Strength and conditioning training in young golfers ranging from 6 to 12 years old give or take a few years, can be quite a challenge because it is a bit early to introduce a full weight training plan and any body weight or cardiovascular exercises can become unappealing for the little ones. So what can you do about this?
The best option you have as a coach is to come up with game-like strength training, where your pupils will have just as much fun they have playing golf and build some serious golf strength and stamina. Plus, as they see the results, it is more likely that they embrace a proper golf oriented strength training when they have the proper physical development to do so!
Here are just a few ideas you can apply to your junior programs:
- Tug-o-war: This is a great game for kids because it will work their whole bodies; the core and legs to build stability and chest back and shoulders to engage in the pulling motion. Besides, the way they grip of the ground to acquire stability and power to beat their opponent, mimics the kinetic chain during the golf swing well enough to help them translate the same sensation in their golf swing!
- One-legged Golf: Having your students hit a few golf balls standing in just one leg will be one heck of a workout. You can build up a one-legged chipping or long drive contest (remember to swap the leg in use halfway through!). This activity will increase their overall swing stability by miles and this will enable them to generate power in their golf swing much more efficiently and accurately. Tip: You can do one-arm golf as well!!
- Barefoot Training: This is on old trick; however, its effectivity has never been in jeopardy. You can do all kinds of activities barefoot that will work on their stability and strength in their golf swing. Having them stand barefoot over an unstable surface such as a ‘bosu ball’ can increase the intensity by quite a bit… Their weight transfer and overall body proprioception will improve significantly equating in longer and more accurate shots!
These are just to name a few games that you can implement to your junior programs. Keep in mind that the key to the effectiveness of these activities is in the ability you have to keep them engaged, as well as dedicating a small part of every session to these games so their work can be measurable in the long run.
By: World Junior Golf