P R E P A R E N O W
Protect your weak links
Longevity and success on the golf course is dependent on your body holding up to the stress and strain of your swing and of getting around the course. An old or recent injury of the back, neck, shoulders or knees are a few of the common areas that can interfere with a golfer’s enjoyment on the course. Reduce the stress and strain of your problem joint by improving the biomechanics of the area or by changing your golf swing.
Repetition is the mother of all skill
Our brain has the ability to learn patterns of movement and to deliver them consistently without our full attention. If you are planning on making a change to your swing, this is the time to do it so that your brain will have the pattern established before you hit the course.
Endurance, endurance, endurance
The ability of a muscle to contract for long periods of time is a measure of the muscle’s endurance. Training the endurance of the muscles (using low weights and a high number of repetitions) reduces fatigue of the muscles while on the course. Your back nine should be as superb as the front nine.
In physics, power is dependent on force (strength) and velocity (speed). Increasing the strength of your muscles as well as the rate of movement allows you to create a more powerful shot. Strength training is critical piece of improving your score. Start strengthening safely and allow at least 6 weeks for the changes to occur.
Agility sharpens your reaction time
Although golf is not a high speed sport the need to adapt to a change in position and to coordinate movement of multiple areas concurrently leads us to agility training. It reduces your risk of falls on the course, especially if trying to hit an awkward shot out of a bunker.
Relax the mind
Golf is one of the least tolerant sports of mental noise during the game. Your brain’s ability to deliver the swing pattern it knows so well is hindered by distraction. While many factors influence your score, mental noise is one that you can manage. Developing a routine prior to playing and also prior to stepping up to take your shot will train you to quiet your mind.
Elasticity is critical, in more ways than one
Flexibility and elasticity are fundamental to optimizing performance and preventing injury. Your ability to move through range and return, without injury to the starting position, contributes to the energy of your swing and to the health of your tissues.
Nutritional intake influences your energy output
Your body needs fuel to support movement. Given the length of time it can take to play a round you need to have a long-term and short-term nutritional support strategy in place. All protein bars are not created equally, but some can be a great way to tie you over on the course.
Oxygenation, so simple and yet so forgotten
Most people will give some attention to their posture or walking pattern but give very little thought to their breathing pattern. Breathing deeply is critical to the health of our tissues. Breathe deeply numerous times a day (best to associate taking a deep breath with a particular place or activity as it may otherwise continue to be forgotten).
Water – so refreshing, so vital
Every cell, tissue, system and organ within our body is dependent on water in order to function optimally. By the time you have symptoms of dehydration (dry mouth, headache, fatigue) your body is already compromised. Remembering to hydrate and having access to water require some thought before heading onto the course.