Be better: Training tips from Sanford POWER and Amy Olson
Pro golfer Amy Olson and Sanford POWER are teaming up to offer insights and training tips to enhance your athletic performance:
Travel is a part of sports. How do you keep your body tuned in while on the road?
“This is such an important question and I am constantly learning new tricks and habits that are helpful.
Sleep is a major key. I try to get 8-9 hours when I’m on the road.
Hydration is key, too. Between the air travel and warm weather, dehydration is a constant threat. I start eh day with a couple large glasses of water and carry a water bottle everywhere.
Third, I keep moving. Gyms on the road are never ideal, but I’ve shifted my workouts while traveling to include more light weights, stretching and mobility vs. strength and power. I can do those things as long as I have an open space. Dropping my expectation of finding a squat rack or jump boxes has helped me become more consistent in making time for workouts. Better something than nothing!
Different athletes will require different training modalities to perform an optimal level. It’s best to experiment and find what works best for each individual. Athletes who are constantly traveling might find it useful to carry a travel bag containing a foam roller, roller stick, lacrosse ball or band for recovery or prep work. By taking this valuable equipment with you, an athlete avoids the need to find a training center or gym to perform various modalities that can help you recover from the rigors of travel. A proper preseason strength training program provides enough stimulus for sporadic in-season lifting to be beneficial due to the residual effects obtained during the preseason program.
What do you do to improve mental focus, imagery and concentration?
“I’m a huge believer that nutrition affects every part of your body including your mind. Eating lots of fruits and veggies, especially blueberries are shown to be incredible for your brain. Maintaining a stable blood sugar is also important so I make sure to pack snacks for the golf course.
Routines are essential for creating good mental habits. Since a round of golf lasts 4-5 hours, I can’t be focused every single minute. Allowing myself to take a mental break between shots is important. Once I’m within about 10 yards of my golf ball, I bring myself back to full concentration. I have found the routine of “zoning in” and allowing myself to “zone out” in between shots to be helpful in reserving full concentration for each shot.
Sports psychology is an exciting and expanding field. Athletes are always looking for a mental edge. This mental edge can be created by starting with the most proven methods. Today, it is not uncommon for many of our high school and college athletes to be deficient in sleep, hydration and nutrition. Start with the basics and make sure you are getting a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep – and you may need more, if you are an athlete. Next, make sure you are meeting your nutritional demands by eating a variety of lean meats, fruits and vegetables, which provide the foundation for brain health. Monitor your water intake and avoid chronic dehydration. You are sure to improve your mental game by starting with the basics and then adding proven methods like imagery and meditation.
As a golfer, what role does strength, power and mobility training play in keeping you healthy?
“Professional golfers have the longest season of any sport. The LPGA begins in January and wraps up in November. Over-use injuries are a real threat for most golfers, and most of those injuries are preventable. Strength training is vital for that. For example, building up muscles like my forearms and wrists make it less likely that I will have soreness toward the end of the season. Conditions aren’t always ideal – whether I’m going straight from the airplane to the practice tee or trying to make a full shoulder turn in 40-degree weather. It’s important to have a solid foundation of strength and mobility to prevent injuries and stay healthy.”
Strength provides the foundation for the majority of all explosive athletic movements in most sports. Strength is absolutely vital for athletes to produce power, which is the most desired athletic trait in sport performance. Not only does strength training provide a foundation for power development, it also creates adaptations within the muscular tendon unit and bone structure. That enables the body to handle the stresses experienced in athletics. POWER focuses on developing functional human movement, adding strength and stability and increasing power.