help but wonder how defending champion Rory McIlroy will do. After tearing up his ankle in a pickup soccer game with friends, his practice and physical prep has been severely limited. The 2 conversations I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall on are:
1. the call from Nike to Rory’s agent after learning that Nike’s highest paid professional golfer was going to miss 1 major tournament, The Open Championship, and could possibly miss a 2nd major, The PGA Championship.
2. the call from Rory’s agent to Rory.

While I am not a lawyer or sports agent or manager, I do know that most professional athletes have clauses in their contracts prohibiting or at least strictly limiting any physical activity outside of that required to perform at a high level in their sport. Sports teams and sports endorsement companies, Nike here, pay big bucks for an athlete to play well and bring positive attention to their product or service and every game an athlete misses means the endorser loses money. I wonder if there was a penalty clause to Rory if he missed a major championship, which he did, because of a contract violation. Wow, interesting stuff. And frankly, how embarrassing.

How does this affect your junior golfer? Simple. Please impress upon him that if golf is the sport he intends to play, then he will need to give up some other sports in order to limit the possibility of injury. S3 incurred a couple of minor injuries playing pickup basketball and throwing a football…with his golf teammates at an away tournament. Now, he was able to play, but was a bit uncomfortable. It required constantly reminding him to tell his buddies that being healthy for his golf was more important that playing pickup games. He was disappointed at first but you know, after the first couple of strains and sprains, he got the point and quit messing around.image

So, when you are at the family reunion and that traditional flag football, basketball or volleyball game starts up, remind your kiddo that the best choice is to not play and stay healthy for all the wonderful golf activities on the fall calendar. Yes, there will be some sadness, but not nearly the amount of sadness there would be if your son missed a tournament or 2 because of an injury sustained as a result of a poor choice. As the Knight’s Templar said in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “He choose poorly.”

Enjoy PGA Championship week! Tape the tournament and the “live from PGA” that airs on The Golf Channel. There is much excellent golf wisdom dispensed during these broadcasts!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

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