I’m 6’3 …. I remember growing up that my Dad would bring his colleague over, Norm whom I thought was the tallest man I had ever seen! ( I was 6 at the time) But I do remember looking WAY up and at times it was a little intimidating. So imagine the thoughts going through ANY and ALL of your Juniors under the age of 12. You are an adult. YOU”RE HUGE in their eyes! They are a kid. They equate your size, stature and appearance to that of their school teachers and their parents.
So where they could be perceiving you as an authority figure or a potential “negative” influence on them, here are my TOP 10 Ways I’ve found that are the BIGGEST and EASIEST way to connect with kids and have a BLAST!
Here are my TOP 10 reasons why this works and is something you need to do:
1. Leggo your Ego – Who cares what you look like! Lose the ego and you’ll gain massive influence with them being silly, happy and letting go of the regimented structure they get in other sports and even school.
2. Grade 2 Level – Remember their brains think so differently than you do, speak clearly without patronizing them.
3. Look Them In The Eye – Now they’ll believe you are interested in THEM and what they are doing
4. Listen to Every Word – Does it really matter if they ask you “why don’t you have hair?” or tell you “my dog Rex ate a bar of soap”, no the best part is they’re excited to express yourself so why shouldn’t you listen? It might make you laugh!
5. Gain Perspective – Next time you are in Walmart stop in the Toy section or Video Game Section and see what’s the latest and best thing kids are playing with. This way when you ask them what they like to play when not golfing you can suddenly seem really cool cuz “Coach actually knows who Skylanders are!!!!”
6. Identify the Dynamic – Don’t automatically stuff each group or individual into the box you always use for them to learn. Learn to “read” your kids and be ready with alternate plans if necessary to connect better. (Eg. have 6 or 7 stations / activities (instead of the 2-4) for the group that is in constant motion because that is how they thrive)
7. Parents Take 5 – Give the parents a break from having to “hover” or “helicopter” during your sessions, ask them to wait in clubhouse or come back at a specific time, and watch the kids feel free to be themselves.
8. It’s About Excellence not Winning – Too often the game and world these kids live in is about winning and if they don’t it’s a BAD thing. Structure your learning to have them be EXCELLENT in each activity and that it’s about achieving the task at hand.
9. It’s ALL about Them – The more you show a desire to be on their level and listen to what they are saying, the more there is no fear, no worry and no anxiety. Dive right in and make mistakes along side of them to show you are human too!
10. GET DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL – Kneel, squat, sit, bend over, whatever you do I can guarantee the MINUTE you do this and are now looking them right in their tiny little faces, you are going to WIN far more than you will lose their attention!
TRUST ME! If you are able to some or ALL of these things before you know it your kids won’t leave you alone and you will suddenly realize that being a small person comes with a whole different perspective….try it!
Oh, and I almost forgot, your calendar will suddenly become a whole lot busier!