PDI Week at GPC!
This week we are excited to measure our athletes and by the end of the week we will have the first of four yearly measurements of our junior golfers. Here at GPC we refer to this as the Player Development Index and this is PDI week! It has been really great to see our athletes go through measurements all week, and with accurate data we can show them how close or far they are from the plans they have for future golf.
One thing we have done this week in Custom Clubs is gather the data that we include in their Junior Golf Hub profile. We include a DNA and a Gap Analysis. A DNA is a comprehensive report on all the measurements of the golf clubs in the bag. This includes length, lie, loft, swingweight, frequency, head brand, shaft brand, grip brand/size/color. The Gap Analysis is a measurement of how far they carry all the clubs in their bag. These are crucial to track the growth and progress plus player preferences as a junior progresses into an adult.
Some of our juniors are more into equipment than others, but they all learn a bunch going through the equipment portion of PDI Week. As Coaches, we also get to learn a bunch about them too. The PDI is the backbone of The Golf Performance Center and if you are serious about improving there is no other test like it!Read More
Of the innumerable statistics kept by the PGA tour, “bounce back” is one that has always piqued my interest as a psychologist. The “bounce back” statistic is a measure of the percentage of holes a golfer scores over par (bogey or worse) and then, on the very next hole, scores under par (birdie or better). Essentially, it is a measure of a golfer’s resilience and ability to rebound from a mistake.
Below are the Bounce Back statistics for top 10 players on the PGA Tour through the 2021 Tour Championship. For those that need further explanation, 32.02 percent of the time Adam Scott made a bogey (or worse), he followed it up with a birdie (or better).
Not surprisingly, the ability to rebound from “mistakes” is one of those skills that the Sport Psychology literature tells us separates the ordinary athletes from the extraordinary ones. An important note here is that adversity is a part of sport. All athletes struggle at some point, and although it might seem like the best athletes in the world aren’t experiencing adversity, or moments of upset, during their performances, they most definitely are. The difference is that the best athletes are just more adept at handling it. More specifically, when adversity hits the elite athlete recognizes it and recovers from it faster than the average athlete.
However, for the average athlete, and in our case the average golfer it’s not so easy to dial up a birdie on a given hole following a bogey the way Adam Scott can.
So, how can the average golfer practice the skill of recovering from adversity and rebound from mistakes? A good starting point would be to begin framing those times when you make bogeys (or worse) as opportunities to practice “bouncing back” rather than as moments of breakdown.
The next time you make a bogey (or worse), take a moment to gather yourself. This is always easier said than done, especially if you are cognitively disabled by the stress and upset from making a high number on the previous hole. However, with a few deep breaths, a little composure, and some practice, you should be able to get yourself back into a more productive mindset. Once you have settled down, be more intentional about “bouncing back”. Take your time to plan your strategy on the next hole without allowing the emotion from the previous hole to interfere. I often find it helpful to be a bit more conservative in my shot selection, especially off the tee, due to the aggressive play that anger and upset so often talk us into whenever mistakes are made. Make sure you flow through your pre-shot routine the way you always do. If designed properly, your pre-shot routine should help ground you in the present moment making your intention of “bouncing back” more viable.
I would recommend that your goal not be to under par on the next hole rather to be at least one shot better than your score on the previous hole. If you happen to make birdie so be it, but more importantly, you want to practice the mental toughness required to recover from the mistakes on the previous hole. As with any skill, the more you practice it, the better you. This holds true for recovering from mistakes and adversity as well. Not only will learning how to “bounce back” get you off the dreaded bogey train, but knowing you can endure difficult moments and come out stronger on the other side is one of the bed rocks of confidence and self-efficacy.Read More
The Real Reason We Foam Roll
Before our athletes do anything, we make sure that they start with foam rolling or lacrosse ball work. This is a very important step in the warm up process. When we foam roll, we are attacking the myofascial, which is simply muscle and fascia. Fascia is a gooey like substance that connects muscle to muscle and has been found to be an energy transfer system. Healthy fascia looks like a perfectly strung spider web and unhealthy fascia looks like a bundled up spider web. When fascia is unhealthy, it will limit range of motion at the nearby joints as well as hinder muscle function. This will also make the transfer of energy almost impossible to move through, causing a leak in power in your golf swing.
The solution is foam rolling those areas of the body that are painful. The pain should be a dull achy sensation. This will allow the fascia to be rehydrated which will help the muscle function better while allowing the joint associated with the muscle to move better as well. Now this doesn’t magically happen, you need to hold on the painful area for about 2 minutes. If you hold it long enough, you will feel the pain subside, once this happens the fascia has released.
Now this new range of motion will only last a short amount of time. This has to be a consistent thing you do every day for your body to make a lasting change. After you release the painful areas of the body, this is a perfect time for you to do your corrective exercises for your body to associate a new tension to. This will help your body move more optimally in everyday life and in your golf swing!
If you are interested in learning more or implementing a solid Myofascial Release and corrective exercise plan for you heading into the offseason reach out to us in the Performance Zone!Read More
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Stronger
One of the fascinating qualities we all possess as human beings is the ability to adapt to the environment we are submerged in. There are shows on TV capturing the lives of people who live in the arctic, and those who must survive in the wild over a period of 21 days without anything but a few survival tools. There are shows exhibiting the strength and performance levels of some of the most “fit” people on the planet in CrossFit and American Ninja Warrior. There are also those detailing the process of managing obesity and weight loss, and documentaries following the effects of what would happen to the body if you ate McDonald’s three times a day for 30 days straight. I say to clients often that the body will adapt to the stresses placed upon it, good or bad. A principle applied in the gym to elicit a physiological response in increased strength, for example, is something we call progressive overload.
The idea behind progressive overload is that by placing the body under incrementally more load or demand, it will adapt and be able to handle the demand placed on it by building a tolerance of more of what is needed. For example, if the goal is to lift more weight, then placing a certain muscle group under more and more load will make you stronger in that area. The same principle can be applied for a sport like running, as well. If your goal is to run 10 miles, but you can’t do that out of the gate on day one, progressively building up to that goal will allow the body to adapt over time. Before long, those 3, 4, and 5-mile runs will seem like a piece of cake.
Our bodies are amazing tools and can be transformed or adapted to do what we need. Through consistent effort and continually progressing (this may mean regressing when necessary – we will discuss in the coming weeks), you will be set up to see improvements in whatever your goal may be. Don’t let your body fall into the trap of adapting to the negative trends today’s world solicits. Get up, be active, and work toward making your body the best it can be; you won’t regret it!Read More
Confidence is King!
You can have the most technically sound swing in the world, but if your mind isn’t right, you’ve got no chance. Being a Clinical Psychologist, I’m clearly biased in my assessment that mental skills override technical ones. Which do you think matters more?
Regardless of your personal beliefs, in the field of Sports Psychology, there is one psychological skill that seems to rise above all others in terms of impact on performance, and that’s confidence. If you have confidence, you tend to perform better than if you don’t. The term confidence is difficult to define and in the literature is a direct descendant of Albert Bandura’s notion of self-efficacy.
Bandura defined self-efficacy as an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997). Bandura also distinguished between two types of self-efficacy: (1) a belief in yourself and (2) a belief in your abilities. In order for your performance to truly benefit from self-efficacy, or confidence, you need both. A belief in yourself but not in your abilities leads to overconfidence and a belief in your abilities but not in yourself leads to self-doubt.
So, how do we develop both a belief in ourselves and our abilities? According to Bandura, there are four important ways to develop these beliefs:
- Mastery of experience – The most effective way of developing confidence is through mastery experiences. There is no short-cut in mastery experiences. They require effort, hard work, skill building, patience, and most importantly, the experience of overcoming obstacles. It is knowing you can do difficult things and can come out stronger on the other side that gives birth to self-confidence.
- Social modeling/Vicarious Experiences – Another key to developing confidence is to surround yourself with likeminded people. By watching others accomplish goals similar to our own pushes us and inspires us to do the same thus strengthening our own beliefs that we are capable of achieving what we put our minds to.
- Social influence – It’s not only helpful to surround yourself with likeminded people, but when those same people share their belief in you to achieve your goals, our beliefs in ourselves become even stronger.
- Mood and Physiological States – How we feel mentally and physically plays a critical role in our experience of self-confidence. Not surprisingly, a positive mood enhances perceived self-efficacy, whereas a depressed mood diminishes it. This holds true for physiological states as well. The more stressed you are, the less self-belief you have. By increasing your awareness of your mind and body, you can recognize when you are not in an optimal state for performing and with a little practice in self-regulation can dial up an internal experience more conducive to self-belief.
Although developing confidence requires practice and patience, putting yourself in an environment that is designed to nurture it, will help turbo charge you growth. Doing this on your own presents a host of obstacles, which can lead to frustration, disappointment, and unfulfilled goals. But why do it on your own when the Golf Performance Center has already set up the environment for you? All you need to do is show up!Read More
Step by Step
Well, here we are again, the end of summer, the competitive golf season is ending. A few of you may have a club championship to complete, or for a few juniors, it’s about National Championships. For many summers over, school has started, and the competitive golf season has ended. Boy, did the summer fly by! It will be fun watching the FedEx Championship this weekend. Congratulations to our adult and junior members, it has been an awesome ride this season! Hopefully, your golfing highlights have gotten you excited about working the “off” season harder so that you have more success next year! I know The GPC Team had personal best scores from many of our players, major breakthroughs for others in the form of tournament wins, college placements, PGA Korn Ferry Tour success, and along the way a few setbacks, or what we like to call learning moments and preparation for the next step.
As we make the home stretch of the fall, I just want to reiterate that making progress in the sport of competitive golf can be hard, extremely hard! As we say often, embrace your journey and enjoy the ride because you never know when it may come to an end. Our mission is to help each player understand that excellence comes from many years of learning, failing and trying again. Step by step, we relate the learning process to climbing up a flight of stairs where the first step is understanding the task. Second step is practicing with a purpose or focus. Third step is to transfer skills to the course. Final step is to transfer skills into competition, then doing it all over again at each level of competition or skill acquisition.
In his book, Steve Young, the Hall of Fame NFL Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, talks about his journey to college and the NFL. A highly recruited high school athlete for baseball and football, he chooses college football at BYU, far from home. In his first year, he was the eighth string quarterback for the practice squad. He wanted to leave school and come home, but his coach encouraged him to stay, to work harder, telling him that he was good, but he had much to learn. Step by step he learned, enduring long hours of practice and working out. He wanted to prove that he could be a starting quarterback and by the time his junior year rolled around he was the starting quarterback for a National Championship contender. After BYU, Steve was drafted by the 49ers, only to sit behind another Hall of Fame quarterback, Joe Montana, for four years. Miserable, he wanted to quit, but he knew from his experience at BYU he still had a lot to learn about being a great quarterback in the NFL. In his induction speech into the NFL Hall of Fame, he said that if it weren’t for the years of hard work that no one saw, that no one had to push him to do, he would not be in the “Hall” today.
Embrace the challenges of learning and developing for what they are – challenges. Taking the next step requires failing, learning, understanding, patience, grit and deep practice. Do that long enough and you are sure to succeed!
Enjoy Your Journey!Read More
Phil & The USGA
If you haven’t followed along in the last week or so, Phil Mickelson posted on Social Media that he heard rumors of the USGA re-writing the rule for Driver Length. Supposedly reducing it from 48” to 46”. While we have no confirmation on this to be true, it certainly hit a chord and Phil has been sounding off for the last week and most recently coming up with an alternate suggestion. So what would this mean if it were to go through? For starters, most “off the rack” drivers are close to 46” in length. Specifically here are the sock manufacturer lengths as of the writing of this article. To be clear, these can be altered at a Custom Shop, but this is the length the manufacturer has settled on for “stock.”
Callaway – 45.75”
TaylorMade – 45.75”
Titleist – 45.50”
Mizuno – 45”
Ping – 45.75”
The big debate is whether this is an efficient method of maintaining the integrity of sport? Some other avenues could include changing the ball, course layout, and driver head design to name a few. Also what effect would this have on an amateur golfer in a time where golf may be growing in popularity again? It is all hearsay until an announcement is made. In the meantime while you practice, make sure to focus on hitting the center of the face. The length of the golf club can affect that, and it is different for EVERYONE!Read More
Custom Clubs The FAQ Edition!!!!
(203) 694 – 0091
Welcome to the Custom Clubs, FAQ edition. Here we will simply answer some basic questions that we come across both about the business and club fitting. As always, we welcome any phone calls, emails, or social media engagements and you will find all our info above!
What: A high end premium tour like fitting experience with a build shop located right next door. We are currently recognized as a Golf Digest Top 100 Club Fitter, one of four in the state of CT. We also just won the best of the Gold Coast in CT 2021. We fit our members and juniors and are open to the public for a portion of the week.
When: We are open seven (7) days a week from 9:00am – 6:00pm. We follow the GPC Schedule for any closings, etc.
Where: We are located in Ridgefield, CT on Route 7.
Why: As one of the 5 Elements of Success, equipment is a vital part of the improvement process. We measure and re-measure our athletes constantly, and document our research. The best equipment will contribute to the best results you can get.
When and how can I schedule a fitting appointment?
We can be reached at our direct shop number or email at the top of the page. We fit members 7 days a week and are open to the public on Wed/Thur/Sat/Sun. We offer fittings around the tee line schedule.
What is so special about going to GPC Custom Clubs versus somewhere else?
The experience we offer follows a process that we have been awarded for. Specifically a Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter. While we do not have aggressive sales goals here, we do strive to educate each golfer on equipment, listen to their concerns, and provide vital information and/or a club recommendation to best suit their needs and wants.
How long does it take to get fit and what is the cost?
We break our fitting experiences into categories. Drivers, Fairway Woods, Irons, Wedges & Putters. We offer a single($350), dual($500) or full bag option($750) for fitting experiences. Depending on the membership you select at GPC, these fees are sometimes waived. We also waive these fees for all juniors in our academy.
What can we expect in the world of equipment going forward and into 2022?
Great question, one thing we are hearing murmurs about is that there will still be a shortage of clubs! We have been going through this for the last 18 months. Based on some people inside the industry, and a growing shortage of raw materials like metal it is anyone’s guess what next year could bring. One thing we will do here at Custom Clubs is try to adequately prepare!
What is the most expensive shaft you offer?
We currently carry Dumina Autoflex, which sells for $850 for the shaft.
What is the best shaft you offer?
The one that works best for you!Read More
The beginning of the 2021-2022 Academy year is right around the corner! As a coaching staff, we have continued to recap this past year (what went well, and what didn’t) so the year ahead can bring even more success. The first week of our upcoming Junior Academy year is dedicated solely to completing Player Development System testing with every athlete. This allows both the player and the coach to understand the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, and be most efficient in their practices and workouts moving forward.
At the completion of testing week, each athlete will receive their most current PDI (Player Development Index) which will be displayed on their Junior Golf Hub profiles. This number is not meant to be looked at as a pass or fail scenario like a test in school, for instance. This number is simply a marker in time. It describes where you are on your journey of developing as a golf athlete. So with that said, I encourage all of our junior golfers to embrace it! Give your very best effort during this upcoming testing period, and use it as a baseline for your year ahead. Feel proud of the areas that have shown improvement, focus on the areas that showed to be weak, and work hard to stick to your plan between testing periods to improve those areas! This is a tool for all junior golf athletes, parents, and coaches to reference over the course of many years.
If you are not enrolled at GPC but are interested in going through a Player Development Index Assessment you can get a taste by completing the PDI Self-Assessment on juniorgolfhub.com! Once that is complete, keep an eye out for our next College Prep Series event to get additional exposure to college coaches and gain a better idea of where your game stands.Read More