We live in an era where technology is everywhere. From a super-young age children know how to operate all sorts of electronics. How many of you have an iPhone and even your youngest kid knows how to pull up your playlist or take pictures with it? It is amazing to see these mini adults swiping their fingers unlocking the phones and looking for their favorite app to play a game or watch a movie. When I was growing up (which really wasn’t that long ago) there weren’t a lot of options of electronic gadgets to occupy your time. My friends and I played a lot outside. We played a lot of sports; football, basketball and baseball in the back yard. My brother and I would play against each other in so many sports we were always running around and competing. Even though we grew up in a golf family and lived on the 14th hole of the Ravines Golf Resort, we always made time for active sports. I’m concerned about the younger generations... that they aren’t as active and unless parents are really involved in their kid’s development, they aren’t developing their athletic skills.
Dr. Greg Rose from the Titleist Performance Institute has developed a junior golf program. TPI is certifying junior coaches and the program they follow is right on the money. The main emphasis of the program is to train kids to be athletes first then expose them to golf. By having juniors come to a golf class or golf camp, let them run around and work on agility, balance, strength and endurance then maybe they will think golf is fun. TPI isn’t concerned when the children are young about fine tuning their technique. They are more concerned that during certain growth spurts of boys and girls, they are working on things in their bodies which will help them become faster, more supple and explosive. The best golf teachers would much rather have a raw athlete who understands the fundamentals of the game than a kid who has played golf all his life but hasn’t been active in other sports. The ceiling of the athlete is much, much higher. If you get the time visit my coaching site at joshmccumber.com and watch the parent night presentation by Dr. Greg Rose in the video gallery. You will learn about how long it takes to be an expert in a particular discipline and what the research says about what kids should be doing with their bodies and different periods of development. It is some eye opening stuff.
If you want your child to be the best athlete they can be then make sure they are active. Make sure they are running around playing on the playground and playing sports that you played when you were growing up. You will get some good ideas for things you can do for your child by watching the Parent Night video. If you want to take it a step further visit mytpi.com and look for a certified junior coach. Even if your kid doesn’t like golf, if he attends the TPI junior program he will be a much better athlete for it and will be better in the other sports he or she plays. Force them to turn off the game boy, TV or computer and take them outside. Teach them to do jumping jacks, run some suicides and balance on one leg. Make it fun, make it a game and I promise you, your child will thank you for it in the long run as they will be more successful in the sports they play and mentally fresher by getting away from their electronics for a short period of time.