Why It Is Important
A big issue some junior golfers face is feeling terrible in their last few tournaments of the season. Their driver distance is down, different parts of the body are hurting or feeling weak, and they have lost that competitive edge they had at the beginning of the season. The solution to fix this is having a proper in-season training program.
A lot of junior golfers will train during the off-season, gaining a ton of strength, power and mobility so they are feeling excellent once the season starts back up, they are out-driving everyone in tournaments, their scores are low and their body is feeling great. However, they decide not to train in-season due to the fear of being sore or getting hurt. Over the course of the season they see their performance dropping, distance is shorter and they are experiencing more pain. This is exactly what you do not want to happen during the golf season. This could have all been reduced or even avoided if they had the proper in-season training program.
A huge myth in any sport, not just golf, is that you should not train in season. As stated above, people think that training in-season will cause injury or soreness when in-fact it can do the opposite. It can prevent injury and soreness all while at the very least maintaining your game or even improving it. The key to this is having a proper training program that is specific to your needs.
Maria Atwood P4S Athlete & Multiple Tournament Champion
In-Season vs. Off-Season Differences
The biggest difference between in-season and off-season training is volume. Volume is sets x reps x weight you perform in a workout. In off-season training it is ok and recommended to have a higher volume of training because you are not on the course as much and your body can handle it better. An example for sets and reps for an off-season program would be 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps. For in-season training, you want a lower volume but with varying Intensity or weight. An example of an in-season workout would be 2-4 sets of 2-5 reps. Why does this matter? Having higher volume workouts tends to exhaust the muscles more so if you are playing in tournaments several times a week while having high volume workouts on top of that, there is a higher chance for decrease in performance and even injury. But, if you have a proper in-season training program that is lower in volume, so less sets and less reps, you are able to stay strong, powerful, and healthy throughout the season. Another part of in-season training is frequency or how many times you have a workout during the week. This is largely dependent on how often you are playing and how well your body is adapted to training but in most cases 2-3 times a week is an ideal number of times to workout in-season but even short workouts 1-2 times a week has its benefits, especially in junior golfers whose bodies are still developing.
So how is training in-season able to keep you strong, powerful and healthy throughout the season? It is because when you have a proper training program, research has shown that your muscles are able to stay primed by keeping strength levels up due to moving heavy weight often and moving light weight fast often. If you do not train, your muscles will lose the ability to handle heavy weight or move quickly, therefore losing power and increasing the chance of injury. Think about how fast you swing your driver when teeing off, that is a huge stress that is put on the body especially when you are still growing but when trained with heavy weight and speed, your muscles are able to handle that stress a lot better than when untrained and as a bonus you might be able to swing faster as well!
So let’s recap everything we went over, in-season training when done properly is very important in staying healthy and strong throughout the season. Ideally you have 2-3 workouts a week keeping the volume low, so 2-4 sets of an exercise for 2-5 reps varying between light and heavy weight. Doing this allows your muscles to stay primed and able to handle all the stresses that are experienced in a golf swing so you can swing faster and dominate in your tournaments all season long!
Golf Performance Coach