Junior Golf: Be Yourself

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at personalities, who our kids really are, how their disposition impacts their play. All of our junior golfers are different and “being yourself” is critical to good performance on the golf course

Great show on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive show this morning! The cast was talking about LPGA superstar Suzann Pettersen and her attitude during Friday’s round at the LPGA Lorena Ochoa Tournament. The whole crew agreed the Suzann basically played the whole round with a scowl on her face and while she had no shows of temper, she just seemed to be in a foul mood and could not or chose not to shake it. And she shot 1-under par 71 to be in 6th place after 2 rounds. A pretty good spot to be in actually. So Suzann’s poor mood enabled the crew to take the conversation in a more positive direction. (photo jennleforge.com)

Morning Drive co-host Charlie Rymer referred to advice he was given during his professional playing days by famed sports psychologist, Dr. Bob Rotella who told Charlie: “be yourself. Charlie, you’re a talker, so talk while you’re playing.” So is your son a talker, the silent type or somewhere in between? If you have never thought about, then give yourself a moment to ponder this, but you already know.

Your son will play with every type of personality imaginable and more. Some are fun, some are pleasantly tolerable and some are jerks and the silent ones are not necessarily jerks, but maybe just the quiet type. Being yourself is important in life and important in golf. Watch your son in his next few tournament rounds and at some point things will become quite clear. What you are looking for is when does your son seem to be more relaxed and playing better? Is it when he is talking to 1 of his group when they are walking down the fairway or is it when he kind of stays by himself and doesn’t have much interaction with the other players? A trend will show itself and once you have identified his comfortable scenario, have a good discussion with him and encourage him to use his comfort zone while he is playing. It works!image

Our family is a family of talkers. I think we came right into the world talking, we didn’t wait until the normal talking age, we were all talking prodigies. That said, we, at least I don’t think we are just babbling machines, it’s just that we are communicators. It is inherent to our family. And it didn’t take long to see that S3 seemed to always be more relaxed if he could connect with someone in his group. Granted the 6 and 7 year-olds are not likely to be talking, but once your son gets into junior high the socializing will start to show up. And over time he will be paired more often than expected, with someone he already knows and can be comfortable with. The reality is that every round presents an opportunity for your son to learn to maintain his focus, not be distracted by his partner’s personality or lack of personality. Sometimes finding and maintaining his comfort zone is easier and sometimes it is difficult. It’s all part of golf. (photo by golfbytourmiss.com)

See you on #1 tee and wait until after I hit to start talking… Sam

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