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Golf Coach's Corner

Golf Tip

Presented by Jeff Ritter, Camp Director
Nike Advanced Junior Golf Camps, Monterey Peninsula

How to Start Your Junior Golfer on the Right Path in the New Year

Start Your Year Off Right Tip Jeff Ritter

With the start of a new golf season upon us, it’s fun to get excited about the prospects for a great summer, as well as, the possibilities associated with playing the game. Every junior golfer, new or advanced, wants to feel empowered within the process of development. Below are some tips for your family to consider as you navigate the road to achievement.

Ignite Interest

For a young person to start down the road to achievement, there needs to be an “ignition” phase. This is when the environment is born only out of pure enjoyment, igniting interest. Interest gives rise to increased participation, followed by the eventual shift to a performance-based mindset. Parents who understand and support this natural progression help their children create a long-term connection to the game. In essence, start with fun and the form will follow.

Develop a Plan

Many who succeed at the highest level do so by creating specific intentions and action plans. Support your child’s desire by helping create an action plan that best serves their goals. Work with a coach to create best practices and be sure to build a positive balance between school, skill, friends and fun.

Promote Marginal Gains

There is basically no difference in making a decision between 1 percent better or 1 percent worse. The compounding effect aggregates over time to create separation and “competitive advantage” in the long term. Support the idea of simply getting a “little” better every day. Adding up small achievements over time leads to massive gains. Encourage your athlete to be encouraged by even the smallest progress. They’ll stay more positively connected to their ultimate goal.

Teach Tenacity

Tenacity is the quality that allows an individual to work hard and maintain focus — not just for weeks or months, but for years. To become great, the athlete needs to value the journey to mastery over the desire to reach a destination. In essence, if you’re not experiencing frustrations or challenge, you’re simply setting the bar too low. Support finding “joy in the struggle” as part of the natural road to success.

Circle of Support

Champions are often products of positive facilitation and gentle encouragement. Coaches, parents and even siblings all play a significant role. The player will most often be their toughest critic. Understanding more about how your family and surrounding circle of influence can best support an environment of growth is one of the most critical components on the journey to high performance.

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