WYC 121 – Developmental Stages – Jennifer Duval talks Youth Golf; Performance Routines

Jennifer Duval has been a Class A member with the LPGA T&CP Division for over 10 years. During that time, she has continued to evolve as an instructor. She was among the first to acquire her Master certification as a Level 3 Golf Fitness Professional; and most recently, became a Level 2 Junior Certified Coach with Titleist Performance Institute. She has a passion for learning and is a regular attendee at the World Golf Fitness Summit. She believes firmly in coaching not only the technical skills of the game; but, also the physical requirements demanded by the sport, the mental skillsets needed and the emotional resilience necessary to play ‘consistent’ golf.

Website: mytpi.com

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‘The first thing I learned was to hit it hard nevermind where it went’ – Jack Nicklaus

Coaching your own kid

  • Instead of advising them, do an ‘experiment’ to coach them without being too direct
  • Remember modeling is a key point at the younger age

 Cringe Moment

  • Spewing too much technical info early on
  • Different is OK – there isn’t a cookie-cutter swing
  • Be patient – learning is frustrating, don’t rush it

Long Term Athlete Development

  • Develop the athlete as a whole vs. just specific to your sport
  • MYTPI.com – Titleist program
  • Kids under 18 have significant changes and development going on – Teach them correct body movements
  • One-sided sports (golf, baseball) – bodies need a break and to develop different muscles

Mental toughness 

  • Develop a performance routine: (taken from Vision 54 at vision54.com/html/mygame-thinkbox.html)
    • A think box – when you are thinking through what you are going to do
    • A play box – Stop thinking and start acting. If visual – stare at a dimple on the ball. If you’re auditory – listen to a plane overhead. If you’re kinesthetic – focus on your grip pressure, make it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5.
    • 2 outcomes to every shot: 1 – Where did the ball go (often can’t control); 2 – Did I stay focused on what I was focused on (I can control)
  • Body language and self-talk: Do a funny skit with some of the other coaches, exemplifying different mental approaches. Have the kids then practice: Hit 10 shots where think negative thoughts after each. Then hit 10 where you are neutral. Then hit 10 where you think of a positive thought after each.
  • Each kid keep a notebook/recipe book. Write something after each practice and round about what they learn.

Windows of Opportunity

  • Sensitive periods (learn more at canadaiansportsforlife.ca):
    • Boys 6-9 then 13-16; Girls 4-7 then 11-13: When you are growing fast, train fast
      • When in growth spurt, there body is awkward. Speed training and mobility is key.
    • Boys 9-12 then 14-18; Girls 7-10 then 12-16: Growth rest periods: better time to develop skills.
  • ‘The first thing I learned was to hit it hard never mind where it went’ – Jack Nicklaus

Great drills for re-developing movement patterns

  • Milo Bryan – No Bull Fit – Awesome drills

Connecting with and impacting kids

  • Jennifer taught a class of kindergartners and started out asking: ‘Who here is an athlete?’ – a lot of the kids didn’t raise their hand. She told them ‘Today you are going to be an athlete’ and when she asked the same question in the next class, a bunch of the kids who hadn’t raised their hands initially were now raising their hands.

The one that got away

  • Her freshmen year of college, Jennifer had the opportunity to qualify to travel with the team and play with her sister, and she was so serious and uptight in her qualifying match that she played bad. She forgot to be herself, have fun, and enjoy the moment.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

  • Jennifer’s college coach went above and beyond when Jennifer’s dad had a heart attack. Jennifer learned for a coach it should always be about person first, player second.

Best books

Parting Advice

  • Know your why
  • Just do it, even if you don’t think you’re qualified

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