Common Issues I’ve Come Across as A Performance Coach
I’ve trained many golfers of all ages and abilities over the years, as well as being a keen golfer myself. The most common complaint I hear from golfers is always about how their swing isn’t what they want it to be, because they can’t deliver the club consistently where they want it. The same trail of thought always occurs, they put this down to not practicing enough and the need to increase their skill level.
But the question is, is it a poor skill level, or could it be something else?
Being a strength & conditioning coach, I look towards the physical aspects of the swing and the physical limitations of the golfer. The key physical attributes that make up a strong, consistent golf swing, in my opinion are overlooked and under trained. Most golfers look for the easy way out; new clubs that promise 10 more yards, or going to see the same golf pro, who still believes everyone should have the same swing, regardless of anthropometrics.
If you are not happy with your swing, have you asked yourself these questions:
Am I stable enough to deliver a consistent swing?
Am I mobile enough to achieve the correct shapes for a better clubhead path?
Am I strong enough to hold my body in the positions I’m trying to achieve?
If you haven’t, then you need to start asking them now! In my experience most amateur players overlook these key questions and just focus on what they know, and to be honest, its usually the easiest option as well.
Taking ownership of your current physical conditioning is the first step towards making some key changes in your training and preparation for a better golf swing.
Golf is now turning a corner, where they are trying to turn golfers into athletes, I suspect the day will come though, where they get athletes and turn them into golfers. The physical aspects of the game are being taken more seriously now because of the leading pros all utilising the services of strength & conditioning coaches. It almost has become fashionable and the latest trend in the game. A similar trend took place with sports psychologist working in golf.
One of the most common causes for the lack of physical preparation in golf is its history and traditions. Where golf has been seen as a game of skill and concentration, instead of a game which looks developing the robust and explosive elements to the swing.
Golfers and golfer pros for many years have created a mind-set where they believe just hitting balls at the range will give them the perfect swing. This fixed mind-set needs to change, because a better swing and hitting a longer ball is developed and achieved away from the golf course, in the gym.
In short, become a better athlete, or if you are at the start of this physical development journey and have a young training age, at least look at becoming a better physically functioning human being.
So, what I mean by this is, you need to think about your current health and physical activity levels, and how specific they are to developing your golf swing. There are many tools out there to assess your current physical capabilities, like a functional movement screen, this can be used to analysis any physical imbalances that you may have. This is a good place to start and will assess your flexibility, stability and will highlight any issues that need addressing.
The next step is to start with a strength & conditioning training programme, that looks at single limb exercises to begin with, that also incorporates exercises that work all 3 planes of movement, just like the golf swing does. This will get all the prime overs in the golf swing working, so that they become active, stronger, and longer, because strength training, when done correctly can increase your flexibility.
Once you have exposed the body to strength training and it begins to move more efficiently, you can now look at training movement patterns that are more specific to the golf swing. So, this will include lateral exercises and rotation-based movements, in a vertical plane, which will over time aid your stability, flexibility and sport specific strength.
What you need to remember is that the perfect golf swing for you, is unique to you, and not the same as someone else’s swing. It is not a case of one size fits all, as we are all built physically unique and live and work in different environments.
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