Advice for Parents of Junior Golfers
During the week of October 17th, the Golf Channel hosted Junior Golf Week and they conducted an interview with Jon Gordon which really caught my attention. I wanted to share the clip along with a few of my own thoughts in regards to what he is referencing. Here is the LINK to that clip so check it out first.
I am sure each of you got something different from what he talked about. But hopefully, it resonated a little with how you see your son or daughter’s junior golf experience. Here are my two favorite quotes mentioned, these answered questions I get asked a lot and served as great advice for parents of junior golfers involving competitive junior golfing, parenting, and the recruiting process.
“You can’t drive anyone else’s bus, you have to encourage and inspire them to drive their own bus”
I know it’s tough to want the best for your junior golfer and knowing the impact that playing golf can have on their future. But as Jon mentioned, “you can’t drive anyone else’s bus”. Yes, there are going to be times that your son or daughter will not want to be at the golf course. Or even a bad round is going to make them think about quitting, but outside of those occasional moments, the enjoyment of the game and the love for competition ultimately has to come from the player. There is definitely a thin line between pushing a little because you have their best interest in mind and you want to instill a good work ethic in them, and going too far with forcing them to do something they really don’t enjoy doing.
Playing a sport is certainly a great way to enforce important values and character traits. I am 100% behind that little push it may take to encourage and keep them motivated, even when they may want to give up, or they may not be working as hard as they should. Just always try to ask yourself if you are doing if for them or with them? Are you driving the bus or are you a passenger?
“Invest in the root and you will have a great supply of fruit”
This is another quote that really stood out to me about a topic that I absolutely love to read and learn more about – focusing on the process, not the outcome. So much these days is written and studied about the benefit of being internally motivated and not necessarily goal driven, at least in the sense of being outcome goal-driven.
I consult and advise a lot of players who come to me because their goal is to play college golf, many times with a specific goal of Division I golf or a school that is their top choice or a particular level of academics. While that long term goal is important to consider, when I talk to the player and spend time with them I am trying to figure out why that is their goal, what are they willing to do to achieve it and most importantly, how excited are they about the process that it takes to achieve that goal. Being excited about the goal itself means very little to me, what I want to see is their excitement to play tournament golf, to practice harder, to get better, to work out, to eat right, to compete, to learn new skills, etc… These are the “roots” that Jon refers to in his interview and when you focus on the roots the “great supply of fruit” comes at the chance to play college golf.