This post is on a golf fitness topic that is often overlooked by golfers as not being very important to playing better golf. Today I will be talking about recovery and how it relates specifically to golfers who are playing golf several times a week or even for several days in a row. Recovery, when discussed in this format, is basically defined as an activity or series of activities that give them the best possible chance to play at the highest level possible for their next event. This is important as sometimes we need to compete and play golf a number of times in close succession. Continuous rounds of golf require a good recovery strategy to continue a high level of play.
There are four main areas that need to be addressed in a good recovery program. Each of these areas is important and needs to be completed effectively for the recovery to be beneficial to the golfer.
The first area is re-hydration which is arguably the most important. During practice, play, or training fluid is lost. These lost levels of fluid need to be replaced as dehydration has a serious effect upon golf performance.
The second area that must be covered is the refuelling of the golfer’s body. Again, as golfers compete or train, energy is used and needs to be replaced. Energy replacement needs to occur as soon as possible after the completion of a round or practice session. All golfers should be educated to eat or have to a sports drink as soon as possible after the round.
Physical therapies also need to be covered in a recovery program. Flexibility is an extremely important for a golfer to be able to swing the golf club effectively and as such, it needs to be addressed in recovery. Stretching after a round will assist in reducing the likelihood of injury and ensure the golfer can compete or practice on consecutive days as is needed in a tournament situation. There are other physical therapies that may be used during recovery. Techniques such as hydrotherapy, sports massage and acupuncture may all be used in a recovery situation.
The final area that needs to be covered is psychological recovery. When an athlete competes, psychological fatigue occurs as well as physical fatigue. The levels of psychological fatigue may be even greater in sports such as golf where concentration needs to be high during competition. Techniques such as imagery, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation may be used during recovery to “reset” an athlete after competition. By being able to complete the days performance, whether it was good or bad, will assist in a fresh start for the next competition.
In my next blog post I will outline some specific strategies and protocols that you can use to add recovery to your golf training program.
Until next time,
Training & Education Coordinator
PGA Centre For Learning Performance
Melborne, Victoria, Australia
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