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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Going Back to Training Basic Techniques

In Personal on August 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I went out to the driving range over the weekend, and it would figure that right after I write an article about generating power I would lose all of mine. Last time out at the range I finished my bucket hitting my pitching wedge for 130 yards of carry, I finished this one hitting my nine iron well short of the 100 yard marker. My leg muscles got surprisingly sore after I started my new training regimen for August, which was theoretically supposed to be less stressful on my body. I couldn’t even feel the muscles around my hip very clearly and they definitely weren’t interested in snapping my swing around.

Which unfortunately seems to be the least of my concerns when it comes to my body. For some reason my elbow has been stinging me every time I rotate my forearm around and my wrist seems to get a little ache when I try to swing as well. I’m not sure if they’re connected or it’s just a bunch of little ouchies all happening at once. I’ve always had problems with my joints aching a little too easily, maybe it shouldn’t come as any surprise. But I’m taking time off this week to try and recover, and also to rethink my training.
It eats me up inside to lose days and to think about falling off an intense schedule, but with an undertaking this difficult I can’t become inflexible. It’s difficult enough just being me, I don’t need extra mental distress. I’m going to take the rest of the week off and see if my joint pain subsides. Then next week I’m going to really rethink everything based on what I learned from my first month and come up with a training plan I can stick to without maiming myself and that will help me actually get better.

My swing goal now is to take 1,000 “real swings” with a particular club I’m training that day, another 1,000 “practice swings” to work on my basic form with my practice clubs, and 1,000 practice putts. What I’m thinking is I can do this for two weeks, then take a week of rest where I do my form work and studying. My normal thing now is to go three days of full practice, one day of light practice with 1,500 to 2,000 swings, then repeat. That would be up to 39,000 swings during those two weeks. Maybe then during the rest week I’ll get in another 2,000-3,000 swings in form practice and putting.
Over a six week period that would be up to 84,000 swings. Still quite productive. Over 12 months that would equal 728,000 swings, assuming you lose some along the way, 700,000. At that pace I could still arrive at over a million swings by the end of 2013, not bad at all really. And possibly my training could pick up a little as I go, perhaps adding a few hundred swings to those daily totals. My first real goal though, is still to finish an entire year of this practice, no matter the specifics of the pace or style.

Month Two Begins!

In Personal on August 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm

So begins August. I feel much stronger after taking a week off, and I’m ready to start this month strong. I’m still a long ways from being in good enough shape to go full tilt at my training, but I get that now and know what I need to work toward. My goal is to take 70,000 swings this month, but still give myself a five or six day break during the fourth week.

That won’t exactly be easy from a mathematical point of view, but I’m working on finding a way to get in more practice on my light work days without it going from light work to heavy work. Right now I’d like to do 1,800 club swings, half with real clubs, half with my practice club, and then 1,500 putting strokes. Do that for three days, then do one or two light days, with around 500 practice club swings, and 2,000 putting strokes for them. I’d also like to use my practice net and hit 50 golf balls into it everyday.

Anyway that’s my plan for now. We’ll have to see how it goes, but at the very least I’m confident that I will continue to get stronger and find the exertion easier. I probably need to step up and do more endurance aerobics too. I miss living in a big city where the constant amount of walking kicked my body into a higher state of fitness no matter what and I had way more energy.

Alright, the next article I post will be about how to generate power with your swing. And then after that I will look into how to make this blog look better and be navigable. Until next time true believers!

Finishing Up the First Month

In Personal on July 26, 2012 at 10:25 pm

It’s been a good first month for my training project and while I’m not going to reach the amount of swings I’d like to have (not that that was a realistic number), I’m very happy with I have done. I noticed this week that the joints in my hand and fingers were beginning to grow weak and irritated so it was time to take a full break to recover. Meaning I won’t get to 70,000 swings, but that’s okay. What I’m most interested in right now is building a stronger body that can handle the load of training without becoming so overwhelmed that the entire point of the practice, to get better, is lost.

But my hand should recover by the end of the month so I can start off August strong. I may not get to one million by the end of exactly one year, but if I get to 900,000 that isn’t going to be too bad.

Blog’s Lacking Look

In Personal on July 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I really need to think about improving the appearance of this blog. At first I was thinking of one of those neat, picture heavy magazine type designs. But actually that’s a terrible idea. I don’t want to have to edit up some photographs every time I feel like making a post. I do need something more organized though, front page of the Wall Street Journal style more than multimedia heavy. Perhaps I can design a template since I haven’t seen anything to my liking, although that’s more computer work I will have a hard time doing. I once learned CSS and created a whole comedy website, and my memories of having to code out that whole thing are not fond.

Anyway, back to golf. Golf is going well. I’m trying to keep up pace and finish the month at or a little over 70,000 swings. Only around 10,000 less than what my monthly average needs to be in order to get to a million. Of course I’d like subsequent months to be in excess of that monthly average, this will prove to be a strong start if I can get that many in this first month. My joint supplements have definitely had an effect, my hip doesn’t ache like it used to, any pain can normally be stretched away. The stuff is called ‘Animal Flex’ and it’s basically a little plastic bag filled with pills you take everyday. It’s a strange sounding name, but bodybuilders on the internet seemed to swear by its effectiveness and I have to say my joints are feeling stronger, not weaker even with continued practice. So I’m a satisfied customer at this point.

Once July is over I’m going to double down on my form work, watch more video and do more slow motion practice. This month has really been mostly about conditioning, although my swing has become far more consistent. But that’s the basic idea behind my training, practice will make perfect. My midbrain and cerebellum organize the motion of my swing more efficiently with every passing day, and by the end of the year striking a golf ball will be as easy as walking.

I’ve been thinking about my long term goals for this a lot this past week, next spring I’ll definitely try a little low level competitive golf. I don’t expect to be a master of the game by then or anything, but work my way up from there once I see where I’m at. I’d love the chance to take a shot at joining the Nationwide Tour. Although I’ll never really be anything more than a true amateur golfer, my heart lies in the writing I can’t seem to do because of this odd mental disease. Still I can be that and a technically professional golfer at the same time, since it seems I’ve got the talent for it. Anyway, that’s all for now.

Got a cold in the middle of summer and doing more stretching

In Personal on July 18, 2012 at 10:55 am

I got sick for two days after attending a party, which severely curtailed my efforts on Sunday and Monday. Fortunately I’m feeling much better and got a full 3,300 swings in yesterday.

I noticed I’ve fallen too far behind on my swing schedule this month and it doesn’t sit well with me. At this point I’ll be lucky to get anything over 60,000 practice swings. Of course I realize that this month should be my most difficult month since I’ve had to swing myself into shape. But still, 20,000+ swings behind is no good.

I’m starting to incorporate a more responsible athletic routine into all my golf training now as well. I’m working on stretching for my hips every day to keep them healthy and avoid pain. The joint supplements also seem to be helping as I feel not just less pain, but less of that specific grindy sort of ache you get when your joints are clearly getting overworked.

Well today I think I will get to focusing in on my driver swing, try to find the right groove for that and start practicing it much more. Trying to emulate Tiger Wood’s driver swing is what I started on so I know my basics for the form, but I’ve sort of gotten sloppy as I’ve worked more heavily with other  clubs. Anyway, that’s all for now.

Future Article Ideas

In Personal on July 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm

So I wanted to use a post to collect my thoughts about what things I can share which have been working for me on this journey to get better at golf. I have developed a few basic exercises which I think are really helping me perform what the 10,000 hour people call “deliberate practice,” or what I think of as practicing to get better.

Video work and mirror work are the first ones I’ll go over, both invaluable to finding your proper swing, then also my techniques for slow motion work, which roots out poor form and bad habits.

I also want to do a longer post on how to generate power, with illustrations to help show what I’m talking about. I haven’t had any test subjects try my methods yet (other than myself of course), but hopefully I can write up my methods for how to start generating swing power from the hip in a way that other people will find makes sense.

Oh, and I also want to write a better ‘About’ piece, maybe in a post at least, which explains what all this is about and what my ultimate goals are. That’s part of the overall building of this blog, which clearly still needs a lot of design work done on it. Fortunately I doubt anyone is reading this thing yet, so I don’t have to panic about it.

Back After Rest

In Personal on July 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

So I took three days off to let myself recover and it felt nice. But now I’m back to 3,300 swings a day, although this morning I began to feel pain in my knee as I worked on my driver swing. Hopefully it passes without incident, but it made me worried about getting a serious injury that would derail the whole thing. There’s no affording surgery or anything of the kind fore me, it would just be the abrupt end of the golf for me.

But I’ll go easy tonight, do some narrow stance swing work which will be less stressful on the knee. Also I’m taking a joint supplement now which hopefully will kick in and lower any joint pain or stress after a week or two. I may not get to 70,000 swings this month, but I’m definitely going to try my best to get there. The heat wave has broke, so it won’t be nearly as grueling.

Resting

In Personal on July 8, 2012 at 1:43 am

So I finished strong yesterday and I’m going to do my best tonight, but my hip has pretty much yelled “uncle!” and I need a break. My lower back is pretty worn down from putting too, as far as that goes. I hate to ever pass the buck to tomorrow for what I’m supposed to do today, but I’ve had a great first week and need to let my body fully recover so it can grow stronger as I continue on.

While I wish I could do 100,000 practice swings this month, 70,000 would be a real victory. More than that is great, less than that is less great, but putting in significant work and improving my swing is the real goal and I’m definitely dong that.

Also once this heat wave passes it’ll be a lot easier to train as well. I’ve been chased indoors by a week’s worth of 90+ degree days that are just nasty. With some mornings and evenings in the 70s and 80s and my improved physical conditioning I should be able to continue through the rest of this month and the next just fine.

Training and Recovery

In Personal on July 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm

One big challenge in my training is trying to keep my body recovered between training sessions. Some things can help with that, such as training designed not to be overly stressful to my joints and muscles, moderately paced and so on. Another thing is not going overboard on my swings, not trying to use a ball too often, having light weight practice club to use at least half the time, and so on. If I tried to do 2,000 club swings a day with an actual golf ball I’d be worn out after a single day.

Still it’s difficult. I hope to find more strategies and recovery techniques as I go here and learn more about what my body needs. I’m looking into the ice baths used by NFL athletes, using my massage chair more often, and also trying an inversion table my brother gave me to help stretch out my back.

The main problem areas are my lead hip, which drives my swing, and my back, which is already a problem. Anyway, I’m going to buy some joint supplements and use my lightweight practice club almost exclusively for the rest of the week. Then start up next week with pure putting days which let me rest.

Happy 4th of July!

In Personal on July 5, 2012 at 12:55 am

Convenient that a holiday should fall right as I begin my training and give me a much needed rest. It’s hard work swinging a golf club that much and making sure you’re actually practicing your form as you do it. I imagine it may take a few months before I really get into good enough conditioning to where I can do this without a rather high amount of effort. Fortunately that’s where the putter comes in! Remember half of golf is putting (literally), and I plan to make putting strokes around 40% of my overall swing total. Today I’m doing 2,000, they aren’t tiring at all, and help keep me on pace.