Depending on where you live you’re probably heading into the end of the golf season. This can be a tough time for golfers as they’re losing their physical activity! The offseason is a great time to reflect, (re)evaluate, (re)assess and make a plan. In this blog post I will go through all four and give you an inside scoop on how I work with my golfers to assure they are improving during this offseason.
One of the best things an athlete can do is reflect. Not only reflect on how they played throughout the golf season, but reflect on how their bodies felt. Were you stronger or more powerful at the beginning of the season? Did your body hold up all year? No injuries? How much time did you spend in the gym during the season? These are great questions to ask yourself before you begin to come up with a plan for the offseason.
Write down as much as you can think of in terms of your previous season. This will give your coach a lot of information to work off of. This will also make you think about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Here’s an example:
- Played great when hydrated and slept well
- Played poorly when I forgot to bring food and water
- During a three round tournament I didn’t have a lot of energy during the last round
- Lost strength as the season went on
- Lost weight as the season went on
- Pre-round program primed my body for my rounds / Felt stiff when I didn’t complete
The next step in the process is to reevaluate. What do I mean by that? I mean you need to reevaluate your goals! Do you have goals? Are they specific? Are they measurable? It’s easy to say I want to be a good golfer but it’s better to say I want to be a +1 handicap golfer. Now that’s more specific and we can measure it. Having goals is great and everyone should have them but if we don’t make them specific and measurable than it’s harder to reach them. Here’s an example of a SMART goal:
Specific – Shoot under par for 18 holes
Measurable – Keep track of my scores on a golf app
Attainable – Practice 2 – 3 times / week & Play 2 – 3 times / week
Realistic – Lower my handicap each month
Time – End of the 2021 golf season
Justin Thomas wrote all of his goals down for the 2019 season and shared it with the world at the end of the year. He obviously had a great year and achieved a lot of his goals but he didn’t achieve them all. This is important because you might not reach all of your goals and that’s ok. If you make all of your goals too easy to achieve you won’t really challenge your self. Having some goals that are easier to get to and some that are more difficult is a good place to start. By doing this exercise with your goals (Fitness, Golf, Education, Work and so on…) it will be easier for you to reach these goals! The reason it will be easier is because you have an outlined plan on how you will get there. Just saying a goal with no real way to achieve it is a great way to get frustrated and quit. This is not something we want to see. So let’s right down your goals for next year and make a plan to reach them!
(Re)Assess / Re-screen
The next step in the process is to assess, or hopefully, reassess! This is a very important step to assure that we figure out what kind of muscular imbalances, movement dysfunctions and overall limitations you have created in your body over a golf season. I like to use the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Screen and the Functional Movement Systems (FMS) Screen. These screens will help to identify what movement impairments you might have and it’s a great starting point to build from. After the movement screens comes the assessments for strength, power and capacity.
Here’s an example of a TPI screen:
Make a Plan
Once all the screens and assessments are completed we need to come up with a plan. This is another crucial step to your success in the offseason. We always start to work on your biggest weakness or limitation and progress accordingly. In my experiences I’ve found that when you fix one problem it usually helps other issues at the same time.
First we look at mobility and stability issues and correct those before progressing to certain movements. Once our movement patterns are strong we can start to incorporate endurance, strength and power exercises.
This task can be tough to complete on your own if you don’t have any experience. Hire a professional and make sure that the time you spend on your fitness is done in an appropriate way. Surpass your goals and make 2021 your best year yet!
Until next time….