IG168 July 19

July 2019 www.insidegolf.com.au INSTRUCTION 35 Bouncing back from a major setback Periodisation for golf James Bargeron james@golfing-minds.com Richard Nizielski is a Brisbane-based golf fitness expert and the Director of Golf Fit Solutions. A three-time Olympian and medallist in the sport of short track speed skating, Richard is a qualified sports and personal trainer designing individual fitness and nutrition programs for both professional and amateur golfers here in Australia and overseas. www.golffitsolutions.com James Bargeron is a UK based performance coach and trainer that helps optimise performance on and off the course. He helps golfers develop the mental strategies, attitudes, and resilience needed to become a high performer. www.golfing-minds.com MENTAL GAME FITNESS W e all have our set-backs, no matter how well we’ve planned and prepared. There will always be something that doesn’t work out exactly the way we want, and it always seems to happen at the most inopportune moment. It could be a missed 3-footer for par on the 18 th in the monthly medal, or the club or county championship; it’s not the size of the problem, but how we handle it that really matters. You’ve done all the work and all you can to be prepared for your next game, match or tournament. Everything is going along really well and then calamity strikes, before you know it that score card is perilously close to being thrown in the bin or you’ve just had the mother of all meltdowns on the course. Where do you go from here? Many golfers struggle with “bounce- backability”, more commonly known as resilience. The mental fortitude to be able to come back from a setback which is the difference between average and good golfers, and the difference between good and great golfers. Resilience doesn’t make the problems go away, but it does help get past them and deal with pressure and stress better. There have been some spectacular come backs over the years and here are three that I feel really stand out. The 2012 European Ryder Cup team and the Miracle at Medinah is a classic example, when they were totally outclassed the first two days and going into the final day trailed the US by 10pts to 6. Somehow, they managed to claw their way back into contention on Sunday in the singles, with Martin Kaymer managing to hole a 6-foot putt on the 18 th green to secure a 14 ½ to 13 ½ victory. It was probably the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history. In 1996 Greg Norman was leading Nick Faldo at The Master’s by 6 shots going into the final day. Faldo played faultless golf and Norman stuttered, leaving Faldo to pick up his 3rd Master’s title. Many would’ve fallen into the abyss after such a devastating defeat with the whole world watching. Even Faldo felt for his opponent, as he whispered to him after it was all over “Don’t let the buggers get you down!”, referring to the media onslaught that was inevitable after his collapse. Norman, however is made of stern stuff and bounced back to win the Australian Open later that year as well as the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf the following January and two other victories that year, which is no mean feat. Many thought we’d seen the best of Tiger, but he had other ideas, as he showed last summer with his first win in 5 long years, at The Players Championship, having struggled with marital and personal problems as well as having undergone serious spinal surgeries which threatened his whole career. And only a few weeks ago he pulled off another amazing come-back by winning his 15 th major at The Masters. Probably his best of all. So, how do we build resilience or “bounce- backability” and get back on track after such events? Here are some ways that may help you: Our emotions can start to run riot when things go wrong, which only causes more problems. Learning to stay calm and being emotionally in control is key. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and be easy on yourself. Golf is a difficult game and beating yourself up and adding to the guilt will only make matters worse. The world won’t come to an end because of a missed putt or a bad round of golf. Develop a growth mindset. Instead of thinking “Why does this always happen to me”, change it to “What did I learn?” and “How can I improve on this?”. Keep working on your mental game and the quality of your thinking. Everyone has a different perception of an event. It’s not the actual event itself that is the problem, but more the meaning or importance we give to it, that makes the difference. Stop thinking of a putt or a medal competition as ‘The Big One’ as this only adds to the mental pressure and expectation. Most club golfers don’t have a big enough ‘Why’ as they are playing for fun. With the European Ryder Cup team in 2012, it was not long after the great Seve Ballesteros had passed away, that the team felt, in their words “They wanted to do it for Seve”. That was their reason why, which helped get them through. When facing a challenge or having been though a major setback, grit is the magical substance that somehow allows you to dig deep to pull something together and somehow deliver what is required. It’s not something you can buy or stick in your bag. It has to be found inside you. I hope these will help you in your game when you’ve fallen at the final hurdle or had a major setback and want to get back to winning ways. I n the last article we looked at the principles of progressive overload (the process of gradually increasing the amount of training with the aim of progressing and improving sporting performance). Periodisation is the overall planning of a training and competition year, which allows for the athlete (in this case, the golf player) to be at their best, at the right time(s) of the year. The use of periodisation is common amongst many sports. Periodisation generally includes: Macrocycles : The largest cycles, usually for General preparation period, Specific preparation period, Pre-competition period, Competition period, Off-season period. Mesocycle : Commonly refers to the main training target for a particular period within a macrocyle e.g. endurance, strength, speed etc. Microcycle : Is the smallest of the cycles and sits within a Mesocycle. Generally 7-14 days long. For professional golfers, the off-season period may be very short, lasting only a few weeks, before the tournaments season begins. Pre-season may be 3-6 weeks in duration. Some of the professional I have worked with have done training similar to the following. Week 1. General fitness training mainly consisting of, circuit resistance-training, jumps, med-ball throws and 30-45min runs. Week 2. Resistance training gets slightly more specific with the player working more on developing and strengthening areas identified as being need to be stronger or vulnerable to injury. Week 3 and 4. Strength and conditioning work will become more intense, using heavier loads and more sets. Week 5. Strength work will be slightly less and power work will be added in. Week 6. Training intensity is lowered with more rest and a switch to more power development exercises. During the year, with a busy schedule, professionals will train both at tournaments and in between. This helps the player maintain a level of fitness and health while still playing strongly, week to week. Throughout the year there are certain tournaments that a player will want to be at their very best, e.g. Majors. During these times a player may change their practice and preparation before and during these events in an effort to allow for more rest and to feel at their best. Your golf year may not be like that of a tour professional, however you can still adjust your training to get the best out how you play. Some ideas to help you, are: 1. Identify which tournaments are the most important for you to do your best at, within the season. 2. Identify what you will need to do to perform at your best, at that particular course, e.g. Wedge shots from 80m. Speed of the greens. Playing in gusty wind conditions etc. 3. Focus more on rest and recovery the few days before the tournament. Happy golfing Richard Nizielski www.golffitsolutions.com