WORKING FROM THE DESIRED OUTCOME BACK
There is a lot of talk about what is best for golf performance and even athletic performance when it comes to what you are doing in the gym. In the 15 years that I have been working with golfers and other athletes form both a performance and rehab standpoint I have learned that the best way to approach a program is to work from the desired outcome backwards. Thanks to William Wayland of Powering Through Performance and The European Tour Performance Institute in getting me to see things through that lens.
For golfers that work with me there are a typically few goals that most have along with some goals that may exist outside of the golf world.
Those are better performance, longevity and to play and practice without pain.
Let’s examine these goals and see where golf performance training fits in, in helping those clients reach their goals.
Increased distance is probably the biggest area where we can see improvements in performance measures in golf. That increase can come from both improving physical parameters such as force production, mobility and strength. Increased distance can also come from improved skill and swing mechanics.
Improving swing mechanics and skill level is much more highly influenced by proper practice of those things. But golf performance training can improve readiness and availability to allow for play/practice more frequently with less risk of pain or injury therefore having some influence on that area of performance improvement as well. We know that strength training has one of the biggest correlations with reducing repetitive use injuries like back pain, tendonitis, shoulder, hip and knee pain, of any type of training we can do
2.Longevity/minimizing physical decline with age
The second main area that golfers come to me for is improving their longevity in the game. We are all aware that physical decline can occur with age and a properly designed strength and performance program can help flatten the curve so to speak of that decline as well as reverse some of the changes that have occurred with age already. This will allow you to maintain and improve speed as well as play as much as you like with less risk for pain or injury as you age.
3.Return to play from pain, injury or surgery
This is a fairly strait forward area where performance training can get you back in playing shape when recovering from pain, injury or surgery or if a rehab professional such as myself take you through the rehabilitation portion as well as progress that to return to sport at the necessary time
Client Goals Outside of Golf
Although most clients come to me with a sports performance goal or goals in mind most will have other goals as well that exist outside of the sports world
Health - regular exercise has been shown to improve multiple markers of mental and physical health. So, getting someone on a regular fitness routine even if the main goal is to improve golf performance will have carryover into all aspects of a person’s health
Function/Age changes – Participating in a regular strength training program will help keep you upright, functional and independent as you age
Kids/grandkids – Being able to run, jump, kick, throw, climb, crawl, wrestle etc. with your kids and grandkids is goal for a lot of my clients. As a father myself, this is a huge why for me staying in shape.
Hobbies/Travel – Training for performance in sport will also allow for you to be able to participate in the hobbies outside of golf that you enjoy. Things like gardening, woodworking, travel, tennis/pickleball etc.
The reality is that participating in a consistent strength and conditioning program will not only help your performance on the court, course or filed but in all aspects of life
Dr. J.P. Guidry DPT CSCS TPI