How To Practice Over The Winter
Are you sick and tired of going into each new golf season with high expectations and then ending your season not reaching your goals? Then you promise yourself that you’re going to work hard during the winter to work on your grip, your swing plane, keeping your head still. And every year around this time I get the same emails – “Marc, where I live I can’t play during the Winter, but I want to be ready for the spring. What can I practice inside my garage during the Winter?”
Don’t practice anything. There’s really nothing you can do in your home without hitting golf balls to improve your game…..except, maybe doing some push-ups or some sit-ups or some core training!
Working on your swing in your house without hitting golf balls or let me rephrase that by saying – without hitting golf balls and being able to see the flight of the golf ball isn’t going to help you. Or worse – it could be an incubator of the infamous “Fiddling Disease!” Have you ever had “Fiddling Diease”?
It’s not a pretty sight!
The best athletes rest when their season is over. They don’t practice for a few months after their season. They take time to refresh their minds and their bodies!
For example – When Football season is over here in America towards the end of January (or December if you’re an Arizona Cardinals fan) – what do the football players do until training camp opens up in the summer? Do they go home and “Fiddle” with the way they play their position? No! So what do they do? They try to forget about football for a few months!
But they also put a premium on getting in better physical shape for the upcoming season because they know that the stronger and more flexible they become, along with using their new found strength to improve their balance – the better the Player they will become once they get back on the field.
And this is what you should do!
Though Golfers feel as though they always need to be doing something with their swing. And that thought process of always thinking you need to be doing something with your swing will cause more bad than good. It causes you to develop more bad habits than gain good habits. And if you’re working on your swing inside without seeing the flight of your golf ball – how do you know that what you’re working on is helping? I don’t believe you can feel a good swing. You can’t swing a club and say “That’s it! I got it!” You can only say “that’s what I want in my swing” after you see the flight of your golf ball and see it go in the direction you want it to go!
But back to training your body.
For example – if Tiki Barber (running back of the Giants football team) two years ago at the age of 28 decided that if he needed to get to the next level and be the best Player he could become, he needed to get stronger and more powerful – couldn’t you do the same? Of course your program wouldn’t need to be as intense as his, but couldn’t you do just 5 push-ups and sit-ups a night? Now Tiki is a guy who was in phenomenal shape before he started his transformation, but knew he needed to get in better shape to play better football. And if he needed to do that at 28 years old – why not you at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90 years old!
If working out just a little helped someone who already was in superior shape to play better their next season (Tiki set a record for running backs) – wouldn’t you think that someone that wasn’t in “superior” shape see some benefit to their golf game if they did more than they’re doing now?
Listen, my life is golf. Everything I do, every day of the week is devoted to golf. I talk golf with people from all over the world everyday of the week. So I don’t believe that someone truly wants to improve their golf game until I see them doing some push-ups.
I hear more stories about how to improve and what people are working on from Golfers from 5 continents everyday. “I’m working on sliding my left thumb over to the right about a 1/2 inch and extending it a little” – “I’m trying to come through impact with a straighter left knee so that I hit against a strong left side” – “I’m trying to block the water hazards out of my mind. If I can close my eyes and click my heels together three times and say there’s no water, there’s no water, there’s no water – I think it will stop the ball from going into the water.”
What’s stopping you from doing a few push-ups at night before going to bed? Do you think it’ll be worthless and wouldn’t help your golf swing? Believe me – it’ll do more for your golf swing than hitting balls into a net in your garage!
Listen, I’m no Arnold Schwarzenegger – but there’s no doubt that my ball striking (the accuracy and distance I hit the golf ball) has improved dramatically over the last two years and that’s with me playing less golf than I have ever played! And there’s no doubt in my mind it’s because my body is stronger. My forearms are stronger. My shoulders are stronger. My core is stronger.
And this allows me to be more flexible because my muscles are allowing me turn my shoulders and hips more effectively while being able stabilize my balance to produce more consistent swings.
Name an athlete that’s successful that doesn’t do at least a few push-ups a week. Don’t say John Daly! Here’s a guy that has as much talent as anybody else out there – yet is having his worst year ever. And it may be a coincidense that he’s also in the worst physical shape that he’s ever been in.
So the Golfer that says “I want to improve my game” – doesn’t really want to improve until they improve their strength and flexibility. Don’t think about it as a whole different activity. Think about it more like – for every push-up you do is equal to about 5 golf swings. If you do 5 push-ups – it’s equivalent to hitting 25 golf shots with a perfect swing.
Tiger became dominant after he got in better shape. Annika became dominant after she go in better shape. Are you ready to get prepared to play your best golf ever? Use you time away from the golf course to work on yourself as opposed to working on your swing.
The Monkey has good intentions to work on their swing, but good intentions turns into “Fiddling”
The Player knows that if they work on their body, they improve their swing
Go ahead, be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life