Coaching Future Champions

Coaching junior golf well is a rewarding experience . Children are the sports people of the future, our future golfer's, so it is vital that they are coached by those who fully understand their needs.

It is also important that they enjoy golf and find it a worth while experience by being rewarded for their efforts.

The main areas of difference between children and adults

Coaching children requires many of the skills needed to coach adults plus additional ones too..

The main differences are of course size, shape, strength and perhaps physiological differences but did you realise children breathe faster, rely more on the aerobic system, are more sensitive to hot and cold and tire more quickly.

Consider also the different learning rates of adults and children also the differences in mental maturity. Children tend to have shorter attention spans, they find it more difficult to make decisions, are more restless and active , find it harder to assess their own performance and may find it difficult to co-operate and be competitive.

Physical differences Of Children

Children's growth is not even as you have probably noted. It occurs in spurts (growth spurts). During the first year of life, the child grows rapidly, but then a relatively slow period of growth follows until the child is about ten years old. Then there is another peiod of growth which coinicides with adolescence. This is when the growth rate differs for boys and girls.

Girls normally start adolescence at about ten years , whilst boys lag about two years behind at around twelve years. Obviously children differ markedly. There can be as much as four years difference in developmental age between children of the same chronological age.

The Difference In Adults And Children In The Way They React To exercise

There are two main differences, first is the most noticeable difference and relates to the inefficient use of energy systems by children. This causes them to appear over extended (increased heart-rate and breathing rate, sweating and looking flushed) more quickly than adults.

Secondly children are more likely to suffer from heat, cold, dehydration and even physiological stress as they have a relatively larger surface area compared with adults and in hot conditions they tend to heat up more quickly and overheat more easily. In cooler conditions they loose body heat more quickly and become too cold.


Development Of Skills

Children differ from adults in physical and emotional ways and this affects their ability to learn and their readiness to perform skills.

For example the nerves and muscles of children are not fully developed . This makes co-ordination more difficult and means they cannot respond as quickly. Their reaction time is slower. This will affect both their capacity to learn physical (motor skills) and their ability to produce them in a competitive situation.

Also memory and concentration skills are not fully developed so children have greater difficulty remembering information and making decisions.

The areas we have covered here relate to the physical , physiological, emotional and social differences.