This is a great exercise that’s fun for juniors and teaches them a great finish position. On the range have your students get in their address position then say on your mark, get set, swing. The objective is to get them to all finish and hold the position together. Stand at the end of the line so you can see everyone’s position for any corrections. The next challenge is to see if they can all get the ball in the air with a great finish, this may take a few sessions but your students will have a good time trying. Have a little fun by filming it on your phone and sending it to them so they can show friends and family.
MYGolf Centre – Palm Meadows, Grant Garrison
The first thing I do in every lesson is to teach safety. It's important to note that just because you remind your students of the safety rules, it doesn’t mean they are going to remember or follow them. It only takes a few seconds for someone to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Therefore, I like to watch my students hit balls for about five minutes reminding them of my strict compliance to the rules for their safety. Even with safety rules, accidents can still happen. In this case it’s important that coaches know the club’s procedure if something does happen.
I like to maintain the context of the basic swing which makes it simple and easy to apply. I use the acronym G.A.S.P in my instruction which stands for Grip, Aim, Stance, and Posture. I then teach the Y position in the set up and the L position for a half swing. Nearly every student can hit a ball reasonably well inside this context in a couple lessons. When the context is consistent, you can then creating a Leadership Program within your program, ask a student to come early the following week to help you set up and assist you with the lesson, they can teach G.A.S.P, checking everyone’s swing for Y’s and L’s, choose learning games, and pick out some prizes to give away.
MYGolf Centre – Palm Meadows, Pete Harington
Limit walking the line
As coaches, it’s easy to get in the habit of giving short individual lessons to each student in a group lesson. This ‘walking the line’ approach on the range is limiting as the coach is not able to observe other students, it also limits the coaches effectiveness as the tendency is to work more with the poor of frustrated student. Consider this approach, teach your lesson to the group then stand back and observe them. Bring them back together and tell them what you noticed. This inclusive approach can be more effective and takes full advantage of your time together.
Golf offers a perfect medium for teaching the character traits the game is recognised for like Respect, Responsibility, Trustworthiness, Caring, Fairness, and Citizenship. Your junior program can teach these traits along with skill development. In this regard you are a child developer as much as a golf coach partnering with parents to help raise their children to live a rich life. Written curriculum and testing can be used in your program to put character development at the front of your program.
I teach my golf students how to speak in public by having them conduct the weekly events. My students elect a Captain and Vice-Captain who conduct the entire event along with conducting the awards presentation. This is a skill which most shy away from due to shyness and lack of confidence. I find that with a little coaching the students do amazingly well and learn some organisational skills as well. The result of this is that we are building their confidence on and off the course.
MYGolf Centre - Gatton Jubilee Golf Club, Laurie Didsman
I have added a nutrition element to my junior program. I start by simply having my students write down everything they eat in one week plus someone else in their family. We then examine the nutritional value. This has been an amazing exercise that has created awareness for the whole family and opens a door to more education.
MYGolf Centre – Victoria Park, Bronwyn Russell