Did you know between 40 and 60 percent of U.S. high school students don’t put much effort into school? Research shows students’ desire to learn decreases steadily from the start of elementary school until they graduate from high school or dropout.
How do we solve America’s crisis of academic motivation? The First Tee, a youth development organization that uses the game of golf to to teach young people about life skills and character education, is motivating youth to pursue learning and education in four ways:
1. Through building positive relationships and mentoring youth.
Young people do not care what you know until they know you care. Most kids and teens just want to be heard. Our coaches often provide youth that chance by listening to who they want to be and what they hope to achieve.
2. Helping youth set goals.
Students don’t see education as relevant until they have a destination in mind. Once they have a goal, many students can see how education is a tool to get them to their desired destination. Coaches at The First Tee challenge young people to dream, set goals and achieve.
3. Empowering young people to take ownership of their learning.
Youth need a fun learning environment where they discover the answers for themselves.
The First Tee coaches empower youth to become their own best coach. By challenging participants to actively participate in the decision-making process, coaches inspire youth to achieve their goals in their own way.
4. Applying what they learn to all areas of life.
When students don’t see the connection between what they learn and what they love to do, it’s hard to be motivated. The most valuable lesson we teach at The First Tee is everything participants learn can be applied to life. At the end of each class, coaches ask participants how they can use their new skills at school, at home and in life.
Youth at The First Tee
- 73% reported high confidence in their ability to do well academically after three consecutive years of participation in The First Tee.
- 84% credit the program with helping them be a better student in school
“The youth involved in The First Tee see improvements in many parts of their lives. This includes higher grades in school, improved relationships at home with family and involvement in community service.” ~ Fred Tattersall, The First Tee Trustee