Important to Start your Kids Early in Sports
Thirty years ago, Golf was thought to be a sport you took up as a tween or teenager or as an Adult. A popular perception was that Golf was more an adult sport so, you should wait to learn the sport until you hit the age of 11-14. Most golf courses had age stipulations of being 10 or 12 before you could join as a member or go to a golf camp or clinic. It seemed like a good idea at the time but the problem with this is that we now know that it is important for kids to start playing sports, Golf included, before the age of 12. Research has shown that the majority of people who play a particular sport as adult learned how to play the sport as a child. Very few people in adulthood take up a new sport after the age of 17. When was the last time that you learned a new sport and constantly played it? Think about it. As adults, most of us play the sports we learned as children.
Before you are 12, you are developing as an athlete. You have the time to continuously practice and play and develop your fundamental athletic movement skills: running, jumping, throwing, catching, striking, kicking, etc. When you take up a particular sport, you have the time to devote to developing sport specific skills, thru practicing and playing. Generally, younger kids have no fear in trying new things. There is a willingness to try and learn new activities whether the kid succeeds at first or not. This is true for both boys and girls until the maturation stage. The social aspect is very important as well. Developing bonds and friendships is an important element to sport. The number one reason why kids play sports is because it’s fun. Second on that list is that their friends play.
We all know that Girls mature physically, emotionally and psychologically slightly ahead of boys. At times this can be more than a couple years. This has an affect on sports and sport participation as well around the ages of 10-16. Since boys mature slightly later, they still have a willingness to try new things and it doesn’t matter if they fail at first. Some boys relish in failing to get laughs off their buddies. The opposite is true of girls, girls are very self aware and become self-conscious around 9-16. A large percentage of girls at this age feel that they are not good at the sport if they fail at first. They get embarrassed. They get frustrated and ultimately stop participating in sport. If their friends quit, a lot of times they will quit too. There is a huge participation drop off across the board in all sports around the age of 12-14 for girls. All sport instructors/coaches, including Golf, are trying to change this statistic. It’s important that girls feel safe and encouraged in sport. It’s important to start your kids, especially your girls, early in sports. They will feel good, have positive self-esteem, enhance their physical and sport specific skills, make bonds and friendships and become an athlete/participant or golfer for life.
There are a number of junior programs that I teach all throughout the year for ages 3 & up. There are various clinics and camps. Private instruction is available too. To encourage and introduce Girls to Golf, I run a Saturday Morning Junior Girls Only Drop-in Clinic for Girls ages 6 and up. Girls can try Golf and come to as many or as few clinics as they like. The girls don’t need equipment to start or any knowledge of the game. They can bring their friends. This program will start on Saturday April 29th from 10:00-11:00am. It is $10 (including tax) per session. It runs until the end of August. If you have any questions about how to get your child into golf (ie:where to start, what to buy for equipment, etc) or would like to register for another program, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org