Periodization Training For Golf
The idea of periodization has been around a very long time for athletes at all levels. The concept is simple. If you started with the goal in mind, let's say it was to win the Club Championship or place in the top 3 in your next Amateur event, then you would plan accordingly.
Generally, an annual plan is used, although it is not uncommon to use longer periods of time especially when working with a younger developing athlete.
Periodization occurs when you break down all of the segments into actual manageable parts, always keeping the long term goal in mind. Your master plan may be broken down into which phase you are in, for example, are you in your competitive stage or pre-competitive stage? This information is then used to determine which strategies offer the most benefit at any given point in time.
If you use a holistic approach to golf improvement, then you also periodize each important component as in the physical, mental, technical and strategic side.
While this many sound like a lot of information to track, this is the very point of periodization. Breaking down all of the important parts into simple tasks you can complete daily and/or weekly which fit comfortably and naturally into achieving your long term goal.
What is the real payoff for you? Well, just like the pros, when you prepare in this manner you leave nothing to chance. You have less margin for error and a higher probability of meeting or succeeding your goals.
To give you an idea of how to periodize a program for golf, first consider your competitive season, then employ the following ideas.
Phase 1 - Restoring optimal flexibility or range of motion in hips, spine and shoulders.
Phase 2 - Choose adaptation exercises where the main objective is to involve many muscle groups while preparing joints, tendons and ligaments for the work ahead. Build a solid base of support through stabilization exercises.
Phase 3 - Build strength. Consider increasing your loads, time under tension and create an opportunity for increased force production.
Phase 4 - Power production. Not you can convert all of your previous efforts to completion of the process where all energy is stored and transferred in efficient movement patterns for the benefit of your golf swing.
Phase 5 - Active recovery and rest. Don't forget that every body needs a recovery period so it can maintain gains made throughout the year while protecting the body from injury.
Susan Hill is a CHEK Golf Biomechanic, golf fitness columnist to Golf Illustrated and President of Fitness for Golf. For exercises targeted to lower your handicap and give you a competitive edge every time you play, then visit http://www.fitnessforgolf.com
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