5 Steps for Helping Youth Overcome Shyness

Categories: Blog, Character Education, Life Skills

For many kids and teens, meeting new people is intimidating. What you may not know is for most people, shyness is a learned behavior. Currently, as many as 40 to 60% of adults report being shy.

Effective meeting and greeting is a basic communication and social skill that can help build confidence in young people. But learning how to introduce yourself is just the first step! As youth become comfortable meeting new people, they start to learn more advanced communication skills for everyday social situations.

Developing Interpersonal Skills

Understanding how to form relationship is vital to young people’s success. While learning effective ways to meet someone and start conversations may seem basic, these skills are the foundation of positive values like confidence, respect, sportsmanship and courtesy.

We’ve heard story after story from young people that start just like this:

“When I first joined First Tee, I was a super shy kid… after a year in the program, I could easily go up to someone and introduce myself with no problem.” – Luke Shrestha, alumnus

Building Confidence Through Golf

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82% of The First Tee participants felt confident in their social skills with peers.

How do youth overcome shyness and build confidence through golf?

Golf is all about socializing! Golf provides an experience to spend a few hours getting to know someone. Starting with that very first encounter on the tee box, to the very last putt, every round of golf begins and ends with a handshake. Throughout our curriculum, coaches and other mentors serve as models of effective communication skills. They help lead the way in communication techniques for youth.

5 Steps for Meeting Someone New

How can you make a good first impression? A greeting is a combination of speech and gesture. It involves the tone and pitch of the voice, as well as one’s expressions and body language. In short, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it.

When you meet someone for the first time, make sure you:

1. Face the other person.

This first step is easy. There’s no work involved – just turn your body to face the person you are meeting. You don’t have to hide!

2. Smile and look him/her in the eye.

Sometimes when we’re nervous, we look at the ground or avoid eye contact. But if you give a genuine smile and look someone in the eye, both of you will be more at ease.

3. Give a firm handshake.

A strong handshake creates a bridge for communication between individuals of all ages and backgrounds and sets the tone in showing respect for others.

4. State your name clearly.

Make sure you aren’t mumbling your name; speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard.

5. Begin a conversation using the Ask-Listen-Respond method.

Ask-Listen-Respond (A-L-R) is a conversation model for learning more about others and building relationships. Let’s think about what happens when you are talking to someone:

  • First ASK the other person some questions. Open-ended questions are usually the best conversation starters.
  • Then LISTEN to what the other person says.
  • Finally, RESPOND to what the other person has said.

Help Your Child Overcome Shyness

Is your child struggling with shyness? The First Tee may be the perfect place for you and your family. Research shows 82% of our participants felt confident in their social skills with peers. Our life skills lessons are woven throughout each and every golf class.  And each of our coaches is trained to deliver our positive youth development programs.

Visit our locations map and find a chapter in your area.

Find a Chapter

5 responses to “5 Steps for Helping Youth Overcome Shyness

  1. My grandson who lives in Danville, CA. is 7, and I am interested in getting him exposed to golf, i.e. getting him started in some basic golf manners and techniques. Is there a particular time to register him, when is the program starting, where (I think there is a chapter in Dublin, CA) and the cost. Just some general information about First Tee.

  2. Thank you for your interest in The First Tee! Each chapter varies in their program schedule and open registration dates. To see if registration is open in your area, please visit our locations map and find a chapter near you: https://firsttee.org/locations. From there, you can visit the chapter’s website to learn more about their fall program season.

  3. Hello,
    All excellent tips. Thank you for sharing them! I agree most with the point that it’s all about developing habits, especially those of the mind. And the more strong and positive our mind is, the more likely we take the inspired action that is necessary. Best part is, the action is then almost effortless.

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