PGAs of EuropeHealth & Wellbeing – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:55:30 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 “If Disney Ran Your Hospital…The Things You Would Do Differently” http://www.pgae.com/ask/if-disney-ran-your-hospital-the-things-you-would-do-differently/ Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:00:05 +0000 Tony Bennett http://www.pgae.com/?p=20277 "Author Fred Lee gives his advice on the five behaviours that customers really value in those who provide them with services..."]]>

On my latest read of the thought provoking, “If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently”, author Fred Lee, gives his advice on the five behaviours that customers value in those who provide them with services.

Fred observes that hospital patients judge their experience not only by the way they are treated for the disease but also, and more importantly, by the way, that they are treated as a person…

If Fred is right, and incidentally I think that he is, and if this concept transfers across into golf, which I think it does, then the ‘how’ is perhaps more important than the ‘what’? This is an essential point for all, coaches, managers, and leaders to recognise. By the way, the great ones do; that is one reason that they are great.

Content, or perhaps we should call it knowledge, can be learned. In fact, content can be learned by almost anyone on almost any subject. Certainly, there is always content to learn or be updated on, that is the nature of progress. Often people have a fascination for content, and yet they have a hard time sharing that knowledge in a way that can make a difference in the life of someone else. I believe that it is possible to learn enough content for whatever role you have in a short period of time to become good at almost any subject. Learning to share that knowledge however is altogether different.

Back to Fred Lee and his five behaviours. Fred conveniently created the acronym S.H.A.R.E. Essentially these behaviours boiled down to the following values: using initiative, being part of a team, understanding the customer’s feelings, treating them with courtesy and making sure that communication is open and honest.

  • S – Sense people’s needs before they ask (initiative)
  • H – Help each other out (teamwork)
  • A – Acknowledge people’s feelings (empathy)
  • R – Respect the dignity and privacy of everyone (courtesy)
  • E – Explain what is happening (communication)

So if the ‘how’ is so important then how can golf focus more on how to share experience and knowledge so that it is relevant, timely and useful? There are many answers to this question, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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“If Disney Ran Your Hospital…The Things You Would Do Differently”
Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/ask/nutrition-for-golf-with-david-dunne/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:53:13 +0000 David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/?p=20284 Nutritionist, David Dunne, gives his insight into considerations when working with golfers of all abilities to maximise performance...]]>

Golf is, without doubt, one of the most exciting opportunities in the world of performance science in 2017. However, despite these high stakes there has been very little research done to date in elite golf.

This forces us as practitioners to extrapolate ideas from other areas of research and trial them with the players we work with as we refine and optimise our strategies and learn from the players, coaches and caddies until the research catches up.

I’m pretty fortunate to have a younger brother on the European Tour who has fast tracked my practitioner learning curve in golf and helped build up some practice based evidence which hopefully over the next few years can be trialled and tested to eventually translate into evidenced based practice.

Until such a time, I hope the following provides an insight into some considerations when working with golfers or even some food for thought (apologies for the pun) for Tour Professionals themselves.

 

Pre Round Fuelling

Golfers are faced with three different fuelling scenarios on a day to day basis. They are either out early (which often means a 5am start!), mid morning, or in the early afternoon.

Despite these timings changing, which may impact on meal timings and portion size, the underlying principles of how to fuel the round don’t.

Ok so what are we looking for? Well when we look at the demands of golf a round generally takes approximately 4 hours, top this up with 60-120 minutes of prep time (warm up, range, putting green, conversations with caddy, etc) and we are looking at about a 5-6 hour shift.

During this 5-6 hour shift mental focus, stable energy levels and adequate hydration are going to be key, as one poor decision or energy dip can ruin your card and separate the winners from the also-rans.

As a result the pre round meal should be finished approximately 90 minutes before the round to give the body time to digest the food and the player time to prepare. The meal itself should contain some high fibre low GI carbohydrates, such as oats, to provide a sustained release of energy over the coming hours.

This portion of carbohydrates should be complemented with a source of high quality protein, such as greek yoghurt or eggs, to not only supply the muscles with amino acids to support muscle maintenance and function but also to aid the production of neuro-transmitters to improve mental focus and induce satiety.

This base of protein and carbs should then be finished off with some high quality dietary sources of fat to provide some low intensity fuel, e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado, etc as well as some fruits and/or vegetables to bump up the micronutrient content of the meal.

A simple example of this for a 9am tee time would be a bowl of nutty muesli topped with banana and fresh berries coupled with a 3 egg omelette and a large glass of water at 6.45am. For a 2pm tee time, a baked salmon fillet with a sweet potato and feta salad would also be a good example.

On Course Nutrition

The goal on the course is exactly the same, optimise mental focus, keep stable energy levels and remain hydrated. As a result on course snacks will follow a similar trend aiming to provide some low GI carbs, a moderate amount of protein and some high quality fats.

To ensure a steady supply of energy as well as reducing symptoms of hunger it is best to spread 3-4 snacks out evenly over the round. Depending on the length of the course players may wish to eat on holes 5, 10 and 15 (particularly if it’s a shorter course) or on holes 4, 8, 12 and 16 (better suited to longer and/or slower rounds). These snacks can be prepared (in an ideal world) ahead of time by the player or one of their team or purchased for convenience.

Some great examples of on course snacks that players/their team can prepare would be homemade protein bars, nut and seed “energy” balls, oat based banana bread.

Speaking from experience, some of these snacks can be prepared with no more equipment than a mixing bowl so could be an easy way to kill 10 minutes on a Monday and set you up for the week. However, preparing your own snacks is not always possible so picking up some nuts and seed tubes/bars, bananas, beef jerky and protein bars is also a good call.

What does need to stay more regular than the eating on course is the drinking! The best way to stay on top of this is to not only consume a few mouthfuls of fluid along with each snack, but also on each hole either as you are walking down the fairway or walking to the next tee box. You might find on hot days that you may need to do both!

As for what’s in the bottle, it is best to drink water with additional electrolytes (a simple effervescent tablet will do – sugary sports drinks should be avoided). As a result the player should be equipped with 3-4 agreed on snacks before leaving the locker room and 2 bottles of water and a tube of electrolytes to top up when needed during the round. The only time this may differ is on a Sunday, in which case you always bring more and are fully prepared to go down 19 if required!

Nutrition for Recovery/Sleep

Post-round the shift focuses to recover for the following day’s play. Again this meal should contain some quality protein to aid muscle repair and maintenance however, unlike most sports there is no need to feed high volumes of carbohydrates to refuel, a moderate potion accompanied with some tasty vegetables will do.

For example, a nice lean steak with some mash potato and pan fried vegetables would fit nicely, as would a tasty teriyaki chicken stir-fry with some additional vegetables. This meal is generally the easiest for most players to get right.

This meal should be followed up with a nighttime snack, again to support recovery but also to enhance sleep, e.g. greek yoghurt with tart cherry mixed through.

Nutrition for Travel

As the competition draws to a close on Sunday, most players make their way straight from the locker room to the airport as they head on to the next event. For Tour Professionals, the schedule can be relentless and this high volume of flights, temporary time zones and often new/foreign cuisines all increase the risk of illness for the players and caddies.

These at-risk periods and shifting circadian rhythms should all be supported with appropriate performance planning to not only ensure the player and caddy acclimatise as soon as possible for the next tournament but also minimise the volume of days a player and his caddy may lose to illness.

I hope this gives some insight and sparks some thoughts about how nutrition may impact on a golfer’s performance. With the lack of current evidence available it seems the next step is for the tours to continue to innovate in performance nutrition research – then we can see how well the worlds best can really play.

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This article appears courtesy of the Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society – www.basem.co.uk/usems

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Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne
Murray & Dunstan Pair Up For 200 Mile Ryder Cup Run http://www.pgae.com/news/murray-dunstan-pair-up-for-200-mile-ryder-cup-run/ Fri, 15 Sep 2017 16:07:59 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19759 Fitness fanatics, Dr Andrew Murray & Paul Dunstan, are teaming up to run 200 miles from Wentworth Club in England to Le Golf National in France...]]>

Two fitness fanatics from the world of golf, Dr Andrew Murray and Paul Dunstan, will team up to run 200 miles from Wentworth Club, England – the home of Ryder Cup Europe – to the host venue of The 2018 Ryder Cup- Le Golf National in France.

The pair will run in excess of a marathon for seven days, while taking on various golfing challenges each day in their rest breaks, including the British Speedgolf Open, and a GolfSixes, culminating in a final round of 18 holes at Le Golf National’s famous course upon reaching their final destination.

The run coincides with the Year to Go celebrations as Europe and USA prepare to lock horns in the 42nd Ryder Cup, one of the world’s greatest sporting contests, and will raise money for “Golf In Society”, enabling people with dementia to continue to play the game.

Dr Murray, a brand ambassador for Merrell UK is no stranger to long distance challenges having famously once ran 4300km from far north Scotland to the Sahara desert. However the 36 year old who also works as a Sports and Exercise Medicine consultant with the University of Edinburgh, and the European Tour Golf is recovering from a recent hospital admission with viral meningitis in mid August, and knows it won’t be easy.

Paul Dunstan & Dr Andrew Murray

“We will be racking up about 50,000 to 60,000 steps per day, eating about 5000 calories and will be on the move golfing and running most of each day,” Dr Murray said.

“We want to highlight that exercise in the great outdoors is the best thing you can do for your health. Going from being a couch potato to walking, running, or playing golf regularly can add seven years to life, it can improve health and on average make you happier. We’re urging everyone to get outside and get walking, running, golfing, or any other activity you enjoy.”

Paul Dunstan, Ryder Cup Operations Director with the European Tour added, “I’m not entirely sure what I’ve let myself in for, I enjoy running as well as golf but ask me at the end of the seven days how I feel about them! However, the main aim of the challenge is to promote the many benefits of not just golf and running, but exercise in general and having an active lifestyle, as well as funding for Golf In Society, if we can achieve these two objectives the sore legs we’ll have at the end will be worth it.“

The pair hope to raise £5000 for Golf In Society, improving the lives of persons with Dementia and Parkinson’s disease by supporting them to continue playing golf, offering additional benefits to their carers. They can be supported at this link www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/GolfAndMentalHealth.


Golf In Society are pioneering dementia friendly golf, aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia by introducing/ reacquainting them to golf. golfinsociety.com/2015/11/10/uks-first-dementia-friendly-golf-club-launches-in-lincon/

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Murray & Dunstan Pair Up For 200 Mile Ryder Cup Run
Resilience is a Key Career Skill http://www.pgae.com/ask/resilience-is-a-key-career-skill/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:58:51 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19020 Resilience might be way down your 'list of skills to be aware of' if you are job hunting right now, but it is a vital requirement for modern professionals...]]>

Resilience might be way down your ‘list of skills to be aware of’ if you are job hunting right now, but it is a vital requirement for modern professionals.

With job security and a standard career path less and less attainable across many industries, a capacity to handle uncertainty and adversity has never been more important (or in demand).

Such is the case that many employers will try to find out about your resilience through interview questions on how you’ve handled stress, pressure and failure in the past. Additionally, job hunting itself can be an incredibly demoralising experience if you let it. Focussing on building your resilience can make all the difference to your inner confidence and success rate across many areas in your life.

This might be easier said than done though – to achieve resilience means possessing the right blend of self-awareness and inner strength, and the flexibility to adapt to changes in circumstances and surroundings. It’s rather like a palm tree: a strong, firmly rooted base supporting an element that’s far more flexible and able to cope with being blown around by different winds.

Here are three key building blocks that can help you towards developing a resilient professional persona:

1. Positivity

Having a positive view of yourself and the world around you is the basis for developing resilience. Pay attention to the messages you send yourself throughout the day. If you find yourself making negative assumptions about yourself or anything around you, consciously switch to a positive thought. With practice this should become automatic. That will keep you grounded, rooted like a tree, and give you the stability you need for a positive mindset.

2. Commitment

Get to know yourself and recognise what is important to you. Have a clear idea of your future aspirations and where you want to go in your career. You need to be willing to commit to your goals and invest in making them happen. Knowing what is important to you and being committed to your goals strengthens you in your core. Don’t forget however, that even the best-laid plans can sometimes go off course or need to be abandoned altogether. Make like a palm tree and allow yourself flexibility to go with the flow when things don’t go to plan.

3. Control

Control means being aware of the situations or areas in your life you can influence as well as recognising those that you can’t. Being able to distinguish between the two will allow you to focus your energy on the things that are most important or achievable. It will give you the flexibility to prioritise your goals and adapt to different circumstances.

Remember that in order to be resilient you also need to be healthy in mind and body so pay attention to your general well-being, take proper breaks, eat well, and look after the relationships that support you. When it comes to resilience it’s about knowing that you can’t stop the waves, but that you can certainly learn how to surf them.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

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Resilience is a Key Career Skill
6 Powerful Hacks to Increase Mental Toughness (No. 3 Is My Favourite) http://www.pgae.com/ask/6-powerful-hacks-to-increase-mental-toughness-no-3-is-my-favourite/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 16:57:26 +0000 Inc.com http://www.pgae.com/?p=18307 Mental fortitude comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur. Here's how you enhance it.]]>

Mental fortitude comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur. Here’s how you enhance it.

Being mentally strong is one of those personal attributes that everyone could benefit from. Since we all encounter personal challenges and difficulties in our life, the ability to stay psychologically strong is invaluable. But is mental strength something we are just born with? Or can it be developed? Luckily, there are ways to enhance and amplify mental toughness. Here are six of the best.

1. Stay on target.

A major component of mental strength is the capacity to focus in on the pursuit of long-term goals. People who are mentally weak allow the minor hindrances of life to distract them from their objectives, which inevitably leads to underachievement. Surviving the inevitable setbacks and disappointments of life requires focusing on larger goals and plans.

2. Look at adversity as an opportunity.

Tough times aren’t necessarily a bad thing–in fact, they can often be a positive. That’s because you only really learn and grow through overcoming difficulties. The simple act of embracing a challenge can be a massive psychological step forward. Such a change in attitude can alter your whole outlook on life, helping to increase your mental fortitude.

3. Focus only on what you can control (my favorite).

Worry and fear are the enemies of mental stability and strength. While fear and worry may be impossible to totally avoid, many people bring trouble upon themselves by obsessing over things they cannot really control. For example, worrying about how a project will be received once it is submitted is pointless and accomplishes nothing. Focusing on whatever task is at hand–and letting the rest take care of itself–is simply smarter.

4. Develop resiliency.

No matter how much the perfectionists among us might wish otherwise, no individual can completely avoid setbacks and failure. In fact, what’s far more important than avoiding error is developing the mental strength required to bounce back quickly from a mistake. Learning how to get back on your feet, without spending any time malingering or feeling sorry for yourself, is essential. This is the entrepreneur’s armor.

5. Don’t spend too much time thinking about what other people think.

While everyone should be able to accept constructive criticism and other kinds of helpful input, there’s a definite limit to how much attention should be paid to the opinions of others. Ultimately, other people are responsible for their opinions, not you–and there is no point in dwelling on something that isn’t your responsibility.

6.Strive to be emotionally even-keeled.

Getting either too high or too low emotionally is almost always a barrier to true mental strength, something I’m especially guilty of. However, being out of control emotionally makes it impossible to proceed forward in a rational, constructive way. Those who experience excessive emotional turbulence have a hard time dealing with life’s problems. That’s why the ability to keep control of powerful, disruptive feelings is such a crucial aspect of mental discipline.

Whether it’s in sports, career, or another of life’s competitive arenas, mental strength is often more important to success than natural ability. Fortunately, psychological strength is not an innate talent but rather a trait that can be acquired. With the recommendations above, almost everyone should be able to enhance their mental strength.


Tom Popomaronis is a serial entrepreneur, an e-commerce expert, and a proud Baltimore native. He has been recognized for technology and startup leadership by Fast Company, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, and Forbes. Tom was also named “40 under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal in 2014.

@tpopomaronis

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6 Powerful Hacks to Increase Mental Toughness (No. 3 Is My Favourite)
Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All http://www.pgae.com/news/golf-health-project-launches-to-highlight-how-golf-can-benefit-all/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:48:50 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=16996 The recently launched Golf & Health Project will academically research and highlight how the game can benefit peoples’ lives, and ultimately help to grow golf]]>
  • New and unique project aiming to assess the health and wellbeing benefits of golf has launched around the world
  • An academically rigorous methodology examines pre-existing research
  • Innovative new research will fill knowledge gaps and show golf’s role in health and wellbeing

(ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., USA) – World Golf Foundation (WGF) – the non-profit organization developing and supporting initiatives that positively impact lives through the game of golf and its traditional values – announces the launch of the Golf & Health Project, academically researching and highlighting how the game can benefit peoples’ lives.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, led by Dr. Andrew Murray and under the supervision of leading international academics, Professor Nanette Mutrie and Professor Liz Grant, have conducted the largest, most comprehensive study of golf and health, with the results shown in a Scoping Review published in the world’s leading sports medicine and science journal, The British Journal of Sports Medicine. In total, 5,000 papers were reviewed to provide a comprehensive view on the impact of the game on health, illness prevention (and management) and associated injuries (infographic).

Key benefits include improvements in life expectancy and quality of life, as well as physical and mental health benefits. Golf is expected to decrease the risk of more than 40 major chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, colon and breast cancer. Current research shows that golf has positive impacts on cholesterol, body composition, metabolism, and longevity.

golf-and-health_infographic_main_webThe Project launches with support from all of golf’s major organisations, along with an initial eight ambassadors from around the world with more than 30 majors and 350 wins between them – Aaron Baddeley (Australia), Annika Sorenstam (Sweden), Brooke Henderson (Canada), Gary Player (South Africa), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), Ryann O’Toole (USA), So Yeon Ryu (South Korea), and Zach Johnson (USA).

“I am delighted to be an Ambassador for the Golf & Health Project and wholeheartedly support the work they are doing to prove the health and wellbeing benefits of golf,” explained Gary Player, nine-time Major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member. “The systematic and academic confirmation of the physical and mental benefits golf gives people will be of great use to us all to spread the word to institutions, governments and the entire world!”

Current information from the Scoping Review and future research findings will continue to be available through the Golf & Health website – www.golfandhealth.org. This information is designed to be practical and usable by golf’s stakeholders to help develop the sport around the world.

The project also aims to show existing and future benefits that are identified are applicable to individuals of all ages throughout society, not just a specific sub-section of the population.

The WGF and the major golf organizations represented on its Board of Directors, along with partners such as the PGAs of Europe and the University of Edinburgh, academic collaborators and supporters from the University of California at San Francisco, and various other organizations, are working together on the Project with a view to sharing its work around the globe.

“The importance of the Golf & Health Project in the development of the sport is vital, not just for the WGF’s partners, but everyone involved with golf around the world,” said Steve Mona, CEO of the World Golf Foundation. “This Project is something we can all get behind, as it is universally agreed that golf is good for you. It is going to provide real, tangible resources that can be used by governments and politicians, professional tours, governing bodies, golf businesses, PGA Professionals and more – all to the sport’s benefit.”

The Project is planning various research-led activities to further prove areas of interest and also expand into currently under-researched areas such as the mental health benefits of golf, physical benefits in older players and the positive effects of spectating.

“For a number of years we’ve felt we’ve underplayed the likely benefits of golf on peoples’ health,” added Golf & Health Project Executive Director and European Tour Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roger Hawkes. “Over the last two or three years, there seems to be an interest from various bodies and we’ve been able to bring together that interest to actually study this area.”

Further information, news and features on the Golf & Health Project: www.golfandhealth.org, @GolfAndHealth on Twitter and ‘Golf and Health’ on Facebook.

For queries relating to the Project, contact info@golfandhealth.org and for media queries contact media@golfandhealth.org.

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Golf & Health Project Launches to Highlight How Golf Can Benefit All
[INFOGRAPHIC] Exploring the Health & Well Being Benefits of Golf http://www.pgae.com/news/exploring-the-health-well-being-benefits-of-golf-infographic/ Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:31:11 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17001 The Golf & Health Project have produced a free and open to use infographic looking at just some of the many and varied benefits of golf...]]>

The Golf & Health Project have produced a free and open to use infographic looking at just some of the many and varied benefits of golf already identified by the Project’s initial research Scoping Review.

The Scoping Review was carried out together with the University of Edinburgh and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Right-click the infographic to save your copy to use at your club, facility, or business.

golf-and-health_infographic_main_web

Further information, news and features on the Golf & Health Project: www.golfandhealth.org, @GolfAndHealth on Twitter and ‘Golf and Health’ on Facebook.

For queries relating to the Project, contact info@golfandhealth.org and for media queries contact media@golfandhealth.org.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Exploring the Health & Well Being Benefits of Golf
Lance Gill: What Golf Instructors Should Know About Fitness http://www.pgae.com/ask/lance-gill-what-golf-instructors-should-know-about-fitness/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 18:51:38 +0000 Golf in the Life of http://www.pgae.com/?p=15165 Lance Gill explains how we’ve placed the wrong expectations on fitness, with no ONE result from fitness.]]>

We’ve placed the wrong expectations on fitness. There is no ONE result from fitness. This is just one of the concepts Lance, Lead Instructor for TPI Level 1 and Level 2 Fitness Seminars shares during this conversation.

Myth #1 – Fitness pros are out to steal your client.

A client doesn’t have to choose golf instruction or fitness. In fact Lance uses the term “pit crew” quite a few times to suggest the idea of a team effort.

Myth #2 – It takes 6 weeks to make a change.

“I’ve never built the same program twice”

Myth #3 – We’re going to ruin your golfer.

It’s all about making a plan getting closer to goals. Not just bulking up. Golf fitness and beach fitness are TOTALLY different.

There is no ONE result from starting a fitness program.

One thing Lance asks of instructors is to become educated in his world. Meaning that by understanding the body you’ll be able to better understand the role and needs of fitness in a training program. Fitness professionals are learning about the golf swing shouldn’t instructors be doing the same?

The biggest issues with certifications and continuing education is how are you going to make your money back. Lance covers a FANTASTIC concept you can easily implement. Who you should market it to. How you should run it. And what you can expect. (this is about 15 minutes in).

If you’re a golf instructors Lance believe you should go get help for you and your game from a TPI professional.

We also got some great questions from the Young Teaching Professionals group on Facebook. (great group by the way hosted by past guest Andrew Rice)

Some of the questions we cover

  • Do students get longer when working out?
  • How effective is transfer training when hitting a golf ball well?
  • How often is injury and pain due to physical issues rather than technical?

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Lance Gil is the Co-Director of the Titleist Performance Institute Fitness Advisory Board and the Lead Instructor for TPI Level 1 and Level 2 Fitness Seminars globally. He has personally taught over 10,000 experts in the fields of; Golf Fitness, Golf Instruction, Medicine, Junior and Biomechanical proficiencies.

He is the President of LG Performance, a private Golf Performance based company specializing in the betterment of golfers (from tour professionals to junior development) in the areas of; Fitness, Screening, Biomechanics, Instruction, Mental, Nutritional, Programming, and Life Coaching. Find out more at www.lgperformance.com.

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Lance Gill: What Golf Instructors Should Know About Fitness
Balance in Golf & How You Can Improve It http://www.pgae.com/ask/balance-in-golf-how-you-can-improve-it/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:37:26 +0000 Riikka Hakkarainen http://www.pgae.com/?p=17012 "A long-time coach of mine truly believes that the great shots are made in the follow through - something that is often the last thing we thing we think about."]]>

A long-time coach of mine truly believes that the great shots (and golfers) are made in the follow through.

Think about it for a moment and it starts to make sense! We are so worried about the take away, the top of the backswing, not to mention downswing…

…So the follow through is often the last thing to worry about and often “just happens”!

But it all makes perfect sense: if you have any balance, flexibility, posture, core stability or strength issues while swinging a golf club  – you will end up compensating and often these patterns show loud and clear at your follow through.

Losing balance, funky-looking and often massive efforts from wrist, elbows or legs to force the club back into plane are the most common telltale signs.

Your facial expressions after the shot will also be worth a thousand words on how repetitive your swing is and how comfortable your body feels doing it. Have you ever smiled while hitting a shot or even at your follow through? It’s well worth trying, if it doesn’t work for you try something else – a “cool” or “neutral face”, as long as you don’t repetitively grind your teeth and look miserable!

Also next time you watch golf (ether live or on TV), pay attention how professional golfers look after they have hit the ball or a putt and it will tell you a lot about what is going on in his/her mind.

Your feet are amazing feel transmitters to your brain – they provide your body the essential information concerning where your body is in space.

Swinging with bare feet often gives you whole new sensation of balance and in fact you are able to feel more what’s going on within your body! When I played on Ladies European Tour I had a habit to do a monthly check up with my swing basics (aiming, ball positioning, etc.) and I often started the day swinging without golf shoes, as this gave me so much information on my weight distribution before the swing as well as the weight transfer during the golf swing. It only takes few minutes so it’s well worth a try!

You can improve the body’s ability to send sensory feedback by very simple trick of massaging the feet with tennis ball. Start standing and placing a tennis ball under your foot. Apply firm pressure (but not agony!) to the ball and try covering all areas of your foot for at least 2 minutes.

Massaging your foot also relaxes your Myofaschial Superficial Back line and therefore helps your overall flexibility.

Have fun swinging barefoot!

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Balance in Golf & How You Can Improve It
Golf’s Many Benefits Brought to the Fore in Health Study – University of Edinburgh http://www.pgae.com/news/golfs-many-benefits-brought-to-the-fore-in-health-study-university-of-edinburgh/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:08:52 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=17004 Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve mental health, a study suggests.]]>

Playing golf is likely to increase life expectancy, help prevent chronic diseases and improve mental health, a study suggests.

The sport has physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages, genders and backgrounds, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows.

Researchers reviewed 5000 studies into golf and wellbeing to build a comprehensive picture of the sport’s health benefits, as well as its potential drawbacks.

Findings show that golf is likely to improve cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health.

Playing golf could also help those who suffer chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and stroke, the study found.

The physical benefits of golf increase with age, researchers from the University of Edinburgh said.

Balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing the sport, the review also found.

A regular game of golf can help players meet and exceed minimum government recommendations for moderate to vigorous physical activity.

The study found that golfers typically burn a minimum of 500 calories over 18 holes.

Golfers walking 18 holes can cover four to eight miles, while those using an electric golf cart typically chalk up four miles.

Increased exposure to sunshine and fresh air were found to be additional benefits.

The physical aspects of golf could also help reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and dementia, the researchers say.

final_pdf_golf-and-health-long_web

The study is part of the Golf & Health Project, which is led by the World Golf Foundation. The initiative aims to increase the understanding of golf in health and wellbeing.

Future research will include the effects of golf on mental health, muscle strengthening and balance.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray, from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We know that the moderate physical activity that golf provides increases life expectancy, has mental health benefits, and can help prevent and treat more than 40 major chronic diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, breast and colon cancer.”

“Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth. Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages.”

Padraig Harrington, a vice-captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup, three-time major champion and Golf & Health Ambassador, said: “The Golf & Health Project is clearly taking an important step forward to shine a light on the benefits of our sport. I have seen how impactful golf can be on peoples’ wellbeing – now it’s time to get this message out there.”

Fellow ambassador Annika Sorenstam, a 12-time major champion, said: “Healthy living is a subject that’s very close to my heart, especially when it comes to educating the next generation. I strongly believe playing golf helps people stay fit, active and healthy. The Golf & Health Project will help all of us better promote the sport’s physical and mental benefits.”

For further information, video footage and images please contact:

Andrew Moffat, Press and PR Office; Tel +44 131 650 9836; Email andrew.moffat@ed.ac.uk

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Golf’s Many Benefits Brought to the Fore in Health Study – University of Edinburgh
Golf Performance – Sleep, Air Travel & Jet Lag http://www.pgae.com/ask/golf-performance-sleep-air-travel-jet-lag/ Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:22:15 +0000 European Tour Performance Institute http://www.pgae.com/?p=14999 From week to week, a huge number of variables place demands on touring golfers, their bodies and their performance...]]>

Professional Golf – The Many Variables that Can Affect Performance

Among the best golfers in the world playing on the European Tour, the standard and depth of quality is exceptionally high. For them, the difference between winning and coming second or making their tour card versus missing out can come down to the smallest of margins.

From week to week, a huge number of variables place demands on them, their bodies and their performance. These all need to be accounted for and fully understood. For most people (and particularly athletes) the body responds well to and likes routines, structure and balance. As a professional golfer travelling the world with the modern international schedule of golf, this can sometimes be very hard to achieve.

Over the next couple of articles we will be talking about the importance of sleep, diet, hydration and travel for the professional and recreational golfer alike. In this blog article we will be discussing sleep and air travel.

Sleep patterns among professional golfers can be hugely variable due to time zone changes, jet lag, very early or very late tee times, media requirements and travel delays to name a few. We know that sleep is a crucial factor in human physical and mental health and performance.

The recommended amount of sleep varies between people depending on age, sex and activity, but generally 8 hours a night is a guideline figure. It has been shown that sports people require more sleep than the general public and performance factors are increased with an extra hour of sleep a night on top of the average.

Sleep deprivation can have several effects on people and athletes/golfers performance including:

  • Hormone changes – reduced duration of sleep has been linked with increased levels of cortisol. This is also known as a stress hormone and has been linked with reduced healing, increased risk of injuries and reduced memory. It is also linked with reduced levels of the body’s natural growth hormone, which helps the body repair.
  • Reduced energy – sleep deprivation reduces your body’s ability to store glycogen. Although often seen as an energy source needed during endurance events, it is still a key component of the energy requirements in sports such as golf.
  • Reduced decision making and reflexes – evidence shows that sports people who don’t get enough sleep are worse at making split second decisions and are less accurate in their performance (these are also similar effects of dehydration which we will discuss in another piece)

As I write this article I am 35,000 ft in the air on a plane travelling 3 hrs 45 minutes to Morocco for the Trophee Hassan II, with the entire journey today taking 9 hours from door to door. Many of the golfers playing in this tournament have travelled much further and crossed many more time zones.

This is a common necessity for players and staff on the European Tour every week, with the 2014 schedule featuring 48 tournaments in 26 countries worldwide. Air travel has many effects on the body of which ‘jet lag’ is one.

Jet lag is linked with a de-synchronisation of circadian rhythms and its impact depends on a number of factors e.g. the duration and direction of the flight, crossing multiple time zones, repeated and regular journeys with little time for acclimatisation and individual differences between people.

Some simple tips for trying to combat the effects of time zone changes and jet lag are:-

  • If over 3 hrs time difference, try and arrive 24hrs prior to your first day practice/training.
  • If you want to sleep later in the morning when you arrive, close the curtains and black out the room as much as possible.
  • If you want to wake earlier, keep the curtains open when you go to bed, which will accustom you naturally to the morning light.
  • Change your watch to the new time zone before you get on the flight, and then start eating/sleeping to the new time zone immediately (if a time change of longer than 4-6 hours try and do this the day before you leave to start your bodies acclimatisation to the new time zone.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol/caffeine the day before, during the flight and the day after.- Maintain adequate levels of fluid intake (preferably 2-3L of water/day).
  • Wear compression socks during flights

The effects of prolonged periods of inactivity and long haul travel are well documented. As well as professional golfers, it is as important for the general population to ensure that they follow guidance and have regular breaks from sitting on a plane. They should carry out simple, regular exercises to promote blood flow and prevent the effects of prolonged inactivity and static postures on a flight.

In the fiercely competitive world of modern professional golf, it is vital that every aspect of a golfer’s preparation is optimised and good health is maintained as much as possible. The above tips can help to reduce the affects of air travel and maximize the benefits of sleep.

Nigel Tilley is a Consultant Physiotherapist on the European Tour Physio Unit and ETPI.

REFERENCES

Lemmer, B., Kern, R.I., Nold, G., & Lohrer, H. (2002). Jet lag inathletes after eastward and westward time-zone transition.Chronobiology International , 19, 743_764.

Waterhouse, J., Reilly, T., & Edwards, B. (2004). The stress oftravel. Journal of Sports Sciences , 22, 946_966.

Beaumont, M., Bate´jat, D., Pie´rard, C., Van Beers, P., Denis,J. B., Coste, O., et al. (2004). Caffeine or melatonin effects onsleep and sleepiness after rapid eastward transmeridian travel.Journal of Applied Physiology, 96, 50_58.

Drust, B., Waterhouse, J., Atkinson, G., Edwards, B., & Reilly, T.(2005). Circadian rhythms in sports performance: An update.Chronobiology International , 22, 21_44.

Reilly T., Atkinson G., Edwards B., Waterhouse J., Akerstedt T., Davenne D., Lemmer B. and Wirz-Justice A. (2007) Coping with Jet-lag: A position statement for the European College of Sports Science. European Journal of Sports Science, 7, 1, -7

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

Clock Graphic Designed by Freepik
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Golf Performance – Sleep, Air Travel & Jet Lag
The Impact of Your Voice http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-impact-of-your-voice/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:30:23 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=16400 What are the three key elements to think about when speaking? Volume, Speed, Pitch and tone...]]>

Most articles about improving the way presentations are delivered focus on body language and content. Body language accounts for an amazing 55% of the impact you have when talking or presenting to people; what you say or show, only 7%. The remaining 38% of your impact comes from the way you speak.

If you are heading to an assessment centre, doing a presentation may be one of the tasks on the table, or if you’re about to start a new job – congratulations by the way – presenting is a key skill that you will probably be required to use in some capacity throughout your career. So it’s worth focussing on this rarely considered aspect of presentation skills.

The three things you should consider when thinking about the way you speak are:

  • Volume
  • Speed
  • Pitch and tone

1. Your volume

You need to make sure you’re speaking loudly enough for everyone in the room to hear. There’s nothing more irritating for an audience than a mumbler. A microphone may do this job for you, but if you don’t have one simply ask: “can everyone hear me ok?” Look around the room and make eye contact with as many people as you can as you ask.

Do this confidently and with a smile to boost your own confidence and engage with your audience. It’s important to get the volume right at the beginning so you won’t get distracted or interrupted once your presentation is flowing and it gives you a chance to hear your own voice before you really get going.

When you want to add emphasis to a given point it’s a good idea to increase your volume slightly, while making eye contact with various people around the room.

2. Your speed

Never speak too quickly. It shows you are nervous; it will mean you are more likely to make mistakes and it is less likely the audience will understand what you are saying.

It’s always faster to other people’s ears than it is in your head – so think ‘slow’. Pause just before you’re about to make an important or complicated point and just after to give your audience time to engage with and digest what you’re saying.

3. Your pitch and tone

Avoid a monotone voice at all costs. People lose interest very quickly without a song in their ears. Varying the pitch and tone keeps people’s brains engaged.

Reading from a script increases your chances of presenting in a monotone. So try to do your presentation from notes, rather than a script. If you have to read it, practice varying your pitch in an exaggerated way as if you’re reading a scary or exciting child’s story. Don’t deliver your presentation like that, however, just get used to hearing that range in your voice.

Using either genuine or rhetorical questions will help keep the flow of your speech varied, which will keep the audience engaged.

Enunciate clearly and don’t mumble into your notes.

Regardless of how nervous or self-conscious you may feel speaking in public if you can think ‘confident’ and match your body language and voice accordingly no one will ever know, and you will have an engaged and attentive audience.

Never forget how important your voice is – practice out loud, playing with volume, pitch, speed and tone, and record yourself to look for the areas in which you can improve.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Abintegro.com

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The Impact of Your Voice
3 Hot Tips For Negotiating Salary http://www.pgae.com/ask/3-hot-tips-for-negotiating-salary/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 12:49:29 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=16403 Negotiating can be a tricky business - so here are 3 simple, but top tips to help you get your negotiating head on...]]>

Accepting any deal when you feel you could have got more can leave you with an unpleasant “if only” taste in your mouth, but negotiating is a risky business. It’s easy to offend somebody during the process so it’s understandable that many people feel anxious about entering into a negotiation and as such avoid it. However, there are ways to do it effectively and successfully, without upsetting the other side and without giving away more than you really feel you should.

Here are three simple, but top tips to help you get your negotiating head on:

1. Ask yourself whether you should be negotiating?

The first step is to identify if there is really any reason to negotiate. To understand this, research the going rate for your position, and do your homework on the company you are interviewing for. Are they profitable, are they growing, do they have high turnover or have a reputation for under paying employees? Don’t blow your credibility by asking for a rate that is simply out of line with the market.

2. Define exactly what you want

Having researched the market and understood what the market is likely to pay, you need to set yourself an ideal rate, an acceptable rate and a bottom rate that you will not go below no matter what. Knowing this in advance of any negotiation is crucial, allowing you to talk confidently when put on the spot and stand by your numbers.

3. Try to understand exactly why they want you

If you’re negotiating then it’s good news: they are likely to be offering you the job. If you can establish exactly why they are picking you, this will give you leverage to negotiate. If they think your experience is a huge asset, you have good connections (etc) then you can probably be very bullish in your negotiation strategy. If it is because they think you have the aptitude to learn, then your leverage is weaker.

Negotiation is about understanding the reality of your position and being very clear about your own requirements and boundaries. Spend time thinking before you start negotiating and you will nearly always get more of what you need.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Business Insider; Abintegro.com

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3 Hot Tips For Negotiating Salary
Are You Addicted to Interruptions? http://www.pgae.com/ask/are-you-addicted-to-interruptions/ Tue, 05 Jul 2016 19:06:31 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=12923 It's really hard to ignore the beep/ring/bark of an incoming message. It's almost like an addiction.]]>

It’s really hard to ignore the beep/ring/bark of an incoming message. It’s almost like an addiction. In fact, the side effects of constantly being distracted by emails, phone calls and texts are similar to drug addiction.

A study by the Institute of Psychiatry for Hewlett Packard found that constant distractions resulted in a 10-point drop in the IQ of workers. That’s twice the impact of marijuana!

According to another study of Microsoft workers it took them 10 minutes to deal with a distraction, caused by an alert, and then another 10-15 minutes to get back into their primary task. Many workers also used the alert of an incoming message as an opportunity not only to check their messages, but then to look at several other applications, which sometimes resulted in a two-hour gap before the primary task was resumed.

Sound familiar?

How often do you get to the end of the day having achieved a tiny percentage of what you set out to do because you’ve been ‘multitasking’ all day? Did you realise that the effect on your mind of these constant distractions is equivalent to missing a night’s sleep? So to top a frustrating day’s worth of unproductiveness you’re probably damaging your brain cells too.

If you recognise that maybe you’re just a bit addicted to the beep, then you can deal with it. Switch the sound off, cover your phone up or just use good old fashioned will power and finish what you’re doing before you check your messages. It’s probably just an email offering you 10% off your next airport transfer anyway.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: HBR; MicrosoftBBC

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Are You Addicted to Interruptions?
The Glitch – Resisting Change & Opportunities http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-glitch-resisting-change-opportunities/ Fri, 10 Jun 2016 09:36:15 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=15722 We are hardwired to resist amazing opportunities to grow. Few people understand this, even fewer know what to do with it.]]>

We are hardwired to resist amazing opportunities to grow. Few people understand this, even fewer know what to do with it. And frankly, most of us let the resistance win.

Lets’ change that.

Our environment changes about a million times faster than we do.

Think about it – in just the past few thousand years our world has been revamped again and again. What’s important changes. The way we structure society changes. How we get food. The way we teach. The way we learn. The way we get around. The things that are important to get good at. What we do for a living. It’s all changed SO much.

This is all GREAT. I can only speak for myself here, but I love that we have wifi instead of covered wagons. But there’s a big glitch in this system. And it’s us and our brains.

We don’t change, update, and evolve even close to as quickly as our environment. The world is like on version 987,988,900, we’re operating with damn close to the original system (version 1.4 if we’re generous), and our iPhones are even on version 6s.

Our current system was designed to keep us alive back when we literally lived in the wild – when had to hunt for lunch, and worry about becoming lunch to a saber tooth tiger.

We found that the best way to do this was to listen to our fear, to avoid taking risks, avoid making mistakes, avoid the unknown, and avoid standing out at all costs.

Because…
New or unknown = danger = death
Mistakes = danger = death
Standing out = getting kicked out of the tribe = death

Obey, play it safe, fit in, do what you know, live.

Again this approach was highly effective for that environment but is far less useful today.

And that is the glitch.

Today our environment/society favors connection and learning. Those who think differently, who love the unknown, enjoy challenges, thrive outside of their comfort zones, and don’t mind sucking and stumbling on the path to growth.

And our 1.4 software is built to resist all of those things.

This is why we:

  • Hate doing things we’re bad at
  • Hate public speaking
  • Hate getting called on
  • Hate asking questions
  • Hate trying new things
  • Hate doing things that might not work
  • Hate the hard conversations

and

  • Love doing things we know we’re good at
  • Love our comfort zones
  • Love fitting in
  • Love the sure thing
  • Love playing it safe
  • Love small talk

In other words we resist the things that lead to more connection and learning while steering towards the things that hold us back from connection and learning.

So we’re faced with three options:

  1. Wait a few million years for our software to catch up
  2. Continue on resisting and avoiding the good stuff
  3. Learn how to function/override the software
  1. nope – we aint got time for that!
  2. no – hell no
  3. yes – and let’s talk about that

You may be thinking something down the line of: “ok hollllld up – how do i beat this glitch? how do I conquer it? how do I turn it off? And when I first learned about all of this I was asking the same exact same thing, my friend. I even have video evidence…

Here is me asking my hero those questions + plus his brilliant response:

Boom.

The resistance, the “lizard brain”, that feeling in your chest, that fear – it is all a sign that you are in the RIGHT place. And as long as your life isn’t in danger you should do the exact opposite of what it tells you to do!

“Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do… The professional tackles the project that will make him stretch. He takes on the assignment that will bear him into uncharted waters, compel him to explore unconscious parts of himself.” – from Steven Pressfield in The War of Art

The fear is not going anywhere. We can’t let it run us. We can’t get rid of it. But we can USE it.

The best marathon runners don’t learn how to not get tired – they just learn to run with the pain. Just like the best performers don’t learn how to not get nervous – they just learn to dance with the fear.

With practice, we too can learn to lean into the fear, to dance with the fear, to use it as a compass that leads us to the opportunities and experiences that will help us the most.

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For more on this topic:

How fear impacts our ability to learn – video
Growth and resistance – article
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – book (one of the best you’ll read)

Support the cause…
The Train Ugly Shop
The info and content on our site will ALWAYS be free – but we might try and sell you a fresh T-shirt or poster every now and then;)

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The Glitch – Resisting Change & Opportunities
To Lift or Not to Lift? These Are the Questions… http://www.pgae.com/ask/to-lift-or-not-to-lift-these-are-the-questions/ Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:35:38 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=15645 Dr Ben Langdown & Jack Wells explore some key questions about fitness for golfers, specifically when it comes to strength training...]]>

Strength Training, Athletes, and the PGA Professional

In the past few years the area of strength training has been a bone of contention in the golf world with many players attributing improved performance and increased successes to this type of training, whilst others have been critical about the impact it may have on their game.

We ask experts Dr Ben Langdown and Jack Wells from the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland some key questions about fitness for golfers, specifically when it comes to strength training.

How can strength training help a golfer improve performance?

BL – There are various ways – strength, stability, mobility, the clubhead speed is probably the obvious one and therefore distance and that’s potentially what most golfers are looking for when they come and do some strength and conditioning work.

Although others are just looking for – can they get into certain positions within the swing that their coach is trying to work on, and therefore we’re looking at the specific restrictions or limitations that they’ve got in their body and using strength and conditioning to aid that and improve their mobility and their stability.

Who should be taking part in strength training and how does a coach determine if a student should start strength training?

BL – Anybody can take part strength training – and the best way to find out as a PGA Professional if your client actually wants to, or needs to, take part is to ask him or her.

Do they want to see quicker benefits from the training that they’re doing, so not just practicing on the range but also can they reap the rewards of doing strength training in the gym? Basically anybody can do strength training as long as there’s no underlying health issues or injuries currently in place.

JW – This has to be guided by them [the athlete] really, and it might be a conversation that you bring in. If they’re looking to increase their driving distance and you feel that technically you’ve done quite a lot but actually they probably need to increase their clubhead speed through different areas, then engaging in strength & conditioning might be something that you approach with them. If that is something they want to do you can seek out an individual that will help them with that.

What strength training should people be doing?

BL – Strength training should be targeted to each individual. People can go and do a generic programme but they’re not necessarily going to get the maximum benefit from doing that. If you can target that strength training programme or strength & conditioning to that individual then you can hit the needs of that golfer and therefore they’re going to get maximum reward.

Does strength training limit a golfer’s ability to be flexible and mobile?

BL – No, is the short answer. There’s research out there that demonstrates that golfers who do strength training correctly can actually increase their flexibility and their mobility through doing their training.

There was this myth in the past that golfers should stay away from all sorts of strength training because it would of limited their movements in the swing, but actually that is a myth and there’s evidence out there now that shows flexibility can be increased.

How can coaches incorporate strength training into their teaching remit?

BL – The best way to do this is to work with a team – PGA Professionals, unless they’ve got themselves an additional qualification, they’re not insured to provide fitness or strength & conditioning advice. Therefore if they have done an additional qualification and they’ve got insurance on the back of that, then that’s fine, they can deliver the whole package themselves if they wish to.

Otherwise PGA Professionals can do some basic physiological or musculoskeletal screening that are looking for any restrictions in the movements that they want a golfer to do but in terms of providing correct exercises or strength & conditioning advice, that’s where they need to refer out to a specialist.

JW – Golf coaches who actually want to get into this field need to start to seek out professionals. But what a coach can perhaps do is start to incorporate things like warm-ups…and that will hopefully help them be suitably potentiated to hit the golf ball but also to bring in some movement patterns that will help them going forwards.

Who should a PGA Professional work with to carry out strength training with athletes and how can they incorporate them into an athlete’s performance mix?

BL – There’s always this, again, maybe a myth that the strength & conditioning coach or the physiotherapist is going to try and pinch [steal] the golfer. But PGA Professionals shouldn’t be afraid of working alongside a fitness team. So they’re the people that should be doing the full assessment.

There’s no reason why a PGA Professional can’t look at certain movements and positions. But then it should be the strength & conditioning coach or the physiotherapist who actually puts a programme together to develop that golfer as an athlete.

JW – So if they work with someone who has a good understanding of the fundamental movements that are involved with the swing then actually that is a good grounding for working with a specialist.

BL – Maybe give them some free golf lessons in exchange for some free fitness advice or physiotherapy sessions in order to up-skill the team that they’re working with.

Are there concerns with injuries in strength training? What are the warning signs and what should a PGA Professional do?

JW – I think with any sport there is always a risk and a concern of injury. If we look within golf we see that the in the amateur side there’s a lot of lower back injuries whereas at the top end of the spectrum it’s wrist and elbow injuries.

Actually engaging in strength training might help these individuals – so amateurs could be a little bit more robust to cope with the dynamic patterns of the swing. But also in terms of the elite end of the spectrum, a lot of the injuries involved with the wrists and elbows are potentially through overuse.

BL – Done in the right way, there shouldn’t be any concerns with injuries. Under supervision from a strength & conditioning coach or physiotherapist then actually we should be building athletes that are robust to injuries.

If people are going off into the gym doing there own thing and using incorrect techniques, maybe using too much load when their body isn’t ready for that load, then potentially there could be an increased risk of injury.

JW – If they [the PGA Professional] start to see a really bad ball flight and the player then says they’re struggling with this shot because they’re feeling pain in their left should or hands…then these are warning signs that perhaps hitting a number of golf shots is not going to help in the long run, and actually might potentially make that injury worse.

So it may just be discussing with them [the athlete] verbally or it might be something that occurs through performance. Sometimes it might involve a little bit of digging and learning a little more about the person in-front of you and trying to find out what’s going on.

BL – If the PGA Professionals spots any signs of over-training [or injury], first of all sit down with the golfer and just get them to outline what they’ve done in the past few weeks. If the PGA Professional doesn’t know how to deal with this then seek advice from maybe a sports scientist, strength & conditioning coach or physiotherapist.

Is it safe for juniors to engage with strength training?

JW – Absolutely – There’s so much research supporting the notion of actually getting juniors to engage in strength & conditioning. The golf swing has more force going through it than any form of lifting really so actually swinging a golf club is potentially, you could argue, more injurious than engaging in strength training.

BL – Again this is another myth that has been out there that juniors shouldn’t be doing any strength & conditioning work, lifting any weights, should stay away from the gym because it’s going to cause them injuries or cause them long-term problems.

Juniors should be in the gym if they want to be and if they need to be in terms of their goals and their development. Even things like fundamental movement skills can be done within a golf environment or they can be done within a gym. So developing those movements that are going to be able to create them as an athlete rather than just a golfer. Things like hopping, skipping, throwing, catching, running, dodging, or jumping – all of those fundamental movement skills that eventually lead to them becoming a robust athlete, and therefore cope with the demands of the sport a lot better.

JW – Other things that juniors will do naturally like climbing trees, learning how to walk, picking up their bike out of the garage, jumping over walls – these are effectively strength training. Engaging in that sort of activity naturally is the same almost applying a bespoke strength & conditioning programme.

Why are there golfers winning majors that do not engage in any form of fitness training?

BL – So this doesn’t help our cause as sports scientists or strength & conditioning coaches, but there’s always exceptions to the rule. There are going to be players out there that potentially aren’t engaging in strength & conditioning work currently, but you’ve got to ask what have they done in their youth, in their development period. They may have engaged in a lot of different sports as they were growing up and therefore they’ve developed these fundamental movement skills to become a golfer.

JW – Strength training is just one vehicle to successful performance, obviously the strongest golfer doesn’t necessarily win every tournament because there are other important parameters such as what’s going on at impact, to the mental side of the game.

BL – Occasionally you’re getting someone winning a major or a tournament that hasn’t engaged in strength & conditioning, but the ones at the top week-in, week-out are the ones that are athletes that are training. Putting in the hours in terms of not just practice but in the gym as well and working with that team around them.


Author-Circles_Ben-LangdownAuthor-Circles_Jack-Wells

Dr Ben Langdown is the Training Executive for Sports Science at the PGA National Training Academy at The Belfry. Alongside this Ben also works with many elite amateur and professional golfers providing strength and conditioning support. Ben has a PhD in the field of golf biomechanics, studying strength and conditioning for golf and movement variability in the swing.  Follow Ben at @BenLangdown.

Jack Wells is Education Officer (Golf Coaching & Sports Science) for the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland. You can follow Jack on Twitter at @Jackwells009.

 

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To Lift or Not to Lift? These Are the Questions…
Is Your Desk Ruining Your Golf Swing? (Part 1) http://www.pgae.com/ask/is-your-desk-ruining-your-golf-swing-part-1/ Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:34:29 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=15610 In this two-part series, Dr Ben Langdown gives a thorough breakdown of how desk posture can affect your golf performance and what you can do to fix it...]]>

by @HolistictFitSF & @BenLangdown

Whether you want better posture for increased golf performance, injury prevention or simply a more confident, youthful appearance, this blog is a must-read. In this two-part series, Ben Langdown, Sports Scientist, Golf Strength & Conditioning Coach and Ph.D. in the field of Golf Biomechanics and Swing Variability, gives us a thorough breakdown of how desk posture can affect your golf performance and what you can do to fix it.

We were lucky enough to meet Ben at the Titleist World Golf Fitness Summit in 2014, where he and his colleague Jack Wells came all the way from England to give an outstanding presentation on the ultimate dynamic warm-up for golfers.

Many of you have heard us reference their research since then (yep, Ben is one of the experts that helps his golfers hit the ball up to 40 yards farther just by giving them the right type of warm-up).

In part 1, Ben will discuss lower crossed syndrome, the swing faults or injuries that commonly accompany it, and together we will show you exercises you can start performing today to improve your lower body posture. I hope you enjoy it!

Lower Crossed Syndrome

Your office desk. Your neat little set up. Or is it more like your enemy, joining forces with your office chair…conspiring against you…set to ruin your posture and even your golf game?!

Many people fail to realize that their desk habits impact their performance on the golf course. If you like to play golf and you also work in an office environment, it’s imperative that you address your desk posture and spend time training in the gym to reverse the power struggle between your posture and your office furniture. The next 10 minutes could change your life! Well, ok maybe not your life, but your ability to hit that little dimpled white ball around the 18 holes at your local golf club!

Recently, the press has asserted that sitting is “the new smoking”.  Like smoking, clocking up hours in a sedentary position can have a multitude of negative health consequences such as increased risks of developing cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes. OK, so we know sitting can be detrimental to your health, but did you know that it can also lead to lower and upper crossed syndromes (see Janda, 1987 & 1988 for further research). Sounds serious, hey?! When it comes to your golf performance, it could well be the difference between getting (or not as the case may be) into those positions your golf coach has been talking about for the last few seasons!

In the first part of this blog, I’m going to focus on how desk posture leads to lower crossed syndrome and what you can do to fix it.

The habit of sitting over a period of years can lead to the main muscles in your golf swing becoming lazy, including the gluteals, also known as your buttocks! In your swing, the gluteals provide stability, rotation and power. If these important muscles aren’t firing properly, a variety of swing faults can emerge. Along with the gluteals not firing effectively, the hip flexors (the muscles on the front of the hips) and the lower back often become tight from too much desk time, which can lead to an altered pelvis position (too much forward tilt) when you address the golf ball. This altered set-up position can have consequences such as over-rotation (reversed spine angle) and may even increase the risk of injury and lower back pain.

In addition to the gluteals becoming weak, another culprit of adopting a lazy attitude and becoming weak when we sit for long periods of time is the abdominals. Without strong and functional abdominals it’s nearly impossible for us golfers to transfer forces up through the body and out to the arms and clubhead during the motion of the golf swing. So now you could be facing a situation where you have an unstable lower body (weak gluteals) trying to send forces up to a lazy abdominal region. It’s been said before that this scenario is like trying to do the shot put on an ice rink, or fire a canon from a canoe. We call this postural dysfunction Lower Crossed Syndrome (LCS) and this is shown on the right side of the image below with a normal posture on the left.

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Solutions to overcoming LCS include strengthening the glutes through exercises such as Speed Skaters.

Coaching Points: Using a mini band, placed around both legs just above the knee, you should keep the torso tall and skate back and out to the side with alternating legs. You can imagine there is a raw egg behind you on either side, when you skate back you are not allowed to smash the egg with your toe tap on the floor! In other words, control the movement, use that front leg to squat down slightly and then return to a tall standing position after each rep. Complete 3 sets of 6 reps each side to begin.

As well as strengthening the weak areas of LCS we also need some flexibility work to take place and correct the tight hip flexors and erector spinae. The following hip flexor exercises involve using a roller to improve the muscle tissue quality and reduce tightness through the hips followed by a hip flexor stretch to increase flexibility in this area.

Coaching Points: For the rolling you should do 2 x 30 seconds on each side no more than 3-4 times per week to allow your muscles to recover from the massage effects of rolling. Use the free leg for support to reduce the pressure on the roller if it is too painful to begin with.

Coaching Points: The hip flexor stretch should be held for a minimum of 30 seconds on each side and completed every day when warm. You can increase the stretch by reaching tall and leaning slowly over to the side of the front leg. Do not twist the torso at all as you lean. The stretch should be felt on the front of the hip for the trail leg. Ensure the legs are far enough apart if you can’t feel the stretch.

Obviously there are more exercises to complete than this but start by giving these exercises a try and look out for my future post on upper body postural dysfunctions, how they affect your golf swing and what you can do to fix them.


This article appears courtesy of Jennifer Fleischer and Holistic Fitness. 

Holistic Fitness offers Golf Fitness and Performance Training, Strength and Conditioning Programs and Nutrition Coaching.  Jennifer Fleischer, the founder of Holistic Fitness, is a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and a CHEK Practitioner, both of which require an advanced understanding of functional training and biomechanics.

Find out more at www.holisticfitsf.com and @HolistictFitSF.

Dr Ben Langdown is the Training Executive for Sports Science at the PGA National Training Academy at The Belfry. Alongside this Ben also works with many elite amateur and professional golfers providing strength and conditioning support. Ben has a PhD in the field of golf biomechanics, studying strength and conditioning for golf and movement variability in the swing.  Follow Ben at @BenLangdown.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Is Your Desk Ruining Your Golf Swing? (Part 1)
9 or 90, Golf is a Sport For All… http://www.pgae.com/ask/9-or-90-golf-is-a-sport-for-all/ Mon, 30 May 2016 08:51:06 +0000 Ian Randell http://www.pgae.com/?p=15615 There are many benefits of being involved with golf - the Golf & Health Project will seek to verify these and explore the un-researched areas...]]>

Issue 29 of International Golf Pro News focuses on fitness – not only that, but also health & wellbeing, and the huge variety of benefits that can be gained from playing our glorious sport.

The PGAs of Europe are delighted to be playing our part in the Golf & Health Project that is currently underway, aiming to shine a light on those benefits and back them up with hard, peer-reviewed evidence.

One of these benefits that is widely known and agreed is that golf is a game for life that can incorporate both young and old whilst keeping them on a level playing field for all to enjoy.

Recently there have been a number of good examples but here are a couple of key ones…

Just last week we saw the rise and rise of England’s Danny Willett taking his first major championship and the first green jacket to land on European shoulders in 17 years. Whilst Danny might not be as much of a young-gun as the likes of Jordan Spieth or Bryson DeChambeau he is still a great example of a young athlete fulfilling his potential in the sport.

But did you notice who was up there in the final round of the Masters this year? None other than our 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Bernhard Langer. Continuing to mature like a fine wine, Langer’s 58 years were far from a barrier to his performance throughout the week and was a great example of how a golfer can still be highly competitive not just amongst his peers on the Champions Tour, but also with the future legends of the game like McIlroy, Spieth and Day.

But it’s not just at the elite end of the game where there are some great life-long examples. Our friends at GolfForHer.com drew our attention to this fantastic story in the USA about The Los Verdes Golden Golfers at the Los Verdes Women’s Golf Club in California.

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If you are over 90 and a member of the club then you automatically become one of the club’s hall of famers – a ‘Golden Golfer’. They play 18 holes every Thursday from the junior tees to make the game as enjoyable as possible for them. They play on their terms to enjoy themselves and say the game offers exercise, social interaction, maths skills and humour.

“The fact that these gals are still swinging at 90-plus proves that golf is an ageless game.” Ginny Oreb, President of The Los Verdes Women’s Golf Club

We cannot wait to see more of the research findings that are coming out of the Golf & Health project. The research and work produced will give PGAs, their Member Professionals, and everyone involved in the sport, the tools they need to promote it to the outside world as being the most inclusive sporting activity out there.

I hope this Issue of IGPN gives you some insight into a variety of those health & wellbeing benefits, along with some really interesting areas of performance sport, coaching and sports science to really sink your teeth into the subject.

Enjoy the issue, get out on the course and stay healthy! After all as the Farahmand et al. (2009) study in Sweden has evidenced, golfers live five years longer!

Enjoy the issue and as always feel free to get in touch with Editor Aston Ward (aw@pgae.com) if you have feedback, ideas or would like to contribute to IGPN and A.S.K.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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9 or 90, Golf is a Sport For All…
More to Win Than the Ryder Cup: The Health Benefits of Golf http://www.pgae.com/ask/more-to-win-than-the-ryder-cup-the-health-benefits-of-golf/ Fri, 13 May 2016 09:48:35 +0000 Golf & Health http://www.pgae.com/?p=15448 The Golf & Health Team look at just a handful of the many benefits of taking part in golf...]]>

By Steffan Griffen, Andrew Murray (@docAndyMurray) & Roger Hawkes

Golf is played by around 55 million people on 32,000 courses in over 100 countries.¹ With over half a billion homes worldwide tuning in for each day of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, a series pitting Europe’s best against the cream of the American crop. We look at the health benefits of playing golf available not only to Rory McIlroy and the game’s elite, but also to those inspired to visit their local course.

Indeed former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George viewed less talented golfers as reaping more benefits than those bestowed upon the likes of McIlroy:

“Golf is the only game where the worst player gets the best of it. He obtains more out of it as regards both exercise and enjoyment, for the good player gets worried over the slightest mistake, whereas the poor player makes too many mistakes to worry about them.”

But what of the available evidence? Do golfers really live longer happier lives?

A landmark Scandinavian study² of over 300,000 golfers estimated they lived a remarkable 5 years longer than those who do not play golf, regardless of age, gender, or socio-economic status. Evidence also suggests that golf has a role in preventing and treating many chronic diseases, and has positive mental health effects.

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Golf & Walking

A 2006 study³ found a mean of 11,948 steps are taken per 18-hole round, exceeding the commonly recommended daily amount of steps for health.  With technological advances coming into the game, calls have been made to reduce the use and availability of motorised carts to transport players around the course. Cart use reduces walking distance from an average 8+km to 3.86km per round.⁴

Another study⁵ found that walking 18-holes was the equivalent of moderate-high intensity exercise for the elderly, moderate for the middle-aged, and low for the young. A 1998 study⁶ determined that golf should be classified as a form of aerobic training for middle-aged people.

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An Inclusive Sport

Golf suits participants of all ages, with people of mixed ability, sex, and age able to play together.  The Walker Research Group concludes: “golf is well suited for the development of social capital” with designated social spaces and natural breaks providing unparalleled socialisation opportunities and thus potential psychosocial benefit to participants of all ages⁷.

A 2006 study⁸ engaged children in non-traditional sports such as golf during extra-curricular time and found that such an intervention coupled with lifestyle activities such as walking, significantly increased physical activity in primary school aged children. This also slowed unhealthy weight gain.

In regards to gender inclusion, the recent news of women winning the right to R&A membership at St. Andrews after a 260-year wait, exhibits a positive step by the game’s administrators to quash these barriers and see more women playing and staying in the game9.

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Was David Lloyd George right?

There is clear evidence that regular physical activity, in the form of golf, increases life expectancy.  And although Lloyd George was correct that the benefits can be accrued by players of all abilities, research suggests that low handicap players tend to play more often and have the lowest mortality rates.  Encouraging friends, family, and patients to take part in regular physical activity is time well invested, and golf can offer significant benefit to Joe and Jane Public and Rory McIlroy alike.  Just don’t hire a buggy!

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References

  1. Wilson B. Golf industry facing challenges: BBC News Online: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12731099, 2011:Online News Article.
  2. Farahmand B, Broman G, de Faire U, Vagero D, Ahlbom A. Golf: a game of life and death–reduced mortality in Swedish golf players. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2009;19(3):419-24.
  3. Kobriger, S. L., Smith, J., Hollman, J. H., & Smith, A. M. (2006). The contribution of golf to daily physical activity recommendations: How many steps does it take to complete a round of golf? May Clinic Proceedings, 81(8), 1041-1043
  4. Sell, T. C, Abt, J. P., Lephart, S, M. (2008) Physical activity-related benefits of walking during golf. Science and Gold V: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. 128-132
  5. Broman, G., Johnsson, L., & kaijser, L. (2004) Golf: a high intensity interval activity for elderly men. Aging – Clinical and Experimental Research, 16(5), 375-381
  6. Magnussen, G. (1998). Science and golf III: Proceedings of the 1998 World Scientific Congress of Golf. (eds.) Martin R. Farrally, Alastair J. Cochran. Human Kinetics
  7. Walker Research Group. The Health & Wellness Benefits of Golf Participation & Involvement. Review of Academic Literature. Golf 20/20 & World Golf Foundation. (2011)
  8. Taylor, R., Mculey, K., Williams, S., Barbezat, W., Nielsen, G., & Mann, J. (2006). Reducing weight gain in children through enhancing physical activity and nutrition: The APPLE project. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 1(3), 146-152
  9. Women win right to R&A membership after 260-year wait as other clubs are told to remove barriers. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/11107633/Women-win-right-to-RandA-membership-after-260-year-wait-as-other-clubs-are-told-to-remove-barriers.html Online news article.
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More to Win Than the Ryder Cup: The Health Benefits of Golf
How to Plan An Athlete’s Golf Season…and WIN! http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-plan-an-athletes-golf-seasonand-win/ Thu, 28 Apr 2016 06:07:14 +0000 Riikka Hakkarainen http://www.pgae.com/?p=15005 Planing an athlete's training across the season is a hugely important element of their development and performance - Riikka Hakkarainen explains more...]]>

I got all creative when my client asked: “How you plan your season and training?”

Base Training Phase 1

After an athlete’s summer you should always start with Base Training Phase 1. The first six weeks is time dedicated taking care of the flexibility, balance, stability and core issues they may have.

Starting with the basics, even if the athlete has trained for many years, is important – compare it to building a foundation for your future house or a pyramid (see my creative drawing!). All the future work you do is based on how well you have done your foundations and that needs to be solid as a rock!

Circuit training of 15 repetitions is common format and your program should include lots of flexibility and stability exercises! During this time take care of the technical issues of their swing and do basic training on the short game and putting, so if you’re an athlete and you haven’t already, go and book session with your golf coach and go to work!

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Base Training Phase 2

Base Training Phase 2 [that usually starts ideally before January time] involves more strength work (and core) and repetitions go down. ‘How many is ideal?’ I hear you ask – this obviously depends on various things; their training (and injury) history and what the athlete’s goals are. You should concentrate on a few areas and get them super strong! With your golf training switch your focus more towards short game and their creating different shots.

Pre-Season

Pre-season (March-April time) is all about developing further your strength and slowly getting into the power training. Training from the previous Phases should be so solid that power exercises that involve lots of medicine ball throws, should be relatively easy to perform and the athlete should feel pretty fresh after their workouts. Their golf training should be all about getting better at scoring so lot’s of playing and loads more short game!

Mid-Season

During the golf season the athlete will probably tend to play a lot, so this training phase mainly involves maintaining the strength and power that they build over the winter months, getting those low scores onto the scoreboard and winning tournaments!!!

Good luck with planning your athlete’s next season and if you need help with it we are happy to help!

Riikka

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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How to Plan An Athlete’s Golf Season…and WIN!
How I Became a Morning Person, Learned a New Language, and Read 5x More Books in 2015 http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-i-became-a-morning-person-learned-a-new-language-and-read-5x-more-books-in-2015/ Fri, 15 Apr 2016 07:02:05 +0000 Buffer http://www.pgae.com/?p=14144 These are the 4 principles I try to stick by whenever I’m building a new habit: start small, one at a time, remove barriers and stack habits.]]>

You’ll notice that I made the title of this post sound quite impressive (at least I hope I did!).

But the great thing about this story is that anyone can have such an impressive outcome, and it’s not at all as daunting as it might sound.

In fact, all these outcomes came from doing small things every day over a long period.

I’m a big fan of working smarter, not harder and finding small ways to make my work more efficient. As Buffer’s first Content Crafter about two years ago, I got the chance to explore these topics quite a lot.

Now I’m excited to be back to show you exactly how I came by these wins in 2015.

  • From a habit of practicing French for just 5 minutes a day, I can now read, write, and speak basic French.
  • From a habit of reading just a page every night, I managed to increase my reading list by five times over the past couple of years.

building habits

Basically, I used small, everyday habits to build up into big, long-term outcomes.

There are four principles I try to stick by whenever I’m building a new habit. Through everything I’ve tried, these are the principles that seem to work every time.

1. Start small: Repeat a tiny habit daily

When I first started focusing on building more healthy habits a few years ago, one of the biggest mistakes I made was to ask too much of myself.

I would go from reading hardly ever to attempting to read one book per week. Or from getting up at 9 a.m. most days to trying to roll out of bed before 6 a.m. every morning.

The distance between where I was starting and where I wanted to be was so great that I would fail a lot. And each failure made it harder to succeed the next day.

At their heart, as James Clear explains, habits are about routines.

habit formation

And what I really needed was small wins and visible progress to help me create new routines I could keep at every day.

Finally, I came across this idea of starting small. The point is to focus on repeating the habit every day, but not worrying about how effective that habit is. In other words, quantity first; quality later.

A great example is flossing. Say you want to floss every night, but you haven’t flossed for years. If you take up flossing out of the blue and expect to spend 10 minutes doing it every night, you probably won’t last more than a week. It’s a very big ask.

But starting small is so effective, it’s almost like a super power. Here’s how it would work for flossing: you take the tiniest part of the habit you can work with—in this case, it would be to floss just one tooth. It’s still considered flossing, but you won’t make huge leaps in dental hygiene this way.

But here’s where it gets powerful: at first, you focus on just flossing one tooth every night. And you stick with it for more than a week. Then, more than two. Then three, four weeks. You can stick with this habit because it’s so easy. There’s barely any effort involved with flossing one tooth, so it’s hard to make an excuse not to do it. And once it’s become easy and automatic to floss one tooth, you start flossing two.

For a while, you floss two teeth every night. Then, you increase to three. And slowly you work your way up, never taking such a big leap that it becomes a chore.

By starting small you focus on making the behavior automatic, before you worry about making the behavior big enough that it produces a useful outcome.

As Scott H. Young says, we tend to overestimate how much we can get done—especially when we’re stepping into the unknown. Scott suggests planning as if you can only commit 20% of the time and energy you’d like to, in order to be more realistic.

Here’s how I applied the “start small” process to my habits in 2015:

Reading: One page a night

I started by reading just one page of a book every night before bed. Often I would read more, but if all I could manage was one page, I would count that as a win.

Later, when the habit was already strong, I would put on a timer and read for 15 minutes, and eventually I was reading for 30 minutes before bed and another 30 minutes most mornings.

Just starting with one page added up: In 2013 I read 7 books. In 2014, 22. In 2015, 33. That’s almost five times what I read in 2013.

I worked on this habit over about a year and a half. That probably sounds like a long time, but it only seems that way in retrospect.

When I’m working my habit, all I think about is how much I need to read today to count a win. It’s always a small, daily effort that I focus on. But when I look back on my progress, I realise what big achievements those daily habits have developed into.

French: One lesson every morning

I had dabbled in French with before, but I wasn’t very good at sticking with it. When I decided I really wanted to improve my French, I started by building a habit of doing just one Duolingo lesson every morning while I drank my coffee. (If you haven’t tried it, Duolingo is a free web and mobile app to help you learn lots of languages.)

One lesson takes around five minutes, so it’s a tiny commitment, and quite easy to do when I’m sitting around drinking coffee anyway. Eventually I started doing more than one lesson—two, three, sometimes even four or five, if I was enjoying it.

I did as many as I felt like, but I always did at least one.

Only one lesson was required to check off that habit for the day, so it was easy to stick to, even when I didn’t feel like doing any more than that. These days I also use Babbel (a paid web and mobile app for language learning) to get a better idea of the grammatical rules and structures of French, and I’ve finished the whole French section in Duolingo.

According to Duo, that means I know about 41% of French! That’s a big achievement from just five minutes a day!

2. Focus on one habit at a time

One of the hardest things for me when it comes to building new habits is to not take on too many at once. I always have such grand plans for the things I want to get better at, and so much enthusiasm when I first start out, that I want to build several habits at once.

Every time I’ve tried that approach, I end up failing. Usually a few of the habits don’t stick, but sometimes none of them do. It’s just too much to focus on at once—a bit like multitasking, where your brain has to switch contexts constantly, because you really can’t focus on multiple things at once.

So my new rule is to work on just one habit at a time. Only when that habit is so automatic I can do it every day easily do I start on a new habit.

With the example above, I was reading every night before I started focusing on French. And I was easily doing a French lesson every day before I started focusing on getting up early.

one habit

Sometimes building a habit can take a long time. Getting up early was one I really struggled to do consistently. I spent around four months focused on that same habit: trying different approaches, tracking my progress, and reporting in to friends who helped keep me accountable. I was determined to make it a consistent habit, but that meant not building any other habits for months.

These days I’m glad I committed to building that habit for so long, because I get up early almost every day without even trying. It didn’t come easy, but it was worth the effort.

How long it takes you to build a habit will vary, so four months might be longer or shorter than you need. We often hear the idea that it takes 21 days to build a habit, but studies have shown we all take different lengths of time to build new habits. In one study, the average time it took to build a new habit was 66 days—about two months.

The lesson I’ve learned is to treat each habit differently, depending on how hard you find it to stick to consistently, but also to focus on just one habit at a time so it gets your full attention and energy.

3. Remove barriers: Have everything you need at hand

I find it much easier to complete my habits when the equipment I need is at hand. For instance, having my phone in my hand already while drinking coffee made it easier to build a habit of doing a quick French lesson at that time. Reading a page of a book every night became a lot easier when I kept the book by my bed.

Malcolm Gladwell calls this the tipping point. It’s that small change that tips you over from making excuses to taking action. One great example of the power of a tipping point comes from a study of tetanus education at a university. The study tested whether trying to induce higher levels of fear about tetanus would encourage more students to get vaccinated against it. The fear level of the education program didn’t seem to make any difference, but one surprising change did: adding a map of the university campus showing the health center and the times vaccinations were available increased the vaccination rate from 3% to 28%.

The tipping point is that tiny change that makes it easy enough to take action that you’ll actually follow through. I like to think of it as removing any barriers that make it easy to not follow through on my habits.

One habit I want to build in 2016 is to play piano more often. Right now I play whenever the mood strikes me, which isn’t often enough to get a lot better. But I have noticed that I tend to play more often when the piano is easily accessible. Right now it’s in a corner of our lounge/dining/kitchen area, so I can easily sit down and play a little while waiting for something to cook or when I visit the kitchen for an afternoon snack.

Another habit I want to focus on this year is exercising more regularly. I’ve noticed that once I put on my exercise clothes, it’s pretty much certain that I’ll go outside for a run, but until those clothes are on it’s a lot easier to think of excuses for not going out. Getting out my exercise clothes the night before and putting them on quickly in the morning before I can think of excuses tends to help me get out the door faster. This is something I plan to do more regularly when I’m focusing on building this habit.

4. Stack habits: Build new routines onto existing ones

One of my favorite ways to build new habits is to stack them onto existing habits. This builds up several habits into a routine, and each habit acts as a trigger for the next one.

The cool part about this is you already have lots of habits you probably don’t realise. Brushing your teeth before bed, getting out of bed in the morning, making coffee at the same time every day—these are all existing habits. So long as you do something at the same time every day without thinking about it, it’s a habit you can stack others onto.

If you do your new habit after completing an existing one, you can rely on the strength of your existing habit to help keep your new habit on track. For example, when I get out of bed, the first thing I do is go downstairs to make a coffee. When my coffee is made, I start my French lesson. My existing habit of making coffee acts as a trigger to complete my French lesson.

And when I go to bed at night, I open the book sitting by my bed. Getting into bed and seeing the book act as a trigger to do my nightly reading.

habit stack

Research has shown a cue to work on your new habit may be the most effective way to ensure you stick to the habit long-term. When you stack habits, you use the existing ones as cues for each new habit you want to build.

Over time you can keep stacking new habits onto your existing ones to take advantage of automatic behaviors you’re already doing.


Building new habits has become something of a hobby for me. It’s exciting to think of all the skills I can gain and improve over time, just by building tiny habits that I repeat every day. It makes huge accomplishments seem much more achievable.

If you’d like to learn more about how I build habits that help me work smarter, not harder, you can sign up for my course, Productive Habits.

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Written by Belle Beth Cooper (@bellebcooper)

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How I Became a Morning Person, Learned a New Language, and Read 5x More Books in 2015
Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries – Part 1: The Wrist http://www.pgae.com/ask/physiotherapy-and-golf-injuries-part-1-the-wrist/ Mon, 04 Apr 2016 07:33:01 +0000 European Tour Performance Institute http://www.pgae.com/?p=13262 In the first of a special series, the experts at ETPI.com look at the effect of repeated large forces on the body that can lead to different types of injury...]]>

In the first of a series of articles on injuries common in golfers of all abilities, ETPI.com’s Nigel Tilley – a Consultant Physiotherapist on The European Tour – examines potential wrist problems and recovery routes.

Golf is a sport with many health and well-being benefits. It is played across the world by people of all ages including into their 80’s and 90’s with a reported 60 million participants.  The health benefits have been widely reported in recent years with an 18-hole round representing somewhere between six to eight kilometres of walking and often requiring physical exertion across variable outdoor terrain.  This can burn more than 1,500 calories as well as requiring more than 8,000-12,000 steps.

A recent Scandinavian study of more than 300,000 golfers showed that people who play golf on a regular basis have a 40 per cent decreased mortality rate compared to their peers, which equates to a five year increase in life expectancy – regardless of gender or socio-economic status.

Another study found that walking 18 holes of golf was the equivalent of moderate-high intensity exercise for the elderly and moderate for the middle-aged.

But it isn’t just physical benefits to be gained from playing golf.  The sport suits participants of all ages, abilities, sex and age, who can all play together providing unparalleled socialisation opportunities and psychosocial benefit.

Golf is much more than just walking and can be very demanding, requiring strength, endurance, explosive power, flexibility and athletic ability to perform a movement which produces some of the fastest club head and ball speeds of any sport.

However. the effect of repeated large forces on the body can lead to a number of different types of injuries. Due to the biomechanical requirements of such an asymmetrical swing, these are often specific to certain areas and sides of the body in golfers depending on their lead side.  For instance, right handed golfers, wholead with the left side, are more likely to suffer from Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) injuries on the left wrist and Dorsal Rim Impaction Syndrome DRIS injuries on the right wrist.

A wealth of research has been conducted on the types and likelihood of injuries experienced by golfers with the back, shoulder, elbow, wrist and hips appearing the main areas of the body prone to problems.

These injuries are generally caused by acute trauma, poor technique, a lack of physical conditioning, the accumulated effect of repetitive movements over many years or a combination of these factors while, interestingly, the occurrence of certain pathologies differ between amateur and professional golfers.

Now, in the first part of our series on golf injuries and physiotherapy, we look at the wrist, potential injuries to the joint and associated soft tissue, and how physiotherapy can help in the treatment and rehabilitation of an injury in order to fast-track recovery and help return you to activity as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Wrist Injuries

There are a large range of common wrist injuries in golf but in this brief study we will concentrate on one commonly seen in a variety of golfers. – the Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU) injury.

What Is It?

The ECU is a skeletal muscle located on the ulnar side of the forearm which acts to extend and adduct the wrist.  It has to work very hard during the golf swing and so is highly prone to injury in golfers.  ECU pathologies include tenosynovitis of the tendon sheath, tendinopathy, tendon disruption and tendon instability.  These injuries can occur in isolation or combined and can be caused by high force trauma, such as hitting a tree root or thick grass, rapid increase in loading, continued excessive loading and technique faults. This can lead to a variety of changes at the tissues depending on the stage, severity or structure affected including cellular tissue disruption, thickening, matrix breakdown and increased vascularity.

How does physiotherapy treat this type of injury?

The key aim of physiotherapy is to attempt to clearly identify the injury and its cause.  This greatly helps direct the golfer’s treatment and management.  Often this type of injury will require ‘load modification’ with more traumatic sudden onset injuries requiring immediate removal of load and PRICE protocol (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) or POLICE (protection, OPTIMAL LOADING, ice, compression, elevation).  The aim here is to reduce the bleeding and swelling from the injury site if severe tissue disruption such as a partial or full rupture has occurred.

In presentations that have a more gradual non-traumatic onset, a reduction rather than removal of load is often required.  This reduction in load can be achieved by encouraging the hitting of less balls or avoiding hitting from hard ground or mats – which often increase the stress on these tissues.  There are several strapping techniques which physiotherapists use that can also help to stabilise the wrist and give support to the structures.

In layman’s terms if your problem is a slow gradual onset of pain and symptoms in the outside of the wrist a reduction in the amount of balls that you hit or stopping practicing on hard winter matts may help to reduce symptoms and allow recovery  In situations where a sharp and sudden onset occurs after a specific incident (like hitting a tree root or when hitting out of heavy rough) you may need to stop playing golf immediately for a period of time and see a physiotherapist of wrist specialist for a detailed assessment of your injury.

The rehabilitation of injuries to the ECU and its associated structures depends on the exact injury and the severity of the tendinopathy.  But where no severe tissue disruption has occurred – as opposed to partial and full ruptures, which could require surgical opinions or interventions- the aim is to gradually restore the tissues ability to tolerate load through load management, isometric and eccentric exercises and graduated return to play.  As with so many injuries in golf it is key that technique and playing habits are reviewed to help identify solutions to poor technique and practice faults which can often lead to excessive stresses on certain parts of the body. For example, reduced ability to separate your pelvis from your upper body during the back swing is often associated with a higher incidence of wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries, due to the poor swing techniques these limitations create.

A golf-specific physio such as those that work at the ETPI in Terre Blanche and Jumeirah Golf Estates will be able to help you with these sort of biomechanical adjustments or conduct a joint assessment with a golf coach or instructor.

For safety, optimum treatment and to reduce the risk of re-injury, players and patients should visit and complete a full assessment of all injuries and receive treatment and rehabilitation under the guidance of a chartered physiotherapist.

Part 2 of this series on ‘Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries’ will look at ‘The shoulder’ and will be out next week.

To see an in depth guide for sports physicians and physiotherapists on examining the wrist and assessing its injuries you can watch this video by European Tour Chief Medical Officer Dr Roger Hawkes and Consultant Wrist & Hand surgeon Mr Doug Campbell:

The European Tour Performance Institutes in Terre Blanche, France and at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai have highly qualified and expert physiotherapists, osteopaths, medical staff, biomechanists and support staff that are able to help you with your injury assessment, diagnosis, treatment and improve your golf performance.  To arrange a visit or book an appointment with them email:

Terre Blanche –  Email: info@biomecaswing.com

Jumeirah Golf Estates – Email: ETPI@jumeirahgolfestates.com

Glossary of Terms

Isometric – is a type of strength training (muscle action) in which the joint angle or muscle length do not change during the muscle contraction.

Eccentric – Is active contraction of a muscle occurring simultaneously with lengthening of the muscle.  The muscle elongates while undertension due to an oppossing force greater than the muscle generates.

Concentric – A concentric muscle action is a type of muscle contraction where the muscle is shortening while generating force.  This occurs when the force generate dby the muscle exceeds the load opposing its contraction.

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Physiotherapy and Golf Injuries – Part 1: The Wrist
How to Manage Your Emotions in the Workplace http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-manage-your-emotions-in-the-workplace/ Wed, 23 Mar 2016 11:17:27 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=14846 While some people might feel more at ease in one environment than the other, the important thing is that the two are kept separate and we abide by the rules]]>

Work life, home life: two opposing universes, each with their own specific set of rules and separate codes of conduct.

While some people might feel more at ease in one environment than the other, the important thing is that the two are kept separate and that we abide by the rules we have been set.

When it comes to the world of work, emotions should be left at the door with your professional persona set to kick in automatically on passing reception.

As we know, life is rarely this black and white; emotions, both positive and negative, will inevitably find their way into the workplace from time to time.

The key is not to deny the existence of emotions and sensitivities altogether but rather to understand how to manage them so as to limit their impact on your professional relationships. Here are some dos and don’ts to set you on your way:

DO:

Know your emotions

Understanding what triggers your emotions and the effect that these can have on your work and professional relationships is the first step towards gaining better control. Start by taking the time to analyse how you respond to certain workplace stressors and triggers.

Take time out

The cut and thrust of the office can make for an emotionally charged environment. Seek to balance this by taking time out each day to disconnect from work and reconnect with your non-work persona. Meditation and exercise are great ways to keep your emotions on an even keel.

Communicate

Making others aware of your sensitivities around a particular issue can prevent an emotional trigger from sparking a reaction altogether. Let colleagues know discreetly if something is troubling you before the situation has a chance to escalate.

Article-Header-Images_Coaching4Careers_Managing-Emotions_02

DON’T:

Ignore it

The instinctive response to an emotional outburst at work is to try act like nothing has happened. However, doing so is only likely to place further strain on your professional relationships.

Wait for things to blow over

Seek to address any incidents or outbursts as soon as you feel calm enough to do so. Facing things head on can limit their impact and stop tensions from setting in between you and those involved.

Over apologise

An emotional response doesn’t automatically make you more at fault for an argument or challenging situation. Take responsibility for your side, but make sure your colleague understands his or her part in the proceedings.

At the end of the day each person is different; having more of an emotional side doesn’t make you a bad person or a worse employee.

That said, having greater control or at least being aware of your own responses and triggers can make the gap between your personal and professional life far easier to manage.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Forbes; Expert Beacon; The Coaching Academy

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How to Manage Your Emotions in the Workplace