I have been teaching golf to young kids for a decade now. My teaching career started when I retired from being a pro golfer after an injury. I did not want to leave the sport entirely, so I grabbed the opportunity to coach young golfers when it came.
Throughout the years, I saw various types of parents who accompanied my students. I liked the chill ones best who high-fived their kids, whether they made the goal or not. Some of the less likable parents scolded the children within everyone’s earshot if they missed the ball or insisted that they train every day.
If you don’t want your kids to lose interest in golf, you should remember the following:
Avoid Putting Too Much On Their Plate
The primary key to keep your child in the golfing world is to avoid putting too much on their plate.
Keep in mind that your kid is not merely a budding golfer. They also take on the roles of a student, brother/sister, friend, and perhaps even soccer, baseball, or basketball player.
It’s normal for parents to encourage their children to be all that and more, especially when the kid still has not decided if they want to be pro golfers someday. However, when you give them more tasks than they can handle, they may not pay too much attention to golf. Over time, they can lose interest in the sport, and your chances of having a pro golfer in the family will end prematurely.
Let The Young Golfer Decide When They Will Train
Another issue with over-supportive parents is that they try to schedule the child’s training sessions without asking the latter. That’s when they usually pull the I-know-what’ s-best-for-my-kid card and expect the young golfer to do whatever they’re told.
In reality, the parents get what they want for a few years because the child has no power to say no to them. As they get older, though, they may start hating golf, to the extent that they will refuse to hold a club again.
If you don’t want that to happen, allow your kid to decide when they will train. If they’re going to do it once or twice a week, so be it. In case your child wants to rest for a few days, let them be. By giving them free rein, your child’s interest in the sport may never wane.
Look Out For Burnout Signs
Has your young golfer shown signs of irritability, lack of concentration, or fatigue? What about restlessness, stress, and frustration, especially when they are on the golf course?
You should realize that these symptoms may not be due to the early onslaught of puberty. Though it seems easy to blame everything on that, you need to be objective and figure out if they are burnout signs.
Assuming you don’t know, burnout is common for young athletes, especially if training is all they’ve been doing. They might miss hanging out with friends or family and doing activities that other kids their age typically do, and that could bring their spirits down.
When you notice such signs on your child, try not to gloss over it or feign ignorance just because you want a pro golfer in the family. They may not completely lose interest in the sport when they realize that you are there to help them get through everything.
Use Positive Words All The Time
No one can ever have a perfect winning streak in any game. Not everyone can do great during every training session, either. It is common for kids to feel down and wonder if they are good enough in such cases.
Now, whenever that happens, you should not berate them for losing and then claim that you are merely giving them constructive criticism. Yes, you may be disappointed, but try to imagine how your child feels at this point. They may be lost; they don’t think they can make it in the golfing world. The more you feed their negativity, the less they may want to go back to the golf course. So, use positive words around them all the time.
Whenever a child signs up for my training program, I talk to their parents on the side to make sure that they are aware of everything mentioned above. Luckily, many of them are, and they even say that it’s their kids’ choice to play golf. That makes me happy to welcome them to my class.
However, now and then, I would see moms and dads dragging their kids to the golf course. It’s a clear sign that the parents wanted the child to be a golfer, and the latter wasn’t there out of real curiosity towards the sport. I would still accept such kids in hopes of helping them fall in love with golf, but if it didn’t happen after a few sessions, I would talk to their parents and encourage them to try other activities for the child.
Golf is for everyone, yes, but let’s not push it to the kids who don’t want it.