Referring to parents who hover excessively over their kids to ensure that they experience every activity unscathed. Helicopter parents think they are protecting their children from all harm, but in sports they are seriously doing more harm than good. Golf is no exception.
From afar, I see so many parents who cross the fine line of support and encouragement and then in turn have a negative effect on their child’s interest in the sport. Some Golf tours that my Juniors compete on do not allow parents on the course, which in my humble opinion is the best thing for everyone involved, unless they are properly trained on caddying. I have seen and experienced firsthand (years ago) the negativity of Helicopter Parenting in Golf and since then it is something that I do not condone whatsoever. I allow parents to watch their children when practicing but when they are with Coach Doug, parents must keep their composure as their child is here to learn from me.
As a parent myself, we always want the best for our kids, but this does not mean that I can jump in at my daughter’s soccer game (I’ve had to LEARN how to practice restraint!) I now leave that up to the professional, her coach. I must state: I am not referring to personal experience with anyone I coach, but this is something I hold dear to my heart as I truly believe this is detrimental in Golf.
We just want to make our children’s lives easier and I totally understand why we feel the want and need to intervene, I still have this sometimes also. I have seen this at all levels of Golf, locally, provincially and internationally.
One thing I do stress is parental involvement in a support role rather than a coaching role. I love when I see keen interest from parents and I stress the value in including parents by showing them how to be supportive and involved. The parent most definitely holds a key role in the child’s ability to improve, it just needs to be approached from the right place.
By allowing your child to make mistakes in their own time and by letting them develop a healthy coach/student relationship, you are ensuring trust in your child and giving them the confidence to shine. Children will always see their parents as number one and the desire for parental approval never dissipates, which is why children THRIVE in an encouraging environment.
The only words that truly need to be said to your child (in any sport) are
“I Love Watching You Play”.
–Changing The Game, John O’Sullivan