The Super Bowl is this Sunday, and if you know me, you’ll find me glued to the TV! I have a mixed relationship with the Super Bowl: I love it for showcasing the best two NFL teams battling it out for four quarters, but I also dread it because it marks the end of football until September. This week, I’ve been contemplating how watching Quarterbacks in the NFL could improve our golf swings.
While watching Pat Mahomes, the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, narrowly avoid a sack and gracefully spin out of a tackle during the AFC Championship, I wondered about his gym training regimen. It led me down a rabbit hole.
I stumbled upon an Instagram post showcasing the play he escaped and matching it up to his training routine and the exercises he does: Link to Instagram Post.
In my quest to understand elite NFL athletes’ training methods, I discovered CJ Stroud’s warm-up routine before games. Stroud, a rookie quarterback for the Houston Texans, surprised me by skipping traditional warm-up exercises like high knees and dynamic stretches. Instead, he dribbles a basketball, swings a golf training aid like a baseball bat, throws weighted balls reminiscent of the Performance Zone, and whips a towel with his hips working on his separation. To see Stroud’s warm-up routine in action, watch the video here.
The term “movement variability” immediately came to mind. Providing athletes with varied movements in the gym enhances their ability to perform on and off the field or course. By mimicking and exaggerating positions with tension, the nervous system adapts, enabling the body to execute these movements effectively when needed. For Stroud, his warm-up routine with different sports mirrors the challenges he’ll face on the field.
As golfers, what can we learn from NFL quarterbacks? Incorporating motions similar to those in our golf swings during training, and introducing movement variations under tension, can significantly enhance our performance on the course. This approach not only aids in refining our swings but also builds the strength and stamina required for a full 18 holes of golf. That’s why we offer a range of exercises in the gym, with options to progress or regress based on individual needs. The yellow “What’s that Strap” Bands, for example, assist and resist rotation beyond what’s necessary for the golf swing, making it easier for the nervous system to adapt to improved rotation patterns in the backswing and downswing.
Stroud’s warm-up routine for juniors highlights the importance of participating in multiple sports during upbringing. Engaging in diverse sports provides athletes with various movement patterns and trains the nervous system differently. As a result, when athletes specialize in golf or any other sport, their bodies are well-versed in a wide range of movements, enabling the nervous system to draw upon these experiences when swinging a golf club on the course.
So, as you watch the big game this Sunday, observe how these peak athletes warm up for the most significant game of their careers, and consider what insights we as golfers can glean from their approach!