Playing For The Long Game – The Mental Benefits Of Golf For Kids
Many would consider a nice morning on the green as the ideal backdrop for a relaxing weekend, and that is not without reason. There are many health benefits tied to both spending time outdoors and the game itself. And while golf is sometimes synonymous with retirement, it can be an enjoyable pastime for the younger generation as well. Studies have shown that partaking in the sport can have positive effects on both children’s mental health and development. Below are just a few of the benefits that can be achieved from picking up the hobby during one’s youth:
Before each swing, golfers must consider which club to use, while also taking factors such as wind speed, slope of the green, and water hazards into consideration. This analytical thinking builds both problem solving and confidence in the young player.
The same elements that spark analytical thinking also build resilience. Between the physical obstacles of the course and the emotional toll of missing the shot or having a bad hole, the child has to learn to recollect oneself and push forward thus building resilience to continue on.
It has been shown that resiliency leads to improved self-esteem and other positive emotions.
A game known for its leisure, some may think that golf does not have the pressure of other fast-paced sports. The player can focus on the shot at hand without the anxiety caused by a countdown. This focus can then translate into other areas of life as kids mature.
In order to focus, a young golfer needs to learn to eliminate the distraction of intrusive thoughts and devote their attention to the situation at hand. As a game where swings often tend to not go as planned, emotional control is deeply integrated into the sport itself. This along with the outdoor time and physical activity can help reduce the effects of anxiety and stress.
Is there a virtue more deeply intertwined within the game of golf? A pastime not known for its brevity, one must play through to completion despite a bad run early on. Also, when playing with others, one must wait their turn before moving on to the next hole. The majority of the game of golf is not spent swinging, but instead waiting, which builds patience.
While it is a game that can be played alone, golf can be a very social sport. It is an especially great way to interact with others while social distancing, making it good for children to spend quality time with friends safely.
Like any skill, becoming adept at golf takes practice and discipline and its many rules take time to learn. On top of that, kids have to learn the responsibility of taking care of and carrying their own equipment, while also showing up on time for tee times. All of this takes discipline.
At Cobbs Creek, it is our mission to enrich and empower our area’s youth as much as possible and we intend to use golf as a vessel to improve their wellbeing. As a game that can be enjoyed throughout many years, we believe the above benefits can bring value to these young golfers both in the short term and in the long.