When to specialize golf coaching for juniors

Oct 28th, 2010No Comments

As the child gets older, there is a decision being made about should they specialize just in golf, or should the junior actually play other sports throughout the year. My opinion is that it’s great for the 8 to 14 year old to play other sports, especially a team sport so they can learn some different dynamics with team building and coaching that you may not get in an individual sport like golf. With that being said, as we do get to an older age, the 14-15 year old range, depending on how good the junior is will depend should we specialize in one sport or the other. All sports have become more specialized in the last 10 years than before. I like to see balance in somebody’s athletic endeavors; however, because the competition is specializing, you may have to look at making decisions when the child is 14 or 15 years old of is golf going to be the only sport to put the 100% of effort in, or can we still succeed at a high level in golf and have some other interests in some other sports. Now that’s on kind of an individual basis. But what I have seen lately is people specializing at an earlier age. I had one of my top juniors decide not to play baseball anymore at the age of 12 because he knew that golf, in the long run, was going to be his answer to college, and it’s where he wanted to compete, and that potentially playing baseball would deter him from some of those goals. So it’s important for one to understand where you are at from an achievement standpoint in your specific sport and if the other sport or activity would actually interfere with the improvement of somebody’s golf game.  And so, take again — take a look at where the junior is. Are they at a high level already? And what are the end goals? Now some people just want to play high school golf, great. Then you should be able to play other sports. You should play on the football team, the basketball team; sports that are not in the same part of the year, and this can help you stay fresh and balanced for the golf season. But, again, most juniors that I work with, their goal is college and beyond, and right now we’re seeing a lot more specialized, picking one sport over another. If you have any other questions you can reach me at golfmentalcoach.com.

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