The year 2020 will go down in golfing history as a ‘stop – start’ season, as like other sports interrupted by lockdown strategies across the world. This has serious implications to professional and amateur golfers avoiding injury that could have the potential of terminating a career! MyGolfMind has often spoken about the four important elements of golf, i.e. bio-mechanics, fitness, nutrition and mental tenacity. Therefore how does a golfer at any level maintain all these elements in the current ‘stop – start’ lockdowns we now find ourselves in?
In a recent BASES (The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences) ‘The Sport and Exercise Scientist’ paper by Drs Gledhill and Ivarsson (issue 65, Autumn 20202, page 26 - 27), it raises the question around injury risk reduction programmes from a psychological perspective. The article approaches this in three distinct areas of the consequences of sport injuries, different psychological approaches and how these strategies might work.
Consequences of sports injuries is pretty obvious and that all golfers should minimise the risk of injury due to the physical and mental impact it can have and the financial aspect, especially for those new to the professional ranks and playing on the feeder tours. Most golfers carry a sports injury like backpain, sore and stiff neck and shoulders etc at some time or another, which reduces their enjoyment and ability to be the best that they can be!
Specific golf training has come on leaps and bounds due to the athleticism of Gary Player (does he still 1000 press-ups a day!) and Tiger Woods. General golf fitness, warming up with stretching exercises before and after a game of golf is imperative in reducing the risk of injury. Specialist golf fitness trainers like Jamie Greaves (https://jggolffitness.co.uk) provides a fantastic service to professional and amateur golfers. How many of us thought that Tiger’s golfing career was over having watched the number of back operations he’s had due to his powerful swing and the impact of his ability now to be in contention again! And how will Bryson DeChambeau fair in years to come from the physical changes he’s made to his body? There is also lots of empirical research that indicates that many many golfers have golf related injuries that they carry prior, during and post golf!
The importance of a daily golfing fitness schedule can’t be emphasised enough and must be maintained during the lockdown periods. It’s not only the physical benefits it also promotes good mental health and tenacity and proven to minimise / eliminate stress, anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts! So either start or maintain your fitness schedule indoors and / or outside during and after the lockdown periods. Also the right nutrition and rest periods need to be integrated into your strategy as well.
Golf clothing may not be on the top of your list of sports injury reduction strategies, but we’ve seen that over the years that technologic advances in Gortex© type fabrics and compression base layers have helped. With new cutting-edge nano-technology infra-red clothing from Kymira Golf - which utilises the body heat generated and the infra-red golf clothing to minimise injury and advance recovery. MyGolfMind is happy to be associated with Kymira Golf and invites you to explore the advantages at https://www.kymiragolf.com/?ref=Keith-Haynes.
The psychological injury risk reduction research in the above BASES paper highlighted a number of psychological studies which incorporated mindfulness, CBT (cognitive-based therapy), stress management (breathing and relaxation techniques) and self-hypnosis etc provided evidence that these techniques have proven to be an effective ongoing performance coaching strategy. I’ve been using NLP, hypnosis and time-line therapy in my performance coaching sessions as appropriate for nearly 20 years now and I can fully support these approaches through the successes I’ve achieved at MyGolfMind with a number of sports and golf clients. Having recently completed the Karl Morris Mind Factor Mindfulness Practitioners course, supported by Vin Harris (a Teaching Fellow at the University of Aberdeen and a Founding Member of the Mindfulness Association) has furthered MyGolfMind’s experiences and knowledge of working with golfers of all abilities.
Whatever level of golfer you are you need to take account of minimising sports injury by ensuring that you have all four support elements in place (i.e. bio-mechanical coach, golf fitness trainer, golf nutritionist and golf psychologist) if you want to be the best golfer that you can be.
Remember - keep it on the fairway …
If you have any questions, then go to https://www.mygolfmind.com for further information.