(Males 0-6, Females 0-6)
Learn fundamental movements and link them together in play.
This is an important period for acquiring fundamental movement skills which will lay the foundation for more advanced movements. Children are encouraged to lead a healthy and active lifestyle by promoting golf at an early age. In this stage, children should be provided the opportunity to develop a variety of fundamental movement skills such as travelling skills, object control skills and balance movements.
The following provides a general guideline to the key areas of development at this stage:
- Child demonstrates the ability to link fundamental movement skills (i.e. running, jumping, catching, throwing, coordination, agility, etc.) into overall play.
- Child is able to accept redirection to ensure a safe learning and play environment.
- Child demonstrates a willingness to participate in golf-related activities.
- Child is able to take small swings and execute small shots towards a very close target using junior equipment.
WHERE TO PLAY
The following are suggestions of practice facilities or locations for children in this stage:
- Local gymnasium
- Community park
- Mini-putt courses
- Par-3 courses
All instructors and coaches undergo PGA of Canada training that is entirely specific to the type of player or athlete they wish to work with. The recommended level for this stage is listed below:
- Community Golf Coach
- Instructor of Beginner Golfers
No required amount of formal practice hours at this level. Reinforce a positive first experience in golf with the amount of practice time, through play, dictated by the child’s interest.
Competition in its literal sense is not encouraged during this stage of development. Rather, participation and stimulating activities that promote a fun environment should be the focus.
Equipment needs to adapt accordingly with children as they progress through the development stages. The information below is a recommendation for what equipment is recommended at this stage:
- Children at older ages in this stage may be introduced to developmental equipment such as Tri-Golf or Snag Golf
- Children can also be introduced using traditional equipment
Golf is a sport rich in tradition, rules and etiquette. Below are some outlines for how that information should be conveyed to players:
- Introduce children to the golf environment by showing the pro shop layout, practice range facilities and other extra facets of the sport.
- Driving ranges, putting greens, miniputt facilities, etc.
- Ensure that the child’s first exposure to golf is a positive experience.
A child will likely have difficulty participating in any sport in later years without having developed an array of basic movement skills that can be evolved into proficient sport-specific skills (i.e. a child must learn the basic skill of catching an object if future enjoyable participation in sports such as basketball, baseball, football, handball, rugby, and softball is to occur). Rather than exclusive involvement in one or a limited number of sports, children should be exposed to many activities in order to develop the basic movement capability or physical literacy. In the very early years, physical activity is largely in the form of exploratory movements and active play.
Fundamental movement skills such as skipping, jumping, spinning, rolling, punching, kicking, striking, sprinting and throwing are the focus at this age.
Agility, Balance, Coordination and speed (ABCs) of athleticism and games:
- Speed, running, jumping throwing and catching
- Hockey, baseball, tennis, etc.
- Rhythm activities, music and dance
Children should be introduced to simple language of mental skills training. The ability should be nurtured, as this will become the foundation for imagery skills in high performance players. This stage should be focused upon play and mastering basic movement skills. Physical activity should be highly enjoyable and be achieved through both structured and unstructured free play across a wide variety of body movements.
Golf should be about having fun, physical activity and establishing a foundation for the child’s future in sport. Incorporating mental skills as part of the lesson will enhance their connection to the activity (mind and body) and set the stage so that they are able to manage the demands that will come from sport participation. A positive sport experience at a young age is important for future involvement so creative and imaginative teachings are encouraged. Prepare your explanations to be brief and precise.
Any aspects introduced in this stage will be of a very simple nature (i.e. the concept of warm-up and cool down).
Since the notion of resourceful and resilient children and youth is an endpoint for the developmental years, teaching environments that promote trying one’s best, never giving up, understanding that mistakes will be made en route to success, and that a strong work ethic is advantageous are to be encouraged.
ACTIVE START CHECKLIST:
(BALYI, WAY, & HIGGS; 2013)
- Provide opportunities for children to learn through play.
- Provide a bright, stimulating environment for play activities.
- Use a wide range of equipment and regularly rotate for variety and experience.
- Utilize unstructured and structured settings.
- Emphasize Agility, Balance, Coordination and speed (ABCs).
- Ensure equipment and facilities are scaled to the age group in question.
- Aim for a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day.
- Be patient and understand that children will master basic movement at different rates.
The groups below outline the key stakeholders associated with this stage and what is needed from each to succeed. The help and support from the following stakeholders is vital for complete development:
- Focus on incorporating golf into physical education curriculum.
- Golf in Schools program
- Creating links from schools to golf facilities.
- Future Links Field Trip program
- Community centres to deliver LTPD compliant junior programming.
- Golf facilities owned by the municipality should be leaders in junior golf.
- Encourage child to participate in all sports.
- Other sports that build fundamental movement skills that apply to golf.
- Providing access to juniors.
- Offering LTPD compliant junior programming.
- Golf Canada delivers LTPD content and continues to lead research efforts.
- PGA of Canada promotes the LTPD Guide to its membership base.
- Provincial Golf Associations support distribution and execution of the LTPD Guide.
- National Golf Course Owners Association to be aware of LTPD and promote to its membership base.
- Maximize the LTPD Guide to create Canadian champions.
- Complete Community Golf Coach training.
- Complete PGA of Canada Instructor of Beginner Golfers.