HOW TO TEACH KIDS TO SWING WITHOUT PICKING UP A CLUB
If you spend a lot of time around kids, you know that they crave constant stimulation. We’re always looking for fresh ways to keep the game fun for them, so they stay interested. To be honest, if you have them out on the range beating balls every day, they’re probably going to quit. In addition to understanding proper technique, kids have to learn the motor skills needed to swing a golf club effectively. The following actions can help them develop those skills without spending too much time on the practice tee. So get them started in the gameand keep it funwith these classic playground activities.
DON’T FALL AND GET YOUR CLOTHES DIRTY!
Learning to keep your balance is a crucial skill in golf. At the Title is Performance Institute, we have kids race around this bright-colored, curved balance beambut even a standard beam works great. We’ll call out colors for them to avoid or have them walk backward, sideways or with their eyes closed.
WHO THREW THE FIRST PUNCH?
A great way for kids to learn that hitting power comes from a coordinated movement of the arms and body is to have them use a punching bag. Make sure they get their legs involved and punch “through the bag” by rotating their bodies on the forward motion. Power in golf comes from strength and speed, and this exercise will help with both.
NO MONKEYING AROUND!
Kids don’t have the muscle mass required to control a club like an adult can, so they need to develop their bodies. For upper-body strength, have them spend time each day hanging on the monkey bars or on a pull-up bar. We have even more fun by making them reach to certain color-coded areas; you can mark spots with tape.
GO CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM!
Any game that teaches feel or hand-eye coordination is great for golf. Having kids stand perpendicular to a target like on a golf shot and practice throwing underhand will help improve distance control on chip and pitch shots. Even throwing crumpled-up pieces of paper into the trash will help them learn feel.
NO MORE JUMPING ON THE BED!
The power house of the golf swing is the lower body. Jumping, especially when it includes body rotation, is a great way to train the leg, glute and hip muscles. We have kids jump to specific colors on this footprint grid. The twisting jumps help coordination and teach them to separate their torso from their lower body.
SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE BOWLING UP THERE!
We suspect that kids struggle with green-reading because their visual systems are still developing. To help with this skill, set up some plastic bowling pins in front of a hole on the practice green, and see if your kids can figure out how to bowl a strike using the slope.
WHO BROKE THE WINDOW?
The dynamics of a smooth throwing motion and an effective golf swing are very similar. Kids will start to understand the proper weight shift, body rotation, energy transfer and sequence of motion by making baseball throws at a specific target. And there are few things kids love to do more than throw a ball.