Ventura County Junior Golf Association

 BEING A GOLF PARENT

"Don't force your kids into sports.  I never was.  To this day, my dad has never asked me to play golf.  I ask him. 

It's the childs desire to play that matters, not the parents desire to have the child play. 

Fun!  Keep it fun".  - Tiger Woods
 

 
It is very important for parents to remember that all the kids need plenty of space to play and be themselves without interference from spectators.  Parents put presure on their junior golfer without realizing it.  When it comes to golf, step back, relax, and don't live and die on every shot - It's a game.
   
Just as you would stay on the sidelines when they play other sports, it is vitally important that you do not walk with or get involved with your junior golfer while they are playing.  Cheer for them in an appropriate manner, but you MUST let them play on their own.  They will learn many responsibilities in their journey, but they need to be able to fail or succeed on their own.   Always give a minimum of 75 yards of space.  Stay on the cart path or in the rough.  Your junior golfer may want you there watching, but they don't want you to make them feel like you don't trust their ability to compete - How does a child learn to be trustworthy without trust...  Let them show you what they are capable of doing. 
 
USGA Rules of Golf (Individual Stroke or Match Play) - It is a principle of golf that the player must play his own game, from the moment he strikes off from the first tee.  Under Rule 8-1 a player may not ask for "advice" (Def.) from anyone - this avoids embarrassment to over-generous opponents, fellow-competitors and others.  And the player may not give advice to anyone in the competition.
 
Important reminder, if you are spectating or volunteering to help the tournament or spectating, DO NOT GET INVOLVED IN RULINGS.  Call for the Rules Official and let them handle the situation.  The Rules Officials have been trained and they will contact you if they have any questions.
 
Because the attitudes and actions of parents/spectators have such a huge influence on all the junior competitors, volunteers and staff, their actions will be closely scrutinized.
Any violation of the above may result in a penalty on the junior golfer involved, including suspension.  Serious or continuous breach of any of the above may also result in the removal of the parent from the golf course.
 
Please refer to the Spectator Code of Conduct for our actual Policy.
 
Parental Do’s and Don'ts:
DO

Stay involved in a positive way

De-emphasize winning

Emphasize emotional development

Be supporting, interested and encouraging

Be sympathetic when your child loses

Forbid cheating, quiting and lack of sportsmanship

Discourage temperamental behavior and vulgarity

Make sure your child’s self-esteem is not on the line

Stress the lifetime value of golf as a sport

Look relaxed and comfortable on the course

DON'T

Expect financial returns from your child’s interest

Put pressure on your child to win

Get too excited if your child does win

Get too excited if your child loses or plays poorly

Display negative emotion, frustration, anger, fear or nervousness on the course

Say, “We’re playing today” or “We won.”

Be a Coach or a Rules Official

Take notes at practices or lessons

Use love to get your child to work harder

Equate your own self-worth with your child’s performance

 

Please remember that we all learn from our failures.  Failing is not the end of the world, but rather an opportunity to learn and improve.  Please respect all the players opportunity to compete.

thank you purple with glitter


Learning and the VCJGA

Just wanted to let you know that the "parent at a distance" approach to VCJGA golf has really helped my two kids while keeping them interested. 
 
Like all parents, we want to see our kids succeed including notching up a few wins early in their golf lives. But winning is not the same as succeeding, which is the ability to achieve mostly on their own and overcoming challenges on their own. The VCJGA tournaments support just that: Juniors make decisions on their own and mostly learn from them.
 

As hard as it is to keep our mouths shut sometimes, it's very clear that once they have made a mistake or not followed the rule and gotten penalized, they learn much quicker than hearing the same from us.  And really, any mistakes they make on the golf course are inconsequential. College coaches are very clear that recruiters aren't looking at the mistakes per se, but at the way in which the kids overcome and learn from them. In fact, at young age, every mistake is really an excellent learning opportunity. So, keep calling the rules as they apply, keep insisting on good etiquette, and keep making the juniors make their own decision. Because that's what's going to make them great golfers and keep them interested in the sport.

Reprinted with parent permission


Parents, here’s a lesson that even the loved ones of pro athletes have to learn: 

Be quiet, or move back!!

Over at the St. Louis Sports Commission sportsmanship blog, Solomon Alexander draws attention to some great supporting evidence for why parents should quiet down and butt out while enjoying watching their kids’ sports games.

It seems that actress Gabrielle Union (Bring It On!, Good Deeds), who also happens to be the girlfriend of NBA player Dwyane Wade, has been banned from the courtside seats at Miami Heat games that are usually reserved for family of the players. The reason? Wade was distracted by her loud yelling and pointed comments, directed both at her boyfriend and at the other players. (The “ban” is informal — Wade simply made a strong request that she move back several rows.)

As Solomon says,

If an all-world player like Wade is distracted by a loved one and he plays in packed arenas every night, imagine how your kid feels when you yell from the stands.

I’ve seen more than one kid stop playing on a field or court to turn to the stands so they can hear the nonsense mom or dad is yelling. Yes, I said nonsense. It’s nonsense because the kid has to stop helping his team to hear you. It’s also nonsense because advice from the stands has never worked on any level I’ve ever seen. They’re not going to score on the play you just called from the stands. More often than not, they get scored on because they stopped paying attention to listen to nonsense.

Those should be sobering thoughts for parents who think they should get involved in the game their kids are playing. It can be hard, but instead, try to sit back and relax, and enjoy watching your kids show you what they’re capable of without your help. Sports are a great chance for your kids to learn independence and decision making in a safe space. Let them at it, and try to enjoy the process of handing over responsibility, a little bit at a time

© 2011. Reprinted with permission from Michael Josephson’s Commentary.