We all know the benefit of golf for our kids so how can we help ensure that they develop a positive lifelong association with the game?
The first step could well be understanding exactly what is going on with your kid and their association with golf as they grow up…
Up until the age of seven kids are developing rapidly (the imprint period) and you will have heard of the analogy of young children as sponges soaking up information from wherever they find it.
In actual fact this analogy is pretty accurate, the crucial factor however is not so much the information that they soak up but the links they make between activities and their association with pain and enjoyment.
All humans are geared up to move towards pleasure and away from pain… As a young child touches a hot radiator they touch it and feel pain, they may touch it again however they soon learn the association and stop touching the radiator. Think of the converse relationship children develop with their favourite sweet food and you begin to understand the associations being made and their meanings for the individual.
So in order for your kid to develop a long term desire and motivation to play golf it is imperative that their early experiences are enjoyable ones.
How can we as parents influence that? Well a good starting point is learning what your kid enjoys about golf… Have you ever asked them what specifically it is that they enjoy about golf? Please do and listen (without prompting) to the answer, some of it may surprise you.
Simply by knowing what our children really enjoy we can ensure that play, practice and our feedback assists in delivering more enjoyment for them and ultimately a better relationship with the game of golf…
In the next article we will be covering what to look out for in our kid’s answers and what we can help them to focus on to get more enjoyment out of the game…
UK Kids Golf Advisory Team Member