Introducing Kids to Disc Golf – How to Start Their Love of the Game
Disc golf is a quickly growing sport in many countries, drawing players of all ages to pick up discs and go play a course. Everyone from grandpa to great-grandchild can go out and play on a neighborhood park course, click through the channels, hear an advertisement, or find a video online. Now, it’s time to take that information and go out and play!
If you dream of seeing your child compete internationally with disc golf, these tips will be a great place to pique your child’s interest. Remember, like football and basketball, disc golf is a game first. Before you click “buy” and have a dozen different packages at your doorstep and training sessions scheduled, consider how many extra expectations they need to have put on them right now.
What do you already have at home? A free promotional frisbee from a parade or festival and a laundry basket or a pole are all you really need to start. Play around your house (carefully!) or your yard to start with. Practice aiming and throwing without the pressure of doing it right on the course, and see how many other family members you can get involved.
When you start looking at discs to get for younger players, smaller and lighter is key. The shorter height and arms of younger players can make regular discs a struggle to work with. Look for discs with narrower edges, smaller diameters, and weights under 120 grams to fit them to your young players. Unless you’re determined to have them play in a league or a regulated club from day one, focus on what’s comfortable in their hands and won’t strain growing muscles.
Don’t make the rules the point of the game when you’re out on the course. Number of shots shouldn’t matter (unless you’re helping a very young player practice counting). You can let them throw from wherever your shot lands, alternate throws, or just pick a practice basket and play a few games of “horse.” Don’t expect or ask for perfection, and make the process of playing fun before anything else.
Many well-known disc golfers have YouTube channels with videos of tips, tricks, and the courses they enjoy playing – a little encouragement to a beginner can go a long way. Videos showing how some practice has helped them improve aim, distance, or accuracy can be a good kickstart for enthusiasm in a young player. If you hear comments like “I’m not as good as you/they are” or “I don’t think I can ever…,” these videos can also show how even the best players had to start and make plenty of bad shots themselves along the way.
Now, what are you waiting for? Find something to throw and go have fun!