We have put a lot time researching and piecing together the information we are presenting and feel this information is extremely beneficial for golfers of all levels. Last week we talked about how we approach our training for baseball/softball players, but what's nice is there is a lot of carryover and similarities between the two sports.
They both live in the transverse plane and need adequate rotational training principles. In that same regard they both require very similar mobility and stability demands, so the training aspects are very similar.
One major difference between the two is usually the population we work with. With my baseball athletes it's typically youth through college athletes; while the golfers we work with are typically between ages 35-60. While many of the principles are the same, how we approach this population and how aggressive we train will differ.
So let's take a quick look at 3 strategies for approaching training for golf.
1. Earn the Right to Rotate – This is something that we really try to emphasize to everybody, and it's not everybody has earned the right to go golfing. This may sound tough to choke down for many, but it's the simple truth. The golf swing is a very fast, intense, and explosive movement that requires tremendous amounts of mobility, stability, and strength. If a person cannot exhibit set standards of these qualities, they should NOT be golfing. Instead they should spend time (usually 3-4 weeks) making sure they bring up these levels of achievement before they begin golfing again. If a person golfs but isn't able to exhibit these baseline standards; it's not whether they'll get hurt, it's when will they get hurt. It's a progression, and people need to earn the physical right to golf because if they don't they're putting their body at risk.
2. Physical Restrictions WILL Effect Your Golf Game – This may seem obvious, but when we look at golfers this tends NOT to be applied. Golfers are usually quick to see a Golf Pro, Swing Coach, or watch a Pro's technique, but all of this might be a wasted effort if they have physical limitations. No matter how much technique work you do, or how much you work on your swing mechanics, if you lack thing such as hip internal/external rotation, thoracic extension and rotation, core stability, shoulder rotation, or overall strength and control, it won't matter – you physically don't meet the standards of what you're trying to accomplish. It's easy to understand why most Pro's now have Strength and Performance coaches who work personally with them. They can help attack these restrictions, imbalances, asymmetries and allow the body to meet the demands of the golf swing. Strength training is now the norm for serious golfers, and it's effect on one's golf game is immense.
3. Sequence is of Utmost Importance – All rotational movements require this specific pattern – hips, torso, shoulders, arms, club/implement. It doesn't matter if we're talking about golf, baseball, discus, or tennis – this sequence is what separates the best from the rest. Now the part that most golfers might not like to hear is that swinging a golf club is NOT the best way to learn and cement this pattern. The swing is just too fast and complex for it to be the best way to learn proper sequencing. This is where a strength/performance coach comes in. In a training setting we can breakdown the rotational movement into simpler parts, we can slow it down, we can manipulate body position, we can add resistance, and then piece is back together with the club in the hand. All of these tools allow us to better develop and learn how to pattern the rotational sequence far more effectively than just trying with a golf club alone.
Overall what we work to accomplish, as with any athlete, is attack specific mobility that golf demands; then add stability on those patterns/movements; and finally add strength, power, and speed. We do this with appropriate progressions, fundamental training methods, and programming for the unique needs of each golfer based on their assessment and evaluation. This allows us to get the best possible results and give the biggest benefit for our golfers.
For more info check out our Prezi slides we use when presenting.
Go Get 'Em!
Go Get 'Em!