Teamwork !

Players and parents together can be an effective team

The best junior players in the sport often have a distinct advantage over their fellow competitors; their parents.

Many times we have gotten to know some of the best players and their families and the one trait they all have in common is that the players are working with their parents as a team.

Teens can be very tough to communicate with and when you combine that with a "head" game like golf it's often a delicate balance for both the player and the parent to know how to work together. However, when you see a team like the Moores, Ed, Susan, and Jonathan, or Paul, Karen and Paula Creamer, talking to each other and sharing information, you soon realize what an advantage they have.

Even when a parent doesn't play golf, there are ways that the team can still succeed. The first is to sit down and work out a "contract". It starts with the parent asking, "What can I do to help you play better during and after a tournament?" Open a discussion together that reaches an understanding about issues like, keeping stats for the player, supplying snacks and drinks during a round, how to be encouraging, what kind of feedback do I want as a player, and how to be attentive for four or five hours to understand what a player went through. An example is being sure you, as a parent, know your child's final score was for the day. Being off a shot or two says you were not paying attention. A big issue for both player and parent is knowing what and when to say something after a bad round and how to critque the round positively.

The key to good golf is preparation and that includes the parent/golfer team. Mom & Dad, you have to be prepared to hear your golfer say "I like it when or it bothers me when...." and players you have to accept the same information.

Most of all talk. Talk this winter and spring before the summer about how to work together. It's all part of building for success.

Play well !!

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