Introducing Kids to the Game of Golf.

Teaching your Child – the right instructor (Part 2)

coach

The Right Coach

As a parent, the time will come when you need to transition from parent – coach … to more of just parent (and cheerleader).  Here are a few of my learning’s as I made this transition…

Teaching a child the golf swing can be far more difficult than an adult.  The top reasons; children have varying levels of attention span, strength, skill (which will continue to change)… these are all key variables for a PGA golf instructor to consider when teaching a child.  So how do you identify the right instructor, here are a few of the lessons I have learned:

  •  Find instructor that knows children.  First and foremost, the most important attribute for a solid instructor for children is they understand the “DNA” of a working with children.  They must have the right temperament and be a solid extension of you – the parent.  By default, I believe they must love working with children and be able to comfortably relate to a young children.

  •  Find instructor that knows the core Fundamentals.  What does this mean you ask… when children learn the game, there is a proper sequencing of the learning.  The most important core fundamentals – grip, stance, posture and balance.

  •  Find instructor that can Build a Swing (starting with strength).  For parents, this is probably the most difficult challenge (and the most important) in selecting the right teacher.  When you find the right one that has this gift, it is worth the weight of gold.  For me, it was my mentor Harvey Penick.

These special teachers have the innate ability to digest all the unique variables of each child and teach accordingly based on their strength and ability.  I believe the best teachers know how to build a golf swing… teaching the child how to use the big muscles early to maximize both swing speed and core fundamentals.  As a parent, don’t get wrapped up on how pretty the swing is or straight the ball goes… developing a swing using the big muscles is key for long term success.

As a parent, I would focus on identifying PGA professionals that already have a successful track record of working with children.  I have been blessed to watch firsthand at Austin Country Club the impact of how great PGA professionals can positively impact the lives of children (and their parents).

Good luck with the journey.

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