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Goal setting for the Junior golfer

A goal without a timeline is nothing more than a wish has often been said. While it is beneficial to help your junior with their goal setting, please, please, please understand that their goals should not be you vicariously living through them!

I find that in this area of junior golf when I meet a student for the first time and I ask them what they are looking to achieve in golf, the parent wants to provide the answer, often prefaced by, "well he/she has often said..." Sometimes the fact that an answer is not readily forthcoming is a sign that the goals professed are not the goals of the junior, or the junior has not become fully comfortable with the 'joint' goals set with the parent.

While all these situations in and of themselves are okay. I will in the course of the first few lessons begin to get a feeling of what the junior really wants. Maybe it is to become World no.1, maybe it is to just have fun. By the way, be prepared, the goals can change! And that's okay too.

Goals help a Coach define a teaching plan specific to that student.

Who: Who will be involved?

What: What exactly do I want to accomplish?

Where: Exactly where will this take place?

When: What is your time frame?

Why: Why do you want to accomplish this goal? What benefits will you receive from it?

Sometimes we need to sift through all the goals and time-order them, as Rome was not built in a day.

Keep measuring also simple: "I will learn to draw my driver within the next 7 days."

Sometimes the goals take longer or shorter time frames to achieve due to a myriad of reasons.

In making a goal attainable we have to be realistic as well. Playing once a week and expecting in 3 months to go from a 20 handicap to scratch, well.......

You know I am going to say it!

If in the attempt to achieve the goals the focus no longer is fun, you probably are doomed to failure. It is rare for a junior to be so self motivated that fun is not part of the equation, and even with those rare students, a little fun does not hurt!

Lastly, keep your goals constantly where you can see them! Don't put them in a computer file. Go old school, write them down, to re-enforce that they are yours, and put them on fridge or carry them in your car for review daily or at least before you train or play.

I love the analogy for thinking of your choices like driving on the highway past the exit to achieve your goals. Your next exit up coming is the picture below. Choose wisely.

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