Fitness and Mental Game

Hey everyone! I know it’s been a few days since I have posted and I figured I would try and update everyone on my whereabouts/activities.

As I let on in my last post, I have started my fitness routine and it is going great so far! I have mainly been doing cardio with a little bit of strength and endurance exercises mixed in. I am trying to take it lightly in the beginning as I know I like to push myself a little too far in the gym which, in the past, has led me to bulking up and losing flexibility. It’s great to get stronger, but not at the expense of losing flexibility and speed. The golf swing is a series of movements requiring some power but mainly coordination and speed and thus I am not willing to sacrifice the latter for the former.

Much of my training thus far has been low weight (30% of my 1 Rep Max) with high reps (30+ per set) and many of the exercises being done on an unstable base to promote balance and core strength.

For those that don’t know, I majored in Exercise Science at Skidmore College which was great since I learned so much about a variety of subjects under that domain. Nutrition, physical therapy, kinesiology, advanced physiology, athletic training and prescription were some of the areas of study. I am using this knowledge with my knowledge of the golf swing to craft a program to work on the weak areas of my swing. These weak areas are in-part caused by my body type and muscular imbalances. Let’s just give you a quick analysis…

My misses on the course are generalized mainly by a pull to the left of my intended target. I can’t remember during either round in the eGolf Southern Open where I missed a shot to the right other than poor alignment (which was only a time or two anyway). My take away from this is that my sequence gets off and my lower body becomes stagnant and does not fire soon enough. My upper body gets quick and I swing mainly from the top down (during my transition from backswing to downswing) which causes my shots to start left of target.

To combat this effect, I know I need to work on leg strength and core strength. This will allow my legs to begin the downswing sequence and the core to support this movement and keep me in balance which will in turn, result in posture maintenance and pure ball striking.

Squats and lunges will help build my quad and glute muscles and I particularly like to work in rotational movements during these to ensure the core is stabilizing my body throughout the exercise. ‘Mountain climbers’ are exercises that are great for this purpose and you can add rotational elements to these also to work on hip flexor and lat strength while working on deltoid endurance as well. More on this and other exercises in future posts!

I also wanted to refer to an article I read just yesterday in the latest issue of Golf Digest on page 62 titled: “Why Good Golfers are Fools”. To summarize the article, it states that there is scientific evidence that golfers who act happy no matter what their performance are more likely to shoot a better score than the golfers that tend to beat themselves up if they are not performing up to their expectations. The article suggests that the brain performs significantly better under a positive mindset than under a “negative, neutral or stressed” state of mind. So instead of criticizing and finding flaws in the golf swing, the experts recommend identifying elements of “success and enjoyment” for yourself in order to find that state of mind that is most conducive to great performances.

After reading this article, I have made the choice to try and identify some of these elements over the coming weeks not only during practice sessions and rounds, but also during tournament play. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am very proud of myself for getting out of the “negative” and “judgmental” mindset during rounds. It has taken the past few years of working on it and is sometimes a challenging endeavor, but it has definitely taken my game to a better level. If I continue to take this way of thinking and elevate it going forward, I know my performance during future tournament rounds will match what I am able to achieve in practice round environments.

That’s all for now! Come back soon for another update.

Thanks again for following me!!

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