An Important Message for Junior Golfers, Parents and Coaches…
How to Avoid the 5 Hidden Dangers in Junior Golf and How to Get Ahead Using Fitness, Nutrition and Mental Preparation Strategies that Last…
It was back in 2004 when I was first really introduced to junior golf.
I had been training golfers for a few years at a top golf resort. I also had set up an online business called ‘Fitness for Golf’ that later became the industry standard for golf fitness, internationally.
With all the training I did, I must admit the average age was closer to ‘40 or 50 something’ as opposed to 14.
A few connections I had in the business led me to a meeting with the International Junior Golf Academy and International Junior Golf Tour. Turns out they needed a trainer to oversee the fitness program for their academy of kids…yes, I said kids. Very serious, very talented, and oh so ambitious kids…
It became my responsibility to help them (and their parents) achieve their goals.
What were their goals?
Some wanted to test their skills and see how good they really were or could be. They had been identified in local communities and towns around the world and described as ‘golf prodigies’ and ‘serious golf talent’.
But, what would happen when you brought them all together? Now, each had real competition.
Who would stand out?
Many were searching for future college scholarships. They loved golf and wanted to continue playing with distant dreams of competing on tour. But, their first objective was finding a school that wanted them on their team and could help offset expenses.
Then, there were a small handful who said “I want to play and beat Tiger Woods” or ‘I want to be the best in the world”.
Now, that’s ambitious!
So, there I was ready for one of the biggest challenges of my career. Help these young athletes meet or exceed their goals and fulfill their dreams.
I personally met with every single student and performed their golf fitness assessments. After 140 assessments each year over a period of several years, you won’t believe what I learned about junior golfers and what makes them successful.
Yes, there were patterns and habits and commonalities which I am able to share with you. But, first, let me share some of the biggest mistakes being made in junior golf today.
The single biggest problem you face is in finding the right resource to help your junior golfer with fitness and nutrition that is age appropriate, and skill level appropriate, so they end up protecting their bodies (and minds) for a lifetime
The 5 Critical Mistakes in Junior Golf and What Not to Do if You’re Looking to Play College Golf, Get on Tour or Plan to Play for a Lifetime
Forget what you think you know about golf fitness for juniors and follow avoid these common mistakes made in junior golf.
Mistake #1: More is Better…Always
I remember going through fitness assessments with a very large group of junior golfers and watching a few of those young boys get quite competitive on the upper body strength test. You would think we were battling for the last position on the Ryder Cup team! I would watch one boy pump out 70 push ups like it was nothing. Then, a few others became absolutely determined to beat him. This was no longer about who had a better swing or a lower handicap, but something completely different. They just wanted to prove they could do more push ups. So, more is not better.
The quality of your workouts and the quality time of your practice is what wins tournaments and helps young golfers progress and succeed. Working out for an hour with all the wrong exercises will never replace 15 minutes with the specific routine that will help your body and your game.
Mistake #2: Young Golfers Don’t Need a Fitness Routine.
Did you know golfers as young as 7 to 8 years old can benefit from training, as long as it is with the appropriate amount of volume (sets and repetitions)? Did you also know exercise for this age group is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics?
There are so many questions regarding fitness and nutrition for junior golf!
Should boys and girls do the same exact exercises if they are the same age? Or, does it depend on developmental size, maturity, experience or some other factor?
There is definitely a right way to work out for pre teens and teens. This is even more important when we talk specifically about golf.
Mistake #3: All Juniors Need to Increase Flexibility
I have seen this time and time again. And, guess what the number 1 swing flaw we see with this? Has your child’s instructor ever said ‘you have an all upper body swing”?
There are particular opportunities throughout the growth of young athletes where they can create more speed, get stronger and either loosen up those tight areas OR strengthen areas that are too loose.
So much depends on your child and where they are at in their growth cycle. What if I could help you understand that and navigate the changes the body will go through and still maximize performance?
Mistake #4: You Can Eat Whatever You Want (whenever you want)
I’ll never forget showing up to support one of the college teams I was working with at the NCAA Golf Championship. It was early morning and I was sitting in the resort cafe watching the way these athletes were fueling their bodies. Or, perhaps, that was the problem…
I watched an entire team of young female golfers grab some food that was the exact opposite of what they should be eating before competition. I chucked to myself because I knew which players and which teams would be running out of energy about the time they made the turn. If they were able to get off to a great start, there was virtually no way they could maintain it. They would literally leak energy until they just ran out and started making bad decisions and losing mental focus.
Mistake #5: My Dad Knows All About Exercise. I’ll Just Follow His Routine.
Most trainers aren’t even qualified to train young athletes and end up giving them the wrong exercises for their body. Trainers learn how to train what is called the ‘general population’ and not specific groups with special populations.
You may already know this, but some exercises can actually hold you back from making progress or target all the wrong areas for you.
Sometimes core strength is all that is needed and you actually have hypermobile hips and shoulders which make you ‘overswing’. In this case, the focus changes to strengthening the hips and shoulders and minimizing additional stretches for these areas only.
Do My Methods Work for Junior Golfers?
Take a look at the incredible endorsements I’ve received for my work in golf fitness over the years…from top golf collegiate coaches, PGA instructors, golf organizations, and students...
Susan worked with me last year whilst at the IJGA. She gave me some great exercise and stretch programs totally specific to my needs and my current fitness level. I stuck to them throughout the year and as a result I won the IJGT order of merit. I think the improvement in my fitness helped improve my golf more than any other factor. And whenever I have a question about anything related to golf fitness I always ask Susan and she is there to help.
-junior golfer (name withheld to not jeopardize amateur status)
“The biggest limitations I see with my students are stability, strength and flexibility. We have students from all over the world ranging in age from 10 to 24 and each has limitations that are very specific. With Susan’s program, we have an opportunity to give each student an individual program. It accelerates the learning process dramatically ”
-Gary Gilchrist, Director of the Gary Gilchrist Academy, previous Director of Golf for the David Leadbetter Junior Golf Academies and the International Junior Golf Academy
“This is exactly what we are looking for to introduce our members to the Mental and Fitness side of the game! More and more our kids are looking for that extra advantage when competing against the nation’s top junior golfers, and your site completely covers 2 of the most important areas for them. Your fitness assessment is brilliant and gives each player complete confidence in knowing that the work they are going to put in is specific and appropriate for them. Plus the phases and levels allow them to work up to top golf fitness at their own pace. Our kids are now very excited about improving their bodies and minds to lower their scores! We look forward to continuing to work with you and sharing our success stories!”
-Sean Farnan, past Director of the Ventura County Junior Golf Association
-junior golfer (name withheld to not jeopardize amateur status)
“Susan Hill faced the challenge of developing a fitness program to elevate the games of a variety of junior golfers. She now offers the benefits of that experience to others who face the same challenge. This book provides information on how to give young golfers the opportunity to make their best swings on the golf course.”
-Michelle Pond, National High School Golf Coaches Association, NHSGCA
“As a professional colleague in the golf fitness industry, I find Susan and her approach to be a breath of fresh air! Her knowledge and enthusiasm towards the golf athlete is remarkable. I think all professionals in the industry will find her site work to be an excellent resource for quality information and exercise prescription. I see it as an essential tool for tomorrow’s golf-specific conditioning specialists”.
-Jeff B., Physical Therapist for PGA and Mini Tour Players
Everything I Know About Junior Golf in One Simple Download and One Extremely Low Price (only $4.99)
Download on your Kindle or Reader Today. Don’t have one, no worries. You can also download a reader for FREE. Here’s what you’ll learn…
Learn what 6 basic exercises every junior golfer should be doing and exactly how it will help them shave more strokes off their scorecard (and compete against kids twice their size!)
Discover which exercises produce the greatest upper body strength for your golf swing so you can maximize power and distance at the same time
Find the truth behind which age to start your fitness program and how to progress it each week throughout your career in junior golf
Learn the eight most efficient warm up stretches that prepare your body, your mind and protect you from injury
Discover the most crucial elements of a golf nutrition plan that can save you strokes and help you outlast every single player in junior golf tournaments with ease
Learn the best sports drinks and nutrition bars and exactly when to use them to your advantage
Learn which simple golf and stretches in key areas ward off the most common injuries in junior golf so you can play year round and won’t be in physical jeopardy in crucial tournaments
Discover which golf fitness assessments are being used every day with professional golfers and what the information tells you about your golf swing and your potential for college recruitment and beyond
- how to create peak performance for tournaments, specific events and situations
- how to handle and manage the stress of competing and in crucial tournaments
- the top 50 mental faults (and fixes) from Jeff Troesch (previous David Leadbetter Academy Mental Coach)
- top injuries of junior golfers and how to prevent them
- how to handle prepare for playing in extreme temperatures (what to wear, what to have with you)
- formal checklist for the course
- what are the best resources being offered in junior golf and how to access them
“This is a tremendous asset to any golfer or coach who has the goal of optimizing their mental and physical training for golf. Only in recent years has the importance of these two elements gained the attention that they deserve. However, most golfers still lack either the funds to seek out individualized instruction in these areas, or accessibility to the instruction.
The Fitness for Golf website does both, and the information that has been provided to our women’s golf team at UCLA has proven invaluable. Even at the level of our program at UCLA it has been difficult to establish a comprehensive assessment for our players, specifically in the fitness area.
Fitness for Golf has allowed me to establish a workout program at UCLA that is unmatched by any other program in the nation. We have a plan, and a way of assessing progress in the areas specific to each individual on the team. This has made our time in the weight room more productive, and I am confident that each player on the team is getting their fitness needs met, and enhancing their performance along the way. It is exciting to have the opportunity to utilize Fitness for Golf as a tool to improve our program and allow our golfers to reach their goals.
-Carrie Forsyth, Women’s Golf Coach UCLA
Now, Meet Your Trainer
Golf training that is focused on physical fitness is a specialized field that requires instruction from someone with specific knowledge of golf fitness.
Susan Hill is the nationally certified golf fitness expert and past President of FitnessForGolf.com. She has written for Golf Illustrated, Resort Living and the Junior Golf Scoreboard. She was selected as a speaker for the TPI World Golf Summit and has provided golf content for the USGA, the Northern California Golf Association, the Florida Golf Association and the National HIgh School Golf Coaches Association. Susan works with and writes about the ins and outs of golf fitness on a regular basis. In addition, Susan holds several credentials as a fitness trainer, sports nutritionist, golf biomechanic, youth conditioning specialist and golf flexibility expert. She has written over 8 books on the subject and you can find her latest work, Going for the Green: Prepare Your Body, Mind and Swing for Winning Golf, at a local bookstore near you. She has helped over 106,000 golfers in more than 27 countries to play better golf and she can help you too. She has worked on the LPGA tour with Jill McGill and Allison Hannah. She oversaw the fitness program at the International Junior Golf Academy (over 150 top juniors from around the world) and has also consulted with top college teams including UCLA. But, her real passion is in helping the millions of golfers with dreams of improvement by bringing the ‘workout of the pros’ to the every day golfer.
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