Junior Golf: Go Beyond The Game

In today’s Monday Mulligan, we will ask parents to take an out-of-the-box line of thought. We’re going to ask you to consider going beyond the game.

Photo credit: jennleforge.com

At some point, strength and conditioning training will need to be incorporated into your son’s/daughter’s regimen. Basically, all the PGA and LPGA players have strength coaches and/or personal trainers. During the Dell WGC Matchplay Championship, won by Dustin Johnson, the announcers commented about how well he, the World’s #1-Ranked Golfer, is playing. In addition to being a gifted athlete, DJ works out twice a day, 7 days a week. Wow, that is a serious routine and it’s really paying off!

So what does going beyond the game look like to the parents of a junior golfer? Simply put, it is doing something that is not golf that will help them play better golf, be physically stronger and have better endurance. It is very common to see junior high golfers gasping for air in the freshman year of high school when they have to carry their bag and play well for more than 9 holes. And the same thing happens during the freshman year of college when your son has to play 36-holes, walking of course.

In addition to the standard s&c workouts here are a couple of different and informal, spur-of-the-moment ways for Mom and Dad to go beyond the game and help their kiddo get into better golf shape, the ability to walk, carry their golf bag and play well for all the holes in their tournaments.

First, find some time for both of you to walk together around the neighborhood carrying golf bags or backpacks with weights or bricks in them. Just 15 minutes several times a week can be a genuine benefit to both of you. And it gives you time to talk, enjoy each other’s company and increase your understanding of where your child is at mentally during this stage of his/her life. These can be very special times and deepen your relationship with your child.

Second, and you will want to make this fun, have some of what we call p&p contests (push-ups and planks). Grab your son and tell him that it’s time for some push-ups. Depending on his/her strength level he may need to begin by doing push-ups on his knees and progress to his toes once he gets strong enough. See who can do the most or who can do the most in 30 seconds or such. Then do a plank or 2. Planks are amazingly beneficial to the whole body and are excellent for the building the very important core muscles. Time the planks and see who can outlast the other one. There are regular planks-arms extended, elbow planks-on elbows, side planks and even reverse planks. Unending planks! Tough, but oh so good for everybody! Yes, planks help increase the parent-child bond.

Frankly, even the most dedicated junior golfer needs time away from golf, time that is not specifically golf. It’s simple to incorporate these items into your weekly schedule. It just takes doing it, taking the first step. Start with whatever is easiest and add the second one in a couple of weeks. Let’s help your junior golfer and have some fun too!

See you on #1 tee ready to walk all 18 holes… Sam

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