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Helping Juniors

“When Helping Juniors, Say Less… & Watch More”

 

This quote is something that the famous player and teacher Claude Harmon use to say and something that I have come to agree with immeasurably throughout the years.  Claude’s son Butch talked about his father’s belief in the importance of teaching juniors this way in Butch’s book The Pro, a wonderful book that I highly recommend.  If you are someone who teaches junior players, then this is imperative for you to understand.

Teaching talented and dedicated junior golfers grew into one of my greatest passions in teaching.  These juniors are wonderful players to help improve because of their passion and dedication for the game, the large amount of time they devote towards golf, and for their ability to learn quickly.  Also because of these same qualities, these juniors need to be taught in a very special way by parents, golf professionals, and coaches.  These talented juniors need to be taught in a manner where they are told less information and watched more by their teachers, parents, and coaches.  I often see the opposite in the golf world, where strong junior players are told too much information and are literally over-taught.  When talented juniors are taught too much, especially when this is not proper advice, some serious damage to their golf games can occur.  Unfortunately in the game of golf, the games of many talented juniors never reach their full potential because of the style of overly technical teaching.

Because juniors engrain movements so quickly, they often will exaggerate what you tell them over a certain amount of time.  Giving juniors simple thoughts and feels and watching them more decreases the chances of this occurring.  Also this ensures juniors do not become overly technical and their focus stays more on playing and scoring than on mechanics.  A focus on scoring is an essential element of how all top champions learned the game and an element that can be easily lost in today’s golf environment.  Also because juniors should be taught in this manner, the simple guidance they should receive needs to come from an individual who knows what they are talking about.  This is why for talented juniors, I suggest that you do some substantial research and find a top golf professional in your area, no matter the cost.  The high price of lessons will be well worth the positive influence upon your junior’s future, and oftentimes these lessons will pay for themselves by saving thousands of dollars in college tuition costs by receiving golf scholarships.

 

 

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