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Parent’s Guide: Hard Work & Fun Should Go Hand in Hand
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Team New Jersey at Rickie's Putt during the Skills Challenge for the 2021 National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club on October 7, 2021 in Scottsdale, AZ. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America)
There is no getting around the fact that to become better or more proficient at something, you need to work hard. Many times, just the notion of having to put “hard work” in, immediately becomes a roadblock…especially for young people. While the concepts of “hard work” and “fun” don’t usually go hand in hand for most, inevitably, this combination tends to become a secret sauce of sorts, in helping young golfers get to the next level.
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Parent’s Guide: Being Mindful of the Mental and Emotional Side of the Game
Parent’s Guide: Being Okay with Defeat, Failure & Bad Play
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Having fun and enjoying the experience is critical for young golfers to become better. It’s understandable that some may not understand the concept, especially if they want to excel at a high level, and achieve success competitively. Society at large often paints a picture that hard work is something that is grueling and draining and that in order for results to come from working hard, you should feel just that; drained and exhausted after a workout or practice session. The fact is, this does not have to be the case at all, and especially not in golf.
Your son or daughter stumbles upon golf and really starts to enjoy it. They choose to pursue it as their sport of choice. Both you, and your child know that in order to get better, practice will be necessary and perhaps even working with a PGA Coach will be something to consider. You both are excited about learning more about the game and getting better and eventually starting to look towards competition.
In this scenario, why would you ever want to make that process of getting better unenjoyable by adding unnecessary pressure as skills start to improve and promise is shown? Most would say that would be silly, yet I see it play out all the time. The joy, and the initial love of the game, get lost as accomplishments are achieved. For some, the introduction of “Hard Work” sucks out all the fun…and in reality, that’s when the fun factor is needed most.
Making practice fun is pretty easy for your young golfer. Having them turn portions of their practice sessions into games, where they challenge themselves is one way. Getting them to do the same with golf friends takes that to a whole other level. Playing the course as much as possible, especially with their friends, is one of the best ways in keeping things fun but also allow them to get better and sharpen their skills.
The combination of the suggestions above, along with a good PGA Coach at the helm, to help guide both you and your child, will keep things on the right path and keep the love of the game front and center.