IMPROVE MY GAME
More Sports = Better Development
Mon Apr 7, 2014 by Mike Hansen
Do you have dreams of watching your child win a major? It’s never too early to dream or to start him or her on their journey, but be careful of how you go about doing it. Often times we see parents taking their child to the driving range hitting ball after ball 5 to 6 days per week and many times as young as 5 years old. Unfortunately as a golf specific fitness professional, we usually don’t get to work with these golfers until they are in high school because many parents don’t think they should be “working out” until they are older. Our initial intake questionnaire has the following questions: How long have you played golf, how often do you swing the club, and what other sports did you play while growing up?
Here is what we often see from a 15 or 16 yr old:
- How long have you played golf? 10 yrs
- How often do you swing the club? Every Day
- What other sports have you played? None
With these golfers, often times we have to spend many hours getting them to learn how to use their bodies for maximum efficiency. It is hard for them to develop consistent speed and power because of this, and their bodies are developed unevenly and injuries have already started to hinder their development.
Here is what we would love to see from those golfers:
- How long have you played golf? 5-10 yrs
- How often do you swing the club? 3-4 days per week
- What other sports have you played? Soccer, basketball, tennis, baseball or pretty much any other sport.
These golfers already have great control of their bodies and are quick learners when it comes to developing speed and power conducive for their golf swing. They are also well balanced physically and have symmetrical strengths on both sides of their bodies.
So instead of taking your future champion to the range every day, get them in other sports or take them to the park and incorporate the following:
- Teach them how to skip. Skipping is one of the first fundamental movements to get them to separate their upper and lower bodies
- Teach them how to throw a ball. This will teach them how to use their lower body and hips to generate power to the upper body. Do this with both arms.
- Have them kick a ball. This will teach them how to post up on a leg and swing around it. Do this with both legs.
- Have them throw a Frisbee. This teaches them proper wrist release and body alignment.
- Have them play on the monkey bars. This will develop upper body and forearm strength.
- Challenge them to a race. Your child can’t ever be “too fast.” They will benefit their entire life from speed development at a young age.
These are just some examples of how you as a parent can create a future golf champion. These early learned skills will pay off greatly in their long term development, and be crucial in avoiding early burnout and injury.
By Mike HansenView Mike's Expert Profile
Exactly Ricardo, I see it all the time, parents put way too much stress on an 8 yr old to win tournaments. The problem with this is the athlete considers themselves failures if they don't win, which unfortunately leads to burnout.
Mike Hansen 4/11/2014 1:08 AM
Thanks, Mike, for posting this. I see this on a regular basis, and not just with my young golfers. As much as the term "Cross Fit" and "Cross Training" buzzes around these days, we need to remember that playing different sports is the original and ultimate "Cross Training!" It not only develops a more rounded athlete and helps prevent repetitive injuries, it also exposes our kids to an array of activities they can enjoy their entire lives! -Chris Miller, DPT, OCS, TPI Medical Professional
Anonymous User 4/11/2014 1:03 AM
Chris, thank you! I have always said kids will never know their full potential in athletics until they are exposed to more and more.
Mike Hansen 4/11/2014 1:03 AM
Dear Mike, it is a great article I 1oo% agree with every word in it...! More and more partents should understand this methodical approach!! Aron Makszin, PGA pro, Hungary
Anonymous User 4/11/2014 12:59 AM
Thank you! You're right on Aron, parents HAVE to be educated, the kids will always play!
Mike Hansen 4/11/2014 12:59 AM
Nice post mike - Please check out www.2-do-Sport.co.uk Let me know your thoughts Great job Mark Shervill
Anonymous User 4/11/2014 12:58 AM
Thank You Mark, your site looks great! Awesome concept, keep up the good work! Mike
Mike Hansen 4/11/2014 12:58 AM