The Body-Swing connection is the foundation of our golf performance programs. This concept establishes how common swing characteristics are directly related to how your body moves and functions. Did you know that we can predict what your swing will look like just by observing how you move? Yes, physical limitations in your body can contribute to common swing characteristics such as over the top, sway, slide, loss of posture, early extension, casting and more.
Thanks to organizations such as the Titleist Performance Institute we can better understand this relationship and help you create a swing that best matches your physical capabilities. This will help you to have a more efficient, consistent and powerful swing. I think the easiest way to understand this concept is to see a real life example of how we can apply this information. Below is a video of a golfer who has a tendency of hanging back in the downswing. Hanging Back refers to a lack of weight shift towards the target on the downswing. With this characteristic the player usually is still on their back foot at impact. This can contribute to poor ball striking as well as significantly reduced speed.
What does this have to do with this player's body and movement? The ability to transfer your weight into the the lead leg requires good mobility/flexibility of the lead hip and ankle. It also requires good strength and balance of the lead leg and core as well. When looking at this golfer's movement with the TPI screen we found significant limitations in the lead hip and ankle mobility in tests such as the lower quarter rotation, single leg balance test and overhead deep squat test. When these physical limitations are present it is very common to see compensations such as hanging back. As you can see in the video above when his movement screen was entered into the TPI app it predicted there was a 88% likelihood that he would hang back during his swing.
Could this just be due to poor technique or mechanics? Yes, that is a possibility, although it is likely that the physical limitation in this case is a strong contributing factor. Trying to ask the player to simply quit hanging or provide drills to help with this will likely not entirely solve the issue as the player doesn't have the physical capabilities to do it. This can lead to frustration for both the player and the coach.
Working with a physical therapist/chiropractor or strength and conditioning coach to remove the physical limitation first could make it much easier on the coach and player to improve this in his swing. It is important to note that just because you improve a physical limitation this does not mean that it will automatically translate into the swing. The golfer has created a movement pattern around that physical limitation and will likely need to learn a new pattern once the physical limitation is removed. This is where coaching can be very beneficial in helping create this new feel and movement pattern in the swing. Working together as a team this way can significantly improve the learning process for the golfer. Contact us today to learn about your Body-Swing Connection.