How to Improve Your Child’s Golf Game with Strength Training

Flowers are blooming, the heat is rising and young golfers are teeing off! Many kids are working on improving their swing and perfecting form, but how can we help golfers stay healthy and prevent injuries? Believe it or not, strength training is the key to help boost performance and reduce injuries.

Strength training is necessary to help improve overall performance, stay strong and prevent injuries during all sports play. When it comes to developing these skills it’s always important to start by building a base. Mastering a squat, and pushing and pulling with the child’s own body weight is the best starting point. Here are some tips on perfecting technique:

Push-up

  • Arms straight under your shoulders and legs stretched out straight
  • From head to heels should be flat while you engage your glutes and core
  • Lower your chest to the ground and press up and away from the floor

Pull-up

  • Palms face away from you while hanging from a bar
  • Pull yourself to the bar by driving your elbows down and back until your upper body reaches the bar

Plank

  • Forearms and legs straight, keeping your body from head to heel strong and tight
  • Engage your abs and glutes and hold

Bodyweight Squat          

  • Upper body: chest up, back flat
  • Lower body: sit down and back with your weight going back to your heels. Shins should be straight with the shoelace and continue to push your knees out to your pinky toes

To propel a golf ball down the fairway we need to develop force through our hips and torso. Jumping and medicine bell throws or rotation variation offer a great way to develop raw power.

Rotational Medicine Ball Throw

  • Athletic base: big chest, flat back, soft knees, and glutes back slightly
  • Rotate the torso, back leg and snap your hips through while keeping your arms loose like ropes
  • If you don’t have a medicine ball then stick to vertical jumps and broad jumps, or use an old basketball and fill it w/ sand or water

Vertical Jump

  • Start tall on the ball of your foot and body fully stretched toward the sealing
  • Snap your elbows down and back then reach for the sky as you jump up

Parallel Medicine Ball Side Throw

  • Stand parallel to the wall in an athletic base with the ball at your hip
  • Snap your hips through and keep your arms loose guiding the ball straight into the wall

The main focus should be on technique rather than the amount of weight lifted. A child should be able to complete eight to fifteen repetitions using good form before increasing weight. Your child should also have a medical examination by a primary care doctor before a strength training program is started.

For more information on Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Sports Performance program, click here.

Shawn Pitcher, BS, RD, USAW
Shawn Pitcher MS, RD, USAW, FMS received his bachelor’s degree in dietetics and nutrition from SUNY Buffalo State college in 2015. After which, obtained his credentials as a registered dietitian from the academy of Dietetics and nutrition. During his undergraduate, he played Dlll collegiate football at the university and did an internship at Buffalo state with the strength and conditioning staff and did 1,200 hours of experience in the clinical, community and sports nutrition setting. Post undergrad, Shawn interned at the University of Buffalo primarily working with football. He then went to Pittsburg State University where he did a graduate assistantship as strength and conditioning coach and developed their sports nutrition program. He then moved onto the University of Missouri where he interned with sports nutrition’s, primarily working with football. October 2016 Shawn joined nationwide children’s as a sports performance specialist primarily working with Grandview and New Albany’s high school, helping them improve their performance and reducing risks of injury. His passion to provide athletes with the information, knowledge and abilities to not only succeed on the weight room, but develop the life skills and characteristics to make a profound impact in the future.

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