I was driving from Minneapolis to Milwaukee earlier this week and I couldn’t believe it, but there were some leaves already turning colors for the coming fall.
And this got me thinking…
As tough as it is to hear, the golf off-season draws near for me and my fellow Midwesterners.
And then I asked myself, what are the 10 most important things golfers need to know before the depths of the 2021 - 2022 off-season falls upon us.
And here they are… let me know what you think of them! Did I miss any? Do any standout as more important than others?
1.) The Goal Isn’t to Lift Weights
Now, of course lifting weights SHOULD play a large role in your off-season program, but the goal of training isn’t to lift weights. The goal of training isn’t to max out our back squat or bench press. It’s not even to jump higher, throw further, or even, get this... swing faster... GASP!
It’s deeper than that.
Lifting weights, throwing med balls, and swinging fast are all just tools that we use to uncover our true goals.
So, what are your goals?
This is where your off-season should start.
This first tip challenges you to think both within and outside of the sport of golf to set goals for yourself.
I am sure many of us share two common ones:
Play better golf.
Play injury and pain-free golf.
But why do we want those things? Try to dig deeper and discover the underlying purpose behind these goals.
Write them down. Share them with others. Make them happen!
2.) Prepare a Proper Valuation.
Our training time is often limited. We have stuff going on, and don’t have time to workout all day.
If I had it my way, I would spend 2 hours a day at the golf simulator shop down the street and maybe another hour at the gym. But, my Master's program and running two companies says otherwise.
I’m sure you are in a similar boat.
Life is hectic.
Because of this, we need our training to prioritize what we need most. And this doesn’t mean, the all-too-commonly used phrase, “work on your weaknesses,” it means that we need to lay out a training program that is going to progress you towards your goals (which may mean working on a weakness, but not necessarily)!
You just uncovered your goals in tip #1…
So let’s build a training program that values those things, and the path it takes to achieve them.
If your physical strength is limited, guess where our valuation should be placed?
If you are currently injured, our valuation will be placed on healing you up and recovering.
If you are an extremely experienced trainee who doesn’t necessarily need higher levels of outputs, then we will work to explore new movement capabilities… which brings me to tip #3!
3.) Stay on the trail… for the most part.
Have you ever been to a park with signs everywhere “stay on the trails.”
First and foremost, you absolutely should stay on the trails. By roaming off you could be damaging the environment and ecosystem surrounding the trail… but just bear with me here, I think the analogy will workout.
Ha, workout… get it?
Your training program and plan is the trail. It’s lined out with a purpose, and an end goal in mind.
You are doing yourself a disservice if you continually roam off of the trail, away from the training program. If inconsistency enters the journey, or you decide to take a short cut, you could get lost. There is no map once you get off the trail. It’s new territory. It can be scary or uncomfortable.
But, guess what…
The best things in life are often found off the trail.
The best things in life are the ones we go out and discover, as opposed to letting it land in our lap.
The best things in life are often found when we enter into new and uncomfortable territory.
And training is no different.
We need to maintain an explorative mindset when we train. We need to enter into that uncomfortable territory.
We need to explore new exercises and movements.
We need to explore new weights and speeds.
We need to explore not only what our training program says, but the way it makes our bodies feel.
Even if the trail is lined out for you, don’t be afraid to explore what lies off the beaten path… just never wander too far.
4.) Build outputs, express them often.
I’ve written about this one a ton, I’ll throw some links below if you want to explore some of my previous writing on this topic, but the point is simple:
Your training should both build outputs as well as give you the opportunity to express them.
An output is your body's ability to produce something, and in our case, it relates to your physicality. Strength, power, mobility, stability. Build upon them within your training.
Expression, for our purposes, comes in the form of the golf swing.
The golf swing is our art form. It is the way we showcase the outputs we maintain. Therefore, in training, we need to make sure we are both building those underlying physical outputs as well as expressing them in a more similar way to how we will be on the course.
Throw medicine balls. Jump higher and further. Rotate powerfully. Express the outputs you are building!
5.) Never Stop Golfing.
The greatest form of output expression is actually playing golf - it’s also the most fun part of this whole training process.
So, if you can, go play golf.
Not only will it help you transfer your off-season training and growth, but it will allow you to maintain skill levels you have developed over the course of the season.
If you are anything like me, I always play much better in the fall than in the spring.
Maybe it’s something in the air, but if I had to guess, it’s the fact that I have been playing for the last 4 months, as opposed to playing once or twice a month in the 4 months prior to spring.
I am sure many of you are in a similar position and, being the case, don’t stop playing golf this off-season. Simply because we are ramping up training elsewhere, doesn’t mean we need to eliminate playing the sport!
Go find a local simulator shop.
Go find a golf dome.
Go put up a net and a heater in your garage.
Stay tuned for the last 5 training tips next week!