Should my Fitness Just Focus on Golf?

Should my Fitness Just Focus on Golf?
If you are not active in other sports here are a few strategies to help you improve your golf game and your fitness levels at the same time. 

By Brian Knight
for the Titleist Performance Institute

A popular approach to sports in the United States is to decide at a very early age what type of athlete your child is going to become when he/she grows up. With this mindset, many children as early as five years old are compartmentalized into practicing and playing one particular sport. This is a flawed approach with regards to your sports as well as your fitness. It is imperative that a junior participates in numerous activities to allow for proper development of the neurological system.

You may remember the images of Tiger Woods as a toddler putting and chipping. What you might not realize is that Tiger was active in many other sports activities as well. For example, the junior who plays on the monkey bars, plays kickball, baseball, skateboarding, or participates in outdoor activities that are not organized but challenging will be a much better athlete than the junior that just concentrates on one athletic venture. If your early years have been very specialized, you can still recover a greater awareness and coordination that will carryover into your golf game by performing varying activities in your fitness routine.

You can benefit from coordination activities at any age, but the sooner you begin the better.  Challenging your senses will help your body be more effective at reacting to the environment and promoting a more complete golf swing. If you are not active in other sports here are a few strategies to help you improve your golf game and your fitness levels at the same time.

First and foremost, make sure your workout is not the same every time you go to the gym. Simply varying the exercises that you perform will help your body improve neurologically. Secondly, incorporate some type of hand/eye coordination activities into your routine. This can be something as simple as playing catch with a tennis ball or small medicine ball. Get a partner and play catch, sometimes just throwing the ball back and forth and sometimes tossing the ball at different heights to challenge the reactions of your partner.  Bounce the ball off a wall at different speeds and heights.

Finally, don't just do your cardiovascular exercise on a machine. Get on your feet, shuffle side to side, front to back; mix it up. Have someone point in the direction they want you to go and you have to react and move quickly in that direction. Perform these activities for a minute at a time and you will not only build up your endurance but also your coordination. In summary, the more you challenge yourself in your workout with coordination activities, the more you can recover what is lost by early specialization.

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