Author: K.C.

The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
27 November
2020
  • November 27, 2020

Fear Not the Critic

Is it the critic from afar we fear or is it is the critic from within whom we fear the most? How great thou are, that is until action must be taken! As the door to your greatness opens we begin to hear the critic, the fear of being different, fear of being judged, the fear of making the effort to achieve your greatest moment, the fear of defeat or triumph. The sounds of fear are deafening, the only way to quiet the critic is to act, to step forward when all of you says, step back. Do not listen to the critic, step forward, run to your destiny. For those lucky enough to have experienced the critic, who have tried and failed and tried again, those that have walked through the valley of lost souls, they know now the only thing worse than dying, would be dying without trying. When you muster the courage to take the steps, it becomes easier with each step, it doesn’t mean that you want stumble and fall but it becomes easier to get back up. We are ALL made for survival! Picking ourselves up from the ground is natural, moving forward is natural, not moving forward is unnatural. Other critics want you to believe what is possible is impossible, because they too have a critic. Life is too short to be afraid to step forward, being comfortable is a lie, even when you do not step forward and you believe by not moving forward on your goal is ok, that you will not be hurt from non-attempt, the greater damage is being done, your comfort grows in not trying and there is no comfort in misery, only judgement.

There is no doubt that it takes courage to move forward, it is easier to see comfort as triumph or to believe being comfortable is satisfactory. However, when someone else achieves a great goal or milestone, the critic mumbles, I could have done that. When you choose not to step forward, you are choosing comfort over conquer, you are choosing comfort over your dreams. Be your greatest, choose to ignore the critic and step forward. There has been nothing on earth that has come without effort, without failure, without falling, by stepping forward you will quite the critic, and unleash your greatest you!

In closing here is a great quote that many of us can choose to live by and realize our greatest selves! 

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

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Posture
24 November
2020
  • November 24, 2020

Posture

The Second primary fundamental of the golf swing is posture.  In the photo above you can see that Rory Mcilroy is in good posture with his spine in a neutral position from tailbone to cranium.  Why is this important?  How does this affect the movement of the golf swing?  How do you work on this?  Let’s look at why we see so many of the best players in the world in good posture and how that helps them shoot lower scores.

When a player is in good posture the joints are lined up in a way which allows for quality movement meaning stability and maximum range of motion.  If the spine is in extension (S-Posture) or flexion (C-Posture) the body will not be able to move in an efficient way and compensations are sure to follow.  When compensations follow, the player loses the ability to swing the club at maximum speeds and control it while minimizing the risk of injury.  Just taking the time to work on your posture can be a big step towards the swing changes that you are looking to make this off season.

How can you work on posture?  First, just paying attention to your posture in life will help to begin developing awareness around what a neutral spine feels like.  Secondly, doing a posture drill where you stand tall and place the grip end of the club under your nose against your mouth and press the shaft against your stomach with the lead hand.  From there, hip hinge and let the trail hand ride down the thigh until it reaches the top of the knee. Then, add some knee flex and feel where you are.  Ideally, you feel balanced and athletic, ready to move with speed in a stable, efficient way. 

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Win for SIM
20 November
2020
  • November 20, 2020

Another Major Win for SIM

This year’s Masters Tournament was unlike any in history, seeing Augusta in November was a treat for all of the golfing world.  The thing that was not unlike any other was the driver used to win the tournament.  Since July 1st, 2020, there have been 18 PGA Tour events, and TaylorMade SIM Driver has racked up 11 wins and two majors!  This consistency at the highest level is proof that the equipment can not only be used, but also validated by the best players in the world.  You can credit TaylorMade’s R&D department for its unwavering dedication to performance and their willingness to try new things, which has made this success possible.  As a golfer and equipment junky myself, I have had a front row seat to the evolution of TaylorMade’s drivers in the last 10 years and it is a great example of pushing the boundaries and not being afraid to fail, which is something that is a necessity if you want to reach the highest level of success.  This success drives other companies to push the envelope as well, which brings out the best in everybody and that is great for the game of golf!

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The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
20 November
2020
  • November 20, 2020

What I Learned at the Notah Begay
III National Championship

This past week was a special week. I was able to bear witness to the launch of what I believe will be a new destination for competitive junior golfers from around the globe! In the small rural town of Kinder, Louisiana comes glistening lights, prodigious drives, dart accurate iron shots and big dreams! Getting to stand alongside a few of the nation’s best junior golfers and to know that among them are two of GPC’s very own, Lydia Welborn and Elias Kennon, was a fun thrill.  It was great to see these young competitors go head to head with some of the nation’s best and hold their own. More importantly, to see student athletes from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds getting a chance to compete at this level was truly amazing. I look forward to more of these barriers to be broken down, especially if The Golf Performance Center and Junior Golf Hub community can contribute.

Kudos to Notah Begay III and Ryan Burr for having the vision for such an event — to open the competitive junior golf marketplace to include more opportunities for families to participate with an “open” tournament entry format.  Sign up and play – no need to join a junior tour or earn stars or points to compete, or have to join a “club” or tour.  I am proud to say the Junior Golf Hub is a partner in growing the game and hopefully changing the lives of many of these young participants by opening more doors to accessible competitive golf opportunities.  Topping it off with the chance to be on national television via the Golf Channel, how fun is that?. Tune in December 9th for the airing of the competition at 7pm EST!

What did I learn?  I learned that at 9 years old you can be a Master Chess player. I learned that at 13 years old you can be an author of published poetry. I learned at 14 years old you can be an inventor. I learned at 9 you can be a journalist writing a story about the “King”, Arnold Palmer. I learned that a champion, a leader and success comes in many different shapes, sizes, colors, genders, rich or poor. 

No matter what your background is, it can happen to you!  You can become a champion, a leader, and a success; all it takes is a dream, curiosity, ambition, hard work and a lot of determination.  These are things I heard from all of the young players with whom I spoke. If these junior players can do this, you can do this too!  Get after it today, set your goals, take the PDI Self Assessment on the Junior Golf Hub.com as your first step. Begin writing your story! 

Enjoy Your Journey!

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Stacked
20 November
2020
  • November 20, 2020

Stacked

Cell phones, computer screens, driver seats, and practically any other piece of furniture you’ll be sitting on these days all set you up for failure when it comes to achieving good posture. Posture is defined as the “combined arrangement of all joint positions of your body at any given moment.” “Good posture” is more specifically defined in my own terms as achieving balance throughout the musculoskeletal system to allow for optimal positioning of the body’s joints, allowing for pain free and efficient movement in whatever activity you may be doing.

Chronic compensations like forward head posture and sway back occur when muscular imbalance due to the combination of inactive, weak, or tight muscles directly or indirectly force the body into these poor positions. This puts a ton of stress on the opposing muscle groups to counteract that poor positioning of the segments that are now out of whack. Over time this causes limitations in a person ability to move and in many cases results in pain either in that specific area or another (referred pain).

There are ways to fight the battle of poor posture, despite the uphill battle that our lifestyles present. Like anything new, at first you have to focus very hard to make a change. Consistent effort either through corrective exercise, or simply just being aware of when you are “slacking” will be the key to seeing and feeling a difference in your everyday life. Many of the correctives prescribed to you don’t require any equipment. They can be done at home, in the office, or in the gym as active rest, and will play a significant part in helping you achieve better day to day posture.

Without proper standing posture, you can’t expect the posture in your golf swing to magically be perfect. We know that without the ability to naturally achieve static posture (address position) over the golf ball, you are setting yourself up for swing faults right out of the gate. If you are able to achieve static posture without another thought, but struggle with things like consistent ball striking (or even worse low back pain) I would recommend you start with a check of your standing posture first. Please see myself, Kyle, Connor, or Kate to determine if your standing posture is in a good place or if it needs some attention. We can get you on a plan now, so you can see the benefits come golf season!

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Giving Thanks
20 November
2020
  • November 20, 2020

Giving Thanks

Many of us find the game of golf very fickle and thus have a true love/hate relationship with the game.  If we are honest about why this is, we usually have to admit that we abandon our gratitude for the opportunity to play this great game. Instead, we focus our energy on what we feel we are entitled to when it comes to performance. 

Now that the season of giving thanks has arrived, we tend to reflect on the times throughout the year where we lose sight of everything that we have. I am not pointing the finger as I know too well the experience of losing perspective on golf and its meaning in our lives. I believe it’s important to understand that golf is a great medium of personal growth and that regardless of performance, there are lessons that go far beyond the game. 

So, let’s all take the time to give thanks for the experiences that golf has given us, the relationships that we have built, the growth that has come from the game, and simply for the challenge with which the game always presents us.  As someone who loves the game, you will always strive to be better and attempt to bring the commitment that the goal demands, but know that when you fall short you become stronger and that is what makes the game of golf so great.

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Ville Platte
19 November
2020
  • November 19, 2020

Teeing Up The Future

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Cold Therapy
13 November
2020
  • November 13, 2020

Cold Therapy for Enhanced Recovery

The Masters is finally here! With two days down and two days to go, the leaderboard is still very much up for grabs in beautiful Augusta, Georgia. As those players who made the cut are prepping for the weekend, managing varying levels of muscle fatigue and soreness will be crucial to a strong performance. Cold therapy might be the secret weapon to help their muscles recover faster, and stay fresh throughout the remainder of the tournament.

Cold therapy has become more and more popular in the golf realm with players like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler utilizing cryotherapy as a vital recovery technique. Cryotherapy is a form of cold therapy that involves entering a nitrogen filled chamber to expose the body to temperatures around -200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 minutes. While not every player has access to cryotherapy, other forms of cold therapy have many great benefits for high performing athletes.

How cold therapy works:

Exposing the body to the cold can help to reduce inflammation by lowering the temperature of damaged tissue, constricting blood vessels, and numbing nerve endings – leading to immediate pain relief. 

Enhanced mood and mental clarity are also benefits of cold therapy.  The cold increases levels of dopamine and norepinephrine which directly impact your mood and mental clarity, helping you feel more energized and focused.

While not everyone has access to cryotherapy, especially while on the road for a tournament, cold therapy can still be utilized as a recovery tool.

Two ways you can incorporate cold therapy at home:

Cold Showers: Start by adding 15 seconds of cold water at the end of your shower. This will feel uncomfortable at first, but the goal is to relax your muscles, breathe easy, and embrace the cold! Overtime you can increase this time to about 10 minutes, or the full length of your shower to maximize the benefits. 

Ice Baths:  If you really want to embrace the full benefits of cold therapy right away, you can also try an ice bath. Start by filling your bathtub with cold water from the tap and add two to three bags of ice. Fully submerge your body in the bath. Start with 5 minutes and then try to work your way up to 15 minutes overtime. 

Cold therapy can be used the night before, or the morning, of a round of golf. While you may be shivering a bit, just remember your performance is only as good as your preparation and recovery!

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Ground Forces
13 November
2020
  • November 13, 2020

Ground Forces

Over the next 6 weeks I will be covering the primary fundamentals of the golf swing and give you one way to work on improving your efficiency on the particular fundamental.  This is a great time of year to take a look at these fundamentals and understand where you are with respect to each one.  Ground forces is the first one and can be considered the foundation of all athletic movement.  You cannot do much athletically with power unless you leverage something and in golf it is the ground. 

In terms of cause and effect, ground forces is a lead factor when we look at the golf swing.  On the Swing Catalyst system here at The Golf Performance Center we are able to measure how someone is using the ground in the golf swing in terms of amount of force and direction of forces being used.  One of the most influential factors to how someone uses the ground is stance width.  A stance that is too wide may lead to more lateral movement than rotational movement and a narrow stance may lead to instability of the lower body and potentially difficulty moving at maximum speeds. 

Take the time to see where your stance width is and look to understand how that may be influencing your tendencies in the golf swing.  Very few people have the proper stance width and most people underestimate the value of working on this simple fundamental.  As in the photo above look to have your big toes line up with the inside of your armpits on each side (that is with minimal foot flare).  Take some swings from this stance width and see how you move differently through the swing.

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