Junior Golf: Control This And Empower Your Golfer

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at 1 of the things that we, parents actually can control or at least have some control over. This can be very beneficial to our youngsters on tournament days.

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photocredit:jennleforge.com

Really, all the prep should be done before the actual day of an event. Depending on your son’s/daughter’s personality he/she may not have gotten much quality sleep the night before the competition starts. Parents, we must be aware that there are a million things going through our young golfer’s mind as soon as he gets out of bed. What he doesn’t need is Mom or Dad adding clutter to the pre-tournament environment.

What does this look like? Control your emotions, your words and your body language. Stick to the regular morning routine. “Good morning, son, how are you? What would you like for breakfast?” Keep it simple and non-golf until you get ready to load up and go to the course. Then, before you get in the car, you just need to go over the pre-tournament checklist, again standard routine.

In the car, let him listen to his headphones or favorite music. This is relaxing to him although it may not seem like it to you. Less talk is better. Idle comments such as, “Oh, this is such a big tournament,” or “Wow, there are so many great players in this field!”, are not helpful. This is pressure and your youngster already has a ton of pressure so please don’t address the event at this point. Parents, control yourselves. Be aware of what is happening in your son’s mind right now! Be the adult! And yes, it can be very difficult!

Linda and I developed a relatively standard final few sentences for S3 as he was going up to tee off. “Remember Son, it’s just fairways and greens. You know what to do. Take a breath and have fun. Enjoy your round! We love you!” That’s pretty much it.

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Once the round starts, your contact with your child is extremely limited. Understand however, that he can hear your voices better than you ever imagined, no matter what else is going on. His hearing is tuned to Dad and Mom’s voice frequencies. Please control what you say, no matter the subject. And your boy sees and perfectly interprets your body language. A parent’s slumped shoulders or head down convey a horrible message, whether it was intended or not. Again, we must be the encouraging parents!

The bottom line is that the more we control our body language by minimizing/eliminating the throwing the hands up, shaking the head, uttering words of frustration and disappointment, the more we can lift up our child. Heads up, thumbs up, shoulders back, big smiles and “Love you Son,” all add up to positive encouragement. That’s where we as parents must strive to get to and it’s tough, but you know what, you can do it, if you will do it!

See you on #1 tee with an encouraging gallery… Sam

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