What Can Be S.A.I.D. About The Golf Swing?

By: Sean Cochran

Probably the question that first comes to your mind when youread this title is: what is S.A.I.D. and how does it help mygolf game? The reality is that S.A.I.D. is very connected toyour golf swing and is a very important principle if you want tohit the ball farther and lower your scores.

Before introducing S.A.I.D. let us discuss improvement in thegame of golf. Improving your golf game requires developingseveral disciplines. Generally speaking you must develop properswing mechanics, practice every aspect of the game (putting,short game, chipping, pitching, short irons, long irons, fairwaywoods, and driver), develop your course management skills, playpractice rounds, create understanding for the nuances of thegame, develop confidence, and finally develop your body.

Understand that the entire list of golf disciplines works as aunit to improve your golf game. No one facet can be eliminatedfrom this list without having an effect on your overallimprovement. For example, if I were never to practice putting,how well would I play? I may play great from tee to green, butwhen it comes to putting, look for my scores to go through theroof.

The last discipline mentioned was your body. Quite often this isthe forgotten aspect of improving your golf game, but it isequally important. Let me ask you a question. What swings yourdriver? Some answers may be your swing. In reality, your bodyswings the club. Yes, your body swings the club, not the otherway around. Developing your body in relation to the swing allowsfor a foundation to be created. This foundation is where you areable to develop the proper mechanics of the swing.

If your body does not have the needed flexibility, balance,coordination, or power to swing a club, how well are you goingto swing a driver? Not very well. If your body is weak andinflexible developing an optimal swing will be next toimpossible.

The development of the body in relation to the swing is whereS.A.I.D. comes into play. S.A.I.D. refers to the principle of"specific adaptation to imposed demands." This principle statesthat the body will adapt to the demands of the training stimulusbut will not adapt beyond the scope of that training stimulus(NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal, pg. 18, August, 2005).

Did I loose you in that last paragraph?

Let me explain. This principle pertains to developing the body'slevel of fitness in relation to any sport or activity. Forexample, if I were to perform a bicep curl with a 25-pounddumbbell 15 times the curl could be difficult in the beginning,but over time it would get easier and eventually I could crankout 15 repetitions with no problem. This is a result of my bodyadapting (muscles getting stronger) to the resistance placed onmy body by the dumbbell.

Now here is the kicker, if I continued to only lift a 25-pounddumbbell over the period of a year what do you think wouldhappen? I like to use the phrase "diminishing returns" toexplain this situation. Once the body adapts to a resistance,the body plateaus and does not get stronger. At this point itcan even get weaker!

Now how does this pertain to golf? Think about it for a moment.Greater distance off the tee is always a desire of every amateurplaying the sport. Amateurs go to great length to hit the ball20, 10, or even 5 yards farther. They will buy new drivers, newgolf balls, new anything! Now if an amateur's clubhead speed issomewhere around 85 mph, how is that clubhead speed going toimprove with a new driver or new ball? The answer is it will not.

Hypothetically, let's assume you have fairly efficient swingmechanics. How are you going to increase your clubhead speed?(Remember clubhead speed stays the same even if you buy a newdriver.) Someway or somehow you are going to have to generategreater clubhead speed.

Increasing the efficiency with which you swing the club is oneway. But the efficiency with which you swing a club has an endpoint, and once that end point is reached it won't go anyfarther. What is the other way by which you can increase yourclubhead speed? Implementing a golf fitness program into yourroutine can help.

A golf fitness program will develop the "foundation" to improveyour swing mechanics. This type of program will develop yourflexibility, balance, coordination, strength, and endurancecapacities to improve your swing.

Additionally, it can develop greater clubhead speed. Clubheadspeed is a result of power development. Power development iscontingent upon your swing mechanics and body. Improving thepower outputs of your body will enhance your clubhead speed. Andgreater clubhead speed equates to greater distance on yourdrives.

If you have never developed a level of golf fitness, your bodyis set at a certain level of power-generating capabilities.Until you force the body to increase its power-generatingcapabilities through the S.A.I.D. principle, your club headspeed will stay the same. A golf fitness program will placeresistance on your body forcing it to adapt and improve itspower capabilities. The end result will be greater clubheadspeed, and that can equate to longer drives.

Looking for a golf-specific fitness program to improve yourclubhead speed? Look no further than my manual Your Body & YourSwing. This program is filled with golf-specific flexibility,balance, strength, endurance, and power exercises to enhanceyour golf swing. My program implements the S.A.I.D. principlewith the goal of improving your scores and your drivingdistances

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