ASWING Junior Golf Academy FUNdamentals Clinic
The ASWING Junior Golf Academy strives to build the skills that are necessary to grow your child’s golf game as well as in life. Our curriculum is scientifically proven to build these skills through a process of development. The process can not be cut short or else you are limited the future potential of your child’s future in golf and other sports. The 3-minute video (click on the link above) shows a sampling of our weekly clinics. If you want to know “WHY” we do it they way we do it, check out this 20-minute Parent Presentation, that gives you the science and research that validates our curriculum.
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As a parent, I want my child to excel at whatever sport or activity they are participating in at that moment. I think it is safe to say that all parents want this at some level. As a golf professional, I want my kids to grow up and receive college golf scholarships, which would be nice on my wallet, but I would much rather my kids have fun and enjoy golf in some capacity and for them to “decide for themselves” how golf will impact their life. I want my kids to find their passion for a sport or activity, just like I have with golf. But as I look back, I did not decide on golf as my passion sport until I was 14 years old. Taking up golf at 14 years old should have impaired my ability to play golf at a high level of success, but it did not. Why? The reasoning has to deal with the training, exercising and play I did as a kid.
Kids are not as active today as they were when I grew up. I remember Mom sending me outside to play with the other kids in neighborhood or entertain myself. Now, when I send my kids outside, I am present and keeping a watchful eye over my kids. I remember climbing trees, playing hide-in-seek, hitting, kicking, throwing any ball imaginable with my friends and against the house or garage, all the while pretending I had just won the Super Bowl, World Series or other sports title. I had to be creative and imaginative or else I would be bored. All this play I did when I was young has a scientific name, Fundamental Movement Skills, or FMS. FMS are basic, foundational movements that every kid must learn in order to reach a elite level of performance as an adult. Here are just a few of these basic Fundamental Movement Skills: hopping, skipping, running, throwing, striking, kicking, and the list goes on. Each one of these skill movements is the foundation of any advanced sports’ movement. For example, a child’s ability to skip has a direct relationship with his/her ability to hit a baseball or golf ball, kick a soccer ball, throw a football… and just insert a sports’ skill in. A child’s ability to skip teaches a child to separate and control the movement of his/her lower body movement and their upper body movement. In order for an experienced baseball player to hit a pitch, he begins by: (1) stepping toward the pitcher with his lead foot (2) planting his lead foot on the ground (3) movement of his hips and legs to generate power while keeping the torso area moving, but a much slowly pace (4) hips and legs release (5) which causes the torso area to sling-shot through in order to hit the ball. The sequencing an experienced baseball player utilizes to hit a ball is much different than a 4-8 year old. In tee ball, kids swing at the ball and the movement between the upper and lower body swing in unison, which causes the child to do a 360 degree spin. A child who skips at an advanced level learns the sequencing that will help hit a baseball. This is just one example of how developing a child’s FMS will lead them toward developing advanced techniques in whatever sport they chose to focus on during their teenage years. Today, I would like to offer five fitness and exercise drills you, as a parent, can do with your kids; no matter their age. These are great drills to do during commercial breaks from the TV instead of flipping to another channel.
Drill #1: O.D.U.B.S. or better known as push-ups : O.D.U.B.S. is an acronym for “Opportunity to Develop Upper Body Strength”. The reason we call them O.D.U.B.S. rather than push-ups is because of the negative impact saying the word push-up has on a kid; he immediately becomes defensive and defiant. O.D.U.B.S. is a positive word, that when explained its meaning, gives us a better chance of reaching the kid and getting him to do the push-up.
O.D.U.B.S. should start basic and work to more advanced levels. Begin with pushing against a wall and slowly increasing the angle over time. The next progression is have the child lay on the ground and push-up, so his arms are straight. The next progression is to have the child do an actual push-up. During this progression, I want the child to keep their body straight and not sag at the pelvis area. This poor form only hurts them. Also, I encourage the parents to participate. Have a contest against your child where the winner gets bragging rights or a special treat. Have fun and competition.
Drill #2: Planks and Bridges : Planks and Bridges are an exercise that gives your child a great opportunity to “beat you” doing something and is also great in developing and strengthening specific muscle groups.
Drill #3: Skipping : Skipping is an easy skill to master, but we are looking to excel in this skill. Begin by having your child skip by skip running. As he/she progresses, have your child begin to twist the upper and lower body in different directions as they skip. The ability to separate the lower body from the upper body is a “key component” in any hitting, throwing or kicking motion your child does in any sport.
Drill #4: Throwing and Catching : Begin with having your child throw a small, squishy ball from hand to hand. As he/she is able to have success, add height to the throw and catch. Also, use a big, kickball to play throw and catch with your child.
Drill #5: Jumping and Hopping : Hopping and jumping are the last “key component” exercises I would recommend in starting with. Have your child hop and jump on one leg, both legs, the other leg and frontwards, backwards, side-to-side and every which way. Jump and hop on level and unlevel surfaces, soft and hard surfaces, grass and concrete.