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Motor Development Program Project, Term Paper

Pages: 15

Words: 4021

Term Paper

Teaching Beginning Developmental Golf to Elementary Age Students

Part I:  General Description and Introduction

The purpose of this program is to teach developmental golf skills to elementary age students, typically aimed at grades 3-5, and ages 7-10.  This program will include boys and girls.  The following skills are targeted in this developmental program:  grip, body alignment, body position, the swing, and the putt.  All of these skills are necessary to begin a training program in the game of golf.  While these are not complete elements, as golf is a complicated emotional and physical game, this program will give this age group the appropriate skills necessary to begin the game of golf.  This program is designed to give these basic components upon which all other skills necessary in the game of golf are founded.  Without these necessary elements, one cannot teach nor learn the game.  This program is designed to be taught in a total of six (6) separate lessons.  The final lesson will take place at a miniature golf course that allows the student to fully apply their fundamental knowledge in a fun and interactive setting.

This program will charge $50 per hour, per child, with group discounts of 10% for 5 or more students.  Individualized lesson plans based on the skill of the child involved and the desire of the parents for the child to learn can be discussed at the conclusion of this course.  As with all people, there are different inherent skill levels of students, with some exhibiting fairly advanced eye-hand coordination, and some needing to build on the necessary audio/visual/motor cortex connections.  At the age group involved, there is also the emotional maturity level that needs to be taken into account, with some students able and willing to take the initiative.  Confidence levels will vary with inherent skill levels.

For some taking beginning developmental golf lessons, the impetus is to engage in a career sports-track for professional, high-level playing.  For others, it is for socialization, broadening the mind, and enhancing physical skills and emotional skills of both athleticism and mental control.  Depending upon the setting, individual lessons or group lessons, one will be able to gather what the goals of the parents are when it comes to enrolling their child in the program.  At this age group involved for this program, individual lessons will foster a more focused approach to the elements presented, while in a group lesson setting, there may be factors related to engaging in common tasks that are not team-related, such as competitiveness among individuals, embarrassment in front of peers, or even more social and less program focused behaviors (silliness, inattentiveness).  The involvement or watchfulness of parents during the lessons may contribute to shy feelings or even lead to overcompensation issues on the part of the students.  It may be wise of the instructor to segregate parents to an area where they are out of the line of sight of the student(s), in order for the instructor and student(s) to bond and correctly gauge each others involvement.

Part II:  Task Analysis:

This section is geared for the instructor administering the beginning developmental golf program.  It is assumed that there is some measure of basic skill in the game of golf on the part of the instructor, so that at the least, the instructor understands the mental focus issues relating to the complex motor and attention issues in the game of golf.

Skill #1:  The Grip

This first step in approaching the game of golf is knowing how to hold the club.  For this age group, a child’s length 7 wood is used for the grip and swing lessons.  A 7 wood has a very angled open face with a forgiving, large face area.  Therefore, the elements of the grip are taught using a forgiving club that is relatively easy to make ball contact with.  As such, this builds confidence right away.

In order to proceed with grip instructions and the full range of lessons, the student will need a golf glove appropriate for their handedness.

The glove is worn on the hand that is the ‘lead’ hand, and is the leading hand in the golfer’s stance.  The lead hand delivers the control of the swing. The lead hand should always be correctly positioned before adding the trailing hand.

The trailing hand is the bottom hand in the grip and the dominant hand of the person.  It is the power behind the swing.

For the purposes of this program, a simple and basic style of grip is taught, that being the “ten finger” grip, otherwise known as the ‘baseball grip’.  As the name suggests, the grip is similar to holding a baseball bat, and the awareness factor is utilized here in teaching beginners.  It is most useful for beginners, and can be modified when a person’s skill level and confidence increases

Part A – The Glove

  1. Student is instructed to firmly fit their lead hand into the glove, ensuring a snug fit between the fingers, and around the wrist.
  2. Glove is fitted so that the student can twist their wrist comfortably yet without chafing.

Part B – Addressing the Club with Lead Hand (one hand approach)

  1. Lead hand grips the club two-thirds way down the pole Grip (the leather bound portion of the golf club).
  2. Body is stationary with open leg stance.
  3. Lead hand grips club with four fingers wrapped under the pole grip, thumb wrapped over pole grip.
  4. Lead arm gently swings club in a short arc with only lead hand gripping the club at this time.
  5. Upper body is fulcrum, legs are open and squared, lead hand swings club in short arc, other hand is resting on small of back during this exercise.

Part C – Positioning the Lead Hand Correctly

  1. Lead hand extends golf club in front of body, square with body, about 2 feet in air.
  2. Pole grip is aligned in lead hand with the guiding dots on the golf glove, face of club is properly angled at this time.
  3. Thumb is placed on backside of shaft.
  4. Lead hand and arm lower the club to sit properly in front of body on the ground, midway between open stance.

Part D – Adding the Trailing Hand (for the ten-fingered grip style taught in this program).

  1. Trailing hand takes pole grip below leading hand.
  2. Trailing hand little finger is snug against the index finger of the lead hand grip.
  3. Thumb of lead hand is placed in the lifeline (the long wrinkle on the palm of the hand) of the trailing hand.
  4. Trailing hand and lead hand (with lead hand thumb in trailing hand lifeline) grip pole grip firmly but not tightly.

Current Level of Performance:

At this age level, this will be the most confusing aspect of the program.

Students will not know why the grip is so important to the swing, and will need to reassured on their techniques.

Students will grip club too tightly.

Students will grip club too loosely.

Students will not align hands together.

Students will not place lead hand thumb in trailing hand lifeline and will need to be reminded.

Students will need to be reinforced on the nature of the synergy of the lead hand and trailing hand roles in powering the swing.

Students at this age will express frustration and have a give-up attitude that needs to be nurtured

to confidence by the instructor.

Skill #2:  Body Alignment

  1. Feet are shoulder-width apart, parallel with ground.
  2. Back of right foot and front of left foot determine aim.
  3. With right foot/left foot aim determined, position target.
  4. Body is square to the ball position, with ball at 1/3 position inside total stance from left foot.

Skill #3: Body Placement

  1. Knees are bent slightly, just past unlocked.
  2. Shoulders are parallel to ground.
  3. Eyes fixed on ball.
  4. Body bent at waist slightly.
  5. Arms straight, not locked, with proper grip on club.
  6. Body is bent enough at waist so arms can lower club to ground in front of body.
  7. Right elbow is snug to right side.
  8. Left arm is straight.
  9. Body is firmly held, not tight.

Current Level of Performance:

Students are concerned about hitting the ball, not how they stand; need to be reminded to stand properly first.

Instructor should place an empty tee to represent ball placement to help focus the student without making them nervous about the ball.

Students may be too tight in their body tenseness and need to be reminded to relax.

Student will respond to visual aides such as laying down golf clubs on the ground to simulate target lines and lining up feet properly.

Skill #4:  The Swing

The purpose of this aspect of the lesson is to allow the student to be able to make successful contact with the ball.  The swing is the means by which the grip and stance allow the club to propel the ball forward.  While there can be many complicated lessons on the swing, for this age group the lesson plan will focus on the back swing, the club face alignment, and the follow through swing.

This lesson begins with the student at an acceptable grip position and stance, with an empty tee serving as the ball placement while the student practices their swing.  The student will practice their swing for 20 minutes hitting the empty tee before a ball is placed on the tee.  The 7 wood is used for the swing lesson.

  1. Body is square to the tee position.
  2. Arms are properly placed and extended.
  3. Grip is in ten-finger grip style.
  4. Arms rotate back in a full arc to twist the body in clockwise position.
  5. Club head is rotated with shoulders parallel and square in backwards arc to 11 o’clock position.
  6. Arms extended bring club forward in downward arc with club face perpendicular at mid-stance.
  7. Arms and body rotate (legs and feet remain in place, knees bent slightly), to forward arc rotation.
  8. Forward arc is followed through to 2 o’clock position.
  9. Right foot pivots on forward arc to finish on front part of foot.

Current Level of Performance:

Student will lack control in swing; either be too hard or too soft.

Student will be too fast at this skill level.

Student will attempt to synthesize too much information; therefore moderation in the arc of the swing is needed to engage focus and relaxation.

Skill #5:  The Putt

This lesson will allow the student to relax from the lessons leading up to the full swing, while demonstrating their grip lesson and alignment lessons.  An appropriate length putter is used for this lesson.  Target is 10 feet.  No tee is used for putting.  Even grade for putting lessons (flat ground).

  1. Body is square and parallel to ball. Feet are tucked inside shoulder placement just slightly.
  2. Arms engage in 7 o’clock to 5 o’clock gentle arc swing. 6 o’clock is ball placement.

Current Level of Performance

Students at this age will quickly adapt to the decreased power needed to propel ball forward as opposed to the full swing.

Students will demonstrate their level of hand/eye coordination to a greater degree than in the full swing lesson, as the putting lesson is more discrete.

Student will need to be reminded to minimize arc of swing, and decrease power of swing.

Part III:  Suggestions and Activities

This section will suggest activities on how to teach the above detailed skills of the beginning developmental golf program for 7-10 year olds.

Skill: Grip

Component: Proper fit of glove.

Activity 1: Bring a basket with several sizes of golf gloves.  Allow the student to try all of them on, while illustrating what determines an ill fit and what determines a proper fit.  Show the student the guide holes in the palm of the gloves for aligning the shaft of the club.

Component: Addressing the Club with the Lead Hand

Activity 2:  Have the student place their dominant hand behind their back.  Have the student grasp the club shaft at different positions on the pole grip (the leather bound portion) and gently swing it in an arc to the ground (no full swings).  Have student notice the weight of the club and the reaction of the swing at different hand placements.

Activity 3: Have student ‘hold the grip like a bird, tight enough to keep it from flying away, but not tight enough to kill it’.

 Component: Positioning the Lead Hand Correctly

Activity 4:  Let the student naturally grasp the club and have them notice what is comfortable, discuss why that is.  The natural grip will be very like the grip they will use for the swing.  Have them grip the club in uncomfortable finger positions and discuss why that is.  Finish the discussion with the proper grip and discuss the comfortable aspect of it.

Component: Adding the Trailing Hand Grip in the 10-Finger Grip Style

Activity 5:  Lay a golf club on the ground in front of the student.  Ask them to pick it up as though it were a baseball bat, and get in a baseball hitter position with the club.  As they are standing there, walk around them and point out the grip of the club as being similar to a bat.  Now have them get into golf mode and lower the club with the same grip back down to the ground.  Discuss the feeling of the grip.  With their hands still on the club, move their fingers into the 10 finger grip, and talk about it.

Skill:  Body Alignment

Component: Squaring the body

Activity 1: Have student stand with feet at shoulder-width apart.

Activity 2: With no club in hand, have student look straight ahead and stand at military at ease position (legs apart, hands on small of back), with feet at shoulder width.  Take a golf club, and place it on ground so that it is directly in front of toes of each foot.  Have them step back and forward to club until they feel comfortable with their toes placement.

Activity 3: Have student step up to the club on the ground, with toes touching the club.  Ask them to stand comfortably, so that they don’t feel like they are going to fall forward or backward.  This will help them find a center of gravity.

Component: Aligning their target

Activity 4: Have student pick out a spot on the field that they would like to hit the ball to.  Once they’ve done this, have them choose their own direction of standing that they think they would need, in order to hit the ball to that target. Ask them why they think the way they are standing (the direction of their golf stance) is going to make the ball get to the spot they’ve picked out.

Activity 5: Once the student is sure of their stance to get to the target, have them step back.  Take their exact position, and hit the ball in a full swing.  Did the ball go to their directed target?  Why or why not?  Have the student discuss this.  Get them back into position, and taking a golf club, place the shaft from the heel of the right foot to the toe of the left foot of the student.  Ask them to follow that line of the shaft out to the field (imagine drawing a line from their left toe outward).  That is where their ball will go, so have them adjust their target and stance accordingly.

Skill:  Body Placement

 Component: The bend of the knees and the waist.

Activity 1:  With the student standing at proper alignment, ask them to crouch down to an uncomfortable knee bend, not all the way to the ground, but almost.  Once they have done so, place a golf club in their hand.  Ask them if they could hit the ball like that.  Why or why not, discuss how impossible it is to hit the ball with the knees too far bent.

Activity 2: Have them standing stiff as a board, no knees bent, give them a club and ask them if they think they could hit a ball.  Why or why not?  Discuss why being stiff as a board will make it impossible to make contact with the ball.

Activity 3:  Have the student bend backwards at the waist, just to the point of discomfort.  Give them a club and ask them if they could hit the ball like that.  Why or why not?  Talk about how ridiculous it would be to play golf like that.  Would they ever hit the ball?  Let the student determine the absurdity of the situation.

Activity 4: Have them bend forward at the waist like they were going to bob for apples.  Give them a club, and ask them why it would be impossible to hit the ball like that.  Ask them if bobbing for apples makes for a good golf game.  Let them understand the silliness of it.

Component: Eyes fixed on ball.

Activity 5: Demonstrate for the student how successful you are if you are not looking at the ball.  Ask them to get into position, and giving them a club, have them look into the sky.  Ask them if Tiger Woods would be successful if he was watching airplanes while he was trying to hit the ball.  Discuss the absurdity of it.

Component: Arms extension.

Activity 6:  Have students, gripping the club, bend their arms so that their hands are underneath their chin.  Can they hit the ball like that?  Why not?

Activity 7: Have the students pretend their arms are baseball bats, and have them pretend their arms are limp spaghetti noodles; do they think that either way will be successful in holding the club and hitting the ball?  Why not?  Demonstrate with silly examples.

Skill:  The Swing

Component: Being square to the tee position with proper arm extension.

Activity 1:  Place a tee in the ground and have the student stand 10 feet, 5 feet, and the proper distance away from the tee.  Discuss in each instance, why or why not, they would be successful in hitting the ball.

Activity 2: Do the noodle arms example, and demonstrate the sloppy/clumsy effect in making a swing at the ball.

Activity 3:  Have the student approach the tee.  Let them determine the proper distance for them from the ball with good arm extension, to hit the tee in small arcs.  Repeat this for 10 minutes.

Component: The arc of the swing

Activity 4:  Have the student keep making swings at the empty tee, with the goal to strike the tee.  For twenty minutes have them take progressively wider swings, until they are able to hit the tee with a full back swing and good follow through.

Activity 5:  Place a ball on the tee, and have them do the same thing.  Having built on the previous exercise, the student should now feel comfortable with the swing.  Ask them to hit the tee, not the ball.  If they tense up and miss the ball (overshoot or flub), take away the ball and have them practice at hitting the tee again.  Repeat with the ball/tee exercise until they are able to strike the ball with success!  Distance and targeting are not necessary in this exercise,  but can be added once the student is having success with striking the ball.  Remember to be a cheerleader when they hit the ball.  In golf, success in the game is just as much about confidence as skill.

Skill: Putting

Component: Downsizing the full swing and power of the swing for putting.

Activity 1:  Have the student use the trailing hand only to putt the ball at least 10 feet using proper stance.  Do this for 10 minutes.

Activity 2: Have the student putt to knock down empty soda cans at distance of 10 feet.  Arrange soda cans in bowling pin style setup, with different number of cans for different exercises.

Activity 3:  Have the student putt up a hill.

Activity 4:  Have the student putt down a hill.

Activity 5:  Have  the student putt at the same target on a flat grade for 10 minutes.  After the 10 minutes, blindfold the student and have them putt a few times.  Ask them to feel their strength and report to them or let them look at their putt outcome and discuss the feel of the putt and the strength of the putt.

Part IV:  Organization/Feedback/Practice

The program will be organized to occur at a local driving range on a non-busy day.  Most driving ranges have putting greens as well.  The program shall:

  1. Have a ratio at any one time that does not exceed 5 students to 1 instructor.
  2. Keep parents at a safe distance out of earshot and so of minimal interference.
  3. Allow the students to ask questions, take breaks, and improvise with instruction.
  4. Not allow any students to harass or otherwise embarrass other students on any level.
  5. Allow for the skill level of the student(s) to determine the degree of instruction necessary in any one skill field.  If the skill of the student is advanced, so too will be their instruction, and vice-versa.
  6. Allow for appropriate, confidence building feedback by the instructor.  For instructional modification during the lessons, only positive qualifiers will be used by the instructor (i.e. great job holding that club, let’s try a little modification and see how that feels….what do you think of that?).
  7. Make sure that the utmost respect is given to the dignity of the person.  No inappropriate physical contact of any kind will be tolerated between instructor and student.
  8. Provide an email follow-up to the lesson if so desired by the parent and student.
  9. Provide a written assessment with goals and benchmarks at the end of the lesson program, with further recommendations for skill-building.

Practice Trials

In order to ensure proper practice trials, the lessons are organized into one hour segments.  This allows a warm up, demonstration, practice, and time for questions and answers.  The cost of the lesson includes a large bucket of balls for the student alone, and one smaller one for the instructor.  Students are encouraged, once the lesson is demonstrated and discussed, to hit as many balls as they feel comfortable doing.  The instructor will make sure that physical exertion is not demonstrated by the student; as any golfer knows, when hitting balls (making swings) after a period of disuse, the torso muscles tend to become very sore.  Hence, it will be the responsibility of the instructor to teach proper warm up stretches and cool down stretches in each lesson.

Teaching Method

The teaching style to be used would include a combination of direct and indirect methods, with both didactic and Socratic lesson dissemination.  The direct instruction would fall under the didactic method, which involves the nuts and bolts transference of knowledge and skills; basically, the cook book style of teaching.  The indirect method would include the Socratic style of teaching, where exploration and individual learning styles to be respected and enhanced upon.  The goal of the teacher is to build confidence while imparting knowledge.  Allowing the student to explore their potentials in a safe and supportive environment of mutual respect and understanding will provide for the best atmosphere for learning a complicated skill.

Allowances for Differently-Abled People

While this program is primarily written for able-bodied youths of stable mental and emotional being, some modifications can and will be made for differently-abled people.  For students with special needs, such as being physically developmentally delayed, this program can be modified to teach or show with hand over hand demonstration the physical motor movements in holding a golf club and hitting the ball.

For those in wheelchairs, special accommodations will be made by using shorter clubs, and modified swings.

For those who are visually impaired, special accommodations will be made by having the student use their other able senses to participate in the beginners program, such as touch, sound, and feeling.

In short, this program is not exclusive, and can be easily adapted to meet the needs of most special needs populations of peer-aged mates for which this program is designed.

Conclusion

This is a motor development program for teaching beginning developmental golf skills to youths ages 7-10, of both genders.  The skills presented are fundamental to further skill development in the game of golf.  The activities presented are age appropriate and take into account the level of maturity, attentiveness (or lack of), and physical development of the age groups for which it is geared.  Additionally, the style of teaching allows for a flexible plan that is adaptable depending on the student or group of students involved.  Furthermore, the entire plan is completely adaptable to peer-aged special populations, and is very open to do so.  Finally, this program can be disseminated to any short or long term program, such as what one might find in a spring semester, or a week long summer camp.  The hours involved can be grouped together in a short time span, or spread out over a longer time span. This is a flexible program, teaching fundamental motor skill for a popular sport, that is highly adaptable.

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