Archive for the ‘Kids Fitness’ Category

Junior Golf: The Best Rehab Strategy

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle, we will look at the best injury rehab strategy. The goal is to get your daughter pain-free and ready to resume golf activities ASAP. A disciplined and consistent rehab program will be the key, but it includes more than just the formal rehab her medical professional has recommended. (Jason Duffner photo by

Diet is a big player in a comprehensive health and rehab program. While it seems kind and loving to provide the sugary treats and drinks that your injured youngster might ask for, sugar and cheap carbs are not helpful. Please keep these to a minimum. Perhaps the injury is an opportunity to introduce your daughter, and the rest of your family to healthier eating habits. High-quality protein shakes, clean meats, as in organic chicken or grass-fed beef and green veggies will help her body make repairs. Yes, she needs some carbs and there are ways to get them other than candy. Sweet potatoes are a very wholesome food item, give them a try. Explain that eating healthier will help her feel better faster and get back on the golf course sooner.

Be assured that Jason Day, last week’s PGA Championship winner, has been working a plan to combat his vertigo/dizziness for months. You may remember his heroic attempt to win the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, but his illness just wouldn’t let up and his final round took him out of contention. However, he and his team found a way/medicine/regimen to defeat or at least control his vertigo so he could play 4 great rounds of golf at Whistling Straits! This is no small feat since vertigo can be very difficult to overcome. Certainly Jason’s plan included medical components as well as diet and exercise. No stone could be left unturned. It took months of effort by Jason and his team to get past this illness and it may take as long or longer for your daughter. Be optimistic. ( photo

Recovering from injury is serious business and sticking with your medical professional’s rehab schedule is important. Don’t get in a hurry, as almost all youngsters do. If your daughter is ahead of schedule your therapist will let you all know.

Now, just one more thing. Let’s apply a mental aspect to her recovery. In survival training, the most important item for survival is a positive mental attitude, a can-do belief. Folks, the human mind is amazing and more and more research is proving that positive outlooks and emotions are extremely powerful and beneficial to quality and longevity of life. So Mom and Dad, you guys give your daughter positive support and thoughts and encourage her to do the same. Yes, this stuff works!

See you on #1 tee, and I had better see a good attitude… Sam

Junior Golf: The 1st Thing To Go

imageIn this Monday Mulligan we’ll take a look at the 1st thing to go when you suffer an injury. And it is the most time-consuming to get back to the previous level of proficiency.

What is it? It is what your junior golfer should be spending much of his time on, chipping and putting. The touch, feel, visualization and sheer creativity for shots around the green require a lot of practice. Golf is a sport which has many artistic requirements. And while visualization is important on every shot, the area around the green is where golf tournaments are won. (photo by

So when you son is injured, the tendency is to want to get back into playing shape as soon as possible. The problem is that most injuries don’t allow him to do any real practice. Even though chipping and putting are handsy-feely kinds of shots that use a little lower body action, your son’s whole body needs to be pain-free in order to properly set up to chip or putt.

So a sprained ankle or twisted knee obviously means no drives or approach shots will be hit for a while, but it also means discomfort when your son tries to chip or putt. This is where patience comes in and an encouraging word from Dad or Mom is very soothing. Trying to return too soon after injury is not good.image

World #1 Rory McIlroy, after the 2nd round the PGA Championship, was asked about where he thought his game was after a 2-month injury layoff. His response was that he was hitting some pretty good drives and approach shots, but his chipping and putting, his short game, just wasn’t where it needed to be. Folks, even Rory can’t snap his fingers and get his short game back. It takes work, lots of work.

You and your son can do some planning and strategizing so that once he is cleared to resume playing golf, the 2 of you have a solid plan. This gives him and you something to do to hopefully help rehab time go by more quickly.

See you on #1 tee…pain-free… Sam

Junior Golf: Protect Your Hands

imageIn today’s Wednesday Waggle we will look at how and why your junior golfer needs to protect her hands. Staying healthy is a big deal. Proper practice and play requires a healthy youngster.

Golf is a whole body sport, but no body part is more important than the hands, and let’s include the wrists since they are so closely related. Feel, feel and more feel is critical to playing good golf. The hands are the “feel” instrument. Listen to any conversation among professional golfers, men and women, and it won’t be very long until the “feel” word comes up. Feel the grip pressure. Too light or too heavy is not what you want…just right is required and you only get “just right” with feel. Putting is about feel. Feel is everywhere in golf. ( Jason Duffner photo from

So protecting the hands is a really big deal. Avoid activities that increase the risk of injury to her hands: bruising, strains, sprains, dislocated fingers, etc. Yes, this means some disappointment as certain fun activities are no longer an option, but the rewards of playing golf as a healthy athlete are great. Positive attitude from parents can transfer to your daughter. Optimism is a very contagious commodity.image

Her hands and wrists can be injured during a golf activity. S3 chunked a shot on the driving range prior to his final round at the 2014 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship at PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, FL. He had a great round, shooting a 73. Unknown to him, his chunked shot had tweaked a tendon in his right wrist. S3 learned that as we went to the driving range after he got home from the event. He would hit a shot and about 1 second later fall to the ground in pain, excruciating pain. So here while S3 was practicing the sport he dearly loves, he super-chunked a shot on the range, but was able to play his final round pain-free because the inflammation in his right wrist had not totally set in.

Fortunately in Texas, we have our beloved AIRROSTI soft tissue chiropractors and 10 days later after 3 AIRROSTI treatments S3 was pain-free. Every injury interrupts practice and play. Golf requires considerable consistent attention if your daughter is going to improve her skills. Enough interruptions happen on their own so everything you can do to help your daughter avoid injury is really great!

Remind your daughter to protect her hands…see you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: Protect Your Body

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we will look at how and why junior golfers must protect their bodies. Protection and caution particularly against non-golf injuries is where we are going here.

With the PGA Championship week here, I can’t help but wonder how defending champion Rory McIlroy will do. After tearing up his ankle in a pickup soccer game with friends, his practice and physical prep has been severely limited. The 2 conversations I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall on are:
1. the call from Nike to Rory’s agent after learning that Nike’s highest paid professional golfer was going to miss 1 major tournament, The Open Championship, and could possibly miss a 2nd major, The PGA Championship.
2. the call from Rory’s agent to Rory.

While I am not a lawyer or sports agent or manager, I do know that most professional athletes have clauses in their contracts prohibiting or at least strictly limiting any physical activity outside of that required to perform at a high level in their sport. Sports teams and sports endorsement companies, Nike here, pay big bucks for an athlete to play well and bring positive attention to their product or service and every game an athlete misses means the endorser loses money. I wonder if there was a penalty clause to Rory if he missed a major championship, which he did, because of a contract violation. Wow, interesting stuff. And frankly, how embarrassing.

How does this affect your junior golfer? Simple. Please impress upon him that if golf is the sport he intends to play, then he will need to give up some other sports in order to limit the possibility of injury. S3 incurred a couple of minor injuries playing pickup basketball and throwing a football…with his golf teammates at an away tournament. Now, he was able to play, but was a bit uncomfortable. It required constantly reminding him to tell his buddies that being healthy for his golf was more important that playing pickup games. He was disappointed at first but you know, after the first couple of strains and sprains, he got the point and quit messing around.image

So, when you are at the family reunion and that traditional flag football, basketball or volleyball game starts up, remind your kiddo that the best choice is to not play and stay healthy for all the wonderful golf activities on the fall calendar. Yes, there will be some sadness, but not nearly the amount of sadness there would be if your son missed a tournament or 2 because of an injury sustained as a result of a poor choice. As the Knight’s Templar said in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, “He choose poorly.”

Enjoy PGA Championship week! Tape the tournament and the “live from PGA” that airs on The Golf Channel. There is much excellent golf wisdom dispensed during these broadcasts!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: Start the Fall with a Committment

imageIn this Friday Flop Shot we’ll look at how to start your fall golf season by developing good habits. Proper routines are essential for success. Every great athlete has specific routines they have incorporated into their daily life. (photo from

Mom and Dad, please be the parents. It is your persistence and attention to detail that will help your junior golfer stay on track and improve her game. Start by reviewing her schedule. Does she have team practices? Is there room for additional weekly golf activity? Discuss how much time she can commit for golf each week. Don’t overbook this. A little less activity is better until and unless the desire catches fire and your daughter wants to spend every waking minute doing something golf related. And yes, this really does happen, but do not be disturbed if it has not happened to your young golfer yet.

What can and does happen is that your daughter may love golf, but does not wish to spend all her free time on it. This is why good habits, as in practice habits are essential. After you decide how much golf time is available each week, then devise a golf practice routine with your daughter’s input. Ask her if she is good with the schedule the 2 of you have come up with. If so, then ask if she is willing to commit to it. If yes, then please consider having her sign a piece of paper committing to the weekly schedule. The actual signing of a piece of paper stating what her responsibilities are is a genuine reality check. It makes her commitment real and hopefully helps prepare her to read every word of anything she may sign in the future, including student loans, car or home loans, real estate papers, etc.image

Her agreement needs to include some details: minimum number of golf activities per week, definition of golf activities, maximum number of days without any golf and whatever else applies. You can add fun stuff like “I promise to have a positive mental attitude and always want to go to practice. I will not complain about it being too hot or too cold or too wet or too windy.” A little fun added in goes a long way.

So get some regular activities going. Regular activities give her structure and structure helps build confidence in the processes that will help her improve her golf skills. The legendary Ben Hogan said: ” I always outworked everybody. Work never bothered me like it bothers some people.” Make golf fun and make sure to have her commit to a minimum number of days of golf activity per week. This will be a great start…and that positive mental attitude!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: What To Expect After the Break

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we’ll look at the to expect from your daughter after the break is over. Interesting things happen and perhaps don’t happen when there is no golf activity for a week or 2. There will be some surprises so be prepared to take advantage of them rather than being upset by them.

So your kiddo is ready to get back into her golf regimen and you need to set up her routine for the fall. Part of this is done for you if she is on a high school, junior high school or club golf team and all you have to do is be a good golf parent and chauffeur. And you can offer extra putting and chipping drills at home, if her schedule allows. (photo from golf

Starting back into school has a slight adjustment period so there will be some confusion and possible frustration at first and golf may suffer as everything else settles in place. Missing a week or 2 of golf makes for interesting start back up scenarios. She may have an amazing day on the range followed by an ugly day. Muscle memory is there, but strength and conditioning may have suffered. She just needs to work back up into golf shape. New team members pose an interesting situation as some may become best friends with your daughter and others may not.image

Be an encourager and get her hitting a bunch of balls, even when she is not too excited about it, so she can wake her muscles back up and get into competitive golf shape. Bubba Watson says one of the best things for amateur golfers to do is to hit more balls. Get “golf strong” by hitting a lot of golf balls. (photo from

Plan on getting a physical exam, have her eyes checked, make sure her golf shoes still fit and replace the cleats. Get excited, fall golf means a new season of golf friends and golf tournaments. Your daughter is entering into new territory!

See you on #1 tee… Sam.

Junior Golf: Take a Break Before School Starts

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan, we will look at why it is important for your junior golfer to take a break before school starts. A summer filled with golf activities is a wonderful thing, but your youngster needs a mental and physical break. With school starting in mid-to-late August in most cases, this is a perfect time to spend some energy on school prep and not think about golf for a week or 2. (Photo by

Golf needs to be fun for everybody. Even the pros, if they are not enjoying playing and competing find it hard to even make the cut sometimes. Your junior golfer needs a ton of fun, combined with some instruction and practice. If he starts seeing golf as work or drudgery, you need to change things quickly.

So for now, rather than overthinking this and wondering if your kiddo needs a break, just take my word for it and give him one, for 2 weeks max. He may ask if he can go start hitting balls again before break time is up. That’s OK, but make sure he takes a complete break from playing, hitting, chipping and putting for at least a week.image

Priorities in our house were grades first, then golf, so getting a positive mental attitude about school starting back up, reuniting with friends and looking forward to fall golf tournaments is all part of the deal. Also, your son will feel refreshed and reinvigorated after some time without golf. (photo by

When the pros take time off, it is different that what your son is doing, but the reasons for taking the time off and anticipated results upon returning to the game are pretty much the same. They want to “find their game”, if they are not playing well. Or they need rest after playing in a lot of consecutive tournaments. Or they may just be tired and need some family time.

Breaks are good for the brain and good for the body and good for the family. So give your son a break. He will quickly get back into the swing of things…and probably swing better!

See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: Embrace the Change in Your Child’s Path

imageIn today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at how to embrace the change in your child’s path. Yes, her path will change and you should expect change, embrace it and adapt to it. (photo by

Paths in life are not straight lines, so why would we expect a junior golf path to be any different? Curves in the path are inevitable and change is good although at times it is uncomfortable at best. Some curves will be pleasant, some will be difficult to understand and some will test you and your junior golfer’s patience to the extreme.

Having a solid relationship with your child is key to recognizing change, figuring out what is going on and implementing a positive solution in order to move forward. Some change is obvious. She grew 2 inches and the golf shoes don’t fit, her clothes are too small and her clubs are too short.

Emotional change can be tricky to see and complicated to refocus. The causes are many, ranging from hormone/puberty issues, school issues, relationship issues, poor diet and more. Getting back on track in dealing with emotional issues can be really difficult and this is not the time to go deeper into it.image

Physical issues can be more than just growing a few inches taller. Shin splints, ingrown toenails, tendonitis and headaches are common as kids grow up. And athletes tend to downplay these as they want to continue practicing and playing their game and they may not want to seem like a wimp. Side effects from prescription medications can be unhelpful for athletic activity. Proper hydration and nutrition will help maximize results during practice and play.

Have your daughter’s eyes checked regularly. We personally know of several excellent junior golfers who kept making uncharacteristic mistakes, particularly around the green. They all needed some vision correction, amazing! (photo from

Anticipate curves in the path. Have some idea of action to take depending on what causes the curve. Above all be encouraging and positive. This is all part of junior golf life.

See you on #1 tee…and I expect everyone to have a great attitude… Sam.

Junior Golf: How to Use Your Junior Golfer’s Unique Path

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle, we will learn how to start using your junior golfer’s unique path. This enables parents to help their young golfers advance their skills in a more effective and efficient manner. (Jason Duffner photo from golf

Hints for parents:
1. recognize and accept the fact that your kiddo has a path in his golf game that is different from everybody else’s path
2. get over the fact that he is not winning or placing in the Top 10 in his events
3. make a weekly schedule for practice and play
4. be an encourager, remove negatives from your speech and actions
5. be the parent. For a while, at least, you will be the one initiating golf activities
6. he will have his own pace of learning and it will vary, sometimes quicker, sometimes slower

As you watch your junior golfer grow into his game, some things will become readily apparent, such as strengths and weaknesses. Break down his game into segments like: fairways hit, greens in regulation, chips, putts and sand trap skills.image

Tournament play will reveal some interesting comparisons on where he stands relative to his age group. There is every reason to expect your child to be competitive with other boys his age. And as his game improves, he will move up in the standings. You will see a little bit of everything during competition. Some kids are robots and hit every fairway, others seem to always chip their ball within a foot of the cup, someone else is making virtually every putt…it’s crazy! (photo from

Learn from what you see so you can identify your son’s strengths and weaknesses and get to work on making the weakness a strength. Always remember, the quickest way to lower his strokes is by improving his chipping and putting, period.

Now you have an idea of what your junior golfer’s path looks like, how long it takes him to learn or improve skills and how he uses those skills in competition. Now we’re getting somewhere!

Please keep in mind, all paths have curves! See you on #1 tee… Sam

Junior Golf: The Open Championship at St. Andrews Is Inspirational

imageIn this Monday Mulligan we will look at how The Open Championship at St. Andrews is inspirational for your junior golfer. As you read this, the best golfers in the World will be finishing their final round at the 144th Open Championship on The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. (photo by

Please, I hope you recorded some of the play, which has taken 5 days to get to the last round. Your child can easily be captivated by the stunning scenery, challenging weather conditions and special atmosphere. And the British fans have a respect for the game of golf that is second to none.

Wind and rain delays are the reasons the golfers are playing today. Yesterday saw almost no wind, leading the announcers to say they had never seen the winds so calm at any Open Championship. So the challenge of high winds, rain and chilly conditions make for an interesting opportunity for any golfer who wants to test his skills. Legendary golfer, Davis Love III was asked what the most layers of clothes were that he had worn during a golf tournament and his answer was “That’s easy, 5-layers at The Open Championship in the 1980’s”. As former Open Champion John Daly said at this Open Championship, “I can handle the wind or the rain, but please don’t give me both.” The atmosphere is totally unique.image

You may be thinking at inclement weather doesn’t sound inspirational, but if you present it in the proper way, it can be. Playing in wet and windy conditions is something that happens to most serious golfers of all ages. Preparation is a key. A name brand golf rain jacket and rain pants and a pair of the “wet” black golf gloves are essential as are of course, waterproof golf shoes. (John Daly photo

During S3’s fall golf season in his sophomore year in high school it seemed like every tournament was 45-degrees and blowing rain. Nobody’s rain gear was good enough. Every player and spectator was soaked to some degree. Those that didn’t have the wet weather gloves could hardly hold onto their clubs. It was tough. But you know what, every tournament had a winner and we all did it again the next week. It certainly helps you appreciate more decent weather conditions.

imageThen there’s the history. St. Andrews is widely regarded as the birthplace of golf, with the earliest mention of play in the early 1400’s. The history, architecture, local customs, food and scenery will set your young golfer’s mind spinning. A trip here for a round of golf would be one of the “lifetime” trips for anyone who loves this sport. What an amazing place! (photo from

There is an Open Championship every July, so if you missed this one, plan ahead to record the 2016 event. Your kiddo will love watching it! It’s a big stage!

See you on #1 tee… maybe at St. Andrews… Sam

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