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Don’t Think Sports are Important? Think Again.

I recently heard on the radio about a study from the UK on obesity and its influence on today’s society. This study detailed how millennials are set to become the most overweight generation. It stated that 7 in 10 millennials will be overweight or obese between the ages of 35-44. Comparatively, about 5 in 10 baby boomers were overweight or obese at the same age.

However, there has been positive research in recent years regarding the impact that sports have on childhood obesity rates. The National Council of Youth Sports estimates that more than 60 million boys and girls participate in organized sport throughout the United States and approximately 65% of youth under the age of 17 will participate in at least one organized sport during their childhood and adolescence. A study out of George Washington University identified FUN as the primary reason for participation in organized sport and its absence as the number one reason for youth sports attrition. For those of us with fond memories of our participation in youth sports, it is no surprise that fun is what keeps kids coming back for more!

On the flip side, one-third of participants drop out of sports on an annual basis and as much as 70% will have dropped out by adolescence! While the lack of fun being the deciding factor for children leaving sports is certainly a discouraging thought, it motivates me to emphasis excitement and fun with the kids and adult clients alike.

My goal as KOHR Golf’s Athletic Performance Coach is to help golfers improve their golf game with longer drives and improved consistency. Equally as important is to help create a culture of enjoyment and passion for golf. The next time you are at KOHR Golf or participating in a sport that gets you excited and truly makes you happy— stop and savor that moment. Then, bring that passion each time you practice. That will both improve your fitness AND even contribute to improving your golf game!

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me, or stop in and say hello.  Also, look for more details over the next week or two about the opportunity to join one of KOHR Golf’s coaches, Chris Hawley, and me as we will be starting an 8-Week course to improve your swing speed and driving distance. We will be working on flexibility and strength training to help improve your golf swing while, most importantly, having FUN. Spots will be limited, being offered first to KOHR Golf Members. GET READY TO SIGN UP!

The ABC’s of Movement Literacy

The foundation of written communication is an alphabet; without it we would not be able to read, write, or communicate effectively.  Similarly, one needs to learn a different set of ABCs in order to gain movement literacy.  Often identified as Agility, Balance, and Coordination, these ABCs serve as the foundation of movement literacy.  Crucial to any athlete’s Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) is the ability to master the ABC’s of movement literacy.  Furthermore, focusing solely on the long-term goals, whether it’s 12 months or 12 years down the road, can prevent one from making short-term improvement.  By focusing on the present and creating a strong foundation of movement literacy, an athlete can insure that the path to LTAD is achievable.

We often use a similar approach in golf instruction.  As difficult as it may be, short-term struggles can lead to long-term improvements. In order to improve your distance, you may have to temporarily sacrifice your accuracy, or vice versa.  A golfer with a bad hook may have to first learn how to hit a slice to find the middle and start hitting it straight. As golfers, we may be capable of understanding why it is necessary to take a step or two back before making that desired leap forward.

When it comes to the field of strength and conditioning, especially for the game of golf, we tend to expect greater rewards in less time.  The best athletes in the world may possess an innate talent that allows them to succeed, but it still could take years and years of practice in order to reach the pinnacle of their sport.  Developing basic athleticism is no different; it requires tremendous daily effort to improve one’s power, speed, and explosiveness, as well as one’s mobility, flexibility, and endurance.   All of these goals are achievable with a core foundation to build upon, along with the best instruction and coaching to guide you.

Effectively, the ability to manage the ABC’s of movement literacy allow us to progress to more difficult and complex exercises which will have greater benefits in the long term.  If you happened to poke your head into KOHR Golf’s Junior Academy sessions over the past month, or anytime this season for that matter, you will likely have seen at least one or two juniors doing some sort of exercises with mini-resistance bands around their ankles or knees, performing seemingly simple exercises.  Although the majority of the exercises are just that – simple – they are necessary to build the strength needed to compete in golf at a higher level.

Of course it would be much more fun, to simply go straight to box jumps, medicine ball slams, or even some sort of Olympic powerlifting exercises (more on those in a future blog). However, I would be doing the athletes that I work with a disservice to ask them to do an exercise without the proper foundation on which to perform that movement.  Not only would they be risking the chance of injury, they would also likely use certain musculature that was never meant to be used for that specific movement.  While simple exercises may seem mundane, the ability to move with good form and posture must always trump the desire for speed and power.

How does this all pertain to my role as a golf-specific strength and conditioning trainer?  It would be pretty simple to put an athlete, of any age or ability, on an exercise plan that would improve some general cardiovascular health or basic strength.  However, the athletic development from this strategy would probably have little impact on one’s golf performance. The general personal trainer is great for getting clients into better shape, leading healthier lives, and motivating towards self-improvement.   My job as a golf-specific strength and conditioning professional is to analyze the client’s goals and objectives for both the gym and the course. I then design a program that  includes routines and exercises to promote growth and development for both short and long-term goals.

Client goals can vary widely.  A goal could be as simple as improving flexibility to allow for better torso rotation this season;  while an elite junior golfer’s goal may be to create a strategy for the next 18-24 months in order to be properly prepared for the rigors of competing at a Division I golf program.  My sole job is to help individuals, that come to the Performance Center at KOHR Golf, reach their goals both on and off the golf course.

If you are interested in learning about strategies to improve your golf fitness, we can set up an initial meeting to evaluate your personal goals and complete a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Screening.  This simple process could put you on the proper path to achieving all of your goals both on and off the course this season and beyond!!!

3 Reasons to keep your junior golfer a multisport athlete

CRUSHING drives traveling over 400 yards!  LASER-LIKE iron shots from 200+ yards away (longer than the length of 2 football fields) to within inches of the flagstick!  High soft flop shots over bunkers that roll into the hole like putts!  How is this possible.  Golfers like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland look more like NFL linebackers than that of a golfer.  

The highlights could go on and on!  

So after being a multi-sport athlete myself, and learning much through my certifications at the Titleist Performance Institute, here are 3 critically important skills your child will learn through being a multi-sports athlete:


BALANCE

  • In just about every sport you are taught to feel and use the ground.  Sports like ice hockey with its quick turns on a skate blade, soccer with its stops & starts are priceless.  One cannot play these sports without great awareness of the ground forces and how your feet and body have to move to stay on your feet, and not tumble to the ground.  Check out this cool video of PGA Tour Winner Rocco Mediate on how he practices his golf swing with NO SHOES!  This may be difficult at first but I can assure you that this would be a GREAT drill for all to try out!

 

 

SPEED & POWER

  • Pretty self-explanatory how important speed and power are in all sports.  Recently I was lucky enough to sit in on a presentation by Florida Gators head golf coach, J.C. Deacon who said that he doesn’t pay to much attention to high school golfers that have less than 170mph ball speed.  He wants players that can POUND the ball!  Why you ask?  Well, the answer is simple – the further you can hit the ball the less club you will have into the green and the closer you will probably hit the ball to the hole, and make more birdies!  Do note that his team currently ranks inside the TOP 5 in college golf so pretty obvious he knows what he is doing when it comes to recruiting top-notch players!  Sports like tennis, baseball, squash are tremendous sports that will help your future golfer develop a powerful golf swing.


SEQUENCE & RHYTHM

  • The next time you watch a basketball game on TV, keep your eye on the shooter instead of the ball.  Watch one of these athletes throw up a 3 pointer and witness what perfect sequence & Rhythm look like.  These guys make it look absolutely effortless!  The shooter is initiating his or her power from the ground and from there it is literally a chain of events through the body that takes place, almost like the effortless power of a wave rolling in the ocean.  The scientific term for this is the Kinematic Sequence, which as TPI explains for a golfer in that “Each body segment; pelvis, ribcage, and arm sequentially accelerates and decelerates before impact, starting from the inner large body segments; the pelvis and ribcage, then progressing to the smaller outer segments; the arms, hands and club.  Each successive segment peaks faster and later than the previous segment.  This action causes the club to accelerate rapidly and reach its highest speed at impact.”  This movement is very similar in Stephen Curry throwing up a jump shot (check out his sequence below).  This kinematic sequence gives the athlete the effortlessness we see in top athletes, and it is learned perfectly through a sport like basketball!

Well hopefully after reading through my article I was able to convince you that it is really important to get your child into multiple different types of sports when they are young.  If other sports isn’t an option look for sports programs or athletic development programs for your kids.  At KOHR Academy athletic training is a key part of our year-long curriculum.  Our Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester, tests our Academy players progress throughout the year to make sure they are progressing in their athletic development.  It’s pretty awesome to see the progress for these young athletes in development!

Feel free to check out the links below.  Those are two really helpful websites that I am sure you will find to be great resources!

by Coach Spencer Sotell

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KOHR GOLF PERFORMANCE TRAINING

KOHR Golf’s new Athletic Performance Coach, Andrew Wester will be in our fitness center during open hours from 10 AM to 4 PM.  Feel free to stop by and say hi, go through a brief TPI Evaluation, and learn more about what Andrew will be bringing to KOHR Golf in 2018!

Andrew Wester, KOHR’s Athletic Performance Coach, will be starting Pre-Season Golf Strength & Conditioning classes for adults of all ages and abilities.  Classes will be held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning at 6:30 am and 7:30 am, as well as Tuesday and Thursday evening at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm, as well as Sunday afternoon at 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.  Classes will be approximately 50 minutes, and will cover basic stretching and warm-up routines, as well as some basic strength and power exercises to help develop swing speed and prepare golfers for the coming season.  Classes will run through until the middle of March, please feel free to sign up online or contact Andrew with any questions!

Andrew’s Fitness Packages are listed – HERE