Is My Junior Ready?
Stop holding your junior back… Yes, that is a blunt statement which I will lay out the context for below. One of the main questions I receive as a coach is, “do you think my child is ready for the Operation 36 Matches.” Most parents want to make sure that their junior will be ready to go on the course. While I understand that each of these questions are brought up with good intentions, I also know that this mindset may be holding your junior back from reaching their full potential.
Here is an example. When your child was learning to walk, you did not decide when it was the right time for them to walk. They just started to do it. Whether you had time to pad all the corners or not they were ready. No fear….just persistence to be like adults. Unless you understand the motor skill development benefits of them crawling for a bit longer, I bet you didn’t hold them back from learning to walk.
Playing golf is no different. Golf is not something anyone is “ready” for. It is simply something we do. We play, we make mistakes, we try to learn from our mistakes, and we get back in the game. We do not need to be fundamentally perfect. Especially when your junior will start out from 25 yards.
You don’t need to worry about your junior being embarrassed if they do bad. Honestly, I think I hear that excuse because it is the parents who will be embarrassed if their junior doesn’t perform well. How your junior reacts to failure is mainly due to the environment that you create around their circumstances. We become competent at something by recognizing we are incompetent and then doing the work necessary to become competent. We should be allowing our juniors to experience this type of breakthrough at a young age.
If a junior asks you to play in a match, DO NOT say no to that junior. If they are ready to stand up and walk, let them. If they fall, let them get back up and do it again. They will learn by doing. They will problem solve. Just because they don’t know a lot about golf yet doesn’t mean they should sit on the sidelines while others are having fun.
Our Operation 36 Matches take care of this need for most families. It sets the juniors at a challenge point that they can see improvement at right away. They are able to learn golf quickly and have fun with their friends. They are in a positive environment and they are surrounded by people that care about them and want to see them succeed. We have seen these matches completely change juniors due to the environment they create!