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Are Golfers Athlete's or should the be treated differently ??


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#1 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:27 AM

Should golfers train mentally and physically as other athletes do ? If so, should the same discipline be in place as other sports or is there no place for it in Golf?  What I am getting at is would it ever be okay to run laps or do pushups for not hitting good golf shots just as for ex. football players run laps or often face some exercise based consequence for lack of focus or execution. I can say from personal experience that after running or doing pushups players always seem to perform better knowing "coach" is not happy with performance and "we need to step it up". Same for baseball or running horses or sprints in basketball. I have a son that plays junior golf and in his last 7 tournaments he has six 2nd place finishes and one 1st place finish. As recommended we practice a couple of times a week, whether on the range or on the course. As my sons primary coach I know what he is capable of and what he can do as far as what shots he hits very well and what he needs to work on. Please understand this kid LOVES golf.... He wants to practice everyday or in his mind play everyday. He loves hitting balls on the range and on the course it's almost the same to him because he makes a game out of both.. he is always chipping in the house and putting around and generally dragging a club around all the time. But there are days as with any player at any sport that he is just not having a good practice day. Usually due to lack of focus or attention or just isn't putting the effort as some other days. If this were to happen to a football player at practice he might run a lap or do some pushups and this would be perfectly acceptable also in most other sports ie. baseball,basketball,soccer. Is it okay to have a golfer run a lap or do some pushups for having lack of focus or attention...... I played sports my whole life but never played golf in a formal setting like a high school golf team or college golf team so I was hoping for some feedback as to whether this is acceptable or not. Looking at Tiger Woods and his fathers story I have a feeling Tiger ran some laps or had some kind of consequence on some days for not performing well due to not being focused or for messing around. Sorry for the long post and I am sure some people will take this the wrong way and make some comment about not punishing for lack of performance but thats not what my point is. I hope you understand I am just talking about reasonable, normal, workout discipline as in other sports and of course never used in anyway as to risk injury or to push any player away from the game. I hope this post comes across the right way just looking for some thoughts of feedback.....


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#2 DoYouKnowTheMuffinMan

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

Don't do it. Sean Ohair's father did it to him and he despises his dad now. The best way to confront him about not focusing is to have a 1 on 1 lighthearted talk on the way home. Point out to him that he was not focusing and make a joke about it... Do not make him the subject of a preach session. Do it so it gets the point across but not in a way that makes him upset with you.
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#3 ptjn1201

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:49 AM

I think you bring up an interesting point -- I'd like to hear from some coaches on this.  Granted, golf isn't as physical as most other organized sports, and foot speed and strength probably aren't as important in golf as in other sports, but I don't know if there would be much harm in this with limitations, especially if these are more golf-oriented drills.  I think if it doesn't take away from playing time and doesn't breed resentment, it's not a bad idea.  In team sports, such additional "disciplinary" laps or workouts can help team cohesion, but in an individual sport, I'm not as sure.

#4 BillyBaroo1985

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:54 AM

If you make golf a chore or punishment your son will quit golf. It only works in other sports because of the team setting. The course is a fun setting, when I see juniors practicing at my club they are always goofing off trying to hit goofy shots having long drive contests, playing games and trying to hit the range cart. If your sons wants to be serious he will, you have to make it a fun place to be. He will play better if he enjoys being there. What will drive him to better is up to him.
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#5 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:12 AM

View PostDoYouKnowTheMuffinMan, on 15 November 2012 - 10:46 AM, said:

Don't do it. Sean Ohair's father did it to him and he despises his dad now. The best way to confront him about not focusing is to have a 1 on 1 lighthearted talk on the way home. Point out to him that he was not focusing and make a joke about it... Do not make him the subject of a preach session. Do it so it gets the point across but not in a way that makes him upset with you.

I agree .. keep in mind there is a way to put a positive  spin on everything and I am always using positive reinforcement ... but  as in anything there has to be a point in which you have to tell your player son or not ... " hey let's get focused and put some work in" nothing too harsh but it can't always be glitter and lollipops...... I have read the Sean O'hair situation and that was just down right out of control.... its a surprise he was able to stick with it and for the most part be a success...... poor kid


#6 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

View PostBillyBaroo1985, on 15 November 2012 - 10:54 AM, said:

If you make golf a chore or punishment your son will quit golf. It only works in other sports because of the team setting. The course is a fun setting, when I see juniors practicing at my club they are always goofing off trying to hit goofy shots having long drive contests, playing games and trying to hit the range cart. If your sons wants to be serious he will, you have to make it a fun place to be. He will play better if he enjoys being there. What will drive him to better is up to him.

I agree it can't be a chore or punishment..... but there has to be a time to put some work in too.... I see kids at golf tournaments all the time that look like all they do is goof off on the range and it shows in the results..... doesn't have to be my kid just in general  curious how golf coaches handle these things.......

#7 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:21 AM

View Postptjn1201, on 15 November 2012 - 10:49 AM, said:

I think you bring up an interesting point -- I'd like to hear from some coaches on this.  Granted, golf isn't as physical as most other organized sports, and foot speed and strength probably aren't as important in golf as in other sports, but I don't know if there would be much harm in this with limitations, especially if these are more golf-oriented drills.  I think if it doesn't take away from playing time and doesn't breed resentment, it's not a bad idea.  In team sports, such additional "disciplinary" laps or workouts can help team cohesion, but in an individual sport, I'm not as sure.

thats the difference because even  worst chore can be fun if your doing with 3 of your buddies and having some fun..... but in golf, practice can be solitary and so a different approach is needed ...... definitely have to have balance ...

#8 Willie Malay

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

Golfers are athletes but not necessarily athletic. There is a difference. Ever see the video of Tiger throwing a golf ball into the crowd(before it was scrubbed from the internet?). Can you say girly arm?

But my question is Athlete's what?

Edited by Willie Malay, 15 November 2012 - 02:02 PM.


#9 1fairway2another

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

this thread brings back bad memories of up downs in the heat

Edited by 1fairway2another, 15 November 2012 - 02:54 PM.


#10 Pepperturbo

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

I have been an athlete all my life... and still work out 2-3 times per wk.  Golf requires hand eye coordination, athletic flexibility and some strength... but it does NOT remotely require the same physical abilities as my football years.  Yes, it's a sport, but it does not require working out.  I know many guys that enjoy golf but have never seen the inside of a gym.  That said, if you want to be tournament competitive, or maybe see forty in the distance, and hope to maintain club distances and play into later years like me; regular work outs are REQUIRED!  Notwithstanding, athletic ability will never be found frequenting a gym.

Whether or not someone takes it upon themselves to run or hit the gym on those days when focus is at best non-existent, that has to be a personal choice.  In that choice you will either see discipline and dedication or something else that tells a different truth.

Edited by Pepperturbo, 15 November 2012 - 03:30 PM.

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#11 Matty T

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

I think it depends on the indevidual student. Some will do very well with that method an some will hate it.
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#12 Sean2

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:28 PM

No. I can remember doing wind sprints, etc., when I played basketball. That wouldn't translate well to golf. If he's having a rare, off day, sometimes the best thing to do is...nothing. Pack up the clubs and go home.

Golf isn't something that can be forced or bludgeoned.
Hey...be nice.

#13 MadGolfer76

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

Read Benjamin Bloom and Lauren Sosniak. The most successful players were those whose teachers kept things fun throughout the K-12 years. Runs contrary to the thinking that you have to be banging the sod 24/7. Seriously, though, there is only one possible answer to the question, "Do things have to be serious all the time?" So obvious, it doesn't even need an answer.

Edited by MadGolfer76, 15 November 2012 - 03:38 PM.

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#14 cb24

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

View PostBillyBaroo1985, on 15 November 2012 - 10:54 AM, said:

If you make golf a chore or punishment your son will quit golf. It only works in other sports because of the team setting. The course is a fun setting, when I see juniors practicing at my club they are always goofing off trying to hit goofy shots having long drive contests, playing games and trying to hit the range cart. If your sons wants to be serious he will, you have to make it a fun place to be. He will play better if he enjoys being there. What will drive him to better is up to him.

agree.  i have seen this with a few people i know or have met.  Its a fine balance, because you want to help them out and guide in a hard working direction but not be a dictator.  I think one of the biggest things you could do is really help him understand what serious practice will give him and encourage him in a positive way to that.  Maybe set up some type of bench marks with rewards and even do it with him.  Hold him accountable if he says he wants to get better but not for the sake of breaking him down.  

Sorry to go on so long, just some ways I think are helpful and how i appreciated being dealt with and wish i had been positively been held accountable and encouraged more.

#15 Jc0

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

View Postsaltrunner, on 15 November 2012 - 11:17 AM, said:

View PostBillyBaroo1985, on 15 November 2012 - 10:54 AM, said:

If you make golf a chore or punishment your son will quit golf. It only works in other sports because of the team setting. The course is a fun setting, when I see juniors practicing at my club they are always goofing off trying to hit goofy shots having long drive contests, playing games and trying to hit the range cart. If your sons wants to be serious he will, you have to make it a fun place to be. He will play better if he enjoys being there. What will drive him to better is up to him.

I agree it can't be a chore or punishment..... but there has to be a time to put some work in too.... I see kids at golf tournaments all the time that look like all they do is goof off on the range and it shows in the results..... doesn't have to be my kid just in general  curious how golf coaches handle these things.......

I played multiple varsity sports in high school including being golf captain and getting college looks and I can tell you this is a terrible idea.  I hated punishment for doing poor things during sports. It caused me to quit baseball when I was sophomore even though I had the potential to play in college.

As for the kids who are goofing off on the range what are those kids looking to get out of the tournaments.  When I played in high school I goofed around at my local course but still manage to be a scratch golfer.  There are ways to improve your sons game while still keeping it fun.  It should be fun for him and he should want to go to the course.  If he is slacking in his practice HE IS PROBABLY BURNT OUT, LET HIM TAKE A FEW DAYS OFF.  When you practice the same sport over and over again you will get sick of it no matter how much you like it.  I didn't play college golf because I got sick of what golf took away from me.  When I got to college I started to enjoy it again and even though I am playing way less then I did in high school I have gotten my handicap to a +2.  Some times you need to have a break in order to dive back in harder.


#16 Gutz_it

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:13 PM

If his focus is off
Try something interesting
Try taking his driver away for a round so he has to alter his mindset
Take his wedge away so he has to hit a knockdown instead

Be creative, push ups and laps are for the gym

#17 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

View PostPepperturbo, on 15 November 2012 - 03:19 PM, said:

I have been an athlete all my life... and still work out 2-3 times per wk.  Golf requires hand eye coordination, athletic flexibility and some strength... but it does NOT remotely require the same physical abilities as my football years.  Yes, it's a sport, but it does not require working out.  I know many guys that enjoy golf but have never seen the inside of a gym.  That said, if you want to be tournament competitive, or maybe see forty in the distance, and hope to maintain club distances and play into later years like me; regular work outs are REQUIRED!  Notwithstanding, athletic ability will never be found frequenting a gym.

Whether or not someone takes it upon themselves to run or hit the gym on those days when focus is at best non-existent, that has to be a personal choice.  In that choice you will either see discipline and dedication or something else that tells a different truth.
  

Working out is not required...? Have your been to a junior golf tournament lately ??? Wow... these kids are huge .. thats because golf isn't a last choice sport anymore it is attracting top notch athletes who in years past might have played another sport.... Have you seen Dustin Johnson , Gary Woodland and even Tiger.. even Rory has built muscle in the last year..... this isn't your grandpas game anymore .... I see nothing but young golfers doing drills to make them stronger, swing faster and and hit it farther......

#18 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:21 PM

View Postcb24, on 15 November 2012 - 03:50 PM, said:

View PostBillyBaroo1985, on 15 November 2012 - 10:54 AM, said:

If you make golf a chore or punishment your son will quit golf. It only works in other sports because of the team setting. The course is a fun setting, when I see juniors practicing at my club they are always goofing off trying to hit goofy shots having long drive contests, playing games and trying to hit the range cart. If your sons wants to be serious he will, you have to make it a fun place to be. He will play better if he enjoys being there. What will drive him to better is up to him.

agree.  i have seen this with a few people i know or have met.  Its a fine balance, because you want to help them out and guide in a hard working direction but not be a dictator.  I think one of the biggest things you could do is really help him understand what serious practice will give him and encourage him in a positive way to that.  Maybe set up some type of bench marks with rewards and even do it with him.  Hold him accountable if he says he wants to get better but not for the sake of breaking him down.  

Sorry to go on so long, just some ways I think are helpful and how i appreciated being dealt with and wish i had been positively been held accountable and encouraged more.

agreed and this is not just about my son its golf in general...... Coach Nick Saban yells at his players and he is a field general .....  that Golf  Coach from Huntingdon College that got  caught yelling as his golf team for coming 11th out of twelve teams got fired ........

#19 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:23 PM

View PostGutz_it, on 15 November 2012 - 05:13 PM, said:

If his focus is off
Try something interesting
Try taking his driver away for a round so he has to alter his mindset
Take his wedge away so he has to hit a knockdown instead

Be creative, push ups and laps are for the gym

thats an awesome idea !! thanks ..... push ups and laps are for the gym thats true.. just was thinking how golf is changing ..... and was curious about work practice in general not just my son

#20 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:29 PM

View PostJc0, on 15 November 2012 - 04:27 PM, said:

View Postsaltrunner, on 15 November 2012 - 11:17 AM, said:

View PostBillyBaroo1985, on 15 November 2012 - 10:54 AM, said:

If you make golf a chore or punishment your son will quit golf. It only works in other sports because of the team setting. The course is a fun setting, when I see juniors practicing at my club they are always goofing off trying to hit goofy shots having long drive contests, playing games and trying to hit the range cart. If your sons wants to be serious he will, you have to make it a fun place to be. He will play better if he enjoys being there. What will drive him to better is up to him.

I agree it can't be a chore or punishment..... but there has to be a time to put some work in too.... I see kids at golf tournaments all the time that look like all they do is goof off on the range and it shows in the results..... doesn't have to be my kid just in general  curious how golf coaches handle these things.......

I played multiple varsity sports in high school including being golf captain and getting college looks and I can tell you this is a terrible idea.  I hated punishment for doing poor things during sports. It caused me to quit baseball when I was sophomore even though I had the potential to play in college.

As for the kids who are goofing off on the range what are those kids looking to get out of the tournaments.  When I played in high school I goofed around at my local course but still manage to be a scratch golfer.  There are ways to improve your sons game while still keeping it fun.  It should be fun for him and he should want to go to the course.  If he is slacking in his practice HE IS PROBABLY BURNT OUT, LET HIM TAKE A FEW DAYS OFF.  When you practice the same sport over and over again you will get sick of it no matter how much you like it.  I didn't play college golf because I got sick of what golf took away from me.  When I got to college I started to enjoy it again and even though I am playing way less then I did in high school I have gotten my handicap to a +2.  Some times you need to have a break in order to dive back in harder.

I wish he would take 2 weeks off cuz I could use it more than him to catch up on some work... for the hundredth time this isn't soley about my kid its about golf training in general..... I agree I didn't like doing wind sprints and push ups during my days playing varsity sports .. but I did it and had a pretty good high school career I didn't play college sportt because of a medical issue not because I was burnt out or didnt have the passion to do whatever it took to play the game and be the best...... everyone is different and I certainly don't punish my kid it was just a general thought about how golf training is different than other sports and why


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#21 H.A. Kerr

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

I only saw one person mention it, but in my opinion, it's the key.

I don't think team-based motivational methods work the same for individual sports.

If your son wants to be more fit, incorporate workout days (and give him a break from the course). But using workouts as punishment for poor performance? Seems like a recipe for turning golf into a burnout factory like tennis.

#22 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

View PostH.A. Kerr, on 15 November 2012 - 05:33 PM, said:

I only saw one person mention it, but in my opinion, it's the key.

I don't think team-based motivational methods work the same for individual sports.

If your son wants to be more fit, incorporate workout days (and give him a break from the course). But using workouts as punishment for poor performance? Seems like a recipe for turning golf into a burnout factory like tennis.


maybe you should read some of the response further up the post ...... I would never punish my kid over golf ... was using an example of how training differs and if it should.......

#23 Birdies4Days

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

I never played on the golf team because I played baseball but my best friend was on the team and he got lots of hate for being a golfer. And then national signing day came along and when he signed to play at UCLA everyone seemed to try and be his best friend and all the girls ran to him. was kind of fun to watch this as his wingman

#24 cb24

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 05:49 PM

View Postsaltrunner, on 15 November 2012 - 05:21 PM, said:

View Postcb24, on 15 November 2012 - 03:50 PM, said:

View PostBillyBaroo1985, on 15 November 2012 - 10:54 AM, said:

If you make golf a chore or punishment your son will quit golf. It only works in other sports because of the team setting. The course is a fun setting, when I see juniors practicing at my club they are always goofing off trying to hit goofy shots having long drive contests, playing games and trying to hit the range cart. If your sons wants to be serious he will, you have to make it a fun place to be. He will play better if he enjoys being there. What will drive him to better is up to him.

agree.  i have seen this with a few people i know or have met.  Its a fine balance, because you want to help them out and guide in a hard working direction but not be a dictator.  I think one of the biggest things you could do is really help him understand what serious practice will give him and encourage him in a positive way to that.  Maybe set up some type of bench marks with rewards and even do it with him.  Hold him accountable if he says he wants to get better but not for the sake of breaking him down.  

Sorry to go on so long, just some ways I think are helpful and how i appreciated being dealt with and wish i had been positively been held accountable and encouraged more.

agreed and this is not just about my son its golf in general...... Coach Nick Saban yells at his players and he is a field general .....  that Golf  Coach from Huntingdon College that got  caught yelling as his golf team for coming 11th out of twelve teams got fired ........

golf no doubt requires a different skill set especially a mental game that is far more important than other sports but not as many physical requirements.  I think regardless though, motivation is a big part to success and thats what usually separates those who are really successful from the really talented who burnout or arent willing to put in the work required.  No matter the sport, without positive motivation its probably going to lead to disappointment for all parties involved.

#25 Arsey51

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

View PostGutz_it, on 15 November 2012 - 05:13 PM, said:

If his focus is off
Try something interesting
Try taking his driver away for a round so he has to alter his mindset
Take his wedge away so he has to hit a knockdown instead

Be creative, push ups and laps are for the gym

This exactly.

It sounds like he absolutely loves the game, but needs more mental focus.  In this regard I believe golf is much more akin to chess than to football or other team or individual sports.

In chess, to get young players to be more focused and inspire creativity, coaches often make them play handicap games where they're not allowed to use all the pieces.  You take away the Knights (or any combination of pieces), and have them play against differently handicapped or non-handicapped opponents, and it's amazing how much more focused and intense their play becomes.

Anything that breaks up the 'familiarity' with the game can inspire creativity and excitement.  Those 2 things, Creativity and Excitement, are where true learning comes from.

Working hard at anything is great, but too much of a good thing is often worse than not enough. Taking regular breaks from the game (no-golf at all, not even on TV), are also essential to avoid burnout.  Burnout is just another word for mental exhaustion, sometimes coupled with boredom.  You can't be very creative or excited when you're exhausted.

If you can keep it fun and interesting, your sons mental focus for the game will take care of itself.

In the end, I don't really care if my son plays on the PGA tour or attains the rank of International Grand Master in chess.  What I do care about is whether or not he still wants to play both games with me as he grows up, and whether he loves them enough to share them with his own children.

Good Luck!


#26 Sean2

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

Don't forget he's a kid. Let him be a kid.
Hey...be nice.

#27 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

View PostSean2, on 15 November 2012 - 06:04 PM, said:

Don't forget he's a kid. Let him be a kid.

yup that's what most important...

#28 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

View PostSean2, on 15 November 2012 - 06:04 PM, said:

Don't forget he's a kid. Let him be a kid.


#29 scs1070

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:20 PM

There are athlete, like Dustin Johnson, who I think need to train like other athletes.  Then there are some, say brad faxon, who maybe understand the geometry and science of the game.

I would equate folders to pitchers.  They need to be strong, but some do it with raw power and some do it with smoke an mirrors like Greg Maddox.

#30 saltrunner

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:22 PM

View PostArsey51, on 15 November 2012 - 06:01 PM, said:

View PostGutz_it, on 15 November 2012 - 05:13 PM, said:

If his focus is off
Try something interesting
Try taking his driver away for a round so he has to alter his mindset
Take his wedge away so he has to hit a knockdown instead

Be creative, push ups and laps are for the gym

This exactly.

It sounds like he absolutely loves the game, but needs more mental focus.  In this regard I believe golf is much more akin to chess than to football or other team or individual sports.

In chess, to get young players to be more focused and inspire creativity, coaches often make them play handicap games where they're not allowed to use all the pieces.  You take away the Knights (or any combination of pieces), and have them play against differently handicapped or non-handicapped opponents, and it's amazing how much more focused and intense their play becomes.

Anything that breaks up the 'familiarity' with the game can inspire creativity and excitement.  Those 2 things, Creativity and Excitement, are where true learning comes from.

Working hard at anything is great, but too much of a good thing is often worse than not enough. Taking regular breaks from the game (no-golf at all, not even on TV), are also essential to avoid burnout.  Burnout is just another word for mental exhaustion, sometimes coupled with boredom.  You can't be very creative or excited when you're exhausted.

If you can keep it fun and interesting, your sons mental focus for the game will take care of itself.

In the end, I don't really care if my son plays on the PGA tour or attains the rank of International Grand Master in chess.  What I do care about is whether or not he still wants to play both games with me as he grows up, and whether he loves them enough to share them with his own children.

Good Luck!


there is no burn out no pushing just curious about training methods in golf as compared to other sports..... this really stemmed from a story about a college  golf coach that golt fired for yelling at his team but yet in football or basketball or soccer its common place .. not saying I approve of disapprove just an observation ....


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