The focus of First Tee – West Virginia is to give young people, ages 5-18, of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop, through golf and character education, life-enhancing values such as honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.
The Life Skills Experience is one of the unique features that separates our program from many other junior golf programs. The Life Skills Experience is used to further enhance and instill the inherent values of the game of golf, and show participants how these values transfer into other aspects of their lives. Through Life Skills Experience, participants learn valuable lessons about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude; how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences and how to define and set goals from the golf course to everyday life. Additionally, students are taught about responsibility, courtesy, how to make decisions by thinking about the possible consequences, how to set goals, how to define those goals, the importance of maintaining a positive attitude as well as the importance of showing respect for others.
These lessons for life are taught through a variety of golf-related activities designed with the primary goal of having fun. Participants learn about themselves and others through a range of experiences enhancing their golf skills as well as their fundamental values for life. As their opportunities on the golf course expand, so do the opportunities for their futures.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
An independent research study* confirmed that youth involved in the First Tee Life Skills Experience (the curriculum delivered at chapters) learn and use life skills on the golf course and transfer these skills to other areas of their life. In fact, 100% of First Tee participants interviewed said they transferred life skills learned at First Tee to school. Seventy-eight percent are transferring skills such as decision making, setting goals and managing their emotions from the golf course to other areas of their lives including situations with friends, family, after school activities and jobs. The study also revealed the First Tee Life Skills Experience’s ability to impart core values on youth. After participating in First Tee for three years, 73% reported high confidence in their academic ability and 82% felt confident in their social abilities with peers.
*“Longitudinal Effects of The First Tee Life Skills Education Program on Positive Youth Development” led by University of Minnesota’s Maureen R. Weiss, Ph.D. from 2005 to 2008. Visit www.firsttee.org to read the full summary report.