~by Ryan Graff
The First Tee Life Skills Experience is one of the unique features that makes The First Tee stand apart from other youth initiatives and junior golf programs. It helps young people develop character by focusing on The First Tee Nine Core Values:
So, what’s the difference between these values and life skills?
Applying life skills over time will lead to developing core values. The Nine Core Values cannot be taught directly, but are developed through consistent modeling by caring adult mentors and building of life skills.
There are three keys to developing positive characteristics:
1. Context – Placing young people in an appropriate setting. In our example, the context is a golf setting.
2. Opportunity – Providing experiences where young people are able to acquire life skills. In our example, The First Tee Life Skills Experience provides the opportunity.
3. Mentors – Surrounding young people with caring adult mentors, for instance The First Tee coaches. These mentors reinforce life skills and positive behavior.
Here’s an example:
Imagine a teenager wanted to have more confidence. By developing life skills such as decision-making and self-management, that teen can develop the core value of confidence over time.
The First Tee teaches interpersonal skills like “meeting & greeting” and self-management skills such as “personal par.”
As these skills are applied and reinforced through interacting with a coach who empowers them, teens can grow their confidence. Once they increase their confidence on the golf course, a coach can assist to bridge these skills to other areas of their lives – like school, or at home.
Now your turn, what Life Skills would support the development of the core value “judgment”?