Joey D Golf Fitness Blog

Junior Golf and the Developing Body

Coach Joey D Jul 16, 2013 2:25:33 PM
Coach Joey D
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I do a lot of work with junior players. It's amazing to see the natural skills and talents that some of these 12-17 year-olds have. But just like anything else, natural talent can only take you so far. Golf -- even at the junior level -- is incredibly competitive. I see a lot of time and money spent on lessons, clinics, and new equipment, but I know that the juniors I work with have an advantage that a lot of other young players don't -- they've been specifically working on improving their body for golf.

We've talked about optimizing your body for golf -- what that means and why it matters -- in a previous article. We're talking about improving your body for the sport of golf -- not for tennis, for MMA, or for fencing. It's about improving overall coordination and balance, while working on golf-specific strength and range of motion.

Think about this: If you're in your 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s, your body hasn't changed all that much in decades. Sure, you may have put on a few pounds here and there, but for the most part, you've pretty much been the same you for a while. It's relatively easy for you to improve your Golf Body. You've had the same center of gravity for eons and your arms -- and legs -- have been the same length for as long as you remember.

Now, think about a 16 year-old. A high school player may put on ten pounds and grow three inches in a matter of months! Every morning when he or she gets out of bed, there's a whole new center of gravity to try to figure out. As arms and legs grow longer and stronger, the coordination that you and I may take for granted becomes that much more of a challenge. If a junior player is not constantly working on making sure their ever-changing body is ever-ready for the demands of golf, he or she will simply not be able to play as well as possible.

And not playing up to potential isn't even the most serious downside. The risk of injury increases when the body grows as fast as it does during the teen years. A junior may have been perfectly able to control a swing at 5'5" and 125 pounds, but now -- six months later -- at 5'9 and 155 pounds, the system may not have made enough of the internal changes required to control a now more powerful swing. The muscles may have gotten stronger, but if the bones, ligaments, and neurological connections haven't developed at that same rate, the body is perilously out of balance.

Conditioning the body correctly will not only improve play, but it will also help prevent injury. This "pre-hab" will connect all of the body's parts and help put them all on the same page. When everything is operating in harmony, movement becomes like a symphony. When there is no harmony, movement can become dangerously chaotic.

It's never too early to start understanding and optimizing your body for golf. Golf is a sport for life. The earlier you can begin to play your best, the more fun and more rewarding the game will be.

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Topics: Golf Fitness