Record other data besides your golf scores.

Record other data besides your golf scores.

Recently, I came across a great article in Golf Magazine regarding the USGA and Chevron partnership to collect and analyze data aimed at improving the “health of the game.” As part of the Eagles for Education initiative, the USGA is using interns to distribute GPS Logger to golfers to help track their position and movement every 5 seconds along the golf course. The information is downloaded and sent out to the USGA Research and Test Center which is located in Far Hills, NJ. The information will help golf courses plan their course layout by identifying issues with start times, course set-ups, and bottlenecks along the course. For golfers, they will be able to understand how their pace-of-play can be affected by walking versus riding and/or playing from different sets of tees.

It seems any golfer can benefit from tracking their own data. Whether you have a GPS unit on not, tracking your movement is irrelevant. Keeping notes on your round: weather, humidity, how you feel, what you ate, club selection, shot selection, and fatigue level – both physically and emotionally – will allow you to look back and identify what you did well, and what you did not do well. Many golfers seem to go right to the “mental game” and believe that a bad round was due to “second guessing themselves.” That could be true, but if you don’t write it down, then you can spend a lot of time just guessing.

At FitGolf, we can help you plan out your round from start to finish: self-screen, warm up, pre-round and shot routine, nutrition, in game adjustments, post –round cool down.  We are trained to ask you the right questions to figure out what happened, but it will help us more if you keep this data and bring it with you during your session. Many athletes in other sports track their own data – MLB pitchers keep track of which pitches to use with certain batters, quarterbacks chart plays to see how well they execute, and endurance athletes work off training paces to peak at the right time. Golf incorporates all aspects of training, so there is a lot of things that can affect your game. Reviewing the data will allow you to go back through your round, and see where things may have gone wrong. If you know what you did wrong, you will be able to focusing on correcting this for the next time.

It also allows you to see the things you did well! Knowing what you do well will allow you to rely on your strengths when things get tough. And since you record every round, you’ll have more reason to celebrate when you are successful!

For all Questions related to Aerobic Training Programs, golf fitness, nutrition, and your mental game email me at [email protected]

As a new Golf Fitness Expert, I have a lot to learn about the golf swing, and how our fitness programs are designed to help our golfers and clients improve their swing as well as lower their handicap. A Golf Pro will break your swing down a hundred different ways, and I am confident that I can provide a hundred different exercises that will help you become stronger and improve your mobility, stability and flexibility. However, in my first few months with FitGolf, it has become increasingly clear that golfers tend to get caught up in the  many training techniques, swing drills, and workouts laid out before them. It can be so overwhelming that a weekend round of golf becomes a tale worthy of the next episode of Game of Thrones. Golfers spend more time overanalyzing and trying to do everything they were taught, instead of focusing on PLAYING golf.

As a fellow athlete and competitor, here is a simple tip: Practice is the time to practice. It is the time to train, and to improve your fitness and mechanics. Competition is the time to “Let your body do what you trained it to do”. As long as you are doing the work off the golf course and consistently preparing for your practice rounds and tournaments, you should be able to execute. If you do not execute, then make sure you are recording your results from start to finish. It follows the same concept of “Think Box/Play Box”. When it is time to play… focus on playing. Record all the data, and analyze AFTER you are done playing.

In Steven Kolter’s book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, the author examines the concept of “Flow” and “Flow State.” Adventure athletes, such as mountain climbers, surfers, and X Games competitors/athletes tend to find Flow easily. In order to achieve great feats such as scaling cliffs with no harness, riding 40+ foot waves in Australia, and snowboarding down the Alps in Switzerland, an adventure athlete needs to shut the part of the brain that does the “thinking.” Any hesitation may mean life or death.

Although golf may not be life or death (although it may be for some of you), the concept is the same. You train and practice so that when you play, the body already knows what to do. If you go through your warm up routine, address the weak or tight muscles, and practice your shots on the driving range, then all that remains is to play. There is definitely a strategy in golf; how to set up your round, how to play specific holes, and what clubs to use. However, the body’s only job is to swing the club, and swing well.

As Golf Fitness Experts, we can help you by listening to all the details of your round.  Instead of telling us about all the bad shots you took, tell us when your body and swing started to break down. Tell us how you felt at the beginning of the round physically. Did you go through your pre-round warm ups? What muscles were tight or weak? When your body began to break down what changed in your swing? Did you lose distance? Did you push or pull the ball? Once we know the details we can focus on “fixing the body” during your session so that we can prevent that from happening. We can give you the exercises that will make you stronger, more mobile, more stable, and more flexible. Your job is to do these exercises and do the homework assigned to you so that when you step on to the golf course again, you are confident in all the work you have accomplished. You can trust that the exercises are the correct exercises, and all that is left to do is to swing. It’s what we do!

Looking forward to working with all of you! Questions related to golf fitness, training programs, nutrition, and your mental game email me at [email protected]

In my last installment we looked at Long Term Athletic Development.  We saw several hallmarks for Long Term Athletic Development.  These included windows of trainability, and age appropriate training to name a few.Today, I want to look at the Windows of Trainability. These are periods in a child’s life when he or she is best suited for learning and mastering certain kinds of activities. These windows are based on the child’s social, emotional, psychological, mental, physical, and biochemical make up.As an example if we work to build strength in a 12 year old boy, we run the risk of injuring the child’s growth plates if we use heavy weight. This is because the forces on the growth plate from the weight can cause the growth plates to slip or fracture.  This could have disastrous effects on future growth and development.

What we have learned through the works of Balyi, and the people at TPI and others is that each age in a child’s developmental process has a few areas that if worked on properly will make that child stellar in that area.

Here are the windows that we use in training Junior Golfers:

5 to 8 year olds:

    • Suppleness One – basics of mobility and flexibility
    • Speed One – short burst speed training

9-12 year old boys and 8-11 year old girls:

    • Skills One – basic skills of ball striking, short game, putting, etc

13-15 year old boys and 11 to 13 year old girls :

    • Suppleness Two – maintaining flexibility during rapid growth
    • Speed Two – longer burst speed training
    • Three-D Integration – awareness of body and club with new and changing body dimensions caused by growth
    • Stamina One – endurance training basics

16-18 year old boys and 14-18 year old girls:

    • Strength – working with weights for the first time
    • Skills Two – shot making, course management, decision making, tournament preparation, etc
    • Power – Olympic lifting and speed training
    • Stamina Two – more endurance training

Keep in mind that these ages are biological not chronological.  Biological age is all that matters in this area.  Biological age is based on growth rate not years, days and months alive.  Here is a biological age graph with the windows of opportunity included:

WINDOWS

Remember, biological age is not the same a chronological age.  Biological age is based on factors like growth rate, emotional, social and mental maturity, biochemical maturity, etc.  Chronological age is merely the age of the child in years, months, weeks and days.

When we honor biological age and train juniors in that manor, we help the junior develop and grow into the best athlete they can be, and prevent unnecessary injuries.

For more about windows and age appropriate activities for junior golfers check out our Juniors Home Page or complete the form at the bottom of this page.

In the coming weeks I will be taking up each of the age brackets and reviewing specific fitness activities and the benchmarks for what juniors in each bracket could consider in terms of fitness, practice, play, instruction, competition, nutrition, etc., so stay tuned.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

All the best.

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David Ostrow, PT GPS, CGFI-MP3, Certified Junior Golf Fitness Coach CEO, FitGolf Enterprises Not a subscriber yet…?subscribe-button
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Athletic Development for the Youth Golfer

In today’s culture of youth sports, athletic specialization is becoming the norm and the days of the three sport youth athlete are almost extinct. Golf or whatever your child’s sport of choice is, it is so important that they stay “athletically well-rounded” to reach their full potential. Early specialization of one sport can stunt long term athletic development. Many parents think that early specialization of golf or another sport may be putting their child ahead of the competition, but the consequences of early specialization can have a profound negative effect on athletic development. These consequences could be physical imbalances, overuse injuries, poor fundamental movement, and most commonly, the burnout effect.golfer

The mind set of youth sport needs to shift from making your kid the next Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam, to allowing your child to develop into a solid, well-rounded athlete. The former cannot happen without the ladder. The science behind long term athletic development is complex from both a physiological and neurological stand point. Simply put, a young athlete must develop fundamental movement skills before they can begin to master their fundamental sport skills. Examples of fundamental movement skills are agility, speed, coordination, balance, object control skills, and awareness. If these crucial athletic features are bypassed, the potential of the developing athlete will become limited.

So please, allow your developing child to become a well rounded athlete. Encourage them to play a collection of sports that involve swinging, kicking, throwing, swimming, running, and catching. If they are meant to be a professional golfer, football, basketball, or baseball player, they will already have had the built-in intangibles necessary to rise to the cream of the crop. Those intangibles are there at birth and will develop along with your child’s love of their sport.

For any questions about long term athletic development strategies and programs, please contact me, Jason Rivkin, directly at [email protected].

Jason Rivkin, ATC

Use Your Core For More

Here at FitGolf Performance Centers our golf fitness coaches spend a great deal of time on strengthening the muscles of the “core”. Core strength is a common topic in golf fitness, but what exactly is the core? Health and fitness professionals have characterized the core in many different ways including muscle groups such as the abdominals, gluteal muscles, and spinal erectors. For the sake of simplicity, we will put today’s focus on the abdominal muscle group.

DSC01785The abdominal muscles play a key role in a consistent and powerful golf swing. The abs are one of the main players in maintaining posture and generating power in the downswing. Essentially, they set the foundation from which everything else is built up from. Having a weak abdominal foundation will lead to flawed movement and compensation from other muscle groups in your body. Flawed movement and compensation for any golfer greatly heightens your chance of injury. Great core strength and hence, great abdominal strength, is a solid jump off point for any injury prevention and golf performance program.

One simple exercise to get you started is the lower abdominal pelvic tilt. This exercise is used early on in FitGolf exercise programs and should be perfected by all athletes new and old to golf fitness. The lower abdominal pelvic tilt is used to promote a neutral pelvis position. A neutral pelvis is crucial for achieving perfect posture at address and making a full swing. In addition, a neutral pelvis is ideal for keeping the spine safe from excessive stress.

To perform the lower abdominal pelvic tilt lay on the floor on your back with your knees bent. Lying relaxed, you will find a space in between the floor and your low back. Place a towel roll under that space.  From here, flatten your low back and push into the towel by squeezing your abdominals. You should feel as though your belt (real or imaginary) is being sucked towards your belly button. This in fact is your pelvis tilting backwards (posterior pelvic tilt) to achieve a neutral pelvis. Maintain a strong abdominal contraction and constant pressure down onto the towel and hold for 2-3 deep breaths. Relax by letting the abs loosen and arch the low back into the original resting position. Repeat for a total of 50 repetitions.

This exercise is a great first step into achieving a strong core and stronger golf swing!

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Long Term Athletic Development for Junior Golfers – The Future of Golf

Long term athletic development is the process of creating superb athletes who then develop into excellent golfers. Please view the presentation below for more information on this process.

Long Term Athletic Development

 

 

 

Junior Golf Fitness Circuits

This entry is part 1 of 11 in the series Junior Golf Fitness Circuits

Golf Fitness and Athletic Development Exercises Programs
for Junior Golfers of All Ages

 

FUNdamentals
Exercises for Juniors
Ages 5-8
Train/Learn to Play
Exercises for Juniors
Ages 9-12
Train/Learn to Compete
Exercises for Juniors
Ages 13-18

FUNdamentals

Augusta National

Pebble Beach

TPC Sawgrass

Carnoustie

Celtic Manor

St. Andrews

Aronimink

Merion

Pine Valley

 

FitGolf Performance Center’s Long-term Athletic Development Program (LTAD) is designed with kids wants in mind. LTAD is a fun, done in developmental, age specific groups. It helps young athletes develop fundamental movement skills, golf specific skills, understanding of the rules of the game, a love of the game, and a passion to improve. This approach alone has been proven around the world to be the most effective way to help junior golfer became stellar players.

Our Junior Fitness Solution offers programs for levels for all juniors ages 5 and up, no matter what their current experience and ability. Our staff is experienced working with beginners and many nationally ranked junior tournament winners and college players. There is a program for every junior.

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Technology Exercise Station

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series Junior Golf Fitness Circuits
 
Click on an Exercise Image Below to Download and Print the Exercise    

40 Yard Shot

100 Yard Shot

Find the Treasure

Kinematic Sequence

Longest Drive

Pelvic and Torso Turns

Pelvic Bend

Run Round the Track

Weight Shift Analysis

     

Saint Andrews Exercise Course

This entry is part 6 of 11 in the series Junior Golf Fitness Circuits
 
Train/Learn to Play Exercises for Juniors Ages 9-12
Click on an Exercise Image Below to Download and Print the Exercise    

Agility Ladder

Wheel Barrows

Plank

Straddle Jumps

Hip Twister

Striking Medium Ball

Power/Accuracy Throw

Bean Bag Toss

TPC Sawgrass Exercise Course

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Junior Golf Fitness Circuits
 
FUNdamentals Exercises for Juniors Ages 5-8 
Click on an Exercise Image Below to Download and Print the Exercise    

Obstacle Course

Figure 4 Walks Reverse

Lateral Bounding w/ Stick

Side Stepping

Tip the Giant

Gold Train

Bouncing Ball Tennis Stroke

Dodge Ball

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