How Do I Fit Exercise Into My Already Busy Schedule?
This has to be one of the most pressing topics for Junior Golfers. You have a lot on your plate, not just high schoolers any more, I see 7th & 8th graders with a heavy homework load as well.
Hopefully you’ve read our post about the negative consequences of early specialization, but depending on where you live, golf is a sport that you can practice all year round. Once you’ve reached the high school age and are ready to focus on just golf, there are many facets of the game to practice.
As you know you have the range time for the full swing, you have the chipping green for the short game, and you have the putting green and if there is still daylight you may want to hit the course.
You’ve got lessons, some have a mental coach, and did I mention if your academics aren’t good enough you can kiss that scholarship goodbye? Where in the heck are you going to fit in exercise?
Let’s start here. You need to create a schedule, and you should dedicate an off-season time of the year. I live here in Southern California and watch these juniors practice and play like they’re in-season from January to January. It’s not only extremely hard on the body, but it impacts academics, social life, and the mental well being.
Believe it or not, but there are kids that live in climates where they can’t get on the course 4 or 5 months out of the year, yet they are competing at a very high level in the Summer.
So pick 2 months where you will dedicate little time to actually swinging the club. December and January are usually good because it’s cold and the daylight is short.
Off-Season is where you make your gains. If you’re looking to get stronger you do it then, if you’re looking for more speed, the off-season is your time. You should dedicate 6 hours per week to fitness in the off-season.
Next we have pre-season, here is where you’ll start to get back on the range more often and your fitness hours will shorten to 3-4 hours per week. This is the time when mobility and stability along with body control are the main focus in the gym.
In Season, now you’re playing A LOT! Traveling on top of that, but hopefully the school load has gone down a bit. This is not the time to stop exercising, in fact exercise is very important during the season, but just with a different focus.
During the season the main focus should be on muscle activation and recovery, with 1 or 2 one hour workouts added in. You need to have a solid 15-20 minute movement routine that you do daily and you DO NOT MISS IT! It can be the first thing when you wake up, it can be after a practice session or in the evening before you go to bed. This habit is a must, and will have a huge physical and mental impact on you. Also, this is different from your body prep before you practice or play.
Post Season could be 4-6 weeks prior to the Off-Season and this is where you want to focus on any injuries or physical weakness’ you may have discovered during the season. It is a good time to body prep so when the Off-Season comes you can hit it hard!
Create a table or graph for this
Here’s a breakdown:
Off-Season: Less golf and more time in the gym (6-7 hours per week). This is where you make your gains
Pre-season: More golf and gym time is decreased to 3-4 hours per week. Gym focus is mobility, stability and movement patterns
In-Season: A lot of golf, 1-2 hours a week for fitness, but keeping the 15-20 minute routine going.
Post Season: 3-4 hours on fitness with a focus on recovery and muscle activation
Develop at 15-20 minute daily routine that involves stability, balance and functional movement
patterns and you DON”T MISS IT!