Junior Golf: Parents: Do This To Reduce Game-Day Pressure

In this Friday Flop Shot we will introduce a wonderful concept that can be used in your everyday activities, but has a special place in the world of athletics, particularly when it’s game day or some type of competition is involved. Let’s learn 1 way to reduce the stress on your son. (image offcoursegolf.com)

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There are tons of studies confirming that the majority of kids, really virtually every youngster, does not want to disappoint his parents, he wants to please us. He wants to be affirmed in his efforts. Pleasing parents is a big deal for our kiddos.

How do we show our pleasure as parents? Wow, this is a tough question, because a proper answer requires some insight and honesty. How do you approach this? For starters, look in a mirror and put on the expression you most commonly show when your son makes a mistake or hits a poor shot. What does that face look like? Not pretty, I’m thinkin’! Now show the face you use when he hits a good shot or shows self-control. Is there a difference in these 2 faces, I hope not!

We’re going for credibility here Mom and Dad. And to achieve that, your expressions should look exactly the same, a pleasant smile and a thumb’s up are all that is needed. The end we are seeking is to show our love for our junior golfer. Love that is unconditional, strong and constant.

When your son tees off to start tournament play, you have some idea of a range where you expect his score fall. Perhaps 70-80, 80-90, or maybe 70-75. In any case you have a reasonable expectation of the score he is likely to shoot on any given day. This is a good thing.

If his score is near the low end of what was anticipated, he’ll be pleased with his performance, but if it’s at the high end, your boy may be sad, mad and generally disgusted with his play. Here is a line that Linda came up with and we encourage you, Dad and Mom, to use this sentence or come up with a similar 1 for use in your family: Linda speaking after the round, “Son, our love for you is not based on the number on that scorecard!” In other words, we don’t love you less for a poor round or more for a great round. Our love for you is the same 100% of the time! (image Martinhal)

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This is the point. A child needs the comfort and confidence that his parents love him whether he shoots 70 or 100, period. Please hone in on what we’re trying to convey here. I had to work at changing my disappointment to encouragement and some of you will probably need to do the same. You can do it. You’re the adults in the home, remember, now please act like it.

Being able to relax and have fun playing golf is important in order to play well. There is enough pressure everywhere so that when you son feels a reduced load of pressure from parents and family members, it gives him an opportunity to shoot lower scores.

See you on #1 tee without much pressure, at least from your parents… Sam

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