I've been in and around the fitness industry for my entire life -- as an athlete, as a coach, as a lecturer. I know that different people learn things and respond to things in different ways. Some people are more apprehensive than others; they need to be steadily pushed to achieve their goals. Some people are more analytical; they need to know the exercise science behind what they're doing -- right down to the cellular level -- before they'll try anything new.
And some people are just super-driven and all they need is a little friendly competition and a little maybe-not-so friendly trash-talking.
Golf Magazine's cover story (link and video are below) about the work that Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka put in with me down here at the Joey D Golf Sports Training Center in Jupiter, Florida is clearly about a couple of guys in that last group. And it's not just the jabbing from each other that they have to deal with. Ultimately, they have to go through me.
If you know me, you know that I'm pretty intense about my own conditioning. And because I train at a very high level, my point to them is that if you can’t beat me, then you haven’t worked hard enough. And that actually works for them. They're not afraid to mix it up with each other and they're not afraid to mix it up with me. I'm in it with them -- rep for rep, insult for insult. And that makes us all better.
When the three of us are working out, chirping and poking is just as important to their game as chipping and putting.
But just because it looks like we're out there trying to beat each other up in some sort of made-up pentathlon, what's actually happening is a lot more golf specific than you might think. Take paddleboarding, for example. Sure, it's a nice break from being inside a gym and there's nothing wrong with being around water on a 95-degree south Florida day, but -- essentially -- it's about a whole lot more than that.
There are very few activities that will expose your lack of balance and overall body awareness as much paddleboarding.
If you have good balance and can connect to the board through the hips, knees, and feet, you stay dry. If not, well, you don't stay as dry. Add in some competitive "jousting" and you've got a game that'll force your nervous system to respond, adapt, and improve balance and body awareness. A round of golf guarantees you only 18 shots from level ground. If your balance isn't good enough to stabilize your body so that you can swing properly with an uphill lie, with the ball below you, or with one foot in a bunker, then you're not going to be playing optimal golf.
In the weight room, we may go heavy at times, but it's not just for bragging rights or to look good in a golf polo. It's about strengthening and stabilizing the body for the golf swing.
Ten years ago, you didn't have golfers doing deadlifts. Now you do -- and they're the guys that are winning majors.
If the muscles of the back and the hamstring muscles of the thigh aren't strong enough and don't have enough muscular endurance, that beautiful set-up and swing you had on the first tee will give way to a straight-legged, hunched over set-up and swing by the back nine. All things being equal, if you perform the same swing from different postural set-ups, you're going to get very unpredictable results. Not the best thing if you're looking for consistent play. And for DJ and Brooks, their livelihood depends on consistent play.
When I first started working with Tour players 20 years ago, few were willing to put the time, effort, and energy into optimizing their bodies for the game of golf -- Vijay Singh and Jesper Parnevik were the rare exceptions. Today's top golfers understand the athletic challenges of the sport and are willing to do whatever it takes to prepare their bodies for the game. Even if it involves a whole lot of trash-talking.
See you on your paddleboard!
READ: To check out the complete Golf.com article, follow this link...
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