The Smart Golfer Podcast

Recover to Improve: How Utilizing All Forms of Recovery Can Make You a Better Golfer

May 16, 2023 GRETA ANDERSON Episode 15
The Smart Golfer Podcast
Recover to Improve: How Utilizing All Forms of Recovery Can Make You a Better Golfer
Show Notes Transcript

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, recovery is essential for golfers looking to improve their game. 

In this episode, we'll explore what recovery means for golfers, the different types of recovery, and some practical techniques you can use to help you recover and ultimately perform better on the course.

If you're ready for some insights to help you feel better, play smarter and get more enjoyment out of your game, then make sure to check out this episode!

As Smart Golfers, we talk about preparation from a variety of perspectives. From buying the right equipment, practice, instruction and the like. But one aspect of preparation that lots of recreational golfers (both newer and experienced) often neglect is recovery! So today, that’s what we’re digging into.

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Dr. Greta:

It. Welcome to the Smart Golfer podcast, where we help aspiring golfers improve their skills, strategy, and knowhow for better performance, fun, and play. I'm your host, Dr. Greta Anderson, and I am beyond excited to help you move from just hitting balls to playing your best golf. So let's get to it. Hey, there. I am your host host Dr. Greta Anderson, and you are tuned into the Smart Golfer podcast. Thank you so much for listening today. So we are, for many golfers at least, we are at the dawn of a new season of golf, chock full of intentions and plans and goals and the like. And no matter what, I'm inclined to believe that all of us right, are ready to put our best foot forward as we begin this new practice and playing season. We have our goals, our intentions, and whatever they may be. So we're all just here. It's spring. It's the beginning, right? The new, fresh beginning. So whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, recovery is essential for golfers looking to improve their game. So in this episode, we'll explore what recovery means for golfers, the different types of recovery, and some practical techniques that you can use to help yourself recover and ultimately perform better on the course. Now, as smart golfers, we talk about preparation, right? From a variety of perspectives excuse me from buying the right equipment to practice instruction and the like. But one aspect of preparation that lots of recreational golfers, that can be a newer golfer or more experienced golfer, a lot of us neglect is that recovery. So today, again, that is what we're digging into. So let's get to it. So let's start by talking about what recovery is, what it means. Recovery is defined as the process of restoring your body and mind after physical activity. It's important for all athletes, including golfers, as it helps prevent injury, reduces soreness and fatigue, and improves overall performance. Recovery can be broken down into several categories, including the physical, the psychological, the nutritional, the mental, and a few other areas. Now, one of the first modes of recovery that I want to spend some time discussing today is one that so many of us overlook. It's right in our faces, and it's a part of our lives from the very beginning, but we often take it for granted. We don't think about it as being important. We just tend to overlook it. What am I talking about? I am talking about sleep. Sleep is an important factor for physical recovery, psychological recovery, mental recovery. Sleep allows your body to repair and rebuild muscle tissue at its essence. But let's talk about sleep and a couple of aspects of it that a lot of us don't lend credence to. Number one, the quality. And that's quality with an L is darn near as important as the quantity right now. We know that from the time we pop out of the womb, we need lots of sleep. And it's interesting because as adults, we're very protective, generally speaking, and covet the sleep needed by infants and children. We know that infants, newborns, need as many as 17 and 19 hours of sleep a day. And by the time the kiddies are in that early elementary stage primary stages, they still need in excess of 12 hours a day to be fully functioning and healthy and happy and well balanced. And most of us are very protective of our children's sleep and that type of thing. But something happens when we enter the hectic nature of adult life. Many of us, not all of us, we just abandon the thoughts about the significance of sleep and the quality of that sleep, right? Not too many of us had backgrounds and environments where it was just all heck breaking loose while we were trying to sleep. No, most of the time when we were younger, sleep is given a lot of significance and priority and sometimes that just goes out the window as adults. But we have to do that. So for us as adults, most of us, healthy, happy, functioning adults, we still need a good amount of sleep. We need between seven and 9 hours a night. And again, when I talk about the quality and the quantity, yes, we need that seven and nine. But equally important, we need quality sleep. So when I talk about quality of sleep, you may have heard the term sleep hygiene. There are a couple of things, so I'm just going to break it down. It's a way to sleep dirty. And I'm not just talking about your room sloppy and you haven't changed your sheets. That's a whole other issue and some types of things. But I'm talking about allowing the body and the mind to rest, right? So for example, we've got screens and things. We've got phones and computers and TVs and everything like that. You need to sleep in darkness. Pull those dark, those shades, those blankets, excuse me, those curtains. Close those blinds. We need darkness. I, for one, maybe 20 years ago at this point, I began sleeping with a sleep mask. And it ratcheted up the quality of my sleep expeditiously. Why? Because I don't have to strain to keep the light out. I cover out and I shut the world out, quite literally. That's a way, that's just an option. But here's another one no screens in the room. Now, I know that's a toughie for a lot of people to think about, but those little beams of light, the ones popping out from your TV, your phone, that maybe it's on silent, but that light that keeps flashing, all of those things are affecting your brain and its ability to rest. Because when you are asleep, your mind, your brain is doing a lot of work to help you file information, to just get you reenergized and rejuced. And all of those things impair the bodies and the brain's ability to do that work. Now, I want to talk to you a little bit about this. I know it sounds like I'm going on and on about sleep but this is a big one in terms of recovery. And as busy adults, which a lot of golfers are, right, busy people we have lots of responsibilities and lots of things going on. I see this sleep deprivation, or at least an inadequate amount. I may not call it deprivation, but just not enough quality sleep. It's staggering. So let's talk about some very serious statistics here. According to the highly respected center for Biotechnology Information this is really significant here. Listen to this, folks. We're talking about adult here. Drivers who get 6 hours of sleep or less are 33% more likely to have an accident on the road compared to those who get seven or 8 hours of sleep. You see that window that I was talking about? Seven to nine? See that here? Now, they continue driving while sleep deprived has the same or worse impact as driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.5%. Sleep is so important. So I know you're thinking, okay, Dr. Greta, you're talking about driving and maybe I don't drive a whole lot, that type of thing. But let's go further with this. Maybe you don't drive as part of your job but think about what I just said even more to appreciate the importance of sleep just a little bit more. I wanted to as I was reading and doing research for this episode I wanted to share with you some of these unfortunate and infamous incidents that have occurred in society that most of you probably heard of that were caused due to lack of sleep, poor sleep and lack of sleep. Here we go. Now, those of you of a certain age you will remember most of these. But even if you're not that old these were big enough events in world history that you were familiar with them. The meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant that was because of the technicians not having enough sleep. Chernobyl, not enough sleep. The Exxon Valdez oil spill, not enough sleep. And this is the one all of them were horrible. But this is the one that really tugged in my heart. The Space Shuttle Challenger. This was because those brilliant scientists were sleep deprived in, stressing out and getting everything just right. And they got everything just right, but not right enough, obviously. So these are extremes. But I just want you to see how significant sleep is being rest. And so these are big life milestones and issues we're talking about there. But we're talking about golf, a much lighter and less serious issue. But I want you to understand that sleep is so important to you as a healthy human. But also, if you sleep better, you'll play better, smarter golf, right? And just remember that in the big picture it is just so much more than that. Now, there's some other areas of recovery that we want to talk about a little bit here one of them being nutritional recovery. It's also essential for us golfers, right? Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein and carbohydrates can help replenish energy stores and promote muscle recovery. We want to eat a high protein, good carbohydrate meal prior to practice and play. We want to develop those great habits, right? Snacking throughout the round. Have you ever noticed, this is one of the things I love watching when I'm watching professional golf. I noticed that the Tour pros, they're not eating out of like the cheetos bag or anything like that. They have tupperware. They're eating real food, real quality, simple food, right? They're out on the course, they're at work. But nonetheless, simple, complex carbohydrates, those things that are going to keep them fueling. Now, I know for the rest of us, a lot of times when we're out the local club or local course or the municipal course or whatever the case may be, making the turn and going into the clubhouse, sometimes the choices aren't always as healthful and nutritious as we would like, and we have to manage that. But the good news is it's just as easy to pack a sandwich or bring along some nutritional snacks, some fruit, some nuts and that type of thing in the golf bag. After all, we have a bag full of nice pockets that we can load up with things. So we have to be intentional there, right? And we have to moderate. Yes, we're out there having fun. We got to moderate that clubhouse junk because let's face it, there are a lot of not so good food choices that can be had in the clubhouse, okay? Now, along with that nutrition hydration, this is another one of the biggies that plays a massive role in recovery. Staying hydrated is so important as dehydration leads to fatigue and decreased performance on the course, right? I mean, it's a big deal. Now, those diuretics that all of us love, I'm here in the south, we love sweet tea, we love coffee, we love sugary drinks and sodas. But on the golf course, pretty much everywhere, but especially out on that golf course, these things are deleterious to our performance. They work against us folks. That's just no other way to put it. Now, sports drinks, they are not all bad, but they are often not as helpful as you may be led to believe. So it is really important that you read the labels to see how much sugar is in that bottle, because I want you to remember this. The bottle may be viewed according to the manufacturer. When you read the label there, it'll list all the sugar, then the carbohydrates and all that good stuff there. But it's important to remember this. Sometimes where it says serving, it doesn't necessarily say one. So if you're buying or guzzling down that one bottle and it's showing you the stats and you're thinking, okay, this is great. This is only x number of grams of sugar and this and that, and in that bottle is two, three or four servings and you're treating it as one. Remember, that's a multiplier. You're going to have to really do that math on there. And it turns out that a lot of times you're getting way more sugar and way more of some not so good stuff than you bargain for. So I encourage you to really pay attention there and understand that water is essential and valuable. And like I said, those four strings aren't so bad, but we have to just be mindful. So we're not getting excess sugar and other additives. Last year, I think it was last year or so, maybe two years ago, time flies. I had the pleasure of working with the to produce several articles about the importance of hydration and that was really interesting work, but informative work and I got a lot of great feedback about those. So we're going to put the links to those articles in the show notes so that you can read. Because we kind of ran some experiments and testing to really give you the breakdown of how sugar works and what you're getting in a lot of the servings so that you are in the know and you're not out there blindly trying to figure this out. So we're here to help you be a smart golfer. So again, that'll be in the show notes. Okay? So now that we have discussed the science of recovery, so to speak, we're going to dig in, excuse me, and explore some practical recovery techniques that golfers can use to help with recovery. Okay? Now one great technique is stretching. Stretching is designed to help increase flexibility, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury. Foam rolling is a popular recovery technique, right? It goes along with that among athletes and other people. Just all of us, foam rolling is just that, using a foam roller. It's kind of a big piece of styrofoam. They come in a bunch of different sizes, but you can get the size that works best for you. And rolling to apply pressure to sore muscles and breaking up those knots and helping the muscles get that necessary blood flow going again, that helps relieve soreness and get out the lactic acid and all those things that we need, really reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation. Now, if you're not promote, excuse me, if you're not familiar with stretching or form rolling or any of these recovery techniques, I really encourage you to consult with some knowledgeable resources in the respective fields, right? I mean, like too many things, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Like you don't want to just foam roll for 2 hours and that type of thing. But also doing things incorrectly can obviously result in injury. So it's so important for us to all be mindful of these things and take the time to do a little bit of study and do a bit of learning. That's what experts are for. But also, there's always our friend Google if you want to learn and explore before finding an expert to help you out with some of these things. So in a recent episode of the Smart Golfer podcast, we had our great friend of the show expert, Mr. Coach Johnny Bouchard of Atlanta Sports Recovery, who, by the way, serves as the mobility expert for our coaching programs. The goal, Getter Golf and the Project 72 coaching programs here at Dr. Greta Golf, he was on and he was discussing mobility for golfers and the importance of mobility. So if you have not had a chance to check out that episode, I really encourage you to do so because Johnny really breaks it down. Coach Johnny breaks down the difference between flexibility and mobility and he really digs in and provides insight into how this is directly connected to your golf performance. So some of those things that you're thinking you're just going to work out with a little bit more of a few jumping jacks or stretches ain't not true. And Coach Johnny helps us to get better informed on that. So I encourage you to check out that episode. Okay, now, I'm just giving some highlights here on some of these modalities. Note, I'm not giving medical advice here, but we're just talking so that you can get an idea of some things that can really help you out as you begin to explore and further embrace recovery. Massage. Massage is one of my absolute favorites. If I could have a massage or afford to have a massage every day, I would. Massage is a great technique for golfers. It helps to increase that blood flow, again, reducing muscle soreness and promoting relaxation. And every massage is not just a relaxation. Some of them are really therapeutic. So again, consult with a certified licensed massage therapist or expert to really help you understand the benefits and how that can work for you and your body. Another one of my favorites. Again, this is not medical advice, but this is something that you can look into. It's really advantageous dry needling and it's gaining popularity among athletes. It's a way to promote muscle recovery and reduce pain. Use those same needles that you may have seen or experience in acupuncture, but it's a totally different approach to the use of those needles. So incorporating those techniques into your routine can definitely help you recover better and ultimately improve your game. Right? It's important to find the recovery routine that works for you and stick to it. Whether it's stretching, foam, rolling, massage, whatever that combination is, you need to find it. And it will help you, of course, throughout life, but particularly with your golf game. Now, we know that golf is a physical game that for optimal performance requires use of mental skills. Now, what does that mean? It means that recovery is not only performance excuse me. Now, what does that mean? It means that recovery is not only important before and after a round of golf, like those things that we just spoke about, but it's also important during the round itself. No, I'm not talking about getting down in the middle of the fairway and foam rolling. I'm talking about recovery that we do out on the golf course, right? The part of the game is physical, but a big part of this thing is mental. And that is where a lot of us come up short. So for us smart golfers, we have to think about recovery in a bunch of different ways. And so now we're talking about recovery in the fairways. Maybe we're not on the fairways in terms of shot making and shot decision making. Someone striving to play smarter golf understands that recovery shots are a part of the game and they often can mean the difference between shooting your personal best in terms of score, or just overall fun or less than your best. And then that's one of the things I don't often use the comparisons just in every aspect of our game with touring pros and the rest of the world's golfers. But this is an important area that I think is important. TV Sanitizes Tour Golf a lot pro golfers make lots of mistakes. I mean, obviously they make relatively speaking, they make fewer mistakes than the rest of the world's golfers, but they do make mistakes. The difference is that they are very efficient and proficient in recovery. And what do I mean for that by that? They are not going to in most instances, they're not going to compound the problem, right? So for example, if a golfer, if you find yourself in a difficult lie such as a bunker or rough, for many of us, a smart golf means assessing the situation, right, and making a decision that gives you the best chance of successful recovery shot. This can mean taking a more conservative approach, right? Such as playing safe and laying up rather than trying to hit a risky shot and getting yourself into a worse situation, getting yourself into a penalty situation or in more trouble, right? We have to understand that. Again, recovery is a part of this process in this great game that we call golf, it's an overlooked aspect of using your wits in the game. Recovery, rather than giving up on that not so good shot you hit. Maybe it's the T shot, maybe it's the second shot on the par five. Who knows? A smart golfer, right? Someone striving to play smart golf will use those recovery skills there's that word again, recovery skills to get back on track and put themselves in a good or at least a decent position to make the next shot a successful one, right? Again, this could mean just hitting a shot that gets you back in play. Often you hear the term taking your medicine, right? So to speak. It just means that making use of a shot or skill that you're comfortable with to get the ball back into a playable position instead of compounding with a poor position with a risky shot that can just pile onto the situation, right? And it's happened to all of us at some point, right? You hit a shot, maybe you're lying. Three, you're sitting three, and you're like, well, I saw it's possible I can cut through these two pine trees and skirt it low and hit a stinger like Tiger Woods and it'll skip up onto the green, and next thing you know, four shots later, you're still not on the green. Those kind of situations all of us have had. What are the columns? The blow up holes, right? This is what we have to learn. These are the skills, almost soft skills in many ways, that we develop to avoid the blow up hole, right? So these are the mental decisions that we have to develop the skill of being coming pretty good at to execute during golf. These are the ones that can override those silly, risky shots that we may be inclined to attempt when our emotions are running high or, as people say, we're in our feelings, right? So we've got to do that. So, as a smart golfer, I invite you to view recovery as a multipronged and important resource in your ever growing toolbox as you expand and improve your golf skills and your golf experiences. Here's the great thing about it. There are so many ways to work on it which will help us progress toward that rule of 1% better every day, which is what we all strive to do in everything and especially our golf. So if you're ready to take things to the next level on your terms with supportive coaching, that will help you create measurable results, right? I invite you to learn more about our signature golf coaching program for driven golfers called Goal getter Golf. I'm stumbling today, but it's called goal. Getter golf. We call it G three for short, and the link is in the show notes. Okay? So thanks so much for taking the time to think about what I'm saying, and thanks for listening, and we'll see you in the next episode. Thanks so much for joining us this week on the Smart Golfer podcast. Make sure you visit our, where you can subscribe to the show using your preferred podcast platform so you'll never miss a show. And while you're at it, if you found value in this show, we'd appreciate a rating on that platform. Or if you'd simply like to tell a friend about the show, that could. Help us out, too. And if you like this show, you might want to check out more of our learning programs at academy. Dr. Gret