THE Golf Foundation is offering ideas and activities for PGA coaches and families so they can enjoy “Golf at Home fun” and learning after the Government extended the current coronavirus lockdown for another three weeks.
The charity has created a new Golf at Home page, which will help children to keep “loving their practice,” while staying happy and healthy with tips and video clips for lessons and games.
If features “Six Steps to Knockdown the Lockdown,” guiding parents to help their children learn new skills that are transferable from the garden or home to everyday life, once the lockdown ends.
The organisation that creates life changing opportunities for young people there is a strong focus on teaching transferable life skills through its golf programmes.
Guided by its experts on mental toughness – a company called Yeast – the six ideas should help families restricted to the home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adapted from the foundation’s new Unleash your Drive life-skills workshop, the steps encourage family involvement, in fun games which promote creativity, reflection and confidence – always practising golf, while learning some valuable skills that are transferable to everyday life.
1. Get creative as a family – encourage the children to design their own Lockdown Knockdown challenge using cans or toys in the garden or indoors, any implement as a golf club and any type of ball such as a beach ball or even a tennis ball – as long as it’s safe.
Enjoy creating a challenge and working together to build it. Don’t be afraid of designing your own skills tests or practice drills to suit all abilities.
2. Encourage kids to positively self-reflect – ask them what they enjoyed about their challenge or practice game. What would they do differently next time?
Ask them at the end of every day to think of three things they have done well. Use open ended questions that begin with ‘How’, ‘What’ and ‘Why’ to challenge the children and to get them to really think about the answer by creating a bit of silence that they need to fill.
3. Help your children to ‘control their fizz’ – keeping calm – whether excited, nervous or agitated. Introduce a simple breathing exercise during your golf session – take a deep breath in for three-to-four seconds, hold for the same amount of time, and then breathe out for four-to-five seconds.
Repeat this cycle three or four times and ask them to notice how much calmer they feel. Ask your kids where else could they use this breathing technique? In school in lessons, trying to work at home with lots of distractions around, when they’re feeling nervous or wound up? Practise this together.
4. Reward effort, particularly in primary age children – “trying hard” is seen as more important than achieving the task in younger children so always congratulate your children on giving their best.
Try not to praise talent or ability – by getting young people to understand that ability comes as a result of working hard, it gives them inspiration to work hard in their practice.
5. Enjoy all practice time – remind them, and yourself, to enjoy the moment and commit to the challenge. If it’s achieved too easily, it will become boring. It’s okay to work hard at a challenge or task, particularly for teenagers.
6. Stay active and connected – keep in touch with your club PGA pro wherever possible. Ask his/her advice on practice. Remember to check the ‘Golf at Home’ page
Join in Golf at Home on social media
YOU will also see the hashtag #GolfatHome on social media created by The R&A, in which video clips and pictures of your great home practice scenarios can be uploaded and shared.
Among the golf starts to have supported the campaign, is Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington.
The Golf Foundation supports the Sport England’s ‘Stay In Work Out’ movement – see www.stayinworkout.org for some great ideas for fun activities.
For all PGA coaches, teachers and junior volunteers – if you would like to join an online training workshop on learning more about how to apply the mental toughness principles described here, email email@example.com
“Stay safe, enjoy your golf at home – when we can get back to the fairways later on there will be no stopping us.” said a spokesman for the Golf Foundation, which is based in Hertfordshire.