unior Golf: Stretching In Cold Weather

In today’s Monday Mulligan we will explore 1 of the most neglected and overlooked aspects of sports, including junior golf. Being an athlete means being athletic, being able to perform at a competitive level in your given sport. There are a number of physical aspects involved in competitive sports so let’s take a look at the 1 that Linda and I believe needs much more serious attention. (photo jennleforge.com)image

Perhaps you have noticed with your daughter and her junior golf friends that there is little or no visible stretching. About all you see is 30 seconds or more of token effort on the range or on the tee box. Did the girls do extensive stretching prior to arriving at the course? Our experience is few, if any, junior golfers ever do proper stretching exercises. Even in high school, S3 and his teammates pretty much refused to stretch in a meaningful way.

Why is this? There are a couple of reasons. First, by the time your daughter gets into high school you can’t be overseeing every minute of her life. She needs to be learning how to be independent, getting ready to leave the nest. So about all Dad and Mom can do is suggest that she do some stretching. You know, the kids just aren’t interested. Or secondly, your daughter has not suffered the frustrating consequences of being injured.

How does this change? Sadly it usually only changes as a result of a serious muscle pull or similar injury. Here in South Texas we call temperatures cooler than 50 degrees,”muscle pulling weather.” My friends and I just don’t play golf in these temperatures. Junior golfers and college golfers, however, play in this weather a lot. And they stretch a bit more because the cold weather makes them feel more stiff. And the extra layers of clothes require more effort in order to make consistently good swings.image

For cold weather stretching your daughter can do the same stretches she does when it’s warmer, just do them more slowly and do more of them. To freshen her routine find a video of Miguel Angel Jimenez doing his stretches. These can be done in golf attire at the golf course and they, while appearing slightly different than what you see in the gym, have been deemed to be very effective. They are also refreshingly fun to do or at least attempt to do. A couple of them are much more difficult than they appear. Or just do a web search for golf stretches. You’ll find a ton of resources from the Mayo Clinic, Adam Scott, Greg Norman and more. Maybe by presenting stretching as fun your daughter will show more interest. Try something. The benefits of proper stretching are well documented. (photo thegolfclubgame.com)

See you on #1 tee looking stretched-out and limber… Sam

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