Junior Golf: Seasons of Change

In this Wednesday Waggle, we’ll look at seasons of change. Your son will have a ton of changes happen to him throughout his life and some of the 1st and potentially most impactful will happen while he still is living at home.img_0102

Looking through his eyes, man are there a lot things happening and changing. Let’s examine some of the most dramatic/traumatic. Summer always is in itself a season of change. It marks the end of a school year and the coming of the next one. School seasons of change are basically of 2 categories, staying in the same school level and advancing to the next grade or finishing at 1 school level, say elementary school and advancing to the next school level, junior high or from junior high to high school or from high school to college. You see where we’re going here. (Dufner photo golfdigest.com)

Summer is when these transitions happen. Well, new friends, new and more difficult classes and new environments can, depending on your son’s personality type, impart stress. Parents, please remember there are 2 types of stress, the good stress-I’m excited about trying out for the school golf team and bad stress-What will happen if I try out for the school golf team and don’t make it? These thoughts and plenty more are going through your son’s mind over the summer.

How does this impact his golf? Again, depending on his personality type, he may relish all this change, work hard and be really ready for fall golf. Or he may be a bit intimidated by all this, still work hard on his summer golf, but need some time in the fall to settle into this new environment.

How can Dad and Mom help him adapt? Be realistic and positive. Explain that most of his new team members will be nice guys and some will become lifelong friends. Yes, some will play better, some will hit the ball farther and some will be really tough to beat. But you know what, they all want a teammate that can contribute! And tell him, “Son, that can be you.” (photo of S3 with a very tough 1st Place defeating a couple of future college golfers)image

Also be clear that team golf is different from individual golf in that he must earn a spot on the traveling team going to any given event. Rarely does any school, unless they are hosting their own tournament enter all their players. Golf is the ultimate performance-based sport, the better you play, the more opportunities you have. High school and college golf are very similar in this aspect: each school holds a qualifier for a specific event and the low 5 scores go and everybody else stays home.

Make an effort to understand what’s going through your junior golfer’s mind. Know that as much as he is loving his summer activities, he is also aware that they will come to an end, and in his opinion, perhaps way too soon. Parents, your input is vital to his good transition and success in the fall. Realistic and positive, great combination!

See you on #1 tee looking eager… Sam

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