Friday, January 29, 2016

SMU Women's Golf Works Out!


The most requested topic I receive for my blog is regarding the workouts that we do at SMU.  The questions are usually what do we do, how often do we do it, when do we workout, etc.  I've been hesitant to post anything, because it isn't my area of expertise.  We have a team of talented people around us to help our players become more fit, injury free, stronger and more explosive.  With that in mind, I'll share my views and what you could perhaps learn from my experience over the past 20 years. I'm protective of my team and I make sure we work with experts who train us the right way.

At SMU, our workouts are designed to prevent player injury, allow them to move better through their golf swings, increase fitness and increase power or explosiveness.  That philosophy is in order of importance and we don't work on explosiveness until we have functional strength throughout their bodies and they are moving well.  As I said above, we are lucky to have a team of talented people.  All of our golfers are screened by Ryan Overturf at the Move Project and we learn what they need individually to perform at their highest level.  Here is a link to Ryan's business.  Our initial screening isn't the only time a golfer will see Ryan.  If there are problems, such as tightness or pain, an athlete will go back to him after seeing our trainer, Kevin Kikugawa.  Kevin works closely with both Ryan and our strength and conditioning coach, Marc Soltis.  If there are serious problems, we see the doctors at The Carrell Clinic for whatever specialist is needed.

The reason all of that is important is, we treat each athlete individually and not all can do the same things at each workout.  We screen each athlete and look for problems prior to training.  This allows us to improve movement and strength at the most basic level.  Often times, our athletes will do only body weight exercises until they are in complete control of a movement.  When I see videos posted of young athletes pushing a lot of weight, I wonder if their body is prepared for such stress and if they understand the risks involved.  Our goal is to work up to heavier resistance, but only when we are ready.  Marc also is diligent with our athletes technique and constantly teaches them when they are in the weight room.

We see him at 7:30 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the team gets a third workout in with a teammate when it is convenient for them throughout the week.  Ryan asks them to do their Move Project isometrics both prior to playing and practicing and to get a fourth light workout in each week with those movements in mind.  Everyone on the team understands the importance of each facet of our workouts and is committed to fitness.

With all of that said, here are two examples of Marc's workout plan for the past week and a bunch of still shots of the team hard at work.
This was our 1/28/2016 workout plan.  Within each workout, Coach Soltis includes time for a bit of yoga and stretching.  On this day, the team learned a chair pose twist ( I think it's the right name).


This was our 1/26/2016 workout plan.
Each session starts with Coach Soltis telling the team what's on the agenda and what his expectations are for pace and effort.  Both are always high.  The pace is quick and full effort is expected on each and every exercise.  This is Coach Soltis, McCurdy, Celli, Rossi, Page (behind Dunne), Dunne and Haglund left to right.
McCurdy doing Russian Twists on the ball and Rossi doing dumb bell plank rows.


This is a shot of the team doing their rotator cuff maintenance on the ball, which requires them to use their cores and balance, too.  These exercises are never meant for a lot of weight, but to simply keep the important muscles in the joint strong.  This is Dunne, Rossi and Page from left to right.



Coach Soltis leading a yoga pose.  Centered and breathing....
These two pictures show examples of our movement prep each day.  The players go over and under hurdles for hip flexibility.  Notice that they run from station to station.  #PonyUpTempo applies to all teams at SMU when we are in the weight room.


More movement prep prior to the workout.

Coach Dave watches the workout.  Both coaches attend almost every workout.  We want to make sure our players understand the importance of their fitness and strength, so we show up!

The team uses the TRX system quite a bit.  It is good that everything we do challenges our core and our balance.  Whenever you can get stronger while working on those two basics important to golf, you are working smart!  Notice, you haven't yet seen us using a lot of weight.  We do push some weights, but most of what we do is quite challenging without heavy loads.

Each part of the body is important for golf and Coach Soltis challenges the player's ankle and knee stability with this exercise called the 3 cone touch on the airex pad.  Ankle and knee stability are key to stability in the golf swing and often an ignored weakness.  This is Page in the foreground with McCurdy to her right.
This is the team stirring the pot on the physio balls.  They are all making a circular motion.  Great for core, posture and shoulder strength.
As freshmen, most players are not strong enough in their core or back.  We do a lot of exercises to target those areas.  This allows for better posture and rotation through the golf swing.  Here is Page working on her back strength.  
Time out for a quick pic with Rossi!  She's the one hanging her tongue out, but she's in the best shape of her career at SMU.  That's what happens to seniors here!

I hope you enjoyed a look into our workouts at SMU.  Over my 20 years as a head coach, I've gotten a look at a lot of different strength coaching philosophies.  Ours is stated above, but most importantly, it is for golf and for the individual doing the workout.  We don't train for cross fit, body building or any other sport and we don't use a cookie cutter for the team.

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