The secret to successful long term development, improvement, and health in the game of golf is understanding that you only have a finite number of hours to work on your game to get better. You have to prioritize what is important holistically as a golfer and make the time for those elements.
Lessons, practice, equipment education, and fitness are all critical parts of the formula for golfers. Unfortunately, the fact that when the golfer’s body breaks down they can’t swing doesn’t cross the mind of a golfer or their parents until it happens.
For the junior golfer, finding time to train their bodies so they stay healthy, continue to develop for long term success and maintain their performance levels during heavy in season play is one of the hardest things we see juniors and their parents face.
During the school year, it is equally as tough with homework, practice schedules and if it is in the middle of high school golf season, they also have mandatory practice times as well as matches throughout the week. Throw in a few siblings and the challenges of carpool duty, and you have quite the challenge for parents to help their kids be successful.
Time management is one of the biggest barriers to a golfer participating in a rewarding and successful golf fitness program, and it is one of the most important skills for a junior to learn before they go into college.
As professionals and parents, it is our job to educate junior golfers about the importance of practicing intelligently and understanding the importance of training their bodies so they stay healthy and maximize their ability to perform on the course for many years to come. You don’t want to realize the importance when it is too late and the injury as has already occurred.
Once we have established with a junior or any other golfer the importance of making sure their body can do what is required in the golf swing, the next step is to assure time is made for it to happen. As in our other articles about practice, fitness is about quality, not quantity. A golfer can get a ton out of just 15 minutes per day if that is all they are willing to put into it. If a golfer is able to put in a couple longer days along with other shorter days in the middle that is even better.
The key is to determine what is reasonable based on your schedule and more importantly, figure out how bad you want it. Figure out how hard you are really willing to work for it. This is a big piece of it that is often left out.
Lots of juniors walk into Par4Success and tell me they want to play professionally. 10% of them know what that means from a work standpoint. 10% of those that know what it means are actually willing to put in the work.
In conclusion, all you need is 15 minutes per day and you can get better in the comfort of your own home with bands and some soft tissue tools. But if you want to be elite, you need to figure out how you can make it so that you can get at minimum 2 days per week in a legitimate gym to get stronger, faster and more powerful. In addition, you will have to figure out how you are going to get another 15-30 minutes daily at home on the between days for core and other supplemental exercises to support you and your game.
Time management is the key to success on this front. If you can conquer it, the chances of you being successful have just skyrocketed.
Chris Finn, MSPT